The Baseball Desert

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tea And Sympathy

It's not often I can get inside the head of a major league ballplayer, but I know exactly how Jacque Jones feels. This offseason I reached the point where my poor old knees couldn't take any more baseball on synthetic turf - a rare case of the mind being willing but the body being weak.

Unfortunately, in my case, the Cubs haven't come calling with an offer to play in the outfield at Wrigley, so I am resigned to giving up the game I love. I could change clubs, find a club that plays on grass, but I don't want to get embroiled in all those base financial negotiations, so I've taken the "I'm a one-club guy" high road and decided to take an early retirement.

It's only been a couple of months since I last played, so full-blown withdrawal symptoms haven't hit me yet. I expect that they will sometime around the month of March, when baseball - in all shapes and sizes - is with us on a regular basis once again. When they do, I have decided that I will not get depressed, but instead live out the rest of my baseball career vicariously through the Cubs' new right fielder. I wish him nothing but healthy knees and a steady diet of fly balls framed against a clear, blue sky.