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Diamond Diary by Kevin Cooney

April 24, 2003

A Bad Week Gets Worse...

I know that I have a good life and shouldn't complain much. My neighbor Tom is not doing well, Rusty Brown's uncle lost his fight Easter Sunday, and left behind a loving wife and kids. Our big fan Greg Risko is still battling an infection since the fall. He might need 6-8 weeks in the hospital.

So this past week's adventures in the Cooney family aren't as bad as they seem. But any parent knows that you feel worse when you see your kids hurting at all.

First, we go to the beach Easter Sunday and ignore the sea lice warnings and plunge right into the waves. That night Maggie had a 104 degree temperature as she was covered with a serious outbreak of "sea bather's eruption". The fever is common in children, but the itch is universal as we all discovered. Then Jeff decides to even out the sunburn on his face from the UCF doubleheader. You guessed it...a serious case of sunburn. So bad, that after getting up for school Monday morning, he blacked out in the bathroom and hit his head on the door as he fell. He's okay, but had to spend the day in bed covered in aloe.

Then last night the other shoe drops. Jim calls after pitching the ninth up in Delmarva. He has really struggled the first few weeks and last night continued the pattern. But the pitching coach had worked with him last night prior to the game and they felt good about pinpointing some mechanical things that could help. His inning resulted in two runs scoring, but he felt that he pitched well. There was a dropped popup by the catcher and a bobbled double play ball that would have resulted in a scoreless inning.

An hour later he wakes me with another call...the manager called to tell him the Orioles signed another lefty from some other team (a '98 first rounder for the Giants) and Jim was reassigned back to extended spring training in Sarasota. So one year after being the best reliever in Aberdeen, he's driving south on 95 to an uncertain future. He's got a cooler full of food because he just went food shopping yesterday. At least he had one meal in his new apartment before having to leave.

Everyone who plays wants that shot at pro ball, and for goes real well...for awhile. But then you get a call and you're on the road to wherever.

Like I said, I can't complain. But you still hurt for your kids. KC



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