I am intrigued by those “push-to-talk" phone commercials that ask the viewer to imagine a troop of Rock and Roll Roadies running an airline or an express shipping company running a public high school. Using their superior communications devices and skills, every plane takes off on time and the elusive truant, “Callahan”, is rerouted direct to detention.
Listening to a recent ball game, there was a break in the action as Tony Larussa was making a pitching change. I tried to imagine what our city and county would be like if they were both managed by Tony Larussa and his staff. Certain public employees would be sent down to the minors like St. John or St Ann, or Festus, for some seasoning and a chance to work a less demanding schedule. County Supervisors and City Aldermen could be benched for a day or two until they demonstrated their willingness to play by the Larussa system - 100 percent effort 100 percent of the time.
Albert the Great would teach department heads the value of practicing and practicing and practicing, just so when they are called upon to serve the public, they can make it all look so easy and effortless. Dave Duncan would be put in charge of all reclamation projects — workers who were under-performing but needed guidance and encouragement to bring them back into top form. Mike Shannon would provide guidance to the press officers showing them that if you always smile, no matter what you say will be taken in the best possible light.
My reverie ended when the game resumed. My comparison was terribly unfair. So many people dream of getting to the majors, so few actually make it. If we could only take to heart that drive to succeed and perform under pressure,
that sets major leaguers apart and make it our own, that would be something.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Mark Shook is Rabbi Emeritus at Temple Israel.