It’s hard to say what’s worse, losing eight straight games or having your appendix removed. Lucky for me, I’ve had to deal with both in the span of a week.
Eight games. By far the longest losing streak I’ve been a part of in any sport, at any level. I doubt I even experienced an eight-game losing streak during 6U soccer at Academy Field. And unlike 6U soccer, losing streaks at the pro level are not shrugged off with Hilltop Creamery and a tail-wagging dog waiting for you at home.
In this life, losing streaks mean people are going to lose their jobs. Our losing streak began after being swept in a four-game set by the Alpine Cowboys, who looked very much like the best team in the league. No big, deal right? It’s a long season, and sometimes that happens. However, when you come home and drop the next four in a matchup of the two bottom teams in the league (us and the White Sands Pupfish), grown men begin to squirm. And for good reason. During that eight-game losing streak, we released four players and one coach, and acquired eight more via trade or free agency. I mentioned it in an earlier blog, but in Independent Baseball, there is no love lost, and certainly not much room for error. It’s simple, do your job and perform, or there will be any handful of guys itching to take your spot after you are released.
Most of our main acquisitions were veteran starting pitchers, seeing as during the losing streak we allowed 12 runs per game. Not going to win many baseball games with those numbers. Since we acquired those veteran arms, we are 4-3, and the team has finally developed the confidence to win games. It’s amazing what pitching can do. During the losing streak, I wondered if we’d ever even have a chance to win a game. Seven games later, I’m actually surprised when we lose. I guess that’s the roller coaster that comes with a 70-game schedule.
I must have some bad karma floating out in the universe somewhere. There truly is no other explanation. In my last three full baseball seasons (pro and college) I have missed significant time due to surgery or illness. In 2010, my junior year of college, I missed games due to complications from mono, and two weeks stemming from a concussion. In 2011, my senior year of college, I missed two weeks after tonsillitis and an eventual tonsillectomy. Now it’s 2012, my rookie year of pro ball, and the story is the same. I am currently one week removed from an appendectomy, and at least another week away from returning to the lineup.
I started having pain last Thursday during a game against the Las Cruces Vaqueros. We won the game, and I hit a 3-run homerun, but I didn’t sleep a wink that night, and promptly had my appendix removed the following day.
It is frustrating for me because we have 18 games in 19 days, and I’m going to miss most of them. Just as the team starts to show some life, I’m forced to sit and watch. I am currently not with the team, as they have a 4-game set in White Sands.
The doctors have told me that recovery from laparoscopic surgery is different for everyone. For young, in-shape athletes, the recovery time can be significantly decreased, mostly depending on how the patient feels. One week after my surgery, the pain is beginning to diminish, and I am hoping to start jogging and swinging in the next few days. Shooting for a comeback a week from today, at home against the Vaqueros. For now, all I can do is sit and wait, which is harder than sounds.
Until next time, hasta luego from Santa Fe.