Glad you’re back.
Absolutely crazy, the volume of response and the benevolent tone of response during my 3-week absence. I come back expecting a post from Mo' Dawg and 3 comments in the hopper, and instead get 10 guest posts and dozens of comments to "approve" (sic). I had no idea. I mean, I thought maybe there was 25% of this lurking enjoyment of SSI. So, thanks.
And it's especially gratifying to me, the depth of respect and profundity you see from Denizen after Denizen. MisterJonez and Hit-Run and Blissed-J to say nothing of Keith and G and DaddyO and ... hate to even start the list for fear of leaving off the Silentpadna's ... they're not guys sitting at a stool tossing wisecracks at a bar TV. They are notable authors themselves, wise and centered men with comprehensive and profound understandings of sports, who contribute their own provocative insights.
Point being: maybe now you'll pitch in a bit more often. Nothing could be more gratifying for me.
I've hinted around my medical shtick so if you're curious, here it is. DaddyO and others have worse, so this is not a jeremiad. Just an attempt to be less coy than I've been the last few years, no more, no less. :: shrug :: My life expectancy could be 15+ years from here.
March 2014 I was diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal liver cancer, supposedly inoperable, given 5 months to live. That diagnostic pitch was a biiiiiiittttttt outside, since we sit here now (almost 4 years later) with low blood markers and zero formed tumors, just a bit of cancer "dust" in the blood. From a Christian perspective I give prayer its due credit in that outcome, and in possible future outcomes. Granted the treatments have been arduous. ;- ) Lemme tell ya I've added medicine to my vocab. Heh. Kinda funny when ER doctors try to pull fast ones on ya.
Unfortunately they put a "venous access port" in your chest for chemotherapy and a few months ago that became badly septic, fluid and yukky and so forth. They cut that out but it had led to clots in the jugular and cephalic veins and .... is this sounding serious enough yet? LOL. ... they used about 5 antibiotics of which one caused a "tonic-clonic seizure" (wild yoga folds from toes to head) and the problem with that was standing on the top of 16 steps when it began. :- ) If you ever become spastic, pick some place else to do it
When I woke up in the ER, another 40-minute seizure began and this one led to a rather complete trashing of my tongue; you'd be surprised how much that hurts, chewing your tongue to shreds for the better part of an hour :- ) and: it's less than desirable if you're a public speaker! Hospital time: most of the last three weeks.
Point being: I wouldn't take time off SSI for no reason. No "sorry to hear, Jeff" needed; I'm comin' out of it beautifully (hence my cheery discussion this a.m.) and my IRL friends have compensated me with incredibly beautiful love, daily. Also: I could take any ten men in a cage match of your time and choosing. Especially any ten Seahawks, it would appear. They've seen their best days, huh.
So, from here: Dr. D gets back to his shtick of --- > "here's the script in which Balboa could shock the world!!", which, why follow sports if you're not going to track that scenario, dude? The M's Cinderella* season starts with James Paxton pulling off a Clayton Kershaw. One of the aspects of SSI's "brand" is that we will seek out the most positive possibilities.
It is not that we are too stupid to realize that the 2018 Mariners could lose; it is that we choose among 10 stories of the day, and we select the most fun stories to track (such as Shohei Otani's UCL). I do not know why you would do anything else.
And in 2018 maybe we get more Denizens following on Dr. D, throwing in their own understandings of the baseball world. My quota is 7-10 articles a week; perhaps the Denizens will parallel that all year and we'll have twice the blog. It ain't like this 2018 Mariners team doesn't have the firepower to surprise.
I was gone 3 weeks and you proved that this community kicks the stuffing out of actual Mariner baseball. I suggest we Hot Stove it from here, and maybe there's some chance that Dipoto himself will try to keep up, even without the surprise advantage of $1M Babe Ruths falling into his lap. You've had your five free minutes, Jerry. Now get your job done, give Seattle a series of playoff teams, or go home.
Okay, enough with the maudlin shtick. :- ) Back to baseball the next coupla days. Dee Gordon looks pretty good from here, as does the Wolf Pack pitching staff.
Warm respect my friends,
Glad you’re back.
And I think his blueprint was the correct one for this team for three reasons:
1) The previous two regimes couldn't identify or develop talent AT ALL. The prospects we had were 95% garbage. If you can get teams to trade for them to give you more bankable value, you do that.
2) He's right that straight tanking didn't make sense for a team with three hard-to-move long-term assets and nothing to start with in the minors. His approach was to get cheap, affordable, stoploss wins and try to snag some upside guys. There are those guys in our core now...a core that is pretty young and has real upside.
3) They cannot outspend the Yankees/Red Sox/Dodgers and free agents aren't lining up to come here even if they could. It's in the middle of nowhere, it doesn't get enough media coverage, and the team has a long history of futility and horrendous personnel management from the medical/training staff right on down to the waterboy. You can change that stuff (and they're trying) but until people believe it is changed, you're going to pay a premium to get anyone.
I just wish he hadn't wasted Trumbo...that was the only trade he made that I considered immediately and verifiably stupid (and I outlined the reasons why and was proved correct)...others didn't work out, but you could understand them...Trumbo for a lame back-up catcher so you can sign another guy to replace Trumbo for the same money? NO. Just no.
You have no idea how much we appreciate your direct rehearsal of what has happened and your overall situation. My profound respect and sorrow for what you have endured, and my deep hope that things turn out as good or better than anticipated (I guess it already HAS turned out better!). It is not an easy thing in a stage of life earlier than you might expect to be told you have "x" years/months to live. It definitely changes your perspective.
