Usually I watch baseball games whenever I am home watching TV. It can be college baseball or it can be Major League baseball. Doesn’t matter much to me. I love to watch it. Every four years though, baseball has a rival for my affection. I really enjoy watching the Summer Olympics. I think I enjoy the Olympics so much because there is so much at stake for the athletes. The Olympic athletes have been training for their day for most of their lives. Not that baseball players haven’t put in their fair share of time with baseball training. Watching the Olympics, you never see an athlete not go hard the whole event. During a baseball game you will see players pace themselves or not hustle all the time.
A lot of the Olympic athletes have been training their whole lives for Olympic glory. Some have been very successful. Michael Phelps has won 18 medals in his Olympic career. He still has a chance for more. Michael Phelps has probably put in more hours in a swimming pool than most baseball players have put in a batting cage. He lives in a swimming pool. Most players probably don’t put in nearly the same number of hours baseball training as Olympic athletes. Some Olympic athletes never get to taste the glory but they do get to represent their country in what is probably the biggest sporting event in the world.
Watching the women’s gymnastics the other night I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the young American Jordan Wieber. She has trained all her life for that moment. She was the favorite for the all-around but did not qualify for the finals. Maybe she will get another shot in 4 more years. Maybe not. Hopefully she can find solace in the fact that she helped the USA win the team gold medal a couple of days later. Baseball players have bad games all the time. They don’t always give it their all. Almost always they have another chance the next day. Olympic athletes put in so much more work, both physically and mentally, than baseball players do baseball training. Usually a lot more effort during competition as well. I think that’s why every 4 summers I find myself taking a break from watching baseball games and tune into the Olympics.