Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Staying Away From The Rest Home

By now, you’ve probably heard that “feel good” story 65 times about Jamie Moyer coming “home” to Philadelphia, even if he grew up closer to Allentown in a bedroom community full of Mennonites as opposed to a block from the El next door to a houseful of meth-crazed bikers.

You have heard over and over again how he is a “crafty” hurler who “knows how to pitch” and is “intelligent and poised” because he is a junkballin’ old dude. How old? Moyer’s so old he exposes the stirrups on his socks. Moyer’s so ancient his Mom and Dad gave him permission to attend the 1980 Phillies Championship parade down Broad Street and gathering at JFK Stadium. Don’t remember that place, kiddo? Well, try this on: When Moyer was born in 1962, JFK still had a year to live and the place was called Municipal Stadium. The Navy Yard down the street was actually occupied by the Navy. The Vet and the Spectrum weren’t even on the drawing boards. Televised baseball games were in black-and-white. Information wasn’t available at your fingertips on Google – you fingered index cards at a library and “surfed” the Dewey Decimal System. If the book wasn’t there, you were up shit’s crick.

It was another world.

Yeah, things were different when Moyer was born, but 43 is far from geriatric. Or at least it better not be – I’m virtually the same age, a mere eight months younger, and though no longer capable of pitching effectively like he did tonight, I’d like to think the rest home is a few decades hence, and only then if I’m oblivious to being there. I spent 17 days re-habbing after a long hospital stay at one of those places (that’s what happens when you have no health insurance) and it was a house of horrors. Body fluids were out of control; death pangs reverberated through the halls; delirious residents wandered in my room for naps; nurses and their aides wondered what bad karma assigned them the task of cleaning bed pans and maintaining order in this assisted-living loony bin.

These uplifting thoughts manifested themselves to me during Moyer’s continent six-inning, three-earned run winning effort tonight against the Cubs. Unlike one of the babies on the Phils’ staff, here is a pitcher not yet in need of adult diapers. The 20-year veteran was supported with six runs and made it look easy, failing to lose his composure after surrendering the three runs, which all crossed the plate with two outs. Clearly, with age comes perspective. So try the following mental exercise.

Take your current age and subtract that figure from the year of your birth. If you’re 43 like Moyer, that takes you back to 1919, a year the vast majority of people on this planet were not alive to remember. The next time somebody tells you about “the good old days,” ask them to perform that simple exercise.

Chances are, if their year takes them back further than 1900, they can explain the Dewey Decimal System to you, but can no longer pitch in the big leagues. There may not be a clock in baseball, but time waits for no one.

Not even you, Julio Franco.


Anonymous JG said...

Nevermind baseball, I think he keeps in good shape to "keep up" with that smokin hot old lady of his. Although, it is amazing that his low 80's heater is still getting hitters out. Kudos to Moyer. His longevity lends credence to the theory that knowing how to pitch is more important than how good your stuff is. Hopefully the young bucks are taking notes.

23/8/06 1:29 PM  
Blogger GM-Carson said...

Moyer may be ancient and have an AARP card, but he is a welcome addition to the rotation.

I love your satire on this blog! Just curious, do you find mine amusing?

24/8/06 8:54 AM  

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