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Hold That Thought, Rod

June 2nd, 2017 · No Comments · Angels, Baseball

I saw the headline: Twins Turn Triple Play … and, sure, I went to the video. The Twins were playing in Anaheim Stadium and I wondered which of the Angels’ slugs had managed to hit into a 5-4-3 (round the horn) TP.

But what really struck me, as the video began?

Well, have a look/listen, see what you think.

Yes, you can hear someone say, after a short pause, “now I have his heart”, even as Jefry Marte of the Angels bounces a ball right at the third-base bag.

And then the announcer breaks in, excitement in his voice: “Sano, on third. To second. And the triple play!”

Followed by three different men saying, “How about that!” The color man, the play-by-play guy and then the third, who had been speaking when this all began:

Rod Carew.

It seemed awkward from the first time I played it.

Somehow, I knew immediately it was Rod Carew speaking. Actually, I think I recognized his voice, from being exposed to it when Carew played for the Angels, a generation ago, and then verified a split-second later by the memory of reading about his heart transplant.

And the triple play — “The Twins get three outs from one pitch!” — seemed inconsequential.

One of the great hitters of the 1965-85 era, who nearly died from heart failure two or three times, six months ago received the heart of Konrad Reuland, an NFL tight end who died at age 29 from a brain aneurysm.

Carew, 71, was in the broadcast booth, talking about those recent events, including the new heart (and kidney) that saved his life, donated by a man who had gone to school in Orange County with Carew’s daughters, and he is just about to say something perhaps profound … “now I have his heart …” when a triple play (!) interrupts.

And it just feels strange. What is a bigger deal? A Hall of Famer with another man’s heart (and kidney) or a Minnesota Twins triple play?

I believe the transplants trump the triple play.

Sports have their place in our world, bigger in some than others, but it is pretty inconsequential, at the end of the day, when compared to the man who donated the organs and the man who received them.

What should have happened?

Let Carew finish a sentence, because he is watching the game, too, and he will go quiet — and then pick up on the triple play. It will still be interesting five seconds from now.

I imagine Carew carried on with the story in the next inning.

Perhaps the broadcasters did a better job of setting him up, letting Carew speak in that gap between pitches that Vin Scully’s anecdotes so perfectly inhabited.

I like a triple play as well as the next guy, but it can wait a bit while the man living a miracle finishes a sentence.



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