I think, therefore I’m thinking of sports
By Renee “Buzz” Descartes
We can no longer pretend it isn’t happening—this terrible scandal sweeping professional baseball. I’m talking, of course, about the flagrant use of performance enhancing rugs (PERs).
Every day, hundreds of baseball players cheat by lying down on small rugs between innings and at bats and even network time outs to catch a quick, restorative 40 winks.
These are the same type of rugs we used in kindergarten during nap time, just a bit larger and often personalized with a team’s colors or a player’s favorite cartoon animal.
There is no question that in-game use of rugs enhances a player’s ability to throw a baseball to a desired spot or to see the ball coming in time to shout “Holy crap!” and whack it out of the way. I don’t know about you, but my performance in daily life always kicks into a higher gear after I’ve rolled out my little carpet and gone night-night.
What’s sad is that PERs are not only ignored by baseball leadership, they are condoned. The next time you see a slugger take a bat to a dugout phone or water fountain, watch how he suddenly disappears down the tunnel. Why? Because his manager has sent him to the team rug room for a time out.
It’s gotten so out of hand that some players violate league policy against the use of sippy cups in conjunction with their rug abuse. A few of the richest even travel with a professional story teller for a quicker trip to Snoretown.
Sports fans, something has to be done. Wake me when it’s over.
Why they call it baseball
One of the most misunderstood terms in all of baseball—more confusing than the infield fly rule or the hidden umpire trick–is Tommy John surgery.
It seems like every other day some pitcher tears or snaps that little gristle socket thingie that keeps his shoulder from flying off when a ball is thrown—sometimes going further than the ball itself.
Yet thousands of fans–many who never went to medical school, or who transferred into more lucrative career fields like driving a truck for a fracking company—misunderstand the Tommy John concept. They believe that an injured player is sent off to a body shop where a factory authorized gristle-rep snaps a new shoulder-arm assembly into place in a procedure invented by Tommy John.
Not true. Tommy John did not invent Tommy John surgery. What he did was perform the world’s first Tommy John surgery–on himself, i.e. Tommy John. And yes, it hurt like sixty.
An amusing footnote: While Tommy’s surgery was successful, he realized too late that he’d inadvertently snapped his shoulder on backwards. For the rest of his career he had to pitch facing second base, and instead of being a lefty he was now a right hander. As Tommy chuckled “That’s why they call it baseball.”
Curiously, when athletes have need of this procedure, they don’t just go to a mysterious bone cracker in Alabama or to Billy Ray Cyrus. They go directly to Tommy John’s house where he performs all operations on his dining room table (after the dishes have been cleared.)
In fact at Tommy John Surgery, Inc.,® the motto says it all: “Because when your arm falls off, the last thing you want is a catcher trying to stick it back on.”
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013, all rights reserved.