The Only Broken Hip In Baseball

On August 11, 2013, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Cody Ross fell while running to first. It was a routine ground out, but his spike caught in the dirt at a weird angle and he stumbled. Awkwardly. Then, he tumbled. He had dislocated and broken his hip.

It’s believed that Ross was the first – and only – major league player to ever break a hip while running the bases.

 

It was, they said, a freak injury.

Editor/Husband’s doctors and nurses assured him last week that he is the first – and only – person to ever break a hip while meditating. (They all got quite a chuckle out of that.)

It was, they said, a freak injury.

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He “Bustered” His Leg

On May 25, 2011, in San Francisco, Florida Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins collided with Giants catcher Buster Posey in a play at the plate. Posey’s leg was broken. He was out for the rest of the season.

(You can watch it here, though I wouldn’t recommend it.)

On January 1, 2017, in Orange, Virginia, in what I think was some sort of weird performance art recreation, Editor/Husband played the role of Buster Posey. Scott Cousins was played by my Yoga Studio floor.

For those of you who were so quick to believe that 2017 couldn’t be suckier than 2016 … you are wrong.

Editor/Husband fell and “bustered” his leg on New Year’s Day.

That is, he fractured the neck of his femur which is the fancy pants way to say, he broke his hip. (But having a broken hip sounds like something a frail grandma would do, so we’re going with broken leg which sounds more “Posey-an.”)

granny

Nope.

sylvester-leg

Well, not quite. But, close enough.

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Life Is Not An “Etch-A-Sketch”

“Turn Etch-a-Sketch upside down and shake and everything disappears.”

When December 31 turns to January 1 on Saturday night, 2016, the good, the bad, the strange, the crazy won’t magically disappear.

No kicking the year to the curb, kids. It’ll still be there, hanging around in your mind with important thoughts like, “Did the cat get stuck in the closet again?”

mookie-in-the-closet

Relax, kids. Mookie’s fine.

I was told I was a little too dour in my sum-up-2016 post from earlier this week, so let’s fix that with just five quick off-the-top-of-my-head things in 2016 that made me smile:

5. Boaty McBoatface. Even though things ultimately didn’t work out with the name.

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2016, The Year In Sports: “These Are Not Ordinary Times.”

Well, it was a really rough year, but at least it was a good year for sports!  Right?  Right!!

Penn State fans are very excited to be going to the Rose Bowl next week. Watch out for the tear gas, kids!

Sportswriters and pundits are wrapping up 2016 by telling you that even though the year sucked, it was still a great year for sports.

The year that …

Muhammed Ali died.

Miami Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez, 24, was killed in a boating accident.

Donny Everett, 19, a Vanderbilt freshman pitcher, drowned the day before his team played its first game of the college post-season.

The run up to the Summer Olympics in Rio — zika, crime, cost overruns, polluted water, more crime — was like a car chase scene out of Mad Max.

rio-2016-olympics-logo

 

Oh, and the entire Russian Olympic team was doping.

2016-olympic-alternative-doping-logo


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Secret Santa — Hey. I Got Your Name.

I never got my taco.

During the World Series, Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians stole a base, and, because of that, Taco Bell promised everyone in America – all 319 million of us – a free taco.

(That’s 54-billion delicious taco calories!)

But, you had to be at a Taco Bell at a specific time on a specific day and, well, my nearest Taco Bell is 25 miles away.

I never got my taco.

Rats.

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Stevie. BFF.

It’s really no surprise that the first national recognition I ever received on this blog was for a post that also included the first photo of our cat Stevie.

Stevie Dew

 Stevie, in 2012, illustrating how Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) can come in different forms.

She was a stray, not-quite-feral cat who turned up in our barn five years ago and quickly moved in.

stevie votes

The second time my blog received national recognition, there was Stevie again. This time, in 2013, showing how cheaters have manipulated All-Star Game balloting. 

I had not only a friend, but an excellent Baseball Bloggess co-pilot.

She came along as I read War & Peace a few off-seasons ago …

Stevie Reads War And Peace

She wrongly picked the Atlanta Braves to win the 2015 World Series …

stevie says 2015

She complained about the very few cats featured in the annual Baltimore Orioles “Pet” calendar … Stevie & Jim Johnson

And, sometimes she was plunked into a post for no reason, other than she was just so damn cute …

stevie relaxing

She was one of the sweetest, friendliest, purringest cats I’ve ever known. (And, I’ve known a lot of cats.)

She was my BFF.

She got along with the other cats in the house. She was a “no drama” kitty.

She didn’t mind people and wasn’t one of those run-and-hide-in-the-box-springs cats when strangers walked in.

She got sick a couple days ago, although it was hard to tell because she kept purring and carrying on with her regular routine. She slept every night right next to my head. Just like always. She purred.

But, her favorite thing in the world was a meal (she was pretty starved when she turned up at our house those years ago, so it was no wonder that she delighted in a bowl of food more than anything else).  And, when she stopped eating we knew that something was wrong.

It was. And, yesterday we had to say goodbye.

Someone once commented on one of my posts that I should change the name of my blog from The Baseball Bloggess to something more general, so I could write about other things.

They didn’t understand. The Baseball Bloggess can write about whatever she wants.

And, today she wants to write about Stevie.

BFF.

stevie-in-the-box

 

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Tinker, Evers, the 1908 Cubs, & Why Am I Writing About Politics On Here?

These are the saddest of possible words:

“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,

Tinker and Evers and Chance.

Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,

Making a Giant hit into a double –

Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:

“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

~ Franklin Pierce Adams, New York Evening Mail, 1910

In 1908, it was the infield of Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance – shortstop, second base, first base – who helped carry their Chicago Cubs to a World Series victory.

tinker evers chance

They weren’t the greatest double-play makers in history, but they sure make a good poem, don’t they?

