This one was too good to pass up… a baseball story that applies not only to the practice of law, but also daily life.

Did you hear the story last week about the runner who got hit between the legs by a pick-off throw and he wasn’t wearing any protection down there?  I won’t get into the fundamentals of it, question why a professional baseball player would be returning to first base facing the pitcher (he could get hit in the face that way), but I will ask the question about why he wasn’t using the protection that was available to him.

From the time I was about 10 years old I seem to recall little league baseball requiring boys to wear athletic supporters.  Don’t you remember the classic scene in “The Bad News Bears” when the team was told to wear the protection and they had a problem with that since Tatum O’Neal didn’t have to wear one?   And this is a professional ballplayer who wasn’t wearing it, a veteran.  When asked about the incident afterwards and if he would wear the equipment in the future, his answer was a no, for all kinds of excuses.  It was too uncomfortable; it was a freak occurrence and wouldn’t happen again; it shifted too much when he ran. 

We all have those times when we know we should do the right thing but choose not too because it is too uncomfortable or the odds are that it won’t happen.  There are so many people who don’t have the right insurance or haven’t created an estate plan to nominate guardians to take care of the kids.  Or don’t form corporations or limited liability companies to protect against liability.  We all know we should do it, but it is uncomfortable to think about; maybe we think it will cost too much; or we justify our decision by thinking the catastrophes won’t happen to us. 

Or look at it on another level.  We sometimes leave our seatbelt off when we go to the store.  We have one more drink before leaving the bar.  We go swimming after we eat.  There are examples everywhere of things we do that we know we shouldn’t or precautions we should take that we don’t. 

I am not preaching.  I will say that I never go onto a baseball field without protection down there.  I have never had a ball come near that area (even in all of my years of catching), but I am not going to test my luck.  I would rather wear it and be uncomfortable than experience the extreme pain should I forego wearing it and later wish I had. 

I mean seriously, do you really want to get a ball between the legs when you have equipment at your disposal to protect against it?

Have a safe week.