The Dangers Of Poetry

On July 17, I wrote you a poem.

I hadn’t written poetry since, oh, since Junior High. It wasn’t very good poetry, but the words rhymed, so I’m not sure why you expected anything better out of me. The words rhymed. It was a poem.

On July 17, I wrote you a poem and six hours later I was sick.

Sick, for real, with a 101 fever and chills and visions of this finally being the end and well, I had a good run. (I occasionally overreact in cases of high fever. High fever panic commences for me at about 98.9.)

The New York Times, 4/6/1925

On April 5, 1925, Babe Ruth collapsed with a fever, infection, and an abscess in his gut. But, not before hitting two home runs in a spring training game. He’d been running a temp through spring training and didn’t rejoin the Yankees for eight weeks.

I am here today, recovered after 16 days with an obnoxious summer virus, to tell you five truths about illness.

One. Babe Ruth clearly was much tougher than me.

Two. About midway through this stupid thing we went to Baltimore for some Orioles games. We had planned this weekend months ago. The Doctor said, “Well, you’ve got the tickets, take it easy, you’ll be fine.”

I was not fine. It was the hottest, most humid weekend of the summer.  A friend said, “Baseball will be good for you. You’ll sweat it out.” It was not good. And, though I sweated, I did not “sweat it out.” The heat and humidity were like gamma rays that only made the virus stronger.

If someone ever tells you that you should go somewhere hot and humid and miserable to “sweat out” your illness, un-friend them.

Three. Blood work and all that doctorly stuff ruled out anything more serious than a virus that was stronger than my immune system. No one is really sure what made me ill. But, I know. I wrote you a poem and six hours later I was sick. If that’s not a direct link, I don’t know what is. Poetry is bad for you. Well, me anyway. It’s bad for me.

Four. Illnesses come and, hopefully, they go. When you get to a certain age – and “certain” age being, apparently, “my” age – things take awhile. Rest does not mean taking the laptop to bed so you can do some consulting work while watching the entirety – every single minute – of OJ Simpson’s parole hearing on CNN. Drinking fluids does not mean taking a sip of water every hour or so. Turn off CNN immediately and start chugging Gatorade. In fact, even if you’re not sick, I urge you to slug down some Gatorade right now, just in case my germs have infected the Internet.

Five. Cats only care about your health when they’re hungry.

The line is already tired, but I do want to say that my virus lasted longer than Anthony Scarmucci’s career as White House Communications Director.

The Baltimore Orioles went an astounding 10-5 while I was ailing, which argues for me to spend more time resting. The O’s could, conceivably, pay me to rest and I would consider that an especially worthy occupation. Padding around the house in my pajamas all day long comes freakishly natural to me.

Some baseballishness for you today.

Jonathan Schoop

All Star Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop smiles a lot. He reminds you that he plays baseball for a living and he’s pretty happy with that.

Here he is last week telling interviewer Gary Thorne, “I’m happy every day.”


Here is “Schoopy” smiling.

July 22, 2017 Orioles vs. Astros

If that doesn’t make you feel better about life, nothing will.

Cosmo the Sheepdog

The Charlottesville Tom Sox are a local team in Virginia’s Valley League, a college wood bat summer league. They play on a local high school field and have been wonderful to watch this season. Seriously, if you think the only worthwhile baseball is major league baseball, you need to get out more.

Here’s Cosmo The Sheepdog on a four-wheeler at last night’s Tom Sox game …

and pitching …

Cosmo began his mascoting career as “Dinger,” the Colorado Rockies first mascot.  You can read his story here.

I’m a mascot snob. Cosmo is one of the best, right up there with the Houston Astro’s Orbit. When I see Cosmo I get as excited as the 7 year olds who chase after him at games.


Oh, speaking of the Houston Astro’s Orbit … first, adorable, am I right?

Orbit pesters every team that comes to Houston.  Some players ignore him because they are sour, humorless, homely, disappointing humans.  But, the best ones play along. The Tampa Rays were in Houston this week and Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer spent the series tussling with Orbit.

Here you go …

A declaration of unfriendliness is issued …

Followed by dirty tricks from Orbit …

Countered with water balloons …

Who doesn’t like a good fart joke?

And, finally Orbit’s big finish …

That’s all I’ve got today. But, I’ve missed you. So I had to stop by and say “hi.”


Now go drink your Gatorade.

Photos: Jonathan Schoop, July 22, 2017, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland. Cosmo The Sheepdog, August 5, 2017, Tom Sox baseball at C’Ville Weekly Park, Charlottesville Virginia. © The Baseball Bloggess

17 thoughts on “The Dangers Of Poetry

  1. 10-5! Have you sent a copy of this post to Orioles management? You may be their secret weapon. It’s certainly worth a few tickets on a nicer day than the one you spent just plain sweating.

  2. So sorry that the illness had to prompt this message but it was worth the wait! glad you are on the mend and back into the swing of things! LOL and a mascot review – can’t go wrong with that! thanks for the Dinger update!

  3. I feel like I probably say this everytime – so apologies for repeating myself – but you’re some kind of genius. That was all way too much fun.
    Till now, I’d been unaware of Orbit so I am grateful for the introduction. He’s truly a super adorable, evil mastermind. Here I’d always thought Youppi!, the Expos’ cutie, was king amongst mascots but now I see Orbit deserves some serious consideration. What a piece of work.
    But what horror to hear you’ve been so stricken! There is truly nothing worse that sweltering in high humidity when your body’s already in meltdown-mode. It seems to give every toxic germ in your system teeth. Poor thing. If it’s any consolation, I loved that poem. I just wish it hadn’t come at such a cost. :)

  4. 1) Sorry you got sick on my birthday, that does make me feel bad
    2) Glad you are feeling better, though
    3) College summer league are great baseball, just like the minors, you never know what future star you might be seeing
    4) Mascots are hilarious, and, yes, it’s fun when the players do play along!

  5. Great blog, Jackie! I’m not a baseball fan by choice, but my sports-loving husband always wants me to go to games with him, so I’m trying to be a good sport (ahaha) and learn a little. Your story about Orbit’s mischief with opposing teams is exactly the type of fun anecdote that raises my overall appreciation level for baseball as a whole, if not the game itself. Also… I also love and support the serial comma. I hope you feel better!

    • Thanks Brooke … any friend of the serial comma is a friend of mine! Baseball is a great fits-all game — you can be as nerdish as you want and spend hours/days/lifetimes poring over statistics or you can simply go and enjoy the green grass, the historic beauty of a game that hasn’t changed much in more than 100 years, and, yes, enjoy the absolute awesomeness of mascots. :)

  6. Pingback: Tom | The Baseball Bloggess

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