And, they helped lead those 1908 Cubs to the Series.

You know what happens next. It takes 108 years before the Cubs win another World Series. Which they did just two weeks ago.

Which is what I should be writing about. Because Chicago put on a celebration that was beautiful and exciting and embraced us all.

 

But, that’s not what this is about.

I often tell my friends that part of my love of baseball is how it – and its long, rich history – reflect us. Both good and bad. Our society, our culture.  Who we are. Baseball is us.

Until this week.

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The Better Business Bureau Made Me Mad

It was a prim and stern woman’s voice on my office voice mail yesterday.

“Yesssss. [pregnant pause] This is the Better Business Bureau.  My name is [  ]. This message is for the owner of the company. Please return my call. My direct line is [  ]. I will be in my office until 4:30 p.m.” ((Click))

There was no “thank you.” No “goodbye.” No reason why this unfriendly person at the Better Business Bureau was calling me.

I’m just a one-person office. The “owner of the company” is me. The massage therapist and Yoga teacher is me. The bookkeeper and laundry washer and taxpayer and phone answerer and toilet paper buyer and Yoga mat roller and vacuum cleaner emptier and the one who carefully picks the ladybugs off of the office window and brings them outside to freedom? All me.

Did someone complain about me to the Better Business Bureau? Why else would they be calling?

Did I forget an appointment? Is someone upset that we did too many Down Dogs in class last week? (We didn’t, honest!)

Of course, I called them back. If someone was going to complain that the table warmer wasn’t warm enough during their last massage, I wanted the opportunity to explain.

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The Orioles Lose & The Dogs Won’t Stop Barking

My neighbors have dogs.

Not just a couple cute, shaggy, tail-wagging mutts from the local pound, but a kennel filled with hunting dogs.  Loud, hungry, and annoying dogs who start barking at about 5 each morning.

We live on a farm and by “neighbors,” I mean the people who live about a half-mile away through an old field that has too steep a drop to a creek bed to ever be a real pasture. (To reach these neighbors by road, you would have to drive out to the main road, take a right, and then another right, and then another right. By road, they are about five miles away. But, through the field, they’re much closer.)

I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure there are about 63 rabid wolf-hounds in that kennel and they haven’t eaten in days. They would probably chew your arm off if you got too close.

They don’t bark all the time, but when they do, they all do. They’re loud and their noisy discontent travels through the pasture like a storm cloud that opens up right over our house.

Some days they are louder than others. Like right now.

 

Last night in the AL Wild Card game, the Baltimore Orioles lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, the team that no one loves from the country that doesn’t even like baseball.

They lost in the 11th on a three-run homer.

The Orioles season is over.

Those damn dogs are rattling the walls of our house right now.

Sometimes on the weekends when the dogs are especially depraved and hungry, you can hear the dude over there yell at them.  “SHUT UP!  SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”  There is momentary silence and then the barking gets even louder.  Every single time. He yells at the dogs and they just start barking louder.  If I’m sitting on the porch, I’ll sometimes look over at Hell Hound House and say – just a little louder than the last time – “Yeh, dude, that’s still not working.”

The Orioles made some mistakes last night. Their bats were cold and, sure, O’s fans will spend the next five months second-guessing the decision by Manager Buck Showalter not to bring in their Cy Young-deserving closer Zach Britton, who, we are 100 percent certain, would not have given up a three-run homer in the bottom of the 11th to the Blue Jays (a team that, I think I’ve mentioned, no one even likes).

Oh, wait … the dogs just stopped barking. Just like that, it’s quiet again.

But, my heart is still going to be sad for awhile.

 

My Dad’s Green Hammock & Vin

“It’s a wonderful feeling to be a bridge to the past and to unite generations. The sport of baseball does that, and I am just a part of it.” ~ Vin Scully, Dodgers Broadcaster since 1950

I think we all have squishy memories.

The squishy ones are the memories that have no specific moment or event to make them distinct. They remember no special day or place. No exact time. Instead of one particular thing, a bunch of routine moments from the past squish together to make one single thought.

I have a lot of squishy memories.

Here’s one.

When I was a kid we lived in California. And, on Saturdays, after the lawn was mowed and the Saturday chores were done, my dad would stretch out on his green hammock (a hammock supported by a metal frame, rather than trees, with white fringe along its sides, and with a matching green pillow attached at the top.)

The Googler, which is a frightening tool, took “vintage green hammock with white fringe” and gave me this photo of my dad’s hammock.

dads-hammock

This is the exact one. The very same one that I haven’t seen in 40 years. I was so surprised to see it, I did a double-take. And, then I patted myself on the back for remembering it perfectly, right down to the pillow.

I can see my dad on that hammock on Saturday afternoons in California, drinking a Coors beer, with a blue portable radio that he brought out onto the patio with him. Listening to a ballgame.

Almost always, listening to Vin Scully call a Dodgers game.

This is something Vin Scully still does. Something he has done for 67 years. Something that he will only do for two more weeks before he retires at age 88.

To hear Vin Scully’s voice is to bring me back to Saturdays with my dad in his hammock. Sunny, warm days, when the most important choice I had to make was deciding whether to roller skate first, then go swimming, or to go swimming first, then roller skate.

To hear Vin’s voice is to have that Saturday back. A day in California a long time ago, when I was small and my dad was in his hammock.

And, when Vin retires at the end of this season, that memory will fade just a little, become just a little bit blurrier, a little bit squishier.

A lovely interview on National Public Radio this morning with Vin Scully. Listen here.

vin-scully-npr

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/494684760/494684761