Lion's Roar

THE FIRST NOBLE TRUTH OF BASEBALL

IN THE BROADCAST BOOTH, Jim Kaat, the veteran left-hander who won twenty games three times over his long career, took off his headset, rose from his seat next to Bob Costas, and addressed the Buddha.

“Lord, in my twenty-five years in the majors, I have toed the slab many times. I started 625 games, I won 283 games, I pitched 180 complete games. In those games, I saw so much suffering. I saw pitchers get hammered, throw wild pitches, not have their good stuff, hang curveballs, leave sinkers up in the zone, miss the corners, be wild in the strike zone.

“I saw infielders have easy grounders go through the wickets, I saw them come off the bag, miss tags, throw wide of the bag, be handcuffed by a bad hop, and olé ground balls down the line. I saw outfielders misplay flies for triples, mistime their jump, trap sinking liners, have fly balls bounce off the heel of their glove, miss the cutoff man, airmail throws to third, and short-hop throws to the

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