Being there…116 times

2001 seattle mariners

The 2001 team and Niehaus's signature "My oh my..." He said that a lot that year.

Tonight the Seattle Mariners celebrated the tenth anniversary of their record-setting, 116 win season in 2001. It’s not that kind of season this year; it’s not even a 2009 kind of season, which will go down in history as the happiest third-place in a four-team division finish ever. And I confess I haven’t been following the team or the baseball season this year like I usually do, but don’t blame the Mariners or the sport for that – it’s still the best game ever invented, for those of us with a philosophical turn of mind.

Speaking of which, during the pre-game festivities, ex-M’s catcher and current radio commentator Dave Valle said something interesting. He noted the chemistry of that winning team, and asked – what makes chemistry? is it chance? or can you make it happen?

Chemistry, Valle went on to say, chemistry comes from accountability. When each player walks into the clubhouse and onto the field ready and able to give his best, he expects the same from his teammates, and they create a sense of being accountable to one another. Not because they’ll be punished if they mess up or lose. Because over time they want to be there for one another. It’s just a lot more fun that way.

Think about that – the essence of being accountable is being there, and being there creates joy for the people we care about. A baseball lesson for all of us?

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