Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Empty the Bucket

If I think of my brain as a bucket, I sometimes imagine that it begins to overflow and I have to intentionally get some of my thoughts out of there before they just spill over and are gone forever.

Here are some baseball-related bucket thoughts:

Denard Falls Down
During Saturday's Spring Training game, Denard Span fell down twice while making fly-ball catches in the outfield. If this had been a year ago, everyone would be thinking "ha ha, at least he made the catch" and had gone on with the game.

This year, however, I have to admit, every time he falls down, crashes into a fence, or makes a diving catch, I worry. Why did he fall? Is he dizzy? Can he see alright? Did he bang his head? Did he whip his neck? Is he ok?

True, I'm especially prone to worrying, and that's fine. It's no big deal if I sit here and think all these things. But, unfortunately, I'm not the only one; the media asked him about it all the time. And that has to be annoying for him.

It's not the writers' fault for asking him questions that everyone wants answers to, but it must be difficult to have to make the same assurances all the time. Yes, having to address the media comes with the territory, but I bet he's looking forward to when he can simply talk about the game and not his head.

I'm hoping, for both his and the fans' sake, that very soon, he won't have to address these issues every time he has a tiny stumble or makes a difficult play. I'm sure he hopes so too.

Your New Voice of Summer
I had a chance to listen to the Twins new play-by-play announcer Cory Provus a couple of time, and he made a very nice first impression.

His voice is rich, smooth, and easy to listen to, and he calls the game well. If he's telling a story or anecdote while the play is going on, he'll interrupt himself to call the play -- like he should. He's well prepared for the games, and he doesn't give the impression of being the new guy at all (not bad for calling Spring Training games when it's likely there'll be guys coming to bat that even Gardy doesn't know). He already sounds comfortable, as if he's always been here.

I'm not sure that it's really possible, but I think he even makes Dan Gladden better. Well done, Cory, well done.

The Zumaya Decision
After thinking about his situation a few days, Joel Zumaya decided to go ahead and have Tommy John surgery and attempt a comeback. Right after his elbow blew, it sounded like he was leaning heavily toward retiring.

I imagine this decision came with much thought, prayers, and even tears. This will be his sixth surgery, and the rehab that will come with it will most likely be the most difficult. Plus, there's no guarantee on the other side that he'll even be able to pitch again in the Major Leagues (he'll be a free agent when he's ready to come back, and he'll need to convince a team to sign him). No one would have blamed him if he had just wanted to forget it all and walk away.

Instead, he'll take a huge leap of faith and go for it. And I'm kind of happy for him.

I certainly wish him all the best.

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