Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach

Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach ★★★

My interest in and knowledge of baseball is essentially nonexistent, but I’m not messing around with this Linklater overview. And simply listening to Augie Garrido reflect on what makes baseball worth playing ends up frequently becoming a Zen-like inquiry into what makes life worth living; a man of complicated serenity, sometimes profane but ultimately genial and benevolent, whose musings wouldn’t be out of place as a segment in Slacker or Waking Life. As Linklater immerses us in one season of the University of Texas team, from practice sessions of balletic complexity and rhythm to the disappointments of just-missed triumph, Garrido reflects on the necessity of failure, the importance of mindfulness, the lovely idea that every individual player matters infinitely more than the game itself. And, as with one spectacular rant after an especially disappointing performance, he seems like the kind of person who’d be nice to have in your life to let you know when you’re failing to be your best self. “You have a work ethic. You have a focus. You have the ability to have the courage, to make the decisions, to act on your thoughts, which is what life finally ends up being all about. Having the courage to act on your ideas and to become who you want to become. What a privilege that is!”