Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rock of Ageless

If Walt Disney wrote non-fiction, then Jamie Moyer would have earned the National League Cy Young Award and a World Series ring as a member of the 2012 Colorado Rockies. Disney of course made his money selling escapism in a world where a Mouse wears culottes, shoes and gloves and a Duck wears a vest, a bow tie and a beret....but no pants. It is a world that now and again all of us have enjoyed visiting. None of us lives there however. We live in the real world. Jamie Moyer does too.

You might have missed the news item from earlier this week in which the Colorado Rockies announced that they were designating Moyer for assignment. Earlier this season Moyer became the oldest starting pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to win a game when, at age 49, he defeated the San Diego Padres 5-3 on April 17. However, his record thus far this season had been significantly short of memorable. He has only won two games with his second victory coming almost one month after his history-making one. His record is 2-5 (he has made 10 starts) and his ERA is 5.70. In spring training he earned his spot in the Rockies' rotation. However once the regular season started he did too little to maintain it.

And the reason that I root for Jamie Moyer and shall root for him if and when he pops back up on a big-league pitching staff - do not count him out ladies and gentlemen for he is left-handed after all - is that he is as gracious and classy when times are tough as he is when he is rolling in it. At a news conference on Wednesday, Moyer expressed his thanks to the Rockies General Manager Dan O'Dowd and Manager Jim Tracy for the opportunity they had given him. "Dan gave me a great opportunity in spring training. Jim stuck his neck out for me. He gave me an opportunity and that's all I can ask for, when I came, an opportunity," Moyer added.. "Unfortunately I didn't hold up to my end of the bargain. That's what happens in the game."
No sour grapes. No excuses. Just an expression of self-regret and disappointment that he had been unable to make better use of the chance that had been presented to him.

Whether Jamie Moyer's extended, successful Major League career has reached its final scene I know not. When he was asked at the news conference Wednesday what his future held he expressed a desire to pitch again of course. The heart that beats inside of his chest would not be a competitor's heart if he did not feel precisely that way. His immediate plan? Go home to California and enjoy being able to attend his son's high school graduation.

Therein lies the joy of the unscripted drama that is life. Even when something does not go according to plan, a happy ending remains attainable. You simply have to be willing to write it. That is something that Jamie Moyer has always seemed prepared to do. Whatever his future holds for him and wherever it shall unfold for him, I am inclined to bet on him continuing to write an ending for himself and for those he loves that includes the words "Happily Ever After".

And somewhere - in a state of suspended animation - Walt Disney smiles....

....well, his head does anyway.


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