Yogi not Yoga

yogiMy love for the game of baseball started at an early age.  It’s a game I played with my dad, my brothers, and my friends.  Summer nights were spent at the ball diamonds where I was either playing or shouting words of encouragement to my buddies who were.

One of baseball’s most loved players is Yogi Berra.  During his 19 years as a catcher for the Yankees, he played in 14 World Series.

While Yogi is remembered for the way he played the game, he might be better known for his Yogisms:

  • This is like déjà vu all over again.
  • A nickle ain’t worth a dime anymore.
  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • Baseball is 90% mental, and the other half is physical.
  • You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.

Yogi also said, I never said most of the things I said.  Like Yogi, some people will remember us more for what we said than for what we accomplished in life.

Words are dynamic, and they have the power to hinder and to humiliate, and they are also endued with a robustness to help and to heal.

Solomon reminds us that, Pleasant words are like a honeycomb: they drip sweet food for life and bring health to the body (Proverbs 16:24).

Everyone needs to hear a pleasant word at some time, and there will be someone, somewhere, who will begin today as an indigent pessimist due to the overwhelming trial they are facing.  When you meet them, will you simply smile, turn your back and walk away or will you engage them with words of encouragement?

mogher tMother Teresa has said: Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

If words are an echo, may our’s resonate with a melody that is loving, positive, uplifting, encouraging, and life-giving

The Courage to Say: I Need Help

Bronx, New York 9/25/15 CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees reacts on the mound after Melky Cabrera #53 of the Chicago White Sox scores on Alexei Ramirez RBI double during the second inning in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2015 (Paul J. Bereswill)

When you combine his 6’7” dominating physique with his left arm that chucks a baseball with the heat and intensity of a flamethrower, CC Sabathia can be an intimidating presence.  This fierce competitor with the heart of a champion made a public statement yesterday admitting he’s  been beaten.

Sabathia will not be going on the injured reserve list, he will be going into a treatment program for alcohol rehabilitation.  Sabathia said:

“I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series . . . It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.”

Kudos to Sabathia for being honest with himself, so he can be truthful with others.  He’s not alone in this battle.  As many as 1 in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or an alcohol related problem.

If you find yourself in a situation similar to the one that CC Sabathia is facing, I encourage you to take three immediate steps:

  • Resolve to make the necessary changes.
  • Assess your peer group: Are they good friends who have your best interests at heart or are they just drinking buddies?
  • It is highly unlikely that you can whip this on your own, so seek professional help.

For those who are on the outside looking in, I remind you of the words of Paul:  “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).”  When your friend or family member asks for help, be willing to listen and to encourage him and he takes the first steps towards sobriety.