If you'd have told me in 2002 that I would avoid a heart transplant going into 2018, check that, if you'd have told me a would still be living out earthly life past 2010 I'd have dismissed it as a wishful fantasy. Yet here I am. The only question I have is whether the M's will be generous and win while it still matters to me, or whether they will cynically wait until the year after I'm gone. Hah!
Like me, Doc, I am sure you are grateful to have been given grace to see some of the things that have come into your life in your "extra" years. For me it is the wedding of our two daughters and two grandchildren, with another on the way. I can't tell you how many times while enjoying some serendipitous moment of life, like the joyful laughter of our 21-month-old grandson, I step back and thank God for allowing me to see these days. Oh yes, there are also heartaches I wish I had been spared.
We pray your cancer stays at bay, your recent incident put in the rear view mirror as far as possible, and you remain one of the "spared" ones.
These past few months we have become acquainted with a couple in our church with the husband (in his late '50's) suddenly facing a hard fight with leukemia. As the treatment faced a major hurdle/climax this last week, right in the middle of a key appointment with the doctor that would determine if they could put off crucial stem cell surgery until after Christmas, the wife experienced major cramping and stomach pain. She was rushed to the emergency room where they discovered a large tumor (benign or malignant yet to be determined) that has to come out very soon. How are they to move forward? We pray her cancer is benign so after a brief recovery she can go back to being her husband's advocate in his own battle. Why do I rehearse this? Because, just this morning in our email prayer group I was prompted to post all of 2 Cor chapter four and the last half of Romans chapter eight as an encouragement to this couple and all our friends to see our sufferings in this life in light of greater realities. Don't know why I'm including this here, you or someone else might need it right now. I know I do.
Re: Tongue-chewing, I can't imagine. I have had problems at times in my life with serious tongue bites while sleeping, the result of which can make life almost unlivable, sometimes for a week or more. God be with you, my friend, in dealing with the fallout from this.
We look forward to "seeing" more of you. We be just a circle of friends who truly admire and care about your well-being.
So...yeah, I imagine that must be incredibly, mind-shatteringly painful. :(
Everyone I know and love seems to either be having strokes, suffering through very severe mental illness, or fighting advanced, potentially deadly cancer lately...I know you don't want any "I'm sorry" comments, and I know enough people who are dealing with similar problems to understand why, so I'll just hope you continue kicking cancer's backside.
Alright, alright, you sniffed me out. I'm a lurker. A long time reader and an (extremely) rare commenter. It's not that I am unopinionated, merely that I prefer to hide beneath my blankets as I watch or read anything mariner-related.
Some time ago, Doc, you posted a rather cynical article (with tongue firmly in cheek) and listed some 8 or 10 reasons why Baseball was terrible. I took your bait and replied in kind to each of your specific points. And then I stayed silent for many moons.
And here I am return-ed, as my grandfather would say. My grandfather, who is my idol, my best friend, and who is within whispering distance of death - his own stage IV lung cancer doing the honors.
And I say again, as I said many moons ago - Baseball is a microcosm for life. And we, as Mariners fans, are most often the 'losers' in the sports world miracle merry-go-round. Well, we had Edgar that one time...
But I write to say that unlike our luck with Baseball, old chaps, in life it seems we have each come out a bit luckier than our much-maligned M's. We have survived so many assaults, physical and emotional, and in surviving we've learned that one true axiom that stands above all others - which is that against all odds, against miraculous and impossible odds, we have existed.
My grandfather always used to say "Getting old ain't much, but it beats the alternative."
I asked him once, "What's the alternative?"
To which he replied, "Not getting old. You understand?"
Since then, the two nicest things I can say about a person are that 1) I'll miss them when they're gone, and 2) that I hope they get very, very old.
So to each of the denizens that entertain, inspire, and contribute to the community here, I say thank you most humbly.
And to you Doc, I say that even though I may never meet you, may never share a beer or a porch at dusk, I most certainly will miss you when you're gone. And further, I hope that you live to be 150 years old, happily.
I had a dozen or so when I was under the age of 9. My 6 year old daughter had them (fingers crossed) until she was about 4. I never recalled a bit of anything except what was told to me about the events. Thankfully, the tongue torture never happened for her or myself.
Is it ok to wait until the great Free Agents become available next year? Speaking of Paxton's and Kershaws... refusing to pony up for Darvish could prelude spending that and some to put Kershaw with Paxton. Or not, but it seems to be a good hopeful day. There's a coupla CF, Corner OF and IF, middle infielders, several SP and relievers. Good year to have money available.
You said you didn't want the sorry's, so I'll refrain from that word. But I'm gutpunched to hear what you've been through and in awe of your positive mindset. But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Over the past 11 years or so, I've looked forward to your essays, jokes, thoughts, insights more than anyone else online. Pretty remarakle and dang if I don't miss you a ton when you're laid up. So here's hoping you heal up quickly and that there's at least another 11 years ahead of us, hopefully including a few World Series Sizzlers and Fizzlers or post-ring Tazoberry.
It was never about the Mariners or even baseball. We love you no matter what happens (though I'm sure you'll live another 20 year anyways). :-)
I most definitely hope Jeff is around for another 20 years(or more) - Maybe by then the M's will sniff the world series ;). I have grown to really love and appreciate his analysis on all this baseball, et al over the years. I first started reading Doc's stuff back as a link from Churchills blog inside the park. The old detect-o-vision became one of my go to's for analysis on what was happening and now SSI is my main stop for analysis (I swing by probably half dozen to a dozen times a day).
Absolute best wishes Jeff and here's to another 20 years for you.
You were missed. I have been away from commenting for a while, just reading with pleasure. So I thought I would contribute a konspiracy korner something, but how does one go about submitting a post for consideration?