Last evening I was at the Cubs game. I guess we can agree the Cubs problems cannot be blamed on the cold New York weather. From my seats, the strike zone the umpire was using last night looked like it was a bit off. The Mets are reminding me of really scrappy entrepreneurs that are bootstrapping their way.
If the rules of the game change, you have to change with them. Great entrepreneurs recognize that and adapt. If you don’t adapt, you die. Always know where the strike zone is.
As has been per usual in this series, the Mets scored a run in the first inning to get first blood. Granderson has been pretty good as a lead off guy. The Cubs are missing their normal shortstop with an injury, and their replacement, Javier Baez has been less than sparkling in the field. He made an error on his very first chance and the very first play of the game.
It takes a team to win. Somedays, your team isn’t going to have all it’s players. Everyone has to be mentally prepared to win. Baez didn’t look good in the field against the Cardinals. He has been a pretty leaky shortstop against the Mets. On one play, Bryant tried to pick Baez up but couldn’t and the Mets got an infield single. Sometimes in companies, it is possible for one employee to pick up another. But, it’s not something you can count on for every play. No one can do it all.
The Cubs showed some fight until some more errors in the 7th inning. A dropped third strike on a 3rd out lead to a run. Fortunately, another fielding error didn’t lead to another run. The iconic ivy saved them.
Moral of the story for entrepreneurs; Don’t make unforced errors. The game is hard enough and the competition hard enough. If you try things and fail, fine. But, if you try things and don’t execute it’s a different story.
In the ninth inning, there was a play that might get little notice that played big in my mind. The Mets had a man on first and a 5-2 lead with one out. It was starting to rain. It looked and felt like they had the game in the bag. All they needed was to get to the bottom half of the inning and get three outs.
The Mets batter hit a deep fly ball. The Cubs left fielder caught the ball. Instead of hustling to get the ball to the infield, he took an extra second. Maybe he had trouble getting the ball out of his glove. Maybe the ball was rattling around his glove. We don’t know.
The Mets runner on first tagged up and took second base.
That was the game in a nutshell for me. The runner on first could have stayed back. Instead, he hustled. Now, a two out single brings in another insurance run. In the game of entrepreneurship, you are never far enough ahead. The game isn’t over until there is an exit and you win.
I noticed against the Dodgers, the Mets really hustled. They seemed to have more energy. But, like great entrepreneurs they are creating their own energy. The same is true in this series against the Cubs.
The Cubs need to think like entrepreneurs tonight. It’s not about winning the game. It’s about winning each at bat and each inning. If they do that, the game will take care of itself and they will survive to the next game. Meeting and exceeding small goals take startups to the next level. The odds against them are extremely long.