Why a Controversial Baseball Play Should Be More Than a Metaphor

Why a Controversial Baseball Play Should Be More Than a Metaphor

For the first time in baseball history?- and in the World Series no less?- a game ended because the umpire called “obstruction”.



Will Middlebrooks, the third baseman for the Boston Red Sox, lunged for a throw from the catcher Jarrod Satalamacchia but could not reach it. He fell, and while lying on the ground he tripped Allen Craig who was rounding third base trying to score. Though Craig was out at the plate with plenty of room to spare, Jim Joyce the umpire, immediately called obstruction. According to this rarely employed rule, Craig, obstructed from running, was correctly awarded the base and the St. Louis Cardinals won. Undoubtedly, the ump had to make a gusty call, one that is going to be controversial for years to come.

But baseball is much more than just a game. It has always been a metaphor for life. In the immortal words of the great Babe Ruth: “Never allow the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game!”

Thinking about the analogies of baseball and life, and that particular obstruction call raises an interesting question.? What is obstructing us from living and expressing our full potential??What insecurity keeps us from experiencing deep connection in our important and intimate relationships?? What fear blocks our work from being truly satisfying and nurturing? What voices from our past or people in our present keep us from realizing and expressing our real potential?? What attitudes or thoughts obstruct us from following that deep pull to grow, be more, do more, and have more in our life?

This is where the metaphors should end.

There are always obstructions in life that get in the way, that knock us down and prevent us from being more of who we are and accomplishing more of what we want.? When you’re confronted with challenges that seem impassable, remember, you are your own umpire and you get to make the call.

Irwin Kula

Irwin Kula is the co-founder and co-executive editor of The Wisdom Daily. A rabbi, Irwin's writing has been featured in The Huffington Post and the Washington Post. He is the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life and a co-editor of The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices. Irwin has appeared on NBC's The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The O'Reilly Factor and PBS Frontline. Irwin also serves as President Emeritus of Clal, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center in New York City.

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