Feb 05

Concussion stories from around Twitter

You’ve heard my concussion story, so I asked for yours.

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Nov 22

Five Foto Friday: Roster moves from the week

Welcome to the 40-man roster, Lane Adams! High fives for you!
Adams with a highly skilled double-five

I hope Christian Colon is at least this smiley upon his addition to the 40-man.
Christian Colon

Former Husker Michael Mariot is also on the Big roster now. Woot for him!
Michael Mariot

Irving Falu was DFA’d and probably isn’t long for this organization. Surely someone will pick him up. It will be weird as heck to not have him around in Omaha but he’s someone who will hopefully get some kind of shot elsewhere. What GMs out there are still suckers for toolsy kinds of guys?
This is THE most serious high five picture ever. All business.

Felipe “Setback” Paulino electing free agency makes sense for him, but it makes me sad. When he was healthy, he was stealthily excellent. Consistent long outings, few walks, no BS. A pitcher like that can go a long way toward helping a teetering young team finish developing into a respectable one. If only he was ever, EVER healthy.
Paulino getting loose

Oct 09

Frontline, and football.

I watched last night’s incredible PBS Frontline documentary, League of Denial, with keen interest. I have, erm, a special interest* in the suffering that can follow a person who’s had too many concussions.

*the short version: I had too many concussions, and spent my early 20s in a daze, with no short-term memory, limited long-term memory, no energy, limited feeling in my hands and feet, and very few reasons to believe life would ever be worth it again. Now, thanks to a particular treatment, I’m better, but for how long? And what happens when I get my next concussion?

The film was a tremendous piece of journalism. The Columbia Journalism Review’s Ryan Chittum made the point that lots of us knew most of the individual pieces of information PBS presented, and had seen some of the footage of players laying down big hits and later struggling to form complete sentences. But last night, all those disparate pieces of information were masterfully combined into one damning timeline.

Someone on Twitter set the over/under at the number of mentions this film gets during NFL broadcasts this weekend at one. I took the under, confidently. How could anyone whose paycheck comes from the NFL (or a broadcasting partnership with them) find a way to bring up the film – in the midst of a game that WILL feature lots of men getting sub-concussive hits and maybe full-blown concussions – without mentioning anything harmful to the league?

The filmmakers spoke with tons of family and friends, telling haunting stories of players who, it turned out, had CTE. Like Mike Webster’s friend Sunny Jani, whom Webster asked to tase him so he could fall asleep – in the seat of his truck, where he lived. He would tell people he “used to be” Mike Webster.

It was 1997 when the NFL conceded that a career in the league had harmed Webster’s brain enough that they needed to pay him disability. 1997! But much later Roger Goodell’s hand-selected doctor Ira Casson curtly denied any link whatsoever between football and cognitive problems. Repeatedly.

Steve Young addressed something that I struggled with when I was sick. He said something about how anyone can see a knee injury, for example, but a concussion is invisible. People can’t – and often don’t seem willing to try to -  empathize. Young described the human brain as “the last frontier.”

Late in the film, someone – I think it was Ann McKee, one of the heroes of CTE/football research – said a sentence I’ve said to dozens of people, mostly teenagers, who have contacted me about how to cope with their own concussion issues: “You only get one brain.” I can’t tell any of these people what to do – it’s ultimately up to them whether to quit their sport – but I can tell them somewhat definitively that it won’t be worth it to keep putting themselves on a field where they’ll endanger their one and only brain.

So how is it that I’m still a football fan?

Since I published my own story this spring, I’ve counseled dozens of post-concussion sufferers. A handful have quit football. More couldn’t continue an e-mail chain so they had a family member help them type their messages for them. All have asked, in some way or another, whether there’s any hope at all for life after concussions.

So how can I keep watching the sport that destroys the brains of so many of its players? Because old habits die hard, and I’m weak-willed. That’s really it. It’s harder to watch, sure, but I still do it. I don’t jump up and celebrate big hits; I get knots in my stomach every time one happens. Little by little, I watch less of it, though. I haven’t watched a single Husker game beginning-to-end yet this year, practically a mortal sin for someone born and raised in Nebraska.

Someday, either because I can’t take it anymore or because the sport dies out completely, I’ll stop. What about you?

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Aug 16

Your first look at John Lamb pitching in AAA

Aug 05

Fun with anagrams and the Royals roster

Brett Hayes in the dugout

Brett Hayes is an anagram for "Hey, Batters!"

Years ago, someone at Royals Review put together a hilarious list* of anagrams of the Royals’ 40-man roster, yielding such classics as “Lo, Danger Ox!” and “Crime Horse.”. (Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer, respectively.) The roster is so different now, so it’s time for some updated anagrams from Wordsmith.org.

*which I can’t seem to find tonight. Help?

Noel Arguelles = Allele Surgeon. He’s really into genetic tinkering.

Bruce Chen = Bee Crunch. I can’t even make a joke. BEE. CRUNCH.

Maikel Cleto = Lace Mole Kit. I saw one of those at Hobby Lobby last week.

