To be true, I must fully accept that at this moment, I can only be what I am . . . no more, no less; however, with the inevitable passing of each moment of time, I will gradually, but surely change . . . to become more or less, better or worse, stronger or weaker. My choice is the direction of change: it is mine alone. The only true competition is this rivalry with my changing self. It is the very basis of the grand eternal plan.
During those moments on the pitching rubber, when you have every pitch at your command working to its highest potential, you are your own universe. For hours after the game, this sense of completeness lingers. Then you sink back to what we humorously refer to as reality. Your body aches and your muscles cry out. You feel your mortality. That can be a difficult thing to handle. I believe pitchers come in touch with death a lot sooner than other players. We are more aware of the subtle changes taking place in our body and are unable to overlook the tell-tale hints that we are not going to last on this planet forever. Every pitcher has to be a little bit in love with death. There's a subconscious fatalism there.