“SIT DOWN!!!!”

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric ByrnesLeave a Comment

When I got to the big leagues and faced dudes named Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez, it was tough not to be intimidated… 

These were the 3 known head-hunting savages of their time that could stick one in your ear hole if you so much as looked at them the wrong way. 

Needless to say, I treaded lightly. By no means would I back down to these dudes, but let’s just say I watched my manners. That was until a Spring Training game when Randy was on the mound at Phoenix Muni and I tattooed a first-pitch inside fastball on the street well beyond the left-field fence, JUST foul…

The next pitch just so happened to be at my neck and I barely got out of the way… 

I quickly turned to Chad Moeller who was catching and said, “WHAT THE FUCK dude…” 

Chad responded, “Don’t look at me… Randy’s going to do what Randy’s going to do. Can’t help you Byrnesie. That ball was supposed to be away.”

After nearly a 10-pitch battle, he threw a full count split-finger fastball that I swung and missed at for strike 3… With a death stare, he looked at me and said:

“SIT DOWN!!!!!” 

Although my initial rage told the BIG UNIT to go f*ck himself, by the time I made the slow walk back to the dugout, I quickly realized how great of a learning moment I was just able to experience.

The fact that this first-ballot Hall of Famer cared so much about striking out a rookie in a Spring Training game absolutely mesmerized me.

A few years later, I had the chance to play with Randy and fully understood how and why he would act that way… 

This dude was on a different level of intensity than I had ever seen.

Whether he took the mound in game 7 of the World Series or a meaningless early March spring training game, this character was FULL F*CKING SEND. 

How often do we go through the motions of life and justify our lackluster performance with our own variation of “it’s just a Spring Training game.” 

I get it. We are all wired differently and some of the best players that ever played approached Spring Training much differently than RJ did… 

That said, how you practice is your choice, but just as my Dad used to reiterate to me ALL the time…

“Show me how you do anything and I’ll show you how you do everything.”  

Seems pretty applicable here, doesn’t it? 

-EB