Under Pressure? Time to Check Yourself Shelby Miller

By Espo

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. ~ Epictetus

That encapsulates life perfectly. In the handful of decades we’re on this planet we’re basically on a roller coaster. We’re either climbing the hill, briefly enjoying the view from the top or terrifyingly careening down it. What matters is how we react to the ride that defines who we are and how we’re remembered.

Right now, if you believe Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart, Shelby Miller appears to be the guy clinging to the side of the car paralyzed by fear.

“Shelby Miller, I think it’s more, really, he’s just feeling some pressure: of the trade, the players that we traded for him, trying to fit in,” Stewart told MLB Network Radio on Sunday. “I think the whole ordeal has just been different for him than it was leaving St. Louis going to Atlanta.”

Sure, the D-backs backed up the Brink truck to acquire Miller, but where’s the pressure in that? Isn’t that a compliment that an organization likes you so much that they’d give up the No. 1 pick, a starting outfielder and others to bring you in? Isn’t that the ultimate slap on the ass — baseball’s ultimate sign of “we believe in you and go get ‘em” — that a player could get?

We all have pressure in our day-to-day life. Hell, I just left the only career I’ve known for the last decade to enter a completely new field in an industry I know nothing about at the same time I found out my wife was pregnant. I didn’t crack. That’s nothing compared to the single mother trying to figure out how to make enough to support her child, the soldier returning home to a world he no longer recognizes but making it work or the person facing terminal cancer and still finding a way to bring a smile to those in their lives every day.

Playing a game, making millions for a team that has so much faith in you being one of their missing pieces that they traded for you and getting to wear one of those eight cool new uniforms? That’s not pressure. That’s living out the dreams of almost every little boy in Arizona and beyond.

Maybe Stewart didn’t do Miller any favors with his quote. Maybe it’s a gross mischaracterization. Or maybe Miller can’t handle the pressure. If that’s the case, is that really someone you can hand the ball to every fifth day with confidence? Can you count on him to get you a win when you need to stop a losing streak? The answer is no. Especially not if said pitcher is supposed to be the No. 2 in your rotation.

It’s all about how you react to things in life and Shelby Miller has very few opportunities left to show he can put a positive spin on the situation and the appropriate spin on his fastball. If he doesn’t, we may be looking at Trevor Cahil 2.0 better known as Shelledby Miller.