I have to address it, and as my guy did; I’ll write about it and talk about it when it’s the thing I want to do least right now. Last night a part of me died inside, more than it has involving a sporting event in my entire lifetime. Last night was that night, it finally happened to me.
Jay Bruce is a class act person, and a great ballplayer. He’s going to have his place in history and be one of the greatest Reds of all time. But this post is not about that. It’s about one play in time
The best right fielder in baseball gets hit a fly ball–following other follies and errors–that he makes 1,000 times out of a 1,000. Except this once, it got lost in the lights. I’ve played the game, and I was an outfielder. And I know that playing outfield is not as easy as Jay Bruce makes it look. It was one play; and one moment in time. And as my good friend told me following the game when my guts had turned over themselves and my heart had broken, one play does not define a man. It is the sum that equals a player; a man. And Jay Bruce; the player and the man is great equally at both.
What happened last night overshadows the fact that Jay Bruce hit a home run into the upper deck of Citizens Bank ball park off Roy Oswalt–and the look of terror that was on Phillies fan’s faces that ensued following. We had them on the ropes. That’s what we should be talking about today, not this play. But the history books wanted to read a different way. The Baseball Gods didn’t want to let us have it the way we wanted, for whatever the reason.
I know what I’ll choose to remember, and I know what I’ll choose to let go of. It is these trials that make getting to the top of the mountain all the more rewarding. Our zenith may already have been defined; maybe our high point in all of this has already been reached, although I choose to think that the best is yet to come and this is only the beginning. But back to the journey. You have to enjoy the journey. This has it’s place, Reds fans. As I said before the playoffs began, it’s the struggle. The battle. The goal in mind. The purpose. Even if you don’t win. This is all part of the ride. You take things as they come and you deal with them. That’s what defines you.
Jay Bruce said he was ’embarrassed’. Son, you shouldn’t ever say that. You have nothing to be embarrassed about or to hang your head about. You’re a gamer and we would not be on this great journey if it weren’t for you. Hold your head high. A brighter day will come for all of us, I truly believe that. that history wanted differently for some reason. And believe me, everything in life happens for a reason. You don’t always understand it when it happens. But there is always a reason and a greater plan that we don’t see. I firmly believe that.