Heads Down, Thumbs Up

The role of modern technology in our personal lives and now the instant replay in major league baseball both need one thing:

Balance.

Thumbs up or thumbs down for instant replay? My thought briefly on it is while I’m not opposed to it, we need to be careful not to take out the human element of the game completely. Managers kickin’ dirt at umpires is part of the past time as well as players’ passion rising and throwing their helmets on the ground. All I’m saying is…well, I don’t know, I don’t want to see “I, Robot” baseball someday with the human error element taken out completely. 

Before you read my rant below about balancing our lives, take a look at the list of MLB baseball players below.  Any idea what connects this group of guys?  Once you figure out what these men have in common (or scroll down and read to find out, whichever :), please feel free to add anyone else I may have overlooked or forgotten).

Ryan Braun

Bryce Harper

Marcell Ozuna

Dustin Pedroia

Yasiel Puig

Hanley Ramirez

Jose Ramirez

David Wright

We need a healthy balance in several different areas of our life from diet to sleep to making time with family and friends.  This mind I was created with, sometimes can NOT stop.  I have not located the off switch, pause button or slow down key.  I must balance my writing time or I will get burned out and/or neglect other important areas of my life like my children or even sleeping (I have strung some all-nighters together that would make a college kid proud).

Perhaps I am revealing my age here by asking how many of you recall playing the game “Heads Up, Seven Up” in elementary school? I LOVED playing this game as a girl in grade school!
Here’s the directions according to Wikipedia: 
          Seven Up (sometimes called “Heads Up, Seven Up“, “Heads Up, Thumbs                Up“, “Thumbs Up, Seven Up” or                      “Heads Down, Thumbs Up“)
  • To start the game, seven children are selected and come to the front of the room. In another version, two children are  selected.
  • The teacher (or selected player) says, “Heads down, thumbs up!” or “Heads down all around!”. The children  who are not selected then put their heads down, close their eyes, and put up one thumb each. The chosen seven (or two) circulate through the room, secretly pressing down one thumb each and then  returning to the front of the room. A variation is simply  tapping the person. This part of the game takes about one minute.
  •  The teacher/selected player then calls, “Heads up, seven up!” or “Heads up, stand up!” All children raise their heads and the seven (or two) whose thumbs were pressed stand up. Each in turn names the person       they think pressed their thumb. If they are correct, the thumb-presser sits down and the winning child takes their place. The game then starts again.
  • Children who go later have an advantage, especially if one or more pickers have been eliminated. To make the game fair, the teacher can alternate the order in which the children are called each time (e.g. front to back, or left to right of the room, or  around the room).
 I remember as I laid with eyes shut and face buried in my arms on top of my desk, hoping that any boys I liked (at least that week, haha) had been the one to tap my thumb down 🙂 I never realized until I read these Wikipedia directions, that teachers not only enjoyed this game because it was fun but also it showed them who has a tendency to cheat.  (If I peeked I wasn’t trying to cheat necessarily, I was just looking to see where the boy I liked was at in the room, after my thumb had been pushed down!) 😉
 
All the modern technology like computers, tablets and smartphones have peaked even the youngest of children’s interest. I recently had a Twitter discussion (yes, I do use technology, it’s great!) with a fellow baseball fan (thank you @FoulBallzMLB) about how amazing it is to watch our own kids navigate a smartphone! (I nearly fell out of my chair when my 4-year-old daughter asked me recently if I had downloaded any new games yet, haha!)
 
Technology is fantastic, it’s uses are endless.  I monitor my children’s time and use on the computer, tablets, smartphones to teach them they need to keep a balance in their own lives with such devices. Social media has obviously taken businesses, friendships, dating and family relationships to completely new levels. It definitely has it’s place. Just ask the MLB about how beneficial instant replay has been for the league. Indeed, it has had it’s ups and downs, it will be continually tweaked and opinions will forever be divided of it’s necessity and involvement in the game of baseball. 
 
Now back to our thumbs. I believe it was discovered that flame-throwing former closing pitcher Detroit Tiger, Joel Zumaya, injured his wrist playing Guitar Hero.  And he had a few other bizarre injuries as well that have kept him from playing in the majors and actually retired in February of 2014 from baseball.  If you are a fan of baseball (not just your favorite MLB team), you may be aware that both last season and this year, there seems to be a rising number of thumb injuries to players. Now can you guess what the list of men above is? 
 
Yes, hopefully you are correct, it is a list of those players that have been afflicted with thumb injuries in the 2013 and 2014 MLB seasons. And like I mentioned previously, please feel free to add more names if I missed a players with a thumb injury. And if I’m wrong about any of these, please correct me! Thank you in advance! 
 
I’m not certain how all the thumb injuries happened but I do know a good number of them happened from head first slides (and I hope I don’t hear talk about banning the head first slide). Personally, when I played softball in school, I had an injury to my ankle that forced me to learn the art of the head first slide. I ended up preferring to slide head first!  Perhaps the childhood game, “Heads Down, Thumbs Up” teaches a good lesson for where to place your thumb when sliding into a base? When a fellow classmate would tag you, you would tuck your thumb down into your hand. The same should happen when as a player, you’re about to be tagged at a base…keep your head down and thumb tucked in!
 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s