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Gettin' Ziggy With It (Season 2, Vol. 1)

Hey, everyone! The 2008 season has arrived (for the players, anyway), and I couldn’t be more excited! It was a very eventful off-season, and I’m excited to be back on-board for another season of journaling for AN…

As most of you know from my post early in the fall, my wife and I celebrated the birth of our first child: Kaylin Brooke. She was born on October 24, and weighed 5 lbs. and 7 oz. She’s been an absolute joy in our lives, and she’s growing SO fast! I feel very blessed to be having such a wonderful experience as a dad.

Also, in mid-January, I suffered a pretty severe injury. I know Blez posted about it, but in case you hadn’t heard, I’ll detail exactly what happened...

I was working a youth camp all day on a Saturday for my college. After the camp was over and all but one of the kids had gone home, I was playing catch with a friend (and fellow Missouri St. alumnus with whom I had worked the clinic) to get my throwing workout in for the day. The kid that remained was standing there talking to me, and as I was reaching to catch a ball, the kid reached in front of me trying to catch the ball, also. The ball deflected off the tip of his glove, hitting me square in the middle of the forehead (I wasn’t wearing a hat at the time). It opened up a sizeable cut on my forehead, and also gave me a skull fracture (my 2nd from a baseball-related injury in a 3½-year span) and severe concussion.

Physically, I didn’t have to alter much (I even completed my next scheduled workout 2 days later). However, I had a little problem with motor skills in the 7-10 days following the accident. I occasionally asked the same question multiple times over the span of a single conversation. Also, I got confused easily and had to slow down the speed of my talking to be sure I would actually say the words that my brain was trying to output (which, my wife would probably tell you was a blessing). :-)

After meeting with a plastic surgeon, we decided it wasn’t necessary to put a titanium plate in my head, and as long as I used some sort of appropriate device as protection for the fractured area, my workouts would continue as normal until the fracture healed.

My recovery has gone extremely well, if I may say so. I don’t feel as if it was a set-back at all, and I feel tremendous so far in the early workouts at spring training. It was such a fluke situation that I haven’t had a bit of apprehension getting back on the mound.

I’m extremely anxious for spring training games to start on Thursday. It appears everyone is healthy and ready to disprove a lot of the “expert’s opinions” about what this team can accomplish. I hope I can contribute to a great season for the A’s this year, but time will tell if I get that shot or not. For now, I’m just trying to focus on every opportunity I get to make a positive impression at my first big league camp.

I hope everyone that makes it down to spring training makes a point to come say “hi” while you’re here…I’m #47 for spring training. Enjoy your week, and we’ll see ya at the ballpark!!