Some years ago an enthusiastic and well-intentioned boss sent all of us in the group to a one-day motivational class entitled "Achieving Sustained High Performance". I thought it was fun—a holiday from "real work", and a chance to kick back and think about life. But understandably enough, the compulsory nature of the course irked several of my comrades. They were never able to get into the mindless touchie-feelie spirit of the game, much less philosophize.

That new-age-style training camp came to mind recently when the press reported that the New York Yankees, baseball's richest club (and reputedly the third most valuable franchise in world sports, behind Manchester United and the Washington Redskins), have hired a guru with the title "Director of Optimal Performance". His assignment: to build up the players' self-esteem and mental strength, now that steroids are illegal.

The best part of my "Sustained High Performance" class came in the afternoon, when each of us had to present a characteristic oxymoron—a pair of apparently-contradictory words that we could label ourselves with. I played it safe with the mundane and polysyllabic "dependable creativity". (Ugh!)

To focus their individual and collective mana the Yankees need personal oxymorons too. May I propose, to get the ball into play:

Given modern professional baseball salaries, the word "free" in that last pair is particularly inapposite ...

(cf. BigBadBoxes (3 Dec 2002), CoarseCorrection (29 Mar 2003), ...)

TopicHumor - TopicPersonalHistory - TopicEntertainment - TopicRecreation - 2005-05-01

(correlates: Boston Public Library, ArsenalVersusManchesterUnited, Strengthsfinder, ...)