Greg Holland was preparing to leave the KC clubhouse but had one more stop to make. He walked past the manager’s office to the end of the hall. He stopped in front of a wooden door with the word “CLOSERS” etched into it. He turned the worn out knob to open the door and walked through. He was in a small chapel. Almost immediately the air in the room changed and he could barely hear a faint men’s choir in the background. Unable to locate the sound (it just seemed to come from everywhere!) he stepped inside a tiny confessional and sat down.
“Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been a week since my last confession. I completely blew a save and ruined Shield’s masterpiece. I couldn’t locate my fastball and my slider wasn’t fooling anyone.”
A little wooden panel opened at eye level and through it Holland could see Mariano Rivera.
“The Savior!” he blurted out.
Mo (as he was affectionately known) had a facial expression that radiated kindness and sincerity. “You’re right, fastball location was a big issue. Without, your slider lost its usual bite”.
Mariano paused briefly to consider his next words. “You must understand, as Closers it is our duty to shut the door on the other team. If we work hard and perform we will succeed – most of the time. This does not mean we won’t fail. However, if we fail, let’s make sure it’s because the other team bested us rather than because we failed ourselves.”
“For penance, throw ten fastballs and eight sliders – INSIDE the strike zone. Now go, and sin no more!”
“Thank you Savior!”
Greg Holland stood up and left the Chapel, vowing to do better!