Fortunately, I have great family and friends. Will made sure to check on me, to walk the dog for me and to help with whatever I needed. Marilyn called every night. A number of old friends were in regular contact through text messages to make sure I was behaving myself and getting better. One very special friend (who asked not to be named here) suggested that I start putting ideas together for writing a novel, and I did that. It was a great distraction, and one that I intend to follow up on. But even with all of that, I had a lot of time to sit in front of the TV. And the thing that really saved my sanity then and in the weeks since was...baseball.
If you know me or have read this blog over the years, you know how much I love baseball. And the past 5 weeks or so I have found myself immersed in the game unlike anytime since my childhood. I have watched my beloved Rays fight to stay in contention for the playoffs, and pretty much every other game I can find as well. I watched the Little League World Series. I have watched the MLB Network so much that I am beginning to feel like I know all of the personalities on their shows. I have become involved in debates over old school baseball values verses new age baseball sabermetrics. I at least partially understand what WAR (Wins Over Replacement) means, and have pretty much rejected the concept. I think it was Tolstoy (Seinfeld reference) who said it best- "WAR...ugh...what is it good for...absolutely nothin!" I am watching Miguel Cabrera have the season of a lifetime...for the second year in a row. I saw Ryan Dempster plunk A-Rod, and then watched as Alex took his revenge with a 450 foot home run. And I have watched as Wil Myers, a rookie from my old stomping grounds of Archdale-Trinity, NC has taken Tampa Bay by storm with his bat and his swagger. It's been great fun. Baseball has been an amazing distraction during my recovery. To quote the great Garrett Morris character from the earliest years of SNL...
"Base-a-ball been berra berra good to me!" ~Chico Esquela
The great baseball writer and current ESPN personality Tim Kurkjian once wrote that he understands why people think baseball is boring- because it is. It's slow paced compared to other sports. It can drag. Baseball can be boring. Until it is not. And then it is amazing. Even after 150 years of plying the game, things happen EVERY NIGHT that have never happened before. Baseball gets inside me. It lights me up. I love this game!
So with the start of college football and the NFL most folks can go back to ignoring this grand sport. But for me, its place in my heart has been cemented by the part is has played and is playing in my recovery. So to all my friends out there, keep texting and tweeting and e-mailing me. I love the connections, and you have been so kind and supportive of my during this tough time.. But just know that while we are talking, I probably am watching baseball. And loving it... Have a blessed day!