A pedestal is an easy perch to fall off of.

Mannie Corpas, bullpen pitcher for the Colorado Rockies, has discovered this only too well. Fans loved him when he sported a 1.06 ERA in April. But now that his June ERA tally peaked at 9.95, notsomuch. They even booed him off the mound during Saturdays game.

I’ve fallen off of enough pedestals in my life to recognize the look of disappointment on the faces of former friends and fans. It’s hurts enough to leave even the thick-skinned bruised from the tumble. Lucky for Corpas (and any other pedestal perchers on the Rockies), he has a manager who doesn’t put much stock in the mood swings of fans. Jim Tracy’s motto?

“I don’t quit on people. I only quit on people if they quit on themselves. If you want to stand up, hold your head real high and fight the fight, I’ll be right there with you. We’ll massage you back, and we’ll get you back to being who you’re capable of being.” (Jim Tracy, The Denver Post, 7/5/10)

Dang. Wish I would have said that. Wish I would have heard that during those bruised moments in my post-pedestal life.

Why am I sporting baseball quotes and stats on this here post? Well, for starters I believe a lot can be learned about life from the struggles in a ballgame. But there’s more …

One, don’t be a quitter. No matter how many mistakes, how many blunders, how many pedestal tumbles, don’t add “quitter” to your list.

Two? The world needs more Jim Tracey’s, more people willing to coach and mentor and encourage someone who’s fallen off their game. Yes, you need to play your game, but don’t forget the thrill of helping someone else play theirs.

Who has been your Jim Tracy, someone who stood by you and helped you play a better game?

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