Louis Coleman = Email Uncool. Seriously, we only Kik and Snapchat now. Jeez.

Aaron Crow = Racoon War. Sounds scary.

Wade Davis = Awed Divas. Not sure how his wife feels about those.

Chris Dwyer = Screw Dry Hi. Yeah, screw it. Whatever it is.

Jeremy Guthrie = Jeer Hermit Guy. Ha ha, lookit hermit guy up there in his cabin!

Kelvin Herrera = Ankle Her River. That sounds dirty.

Luke Hochevar = Ache Over Hulk. That one song makes us all feel that way.

Greg Holland = All Herd Gong. It was loud and also a homophone.

Donnie Joseph = Joined Hen Ops. It’s a combat video game played in chicken coops. Wanna join too?

Justin Marks = Risks Nut Jams. …by not wearing a cup?

Luis Mendoza = No Mud Lazies

Felipe Paulino = Painful Pee Oil

Ervin Santana = Sent A Nirvana, and on the opposite end of the evilness spectrum, Satan Rave Inn

James Shields = She Slides Jam

Everett Teaford = Feet Rot, Averted. Must have used Tough Actin’ Tinactin.

Brett Hayes = Hey, Batters!

George Kottaras = Reggae Ark Toots

Adam Moore = Mama Rodeo

Salvador Perez = Dare Zaps Lover

Alcides Escobar = Accessible Road

Irving Falu = Rival Fungi. These two mushrooms HATE each other.

Johnny Giavotella = Vaginal Honey Jolt

Eric Hosmer = there’s no way to top Crime Horse. Letting a classic stand here.

Elliot Johnson = Hones Loin Jolt

Mike Moustakas = Oak Ska Tummies

Edinson Rincon = Condor Ninnies

Miguel Tejada = Idea: Metal Jug. It’s gonna make a million dollars!

Lorenzo Cain = Zanier Colon. Someone get this man some Pepto!

Alex Gordon = again, not gonna top the classic “Lo, Danger Ox!” Fans of Settlers of Catan might like “Ex Long Road,” but if you play against me, my road will be longer, because I like to win Longest Road.

David Lough = Valid Dough. What he’s making now that he’s been in the Majors a while.

Justin Maxwell = Nix Jaw Mullets.

Billy Butler = Liberty Bull

 

NO (good) ANAGRAMS FOUND FOR: Danny Duffy, John Lamb, Will Smith, Chris Getz, Jarrod Dyson, Tim Collins

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Jul 27

A couple thousand words on a surprise military homecoming

This is Stephanie.

This is Stephanie. She was playing a regular between-inning promotion...

 

No, just kidding, she was actually being surprised by her husband Brent Dorrough, who has been serving overseas for the past 7 months. Aaaah!

I heard that Stephanie is obsessed with 'surprise homecoming' videos, and would send them to Brent all the time.

Welcome home and thank you for your service, Brent!

All the weepies. What a great moment at Werner Park

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Jul 26

I wish I was just a little bit better at my job…

Telli jumping for a home run ball to try to preserve Omaha's 1-0 lead in the 5th.

 

….because if I had gotten all of Anthony Seratelli in the frame, this would have been a pretty decent picture. Sigh.

 

Jul 24

Your Anthony Seratelli Photo of the Day

If you follow me on Twitter, you might see me tweet a “Seratelli photo of the day” often. The team has been away, so it’s been a while, but today’s was an obvious choice – Seratelli drove in the winning run for Omaha in the 11th inning this afternoon. Here’s Johnny Giavotella greeting him on the field.

(Photography note that will be boring for most of you: The shot was super overexposed because I had my camera set for shooting in the shadows that surround home plate in the early evening. So when I turned out toward first base where these two were, it was like OMG LIGHT IS SO BRIGHT.)

Jul 12

Manny Being…

I can’t explain exactly why, but the idiot-simplicity of this sign made me chuckle.

So, so dumb. But I'm amused.

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Jul 02

Plays at the plate all over the place

Last night I saw something I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen before – three plays at the plate in one inning. Omaha scored on one of the, which is fortunate because it was all they would get for many innings.

Getz getting theatrically tagged out at home. This was the first of THREE plays at the plate in the inning.

PLAY NUMBER ONE: Chris Getz, out, and tagged where a guy shouldn't be tagged.

 

Anthony Seratelli sliding past a tag for what would be the team's only run for a long, long time.

PLAY NUMBER TWO: Anthony Seratelli was safe!

 

Max Ramirez was out in BY FAR the least exciting play at the plate

PLAY NUMBER THREE: Max Ramirez probably should not have been sent here. It was...not close.

BONUS PLAY: Check out this incredible shot that New Orleans broadcaster Tim Grubbs passed along. Photographer ‘Baseball Jan’ caught Gorkys Hernandez beating up on the home plate umpire in a collision at the plate last week in New Orleans. Go visit Jan’s Facebook page and tell her how much you love the shot!

Gorkys Hernandez took out the home plate umpire on this play in New Orleans. PHOTO: Baseball Jan

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