"If baseball in the eighties, with its bewildering succession of one season winners and dethroned champions, has taught us one distinction, it's the difference between success and excellence. Many in sports think they are the same. They're not. There's no substitute for excellence -- not even success.

"Success is tricky, perishable and often outside our control; the pursuit of success makes a poor cornerstone, especially for a whole personality. Excellence is dependable, lasting and largely an issue within our own control; pursuit of excellence, in and for itself, is the best of foundations. If the distinction between success and excellence were easy to grasp, we wouldn't have found so many players, managers and teams in disarray in the eighties -- particularly in baseball, but in all sports actually."

-- from The Heart of the Order,

by Thomas Boswell

(Doubleday, 1989).