Saturday, July 10, 2010

The heat and Carlos Zambrano goin' loco

There is something about the summer that makes people impatient. A common cliché used this time of year is that 'people are reaching their boiling point' when describing conflict.

It makes sense, I guess. Our outward environment definitely can impact us. If the temperature is hot and the humidity is high on the outside, then our internal thermostat can easily explode if we are not careful.

We see this in sports a lot. Carlos Zambrano, who is a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, went off the deep end a couple of weeks ago after giving up four runs in one inning against the rival White Sox.

It was a sunny day, and when he returned to the dugout at the end of the inning, he verbally attacked just about everybody within hearing range. He did not feel some of his fielders hustled when tracking down hits he gave up, and he was not happy about it.

I wonder if he also pointed the finger at himself because he gave up a home run in that inning. It is kind of tough for a fielder to go up into the seats and catch one of those.

Much to Zambrano's chagrin I am sure, his meltdown was done in front of thousands of people and a television audience. Of course, it was repeatedly shown throughout the day on various sports broadcasts.

He came off looking silly because he has struggled all season. Reporters almost reported with glee that he continues to fall short of the expectations the Cubs had for him when they signed him to a $91 million contract a few years ago. The team's response to his tirade was to suspend him.

Still, it is difficult not to feel some compassion. Even if his tantrum was unfair to the people he attacked, we all know what it is like to blow our stack and lash out at people who do not deserve it. We are just fortunate that our mistakes have not occurred in public and been broadcast nationwide.

Of course, we now live in a YouTube world where even the most innocent of mistakes can make it to the Internet if somebody is videoing it. So, I guess the lesson we must all learn is to keep control of ourselves to avoid the possibility of becoming a punch line for people around the world.

As for the impact the heat can have on us, it is important that we remember that it will be gone in a few months. Temperatures will begin to cool soon even if it feels like that time is far away.

Then again, I am assuming that everybody reading this dislikes the heat as much as me. I know this is not true. For every person who hates the heat, there is somebody who feels like the summer is liberating.

To those people I say: Keep away from me.

A common coping technique I use to get through this season of misery is to surf the Internet and look for cities where the temperature is cool.

In the United States, a common town I check out is Barrow, Alaska. Barrow is the northernmost permanent settlement in our country. Even this time of year, we can visit and see that their forecast is for temperatures in the 50s.

That sounds pretty good right now. I would never want to live there because of the brutal winters, but just knowing there are people in our country enjoying cool weather right now is good enough for me.

Relief is on the way. Relief that will help us all rest a little easier.

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