Welcome to Man on Third

Hello!  I’ve decided that the world needs to know what I think about, so here you are reading my first blog.  And I can guess what you’re thinking… “am I ever going to get these five minutes back?”  My hope, of course, is that my blog does one thing – it makes you think for just a few minutes about something else and perhaps, maybe, you do something a little differently or think about something in a different way than you did before.  Or maybe, you’ll just say “Huh, that guy’s pretty witty, why was he so mean to me in high school?”

If you think anything other than “oh my god, I’m never going to read this again” then let me know.  Actually, let me know if you hate it, too. Just don’t post bad reviews on Facebook, since as you know, Facebook is only supposed to be about happy children getting on the bus for their first day of school (and weather reports, and places you’ve visited).

Here I am literally a man on third.

Here I am literally a man on third.

So, why “Man on Third?”  I’m glad you asked.

First, there’s the obvious baseball reference to standing on third base and if you know me at all, you know that I see everything through turf-colored glasses.

Second, it’s because I never finish any projects.  I’m always on third, never crossing the plate.  In fact, who knows if I’ll even write another blog post (I actually already wrote it, but the third one is questionable).  I like to keep my fans guessing.

Which brings me to the third and final reason for “Man on Third.”

Isn’t life about being on third base?  The feeling that you’re almost finished – the adrenaline of knowing you might score but you might not.  All the different ways you can get home – a hit, a passed ball, a sacrifice fly, a suicide squeeze – isn’t the fun in life about the not knowing what’s going to happen next?  The sorrow when you get stranded and the euphoria when you finally score (side note: did I just figure out why the triple is the most exciting play in baseball)?

With little man on third.

With little man on third.

Aren’t we all just unfinished projects, never fully satisfied, never fully great or where we want to be, who we want to be?  I think that’s the point – that the end zone (oh my god, a mixed metaphor) keeps moving.

I like to think that life is about being on third (you can get really deep now and think home is death, but I fancy myself an optimist).  It’s about the journey that got you from the batter’s box to first, and then to second.  Who were the people who helped you get there? Did you help other people score while you rounded the bases?  Did you have a good at-bat? Steal second? Did you advance on an error or someone else’s misfortune?  Most importantly, are you happy that you got this far?  Were you stuck in the batter’s box for a while?  Is touching home plate with a run the only thing that mattered to you or is just getting a chance to play the best thing that ever happened?

And, maybe, the point is to just be ok with having gotten to third.   Stop worrying about getting home.  Wouldn’t you rather be on third than back in the dugout?  You’re in the game, you matter, everyone is watching what will happen next.   Yes, you may ultimately end up back in the dugout yapping about could have been, “if only I…” but you’ve proven to yourself that you can make it to third.

Sitting in a dugout, my usual spot during high school baseball games

Sitting in a dugout, my usual spot during high school baseball games

And of course, sometimes in life, when you step up to the plate, you get lucky and you hit a home run, a big smile crossing your face as you touch third and head for home.  I’ve hit a number of home runs in my life so far – holding my son Alex for the first time, meeting my wife Amy, being close with my family.  More often, though, we strike out or end up laughing hysterically after we trip over second and fall flat on our face.

That’s why “Man on Third.”   It’s about the journey.

And remember the words of the great 20th century philosopher, Mike Tyson: “Everyone’s got a plan, until they get hit in the mouth” (damn, another mixed metaphor, I think).

I’m excited to get started.  Check out Facebook (and Twitter if I get it up and running in time) for a link to my first at-bat about September 11.


Photos 1 and 3 courtesy of Jon Soliday

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