Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Wheels On The Bus Go 'Round and 'Round...

"Now is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again" - Greg LeMond, USA Tour de France multiple time winner.
 Bear with me for a little bit. As you know, I am a big baseball fan. Not fanatical...I just enjoy it. If the Red Sox lose, I grumble. If they lose to the Yankees, I'll swear grumble a little louder and "we" (as in "we beat them") becomes "they" (as in "they stink"). And if they blow a 9-0 lead to the Yankees and lose (as they did last Saturday), then "they..." becomes "that" (as in "My God, that team is pathetic!"). But, I never get to the I'm-going-to-jump-off-the-roof depressed - I just enjoy the game. Yes, it does help that Sox seem to be righting the ship. Anyway, there is a pitcher on the Colorado Rockies, Jamie Moyer, who showed up in spring training this year and battled his way to make the team, and got a starting role in the rotation. Walk-ons are always a good story, but Jamie Moyer is 49 years old! I mean he's only 3 years younger than the states of Alaska and Hawaii!

When Jamie Moyer started pitching in the big leagues, 263 current ballplayers hadn't even been born yet. That's BORN...not playing ball.

The Colorado Rockies, Moyer's current team, didn't even exist when he broke into the majors.

Jamie Moyer has thrown a shutout in FOUR different decades. I've run marathons in FIVE different decades and when I admit that, I sound ancient, even to myself. In order to throw a shutout, you have to pitch a full 9 innings and in this mamby-pamby age, pitchers are praised if they regularly go 6 innings. They've evolved into position of wussie-arms!

Jamie Moyer has been the oldest player on an opening day MLB roster 6 different times.

Jamie Moyer has pitched to 8.9 percent of all players to ever make a MLB plate appearance since the early 1900's. (Roughly 1,400 of 16,000). If you're interested in that "Six Degrees of Separation" stuff, it takes just 6 players to go from Jamie Moyer in 2012 to Harry Wright, who played for the Boston Red Stockings in 1871!!

In his debut, Jamie Moyer's opposing pitcher was Steve Carlton. Carlton is now 67 years old and was elected to the Hall of Fame EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO!

Moyer got his 268th victory last week despite never cracking 79 miles per hour on any pitch the entire game. Now, even I pitched to one of these radar guns once at Turner Field and I hit 72 MPH. Nearly dislocated my shoulder in the process, but the point is he's throwing creampuffs up there! Smartly directed creampuffs, but creampuffs none-the-less.

So, this blog is RUNNING WITH AL, not baseball musings with Al, so how do I connect this to running? Well, although Moyer is 16 years YOUNGER than me (that's not comforting), I find a connection as I continue to run despite mechanical breakdowns that prevent me from floating down the trails or roads. My "races" can be timed with a sundial! Ice has become my drug of choice. But, you can either cry in your beer or you try to adapt to what you have. I think of where I was 5, 10, 20 years ago and wish the me then was the me now, but that's stupid if you dwell on that. Water goes under the bridge and that's that. So, I go on.

This week, I sent in my entry for the Run For Kids 50k to be run next Saturday. Used to send in my entries 6 months before a race, but it seems harder to jump on the "I'm going to run this race" ship. I haven't done an ultra in 5 years, but in my mind, I'm still an ultrarunner. I've been training on the trail and sometimes I feel pretty doggone good (relatively speaking) and sometimes (like today), let's just say it wasn't a giant confidence builder. The course is easy, the race is local, and I feel confident I can get around the course before the sun goes down - my actual goal is to try to finish before my watch battery goes out (a different type of virtual race partner). As my grandson says...the wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round. All I hope for is my wheels go 'round and 'round till someone says STOP!

Me and Jamie will keep going because today is the youngest we'll ever be again. I'll see you on the roads for a long, long time I hope - AL

"One child lost is too child saved can change the world"

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