My father used to say that the most important person in the conversation isn't the person speaking.
I struggled to fully comprehend this for years. Still am.
Then I read in college that Socrates defined wisdom as recognizing that being wise means admitting you "know nothing."
This troubled my mind in a similar way. How can there be a conversation without speaking and how can one be wise without knowing things? And then one day it clicked. Only a fool does without knowing. And no one can know everything. So we are all fools.
Baseball players are familiar with this feeling.
It's a game of imperfections that guys spend their entire lives trying to perfect, knowing they never will. So the wise player listens in the conversation, admits he knows nothing...and then what?
And then what? If you pay very close attention, you get just a little bit better. Just a tiny, teeny, microscopic, minuscule little fraction of a bit better. Then you do it again the next day.
"Every day is an opportunity."
Colorado Rockies Senior Director of Player Development, Zach Wilson, didn't say "every game" he said "every day."
Baseball is a unique game for countless reasons but chief among them may be that it is a constant grind to such an extent that players plan off days with the precision of a strategic military intervention.
Daily routines and rituals become sacrosanct. And, like that old adage about the duck seeming calm on the surface but paddling like hell beneath it, most of what makes ballplayers great (or not) is never seen by the public.
What the public did see of Raimel Tapia and Carlos Estevez in 2017 was a lot to love and a lot to question and a whole lot of trips back and forth between MLB and Triple-A.