Luke May Repairing the Errors of His Way

Maybe you're one of those people so you can relate. The kind who, when you make a mistake have to be careful that they don't compound themselves. I mean you goof-up, you brood about it and first thing you know, like rampant rabbits in a hutch, they're exploding exponentially.

That's the way it was with Luke May playing shortstop. A simple ground ball, a play he'd been making since Little League, only he'd botch it. The thought of the error would rest uneasily in his mind and, wouldn't you know it, another bad play. The thing began to fester until it affected his every play both in the field and at the plate. The harder he'd try to shake it, the worse he got.

Finally, it was decided to move him to the outfield for the protection of all. However, no sooner had he settled in out there when he suffered a hernia. They had to operate to repair it and Luke's season was over.

That was last year at Columbus and, to make matters worse, it was the second season ended abruptly by an injury, for in 2004 at Ogden, a broken hand had put him out.

This year, Luke reported in the best shape of his life, determined to end those errant ways. There were no more thoughts of infield play for him as he'd been assigned to left. Of that he thought, "I can be a better outfielder than that," and he went out to prove it.

That he did for he's playing center for Columbus these days, the one that most consider the most demanding. He's making the plays and contributing offensively, too at least, some of the time.

At the start, Luke was going long ball but the home runs haven't been coming as frequently as they have in the past. He's totaled six, which isn't bad at all, for this time year and he's added another dimension- base running. Friday night, he stole his sixth base in seven tries.

There's another problem, though- strikeouts. He's always had a quick bat and he's been committing too soon so they've been piling up. At last count he has 53, most in the organization. That's kept his batting average down to .232.

But Luke's always been a gamer, something the Dodgers noted with interest when they drafted him in the eighth round back in 2003. Perhaps nobody around goes at the game with more gusto than he does. He's always managed to do the little things that make him a valuable addition to the team.

So, he's working hard to stay more disciplined at the plate and there are encouraging signs that he's been doing that. If that happens with regularity, he'll become an even more important factor for the Catfish.

Not mistake-free, of course. That's a nirvana that just doesn't happen. But a contended warrior at last. He'll take that.

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