Thursday, May 17, 2012
Baseball Is Life: Jimmy Jones & Ack
Jimmy Jones is back in the big leagues but I'm sure even he wouldn't want it to happen this way. The word came down yesterday that Jones got the call up from San Antonio- where he's regularly the pitching coach- to fill in as bullpen coach while Darrel Ackerfelds gets more treatment for his pancreatic cancer. Ack's story is heartwrenching and warming all at once; it's a testament to the power of baseball. I remember the shirts that were popular in the mid-nineties that had a huge picture of a sports ball on the back with the words "(Baseball, Golf, Football, et cetera) Is Life. The rest is just details." surrounding the graphic; John Kruk wore one at his press conference when he returned from his bout with cancer (and yes, he already made the one ball joke so you don't have to). I've always thought of my preoccupation approaching obsession with baseball as a defect but it seems that to some it really is a saving grace. A lot of people say they live for baseball but Ack shows what that really means. And, given everything he's overcome to this point to come in and get to work with his bullpen boys, the fact that this round of treatment is keeping him from clocking in scares me. I have hope, though. Jimmy Jones is, by all accounts, a good man who is good at what he does. Therefor no offense is intended toward Mr. Jones when I say that I hope his interim position is brief.