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.)
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.
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.
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 …
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