|That Charlie Horse is a beast to get to.|
In the latest (and as I recall only) episode of Aramis Ramirez‘ True Confessions, the secret of the abominable first half that plagued the Cubs’ 3rd baseman and emasculated the Chicago offense came to light . . . kind of. Aramis Ramirez was hurt, but he’s not going into details.
I’m not going to say specifically what it was, but I wasn’t healthy. . . . Not only the thumb, just injuries in general. I wasn’t healthy, put it that way. It’s tough enough to play when you’re healthy.
I’m not denying Ramirez was hurt, but I’m deeply troubled by his simultaneous transparency and secrecy. If he had never said anything about it, I wouldn’t care, but since Aramis brought it up, I need specifics. And since he’s not going to say what was holding him back, I have no choice but to come up with my own diagnosis. Here are ten possibilities for what may have been holding Aramis back.
10. Ramirez is a nanosophobe, and his fear of dwarves crippled him until Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot were traded. Ramirez’ OPS before the Theriot trade: .700. Since: .830. Actually, that one’s so believable, I’m tempted to just stop right here. But I must press on.
9. He sneezed while stepping out of a hot tub after a long night of browsing the Internet. None of that actually hurt him, but after thinking about how his former teammates had been shelved by such mishaps, his sense of mortality overwhelmed him. Then he got better.
8. Jock itch.
7. He was pregnant. He hid it well as all pregnant men do, and then he delivered during his DL stint in June. After the understandable recovery period, he’s been hitting the snot out of the ball, all for his beautiful baby quadruplets.
6. He really hated how Lost ended. Every time he saw a baseball he thought of that one Samurai-looking Other who didn’t add a single shred of explanation to what was going on in that temple.
5. Enlarged testicle. As much as you may think guys like to brag about that, it’s not a source of pride when one of your grapes swells into a lemon, especially when you black out from pain every time you make lemonade.
4. Headaches. Not Percy Harvin migraines or anything, just like . . . caffeine headaches, you know? He switched to decaf (see #7) and really should have eased into it, because the sudden switch had his temples pounding. Well, not pounding exactly, just sort of a mild but incessant throbbing. It was worse when he stood up, so when he got in the batter’s box, he just wanted to sit down as fast as he could. Three strikes and it was sweet relief with a nice cold towel to the forehead back in the dugout.
3. He traded places with Jodie Foster one Friday after both of them had been complaining to one another about how much easier the other one had it. A magic spell allowed them to switch bodies (and lives). As it turns out, Jodie Foster can’t hit for crap. On the plus side, the level of understanding between Foster and Ramirez was heartwarming and hilarious.
2. He became addicted to prune juice and couldn’t take a full swing without . . . you know. After his two-hit, three-pair-of-pants performance on opening day, he had to choose between the juice and offense. And while he couldn’t hit with any regularity, he . . . well, you know.
1. Complications from the removal of a third nipple. It took months of counseling to convince him that his nubbinectomy didn’t rob him of his hitting mojo. Same thing happened to Koyie Hill. Some guys never recover.