My daughter Carrie graduated from Towson University yesterday.
I know it's not a game-changing event for most of you, but to me it's a pretty big deal. She made it through in just eight semesters with a sparkling GPA and was honored a couple of weeks ago as one of the outstanding seniors in her department. I'm incredibly proud.
The downside of yesterday's event was how it seemed to occur only a few months after she finished kindergarten. The past 21-plus years are such a blur at the moment, it's terribly unfair that life has to pass by so quickly.
I'm frequently accused of living in the past, and I'll plead guilty to that, with this caveat: Because I have a tendency to remember things in some detail, to it doesn't feel like living in the past. It's more like the impact the past is having on the present. I can't think of one without the other. Which brings me to a particular observation.
How many times have you heard someone - a fan, a broadcaster, whomever - reference a play in which a runner is, let's say, picked off first or thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple, and the following batter homers, and you hear "Well, that previous play just cost the team a tie or the lead"?
Life - and especially baseball - doesn't work like that. There's no guarantee that the end result would've gone any particular way. If the previous play had resulted in a safe call, the pitcher's approach to the next hitter would most likely have changed in terms of pitch selection, location, etc. It doesn't require much experience to figure that out.
To Nationals manager Jim Riggleman's credit, every time someone asks him that kind of hypothetical, he quickly responds with "I don't play that game." No manager does.
So, the next time someone dies on the base paths before a home run, don't torture yourself playing "what if?" If the players and managers don't, you shouldn't either.
And no, she wasn't named after the Cubs' pitcher, and her right arm is just fine, thank you.