I've said before that I hate "here's why I haven't written" posts. When I have time to write, I usually don't want to waste it writing about why I wasn't writing before, because it's usually for frivolous reasons everybody is dealing with and nobody wants to hear about.
But in this case, the length of my disappearance while some major stuff was going down for my teams, as well as the fact that I lack for content to just pick back up with sans preamble -- games watched, articles read, analyses completed, other blogs followed -- warrant at least some kind of explanation.
These are annoying, too, but another disclaimer: much as it might be therapeutic for me to pour out, in vivid color, the entire pantheon of horrors that's engulfed the last two weeks, there are personal and medical privacy issues involved, and I have absolutely no appetite for the inevitable armchair criticisms the Internet tends to deliver to people in crisis. So if the lack of details makes this hard to follow, I can only shrug and apologize.
There are times that baseball (and football) can, as has famously been said, "repair [our] losses, and be a blessing to us."
But there are also times...when there are respirators hissing and beeping, and huge doses of potent medications are working their slow, inexorable way through multiple IV lines; when the words "brain" and "bleeding" are thrown around, in the same sentence; and when those words are used in reference to a normally vivacious 30-year-old...that sports interests don't just take a back seat. They get duct tape slapped over their mouths, around their wrists and about their ankles, and then they get thrown in the trunk.
Still, at one point in the thick of things (as of now -- knock on wood -- recovery is drawing closer each day), I did sneak away from the cold hospital hallways to attend a game, if only because it was quite literally my last chance to do so this year.
I'm not sorry I did, especially because of all the Fan Appreciation goodies. For example, I'm really glad I finally got to do this:
Otherwise...I was there...but I wasn't there.
I'd walked up Brookline Ave from the hospital to get to the ballpark that afternoon, and afterwards, I walked straight back. What I'd seen at the park had utterly disappeared from my mind before I'd gone two blocks.
The Sox had beaten the Yankees and spoiled their chance to win the AL East on a postcard-perfect early fall day. It was something I might've gloated about under different circumstances. But in this situation, the happiness of it was gnat-like: so small, in comparison to everything else, it was downright maddening.
I cannot tell a lie: I have not watched another pitch of a baseball game since.
Other than that final game Oct. 3, which I did thoroughly photograph, the only baseball I've seen in the last two and a half weeks was a snippet of the Sox-Yankees game Oct. 2. This was because it happened to be playing on the TV in the ICU Family Room while fellow visitors and I waited for a "procedure" to be finished down the hall.
The only thing of significance I remember about said snippet didn't happen on the field. Instead, it was the moment another of us in the waiting room, who happens to be a proud gay man of tragic fabulousness, settled primly into a chair not facing the TV and picked up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens instead of joining us in watching the game.
This did not escape notice and good-natured ribbing from the rest of us. Somebody started asking him questions from Toucher and Rich's "Ask a Pinkhat."
"What's the shape of the infield?"
"A diamond," the BH&G reader, whose name is Joe, replied.
"What does a player wear on his non-throwing hand?"
There was a pause.
"What?" Joe finally said. "I know all about jewels and accessories."
It was a welcome laugh.
On the football front, I watched a few minutes of a game last Sunday. The Giants were playing on that TV in the Family Room, but I don't recall who their opponent was. I halfheartedly tuned in to maybe a quarter or so of the Monday night game, but retained absolutely none of what I saw.
Right now, I don't even know exactly why people are talking about Brett Favre's nether regions, only that they are, and it seems ridiculous, and that's about all I really want to know about that whole thing.
I am, however, well aware that the Patriots have re-acquired Deion Branch from the Seattle Seahawks. There are many possible scenarios that could have led to that decision, but this is the one I like to picture:
Tom Brady: You traded Randy.
Bill Belichick: And...?
TB: You traded Randy.
BB: How about if we bring back Deion?
TB: That'll do.
As for the approximately two brain cells I have left to devote to the early stages of the Red Sox offseason, I have burned out both already in my confusion over their recent decision to buy a British soccer club.
Liverpool fans are reportedly displeased. Me, I'm wondering how many pitchfork mobs it's gonna take before the denizens of 4 Yawkey Way attend to the many glaring needs of their baseball team, which is the only thing their core audience really gives a flying freak flag about.
I know diversification is important to a business. But I also know that attention to the core product of said business is equally important. And while I understand that the timing of business deals can't always be controlled, the "optics" of this one, to bust out another bit of jargon thrown around by people who also talk "synergies" and "accretive acquistions," really could not be worse.
And...that's about all I have for ya at the moment.
I hope next week is better.