When I think ahead to my senior years, assuming I have the privilege of getting to them, I definitely want to find ways to stay active. I’m an avid exerciser now and I want that to be a part of my life, at some level, forever. So this week, I’m taking my inspiration from the newest interim pitching coach for the New York Mets, Phil Regan, who at the young age of 82, makes me want a nap RIGHT NOW.
To be fair, Regan has been coaching for various teams since he retired from playing baseball back in 1972. His last position before this promotion was as the Mets’ minor league assistant pitching coach, a job he held for three years. The Mets fired pitching coach, Dave Eiland, earlier this month, and Regan got the call. Regan has an impressive history as a player, too. He pitched on the same LA Dodgers team as Sandy Koufax, who was hailed as one of the greatest pitchers of all time. Koufax dubbed Regan “The Vulture” because Regan had a reputation for getting wins as a late-inning relief pitcher.
Critics still attack “The Vulture”
There are those voices in baseball saying that Regan earned his new appointment too easily. They point to the Mets organization overall, saying that it lacks stability. They critique the fact that Regan hasn’t been a pitching coach for a major league team in 20 years. This isn’t just ageism, the voices say – it can be helpful for a team to invest in a coach who will be around for decades to come. He may not be coaching much longer, and there probably won’t be the usual time available to spend evolving both the pitching staff and practices.
What we can learn
But you know what? I say pipe down, haters. Who cares if the new Mets pitching coach is 82? There is a lot of inspiration for us in this story, whether we’re baseball fans or not. Back to Regan’s nickname, vultures are often thought to be harbingers of death and doom. It’s an irony which I’m sure makes a lot of folks laugh at Regan’s appointment. But a lot of cultures consider vultures to be symbols of rebirth, the life cycle, and a new start. I realize that stats don’t lie, and I’m getting into some “woo-woo” stuff (as they say here in the South), but go with me here. Regan’s nickname can serve as a reminder to all of us – it’s only over when we say it’s over. Every one of us has the chance to make our life as we want it to be, no matter what someone else thinks of us.
Though this appointment doesn’t seem to be permanent, I hope Phil Regan does well and lands the official position if it’s what he wants. I’ll be cheering him on. With my favorite nap pillow at the ready if the game goes into extra innings.