Striking out was something I absolutely loathed.
It was the ultimate failure.
You had at least three pitches to put a baseball in play and you couldn’t do it.
During a high school game, my frustration boiled over after striking out and I flung the bat in disgust.
There wasn’t a fence so the bat bounced up into the crowd.
My coach was Bob Kelley and he called me aside and told me that striking out is one thing but throwing the bat is unacceptable. Not to mention dangerous.
I had and always will have the utmost respect for him and I understood I made a bad mistake.
It never happened again.
And I have never thrown a golf club despite a game that is dreadful.
Sports can bring out the worst in you, but you have to put things in perspective and recognize there are consequences for your actions.
You must learn from your mistakes.
Auto racing is a volatile sport.
I’m sure there is nothing more infuriating than spending the week preparing your car, finding the right setup and putting down some impressive laps in practice and the heat race only to get spun out in the feature. Or, even worse, to have your car catapulted into the wall, resulting in extensive and costly damage.
When Appleton’s Jeremy Glasier and Holden’s Steve Moulton tangled on lap 22 of a 25-lap Super Street race Saturday night at Speedway 95, Moulton’s left front tire went flat and it cost him the win.
An incensed Moulton stopped his car on the track instead of driving to the pits and then got out of his car to verbally confront Glasier and voice his displeasure with flagman Aaron Jordan because Glasier wasn’t sent to the back of the pack for bumping him.
Moulton had to go to the back for bringing out the caution.
On the cool-down lap after the race, Moulton’s car bumped into Artie Maguire Jr.’s car as he made his way to Glasier’s car as the verbal exchange continued. Maguire suffered a flat tire.
Moulton had already served a five-week suspension earlier for deliberately spinning out Glasier, making an obscene gesture to the crowd and refusing to leave the pit area after the race.
Merritt banned him for the year but, after talking to Moulton, he reduced it to five weeks.
Now Moulton has been banned from the track for life.
To his credit, Moulton admitted he is a “hothead” and felt he deserved to get suspended for the rest of the season. But not for life, he said.
Moulton said he and Glasier have an intense rivalry but he feels he gets unfairly punished while other drivers who do even worse things go unpunished.
Merritt was understandably irate because he went out on a limb to give Moulton a second chance and it backfired on him.
But a lifetime ban is harsh.
A season-ending ban for this season and a strict probation for next season would be a better solution and it would also give Moulton a chance to address his anger issues.
He is a talented driver who must learn to control himself.
No matter what happens, there is always another race.
He also owes it to his family, especially his three children, who love going to the races, to set a good example. His outbursts on the track in front of the fans are an embarrassment.
If you have a problem, wait until after the race and discuss it with track officials in a professional manner.
I learned my lesson.
It’s time for Moulton to learn his.
But if he doesn’t, he will deserve a lifetime ban.