April 24, 2017
Marte, McCutchen, and Foolish Consistencies
Well, that was stupid.
Those four words seem sadly lacking in many aspects of contemporary life. You’ve said them, right? You try out something new, it fails, you realize your error, go back to what you were doing before, and move on. A new diet. A new workout. A new morning routine. Once I tried to remove a spot on my jeans with bleach. Once I tried washing my hair with dishwashing liquid. Once I crawled under my car, armed with a socket wrench and the intent to change the oil myself. They all ended with the recitation of those four words.
As people, it’s important for us to be willing to break out of our mold, not become set in our ways, try new things. It can expand us and better us. But it’s also important for us to realize when those attempts misfire, and abandon them. Sticking with ideas that don’t work is not a sign of character. Emerson was right when he said that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. So was David St. Hubbins when he said that it’s such a fine line between stupid and clever. Too many people hang out on the wrong side of that line.
Don’t worry, this isn’t about PEDs. If you’re in need of that kind of bloviating, I’d say you’ve got a good week or two before it plays out on talk radio. Have at it.
Rather, I want to talk about outfield positioning. As you probably know, last year the Pirates outfield was, left to right, Marte, McCutchen, and Gregory Polanco. This year, the team broke camp with the configuration jumbled: Polanco in left, Marte in center, and McCutchen in right.