Figuring Out My Life

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Figuring Out My Life
I got home after Saturday's game a little upset. I'd just blown my first save of the season (but gotten my first win - only 12 to 300! - wait, I'm not supposed to be excited about personal goals. Never mind.) and Vanessa was home waiting for me. I grumbled a little to her about something trivial and she told me off. I won't reprint her words here because they're private (actually, I forgot most everything she said, but the "privacy" thing makes us sound private). The gist of it all was this: Jimmy (that's me) is going to not be playing baseball for the rest of his life. The assumption is that Jimmy (me again) will one day retire and have to fill up the days of his life with...something.

Vanessa: You better find out what that is.
Me: We can go on a second honeymoon.
Vanessa: If living with you during retirement is like this, you can go on a second honeymoon with your second wife.

Well, no husband wants to hear that, especially from his first wife. So I said something dumb back to get the last word in ("Maybe I will," I believe was the phrase.). She said something back, not so dumb, and got the last word in anyway (truly forgot what that was due to my not getting the last word and not fulfilling my momentary goal).

I moped around the house for a while, doing a lot of nothing. I do that when I get home after afternoon games. My nights can be filled with the following:

1. Moping around and being bored
2. Watching cartoons
3. Bothering Vanessa or my kids with queries like, "What are you doing?" and "Want any help?" To which I receive the response, "You should get a hobby."

I thought this blog was my hobby, but it only takes 35-45 minutes a day. If I subtract 45 minutes from 24 hours, there's still at of time left in the day to do stuff. My problem is I have no "stuff" to do. And that upsets my lovely wife, making her threaten me with a divorce to be named later.

Then it hit me: Ask somebody what to do! It's thrilling to come up with an idea on your own. But who to ask? I had a shrink - team supplied - who's not talking to me. I have a wife, but she's not the one who'll give me answers I need since she's biased against me. My kids' guidance counselor at school? Good idea, but she's a lady and would probably not be very impressed with the balding that's beginning on my scalp.

Then it hit me: Ask former ballplayers! They're retired! They must have all the time in the world to talk to me about what they're doing with the rest of their lives since they're currently living in the "rest of their lives" time period.

Thus, I reached out to Mike Marshall first, former Cy Young Award winner (1974) while with Los Angeles. He holds all sorts of records for relief pitchers, like most pitching appearances in a season (106) and most relief innings (208).

But there's more.

He's Dr. Mike Marshall to you and me. I saw him on HBO Real Sports a couple of weeks ago with Bryant Gumble, talking about his efforts to eliminate injuries to pitchers. Coming off a 2007 season in which I threw two pitches before getting injured and missing the rest of the year, I suddenly wished Vanessa had yelled at me in 2006.

I'm no doctor. Far from it. (Vanessa won't even call me Dr. Love when I ask during those "private" times.) Maybe Dr. Marshall could help me. Maybe he could give me some advice. It was worth reaching out to him.

I went to his website,, and sent him an email. He responded and agreed to speak to me. So we did. And I recorded it. Unwilling to turn this into some Linda Tripp/Monica Lewinsky thing, I told the good doctor I was recording our conversation. He said fine, as long as I posted it on my blog. I said fine, as long as - Well, I had no counter to his proposal, so I'm posting our conversation here.

The Dr. Mike Marshall Interview

Give a good hard listen. You finally get to hear my voice after my not talking to the media for so long. And, in the background, you'll hear some interesting music.

More important, you'll hear what Dr. Marshall has to say about pitching and baseball. His website has loads of free information young kids may find interesting. Maybe old kids will find it interesting too. You can even send him emails on your own with questions. There's a free book, some video, all sorts of neat stuff. You'll love it. And you'll love him (but not in "that" way).

As for me, I'm going to start doing more of these legal recordings. I've called more people and am going to speak with other former big leaguers, like Tommy John (nice, since I had his surgery last year), Richie Hebner, Rick Minor, Dave Baldwin and more. I'm even going to speak with a sports psychology consultant to see if I can get my head on straight.

Thus, I will no longer just be an incredible pitcher who fans adore, I will become a man who my wife adores and who my two adolescent kiddies tolerate. It's gonna be great!

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