With Jeremy Bonderman Back, it Feels Like Christmas

Calvin W Boaz@Burrellfan1Correspondent IIJune 8, 2009

NEW YORK - AUGUST 19: Jeremy Bonderman #38 of the Detroit Tigers lines up the pitch against the New York Yankees on August 19, 2007 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

This morning brought back memories of Christmases gone by.  Well, maybe not exactly.

Instead of waking up to find precious gifts wrapped beautifully under a tree, this surprise was found under my car wrapped in a plastic bag.

Actually, it was the morning newspaper.

Sometimes tremendous things are found in boring packages. 

I found the sports section and carefully open it, so as not to rip the contents that were inside. Seconds later, my eyes glanced upon today's pitching matchups. 

I saw the most beautiful image since I watched the pilot episode of Charlie's Angels.  

Jeremy Bonderman is the starting pitcher for the second game of a doubleheader versus the White Sox in Chicago. The news of Bonderman's return is the greatest gift Santa Claus or the paperboy has ever brought me.

Bonderman has not pitched for the Detroit Tigers since June 1 of last year. His 2008 season came to a premature end when he had to have corrective surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, an ailment that restricts blood flow to the shoulder. 

Recently, Jeremy Bonderman has been preparing for tonight's revival of his promising career by throwing for the West Michigan Whitecaps and the Toledo Mud Hens.

In those combined four minor league starts, Bonderman won two games and lost one, while posting an ERA of 3.00. In 27 innings, he struck out 17 batters and only walked six.

Supposedly, the 26-year-old right-hander has lost about five mph off his fastball.  Doctors have said that it might not be until next year Bonderman throws in the mid-90s again. 

The good news is that his slider is as nasty as ever, and he has developed a changeup to compensate for the diminished velocity.

After reading about today's most anticipated event, I started thinking about other Christmas presents Santa has given me in the past.

Obviously, the first one to come to mind was my Jeremy Bonderman replica jersey Santa delivered about three years ago. Fearing that I might hurt my shoulder too, it has not been worn since Bonderman was placed on the disabled list.

I also remember the Lite-Brite I played with when I was 6 years old.  After a little bit of time, I was able to create glowing pictures.

Today, I am looking forward to watching a glowing pitcher.

I hope Bonderman's return does not resemble the Mouse Trap game I had when I was a kid. No matter what I did, I could never get the trap to work right.

There is a chance that Jeremy Bonderman's career will meet the same fate of those old Atari joysticks that I remember so well. 

The joysticks worked great at first, but after constant use, some of the plastic pieces inside would break off.  No matter how careful you would be in gluing the parts back together, the joystick was never quite right ever again.

I'm not going to think about what might go wrong tonight. I'm just going to enjoy the unexpected present I received today.

Merry Christmas, Tiger fans! 


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