The game affords a Break. It’s usually needed, though sometimes it’s too long and needs to end.

The game persists. It will outlast you and me and everyone who suits up for it. It will deal losses and it will offer victory and it will challenge you, and how you respond will matter. It teaches that, too.

Objectives and priorities change, and if they line up, then right on. They don’t always.

Sometimes that’s in your control, to a point, and sometimes not. The folks on the fourth floor at 1000 Ballpark Way will be prepared — are prepared — to put one hat down and put on another in the coming days. They don’t fully control which way that’s gonna go.

They’re prepared.

The game teaches preparation, and demands it.

It reveals character and flaws and potential and ways to get better, some of which play out. Others don’t.

It reveals tendencies and truths and opportunities to adjust, some of which pan out. Others don’t.

It gives, and it takes. It gives more.

It exposes vanities and rewards selflessness and sacrifice.

Sacrifice is part of the game, between the lines and otherwise. The game refuses to penalize, statistically, for an out that was sacrificed, and that fits.

The game offers hope and it welcomes optimism.

It draws on patience and restraint and flexibility.

Adversity is part of it. Some years are more challenging than others.

It brings folks together, and that ought to be enough.

It takes memories, years in the making, and casts them in stone, or disposes of them.

There are moments now that will last like that, or not. Whether you take a Fels-Naptha bar to them or make it a point not to.

Allegiances strengthen, or break. Identities change.

But the game doesn’t. It endures.

And teaches.

It’s team. The importance of team. The overriding, preeminent, awesome importance of team.

Even though teams change, because the game is a business. Except when it’s not.

It is people and it is resolve and it is growth and it is paths forged and crossed and it is life.

Yeah, like the old T-shirt says: Baseball is life.

On some scale, for all of them and for lots of us.

And the game affords a Break. A needed break, usually, even though eventually it needs to end.

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