You hear the expression “Winners win” all the time, but what does it truly mean? At some point, most of us have won a contest, raffle, election or what have you. Did that make us a winner? I suppose at that moment we were, but I think the term can go a lot deeper.
So what else is included in being a winner: Consistency? Respect? Class? Much more, I believe, goes into it.
The Houston Astros were a successful, winning Major League Baseball team the past several years and even won a World Series. But a cheating scandal was revealed, and although the team still has the one trophy and a lot of wins, most people would not define the Astros as winners.
The New England Patriots have won so many NFL Super Bowls that the organization has to be considered a winner, right? Ah, but cheating scandals during several seasons have many questioning the team’s prowess.
I have seen and heard players mock an opposing player for making an error. That’s not a winner. I have seen players and coaches refuse to shake hands with an opponent after a game. That’s not a winner. Running up the score or choosing to embarrass an opponent doesn’t make you a winner.
In sports, as in life, there are ways to go about things that make you a true winner – win or lose. You can win gracefully, and you can lose with class, and in my eyes, both of those make you a winner. When you can make your opponents tip their cap whether they win or lose, then you are a winner. When you win at a consistent level and others try to emulate your style of play, that makes you a winner.
You can win all the games you want, but if people don’t respect your way of doing things or how you conduct yourself, you are not a winner. So strive to be a winner: the individual or team that is respected by many and revered by most.
Last week, the top two Door County League baseball teams proved why they were just that by winning their games. Let’s take a look at the upcoming playoff championship and how they got there.
Kolberg Braves (12-3) at Sister Bay Bays (14-1)
The matchup I think most were expecting – and many were wanting – had the Bays continuing their winning ways, dispatching the Cubs of Institute. Cub errors early on put the team in a hole that a team just can’t be in against the Bays. Sam Forkert pitched masterfully and had the Cubs off balance all day, while Sawyer Johnson had three hits and Tom Sawyer had the same in RBIs.
The Braves’ offense continues to batter opposing pitchers, and the Aug. 22 game was no different. Austin Rohe stayed hot, and Nick LeCaptain chipped in two hits. The Braves had some help as the Islanders left 12 men on base.
Prediction: Kolberg and Sister Bay split the season series with each home team winning. Although the Bays won a squeaker at home 3-2, the Braves handled the Bays to the tune of 17 runs in the other contest. Typically, the regular-season champs don’t win the playoffs because they already have the important trophy and sometimes get complacent during the playoffs, but I just can’t see this Bays team coasting into this game, just as I cannot see the Braves not getting a lot of hits. Expect plenty of runs during this coin flip of a game.