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Beating the Odds

What Baseball’s Trade Deadline Means to You

Frank Lane, a long-ago baseball exec who loved to make trades, is said to have even swapped a player for a box of cigars.

“But,” Lane was careful to point out, “They were very good cigars.”

Lane comes to mind because the end of July marks baseball’s annual trading deadline. Teams make last-minute deals to set themselves up for the last two months of the season and, they hope, for the post-season.

That means some players will be getting the news that they’ve been traded. Then, according to my former boss, Hall of Fame writer Milt Richman, every one of those players will ask the same question: “What did they get for me?”

Well, here’s the reality. Frank “Trader” Lane wasn’t the only one who made deals. You make trades every day. You are constantly trading your time for a result. What are you getting?

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions,” said best-selling author Stephen R. Covey.

Nothing explains this as well as a story about Atlantic hurricane season. One day, with a monster storm closing in, a knock came upon the door. Outside there was a visitor who said, “There is a mandatory evacuation order. You must leave your house and seek safe ground.”

“No,” replied the resident. “This is my house and no one can make me leave it.”

Answered the visitor, pulling out a body tag, “Fine, but if you decide to stay, please attach this to yourself, so when we find you we will know who you are.”

Can you choose to stay? You sure can.

Will there be consequences? Definitely.

Here are some choices we all face:

Comfort or growth.

Fun or fulfillment.

Giving or taking.

Talking or listening.

As this is being written, there are reports that the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland A’s have made a blockbuster trade on deadline day. The A’s sent star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to Boston and received left-handed pitcher Jon Lester.

But that trade is not nearly as the ones you will be making all day long. Will your time and effort be worthy of a good return?

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