I love Peanuts. In fact, I’ve often resigned myself to the fact that I am Charlie Brown.

But lately – and this is going to sound really strange! – I think I’m more like Lucy than I ever imagined. The gender difference aside, I can relate to Lucy, because she’s always trying to seem more intelligent, more capable, more plugged-into-what’s-going-on-in-the-world than she really is.

Last Sunday’s strip is a perfect example of Lucy. And me.

We all want to be the shortstop. We all want to have the glamorous spot. If you stand in the outfield, you usually end up out of the action, and bored to the point of inaction, inattention, and tossing your glove up in the air just for something to do.

The fact is, all of us can’t be the shortstop. There’s only room for one on the field. All of us aren’t equipped to play shortstop. All of us weren’t wired up to handle the hot ones. Some of us were wired up to be outfielders. And believe it or not, outfielders are just as important, just as necessary, just as crucial to the team’s success as the shortstop. Ask Andruw Jones. Ask any number of guys who seem to stand around in the outfield while the action is going on somewhere else.

Yeah, the outfielders usually stand around and make routine plays. But every now and then, they haul the homer back in from over the fence. Every now and then, they make that spectacular diving, sliding catch worthy of SportsCenter. Every now and then, they throw out the runner at home.

The sooner we outfielders learn that we’re no less a part of the team than the shortstop, the sooner we’re able to get busy becoming the best outfielder in the business. The sooner we stop trying to be the shortstop just because of the headlines and the spotlights, the sooner we can make our unique contribution to the game.

The shortstops will still get the hot ones. The shortstops will still make the spectacular plays. The shortstops will still be in the spotlight. Me? Look at me…I’m an outfielder! And I want to be the best outfielder in the game. I’m going to high-five the shortstops when they handle the hot ones. I’m going to make my throws strong and accurate, so the shortstops can apply the tags and complete the relays to the plate.

The Manager wants great shortstops. But He wants outfielders who play the game hard, who are the best outfielders they can be.

Hey, Skipper…I’m sorry I tried too long to be the shortstop, when You intended for me to be an outfielder. Will You help me hone my outfield skills? When The Game is over, when I come into The Dugout, when The Box Score is published, all I want is Your High-Five.