Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Most Relentless Of Games

When you are SKY HIGH and believe NOTHING can stop you--Baseball SLAMS YOU right back down to earth. As you struggle to get up, re-balance yourself, move forward, once again--Baseball SLAPS YOU even harder. Sometimes BURYING YOU. It doesn't matter if you are The Best Team In Baseball or carry The Worst Record--Baseball is RELENTLESS. Never does baseball give you the edge. That's Why, Its The MOST FASCINATING OF GAMES. And When it comes to individual players--Baseball plays NO FAVORITES. Baseball sides with NO ONE!

Never was that point more true than last night at RFK Stadium. After as convincing of a Victory Our Washington Nationals have won all season, The African Queen and I left for home--happy--content with the nights victory. But, as sure as the Sun Rises each and every day, I awoke this morning gloomy--concerned that Our Best Pitcher may be lost for some time. His casualty a potential domino effect, changing this season more than anyone now realizes.

During the first 6 Weeks of The 2007 Season, Shawn Hill has been a revelation. Finally meeting all the promise, winning over all the cynics-- BEATING HIS OWN SELF DOUBTS. This Canadian Born Native of Ontario had arrived as a Major League Pitcher. A Sinker Ball Throwing Professional--raising the eyebrows of each and every team in Both Leagues. Even Our Coaching Staff has to admit--Shawn Hill is a pretty terrific pitcher. Ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow from 2004 now long behind him. Shawn was healthy for the very first time since Our Washington Nationals were The Montreal Expos. How Time Flies.

Pitching a No Hitter through 5 complete innings last night against The Florida Marlins, four innings away from his GREATEST TRIUMPH, The LORDS OF THE GAME said: "No, Not Tonight, Not For Some Time, Maybe Not EVER AGAIN". When The Baseball Gods have spoken, there is nothing more you can do. Shawn Hill to leave the game with "Elbow Soreness". A quick examination by The Team Doctor, Dr. Benjamin Shaffer, confirmed inflammation in his throwing arm. A result Hill says due to his inadvertent running mistake at Florida against these same Marlins--3 weeks ago. Diving back into third base that April 20th night, Number 41 jammed his left, non throwing, shoulder. Never has he been the same. Never has he fessed up to the truth. Overcompensating for his injured left shoulder, Hill messed up his delivery. Those Perfect Mechanics now out of whack, injuring his most prized possession--his GOLDEN RIGHT ARM.

Not a Good Day for Shawn Hill. And, A Terrible Day for Our Washington Nationals and Their Fans.

When Our Best Pitcher goes to the hospital on Monday to have an MRI, his entire Major League Career may well weigh in the balance. MY FAVORITE STARTING PITCHER worried the scale may well tip toward the dark side. If so, there is no telling, if ever, Shawn Hill will comfortably return. Honestly, I couldn't feel sadder for the man. Nothing is more upsetting than seeing a workman like effort, the enjoyment of the game and nice personality all rolled into one person. That Baseball Spirit named Shawn Hill.

Impressed I was, the very first day I saw him pitch. Enthralled I was, in the few moments we first talked. Downright decent I found him to be, this past Spring Training when I got to know him. Personally, I only hope him the best. If we ever needed a young star to unexpectantly get Our Washington Nationals through the very rough road of 2007, Shawn Hill is that player.

Good Luck Shawn. The African Queen and I only wish you the very best. Please don't let, This Most Relentless of Games--KEEP YOU DOWN. Fight back, as I know you always have--Rest Assured, we will be by your side--rooting for your recovery.


Last Night's InGame Photo--(AP) Nick Wass

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