Monday, August 23, 2010

Physicals

We have end-of-the-season physical evaluations today. To compound matters, we are on the road and in the worst clubhouse in the league. Preseason physicals are the thorough ones. The ones where you have to turn your head and cough, get your teeth checked by an old crochety dentist, and read the eye chart you memorized three years ago. The physicals today consist of measuring the degrees to which you arms bend (in ways they're not supposed to), checking the tightness of your legs and hips, and making sure you don't have any injuries you've been hiding all season. The only problem with these are...well everything.

Our arms are freaks of nature. They bend and strain in ways that would make any other part of the body scream, but when they are forced to the brink to measure their dexterity they tend to scream too. The day after these physicals is the worst of the year, presumably a punishment for putting my arm through hell. Also, we're baseball players not gymnasts. Our legs are tight. They tell all of us at the end of these things "you need to stretch more". You think? Of course we need to stretch more, everyone does, but do we? No. We sit around on buses and in hotels getting tighter and tighter until the end of the season comes around and we think "I don't feel more flexible". Finally, every player that has ever played professional baseball will tell you that he hasn't been 100% healthy since he was 12 years old. We are always hiding something from trainers and coaches, not because we are trying to fool them, but because we are trying to fool ourselves. The worst thing for a ballplayer is to have to admit to himself that he cannot perform. So day after day we silence these aches and pains hoping they will disappear along with our era. But you can't hide them forever. We come to the field today and the trainers know exactly what position to put your arm into to make you squeal like a teenage girl, then they say "has it been this way for a while now?". Of course our response is all the same "No, that didn't hurt. I'm just a little sore there. That's all".

1 comment:

  1. you're awesome. I had something on topic to say, but then I thought about how awesome you are and forgot all the other stuff. Sorry.

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