What’s Luck Got to Do with It?

I like to think of myself as an above average intelligent person. I went to college and completed a 4 year degree in 2 years. I maintained a decent grade point average while still having time to keep up with the rigors of playing baseball and soccer. While I don’t put much credence in standardized tests I did extremely well on both the ACT and IQ tests allowing me to be selective in what college I attended. I’m not saying any of this to boast. On the contrary, I am providing this background information to explain just the opposite. That there are times that I am extremely irrational and completely off my rocker and there is no scientific basis by which I can explain neither my thought process nor my behavior.

In most aspects of my life I am very logical in my thought process and methodical in how I approach life’s problems. I like to think I am able to quickly assess a situation and select an appropriate plan to resolve issues and roadblocks that lie in front of me. For the most part I do not think of terms such as destiny or luck but rather try to assess and adapt to produce the type of outcome that would be expected if logical steps are taken based on the situation. All of this completely goes out the window once I begin to either play or watch baseball. As a player I totally bought off on the fact that luck was a primary driving force within the game and that some players were destined to be better than others. There were rituals that were strictly followed in hopes of recreating the success that was achieved the game before. If I went 3-5 at the plate then I would continue to wear the same socks until such time as I went hitless. I never stepped on the foul line entering or leaving the field. My right batting glove always went on before my left. I wore a lucky medallion at ever home game and a different one when I went on the road. And I avoided the number 13 at all costs. I did not have that number anywhere near me. I wouldn’t even sit next to the number 13 on the bus as you could never take that kind of chance. When games fell on a 13 I took extra precautions just so that I didn’t begin a slump or do something stupid. I understand this was all completely mental and that it had absolutely nothing to do with my performance but you just don’t understand how difficult baseball can be as a game and you looked for whatever it takes to gain an edge.

So just two short days after word of the tragedy where Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle was killed in a play crash in Manhattan, everyone was in shock to hear that a plane carrying Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez had gone off the end of the runway at Bob Hope airport. A-Rod was unharmed as were the other passengers on the plane but it still made you take a deep breath before letting out a sigh of relief. I cannot understand how Alex Rodriguez who wears jersey 13 could possibly set foot on a plane on Friday the 13th that is just asking for trouble.

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