Americans are exuberant sports fans; maybe that is why we have so many sports-related phrases:
To keep a job, you must be a team player and carry the ball. If you do a really good job, you hit one out of the ballpark. If you screw up, you dropped the ball and someone else may be called from the bullpen to replace you. You must than keep your eye on the ball, even when someone throws you a curve ball. When you try to make it to first base, your guess may be in left field, but you are still in the ballpark.
On your first date, you hoped to get to first base but probably just struck out. The interviewer asked the candidate an easy softball question because he wouldn’t play hard ball. Your great presentation swished the basket. You may call foul on someone who will decide to take their ball and go home. Than the ball is in your court and you must act like a ball of fire to survive. Keep on the ball if you want to get the ball moving. You may be on deck or you might end up on the ropes. So, keep your ideas within the strike zone to succeed.
I hope you don’t think I’m an odd ball for our romp around the bases, that’s the whole ball of wax and I had a ball writing it.