Earlier this week, I was hustling to make dinner so that I could get going on this week’s Metro column. Yanking my bowl of soup out of the microwave, I suffered a freak Joel Zumaya-esque accident as the steaming liquid spilled all over my right forearm. I was wearing a wool sweater, which soaked up the scalding soup like a sponge and kept it simmering against my tender forearm flesh for second after agonizing second. I of course did the only rational thing: I flung down the bowl, screamed like a banshee, and stripped off half my clothes.Now, writing seems like a placid, harmless pastime, where one is exposed only to a slight risk of carpal tunnel syndrome or, if one is old-school, a paper cut or two. So what could ever stop one from writing?! No physical limitation could do it—when Milton went blind, he just composed Paradise Lost in his head. No time-management problem is a sufficient excuse—after all, Jane Austen managed to knock out six novels while shoving her drafts in a drawer every time someone walked into the room. And the truly dedicated cannot be deterred even by a growing sense that maybe it’s time to get a real job—Virgil spent 10 years writing the Aeneid (working at a painstaking rate of three lines per day) and still hadn’t finished it when he died (quitter!).
But I defy anyone to write a sports column while their right arm is covered in blisters and submerged in a bucket of ice water. (Unless, of course, you’re left-handed.) Oh, I ultimately got the column done. But it wasn’t pretty. And I had to scale back my blogging, leaving Team UmpBump in the lurch. (Unfortunately, there’s no Jed Lowrie in the UmpBump farm system, largely because we don’t have a farm system.)
So to the 120 baseball players on the disabled list and the dozens of others who are day-to-day and playing through their bumps and bruises, I salute you. In a new and quite literal way, I feel your pain. And tonight, I’m popping some Advil and coming off the DL. I’m liveblogging the Red Sox-Yankees game, busted arm or no. We can call it, “The Bloody Sleeve.”