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Don't Hit 'Em So Hard, Reggie!

Some advice is as timeless as a Reggie Jackson cut.

Over the weekend, Cubs manager Mike Quade broke out baseball's unwritten rule book to complain about the Dodgers' A.J. Ellis trying to steal a base while up 8-1 in the fifth inning of Friday's game. It's the second time Quade has raised that same complaint this season. Apparently, he's either unaware that no lead is ever safe at Wrigley Field or elsewhere, or he's cleverly trying to cull sympathy for a team whose run differential is now the third-worst in the National League.

In any event, Quade's whining recalls perhaps the very first piece of baseball advice I retained beyond "catch the ball with two hands." When my father would play catch with my brother and me in the backyard, circa 1977 or 1978, occasionally he would zing one that would sting our hands or glance off our gloves. Any whimpering or complaining about the location of the throw would cause him to shout, "Don't hit 'em so hard, Reggie!"

The lesson quickly sunk in. I retain it to this day, as it's applicable beyond the diamond: be tough, don't complain, and above all, don't expect your opponent to cut you any slack. It's just one of many reasons why Reggie Jackson towers over my childhood, but it's advice for the ages that Quade and every other major league manager would do well to remember.