I had such plans for this weekend. It’s now 4:10am on Sunday morning. Daughter Mack brought over the two little ones for a couple of ‘cation days… swim in the pool, eat Mrs. Mack’s homemade meatballs with spaghetti, a family tradition that started with her father’s stuffed meatball that went into every pot of ‘gravy’ in Frankie’s Italian Restaurant, on Depot Road, in Huntington, Long Island. We finished off the night with homemade pistachio gilato that all leads up to another day of pool swimming, gong to the movies to see Tommorroland, and cheesebergers at ‘Cheeseburgrs, Cheeseburgers’, a local joint near the theatre. Cost of the weekend: priceless.
And then I made the stupid ass mistake of writing a memo to my chief writers about my neck problems, only to pick up the story on both David Wright’s setback in camp and Matt Harvey’s first outing since being told he’s going to only be pitching once a week.
I have been suffering from stenosis all my life and had to eventually give up every sport I played to my lower back problems. Think of it like calcium deposits growing inside your spinal canals, stuck to the side. The more that grow, the more narrow the space is left for the canals to operate and breathe in.
Most of us that had it tried all the conventional short term stop gaps that Wright is going through right now, I eventually would go and get shots directly into the areas between the canals effected, That worked until one bounced back and I found myself flat on my ass in the street outside a mall, waiting for an ambulance to pick me up.
My surgeron, Dr. Jeffrey Rueben, of The Spine Institute in Beaufort, South Carolina saved my life. He would keep telling me that I was not a candidate for surgery until I crawled into his office begging me for relief. He was right.
Dr. Rueben chose to do a radical procedure for those days. He took out five of my damaged discs and replaced them with titanium replacements all tied up in a neat new lower back cage.
The operation took five hours and they had me walking that night. They unhooked any temporary morphine they had me on, gave me a bottle of pills to help me wean off of them, and sent me home.
I have never felt lower back pain again,
Now, for the other side… I did try to get back to the sports activities I always enjoyed, My golf balls continued to hit in the ponds 140 out so nothing changed there. Hitting either softballs or baseballs became too much of challenge and turning a double play at third or charging a bunt for a bare handed throw to first base was an impossibility. Do I have to continue and describe house football, full court basketball, or skiing?
And this was just the lower back stenosis both David and I currently share.
What Sandy and Company need to do is gather around him the top (healthy) players he has left on this team… 1B Duda…IF Murphy…IF Flores…IF Campbell…C Plawecki… C Recker… C Monnell… OF Lagares…OF Granderson… OF Cuddyer… OF Ceccilliani…OF Mayberry…IF Tejada… SP Harvey… SP deGrom… SP Colon… SP Niese…SP Gee… SP Syndergaard… RP Familia… RP Torrez… RP ‘Cap’ Torrez… RP Goedelle… RP Robles…RP Leathersixh… SP Colon… RP Gilmartin
That’s 27 players
You also have scheduled to come back by the end of the month C Travis d’Arnaud, P Vic Black, and P Bobby Parnell.
Lastly, he needs to put the names of the players that have no way of being traded in the back pocket of his pants. Trust me, it’s a short list right now.
And then, he needs to go to work and prove to all of us that he can save this team from itself.