Perfection isn’t everything…

This afternoon, reigning two-time American League MVP, Mike Trout, finished 0-3 with two walks and two strikeouts against the Seattle Mariners, lowering his season average to .280.

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Mike Trout strikes out against Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. // April 9, 2017

That means for every 100 at-bats, arguably the best player in baseball, will only come through, 28 times.

You have betters odds of getting into every university in the conference that can’t spell or count, except Michigan and Northwestern (I can feel Alan singing “Go! U Northwestern” right about now), than Mike Trout does of getting a hit.

Even the greatest hitter of all time, Ted Williams, ONLY hit .406 in a single season.

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Ted Williams hit .406 for the Red Sox in 1941. He is the last player in MLB history to hit over .400.

At The Masters in Augusta this weekend, the world’s top golfers did something us amateurs do on a regular basis, bogey a hole. Yet onlookers and those at home responded in shock and awe, as if these professionals aren’t human as well, and allowed to make mistakes.

Why?

Absolutely, nobody on Earth is perfect.

So why do we expect athletes to be? Why do we expect ourselves to be?

When I studied Olympic History at the University of Queensland, my professor — Dr. Ian Jobling, told me he never gave 100% on an exam because, “…there has only been one perfect person to grace this Earth, and his name was Jesus Christ and you are not him.”

I’m a perfectionist. Things have to be perfect, down to the most minor detail for me. Most articles you read on Blue Ring Sports, are short to read, but take HOURS for me to write.

I am constantly checking them for spelling errors, grammar and length.

This week I had a heart-to-heart conversation with Alan about just that.

He gave me some great advice and said, “You’re not going to win the Pulitzer Prize this year. You’re not going to win the Pulitzer Prize next year. You need to dial it back from an 11 to a 7.”

At first I thought he was totally insane, because I run at such a high octane, they don’t even make one of those fancy fuels to keep up with me.

And then I realized something.

If that fuel doesn’t exist, eventually the engine will burn up, and so will I.

When Mike Trout struck out this afternoon, did he have a meltdown at the plate and freak because he didn’t get a hit?

No.

He went back to the dugout knowing the Texas Rangers come to town on Tuesday evening, and he’ll have another chance at getting a hit.

There will be other articles, there will be other opportunities.

A month ago when Blue Ring Sports was off for a week, I was back home in Baltimore taking care of my mother while she recovered from surgery. It forced me to miss an extra week of class, including one of Alan’s lectures.

This one proved most “unmissable.”

It turns out, on a whim, “The Baltimore Bullet” himself showed up to class.

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My reaction was along the lines of the Wicked Witch of the West melting.

When Alan sent a copy of the above photograph that the class took with Michael, I was cc’d in on it.

I immediately texted the greatest mentor a person could ever ask for: “You. Rat. Bastard.” 

When I returned to Los Angeles, he sat me down and told me there would be other opportunities in life to meet Michael Phelps. Seriously if you go to USC, take Alan’s class…you’ll love it!

I know it’s hard for me to comprehend, especially when I am in overdrive. But not sweating things or expecting life to be perfect is so much easier than the alternative.

If Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson or any player lost it over an error or striking out, the game of baseball would cease to exist. But like them, you and I have to learn life’s not always going to go the way we planned.

The cute brunette from Policy Knowledge and Analysis won’t always say “yes” when you ask her out.

Your boss won’t always appreciate the hard work you put into a project for him or her.

It just boils down to taking some advice from Elsa, and just “LET IT GO!”

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