One For The Ages
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I didn’t post yesterday because I was taking part in our annual Dbacks/White Sox Charity Golf Outing in Tucson.
If you read my post from Sunday, you’d know that many of our coaches and players joined Dbacks players and staff to play with four others in an outing at The Gallery (site of the Accenture Match Play Tourney) to benefit local charities.
One of the perks we get is that the Sox receive a foursome for the front office types who don’t really qualify as celebrities (i.e. me). So MG, RB, EC and I joined Nick Masset as a fivesome (names withheld to protect the guilty).
The first hole was uneventful (except for two amazing shots I hit into a 30 mph wind on a Par 5 to make par).
Then came the second home, a Par 3, and one of the most spine-chilling golf stories I’ve ever experienced (and it did not involve a rattlesnake or a mountain lion).
After hitting our tee shots (only one of which, not mine, actually hit the green), we headed toward the green. MG and EC were in one cart. I was in the other with RB. EC stepped out and stretched his club into the cactus brush to snag his ball.
As he reached forward, MG warned to watch the cactus, called jumping Cholla because it literally leaps onto you as a heat-seeking missle (or so the Tucson natives tell us Chicagoans). Sure enough, BAM, a grenade-sized piece of the cactus launches into the back of EC’s hand. He yells in pain.
Now, we needed a television camera for the next five minutes as four "dumb" Chicago natives tried to tackle one grapefruit-sized cactus. MG wrapped two towels around EC’s hand, while we tried to use a golf club to peel this thing off him. With his hand down on the cart path, I grabbed the end of the club. With a jump and a shout, the cactus came off … and flew up right into MG’s right eye (this is not a joke).
MG is staggered (these things really hurt). We all are thinking, "Oh, my God, this thing just stuck him in the eye."
We sit MG down in the cart and I begin driving, racing back to the clubhouse (which seems like its suddenly 10 miles away). RB and EC and right behind me. (We left Nick standing on the green wondering what was going on).
I pull up in front of the clubhouse and people are gawking at MG, who has this large cactus hanging out of his right eye, eyebrow, nose and cheek.
"We need a paramedic … Now"
Of course it seems like it takes 15 minutes for help to arrive. MG is unbelievably cool and controlled, despite what must hurt like …
I get on the phone with our team eye doctor and try to explain what is going on and that if we end up at a hospital, we might need his expertise.
I’m thinking worse case (it must be genetic). I see a night at the hospital, intricate eye surgery, possible vision loss. This could be bad.
The EMTs arrive, four of them, in an ambulance and off the Accenture Course.
The first guy walks up and says, "Wow."
(Now, if you are a trained EMT, who I assume has taken courses and seen all kinds of gory tragic incidents involving human beings, I think the LAST thing you should say when you walk up to a conscious victim is, "WOW.")
But anyway …
The four of them are great. They try to determine if it punctured his eyelid (imagine that conversation). Decide it did not. And one of the bravest of the brave takes this cactus by the end, says, "This might hurt at bit" and yanks it out of MG’s eye, leaving quills and bloody marks.
After blinking for a minute, MG seems all right. They check him out, tell him what to look for, I report back to our eye doctor, and what do we do?
Of course, we go out and finish the round of golf.
If that’s not the definition of "Back to the Grind" then I don’t know what is.
MG went on to post three pars after the encounter with the Cholla, but alas, we failed to finish among the tourney’s top teams.
But oh, what a story.
I was told that Livan Hernandez of the Dbacks won the tourney with his team, while our Javier Vazquez finished second with his team.
Mike Gellinger finished first in my book.
Sorry for that pun, but …
Joe Crede was in the house today. Jermaine Dye yesterday. The day itself was pretty typical of Day 3 in camp, boring. PFP (pitcher fielding practice), throwing off the mounds, etc.