In my single very bad year of Little League baseball, I was on the league champion team. The first baseman was the coach's son and the best player (and biggest asshat) in the league; he could rake. We had a half dozen or so great players, and we generally rolled the league. I had a few good games early through sheer luck, but then more or less fell apart, especially on defense. (It turns out that my eyes don't work together, so my depth perception is pretty much non-existent. Not an asset on pop ups, really.)
When the team won the championship, I wasn't all that excited; hitting 12th and playing for one inning in deep right will tend to take the joy out of things, really. I knew I wasn't going to ever do this again, and that it wasn't that much of a story. I took no share of the glory.
This puts me considerably on front of Adam Eaton.
"A lot of things went wrong, but a lot of things went right, too. I helped them get to the playoffs two years in a row, and obviously we won the World Series last year."Adam's ERA in 2007: 6.29.
Adam's ERA in 2008: 5.80.
Now, to be fair, maybe I'm not getting the whole story here. Perhaps Adam was a great asset in the clubhouse. Or a mentor to Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge. Maybe his statistics don't show his, um, true worth.
And maybe my Little League team needed my googly-eyed ballast to keep them all focused on the prize.
Yes, that must be it.
So I'd like to be the very first person in the greater Philadelphia region to say these words:
Thank you, Adam Eaton.
Through your considerable example and incredible linking skills, that's one more source of childhood shame erased. I was the MVP, baby!