Call it “dangerously delusional,” but I figured if I stopped paying attention to Chase’s problems, they’d go away. It’s the same strategy I’ve applied to my student loans, and it has yet to cause a problem. I also have to move to a new town every two months or so with a suitcase full of fake mustaches.
But it becomes difficult to continue kidding myself when the Phildelphia Inquirer writes things like
“…with exactly two weeks until opening day at Citizens Bank Park, it would take a miracle for Utley to be ready.”
That said, Chase went off to find himself a miracle.Alongside the Phillies head trainer Scott Sheridan, Chase snuck away to what we can only assume is a secret mountain hideaway (Yes, exactly like Ra’s al Ghul’s headquarters in Batman Begins) to utilize everything from drugs made from endangered species of plants to extensive training from martial arts specialists who will die 10 scenes too early.
Chase’s “progress” has been close to nil, as he is till doing everything he can, but is unable to field ground balls, which, as a second baseman, is an unfortunately huge portion of his duties. The Inquirer explained it in not at all out-of-context terms.
“Utley, however, has not been able to run or field without the aid of a lawn chair.”
I remember falling back on the loving support of my family lawn chair as a kid.
“Great throw, kid!” he’d yell from the stands, and I’d point and wave to him from the infield as yet another easy grounder shot through my legs. Even as the rest of my team and coach were groaning and/or hurling their clipboard against the backstop in a fit of rage, that lawn chair always had my back, no matter how many pieces of garbage were thrown at me by furious parents.
“We’ll get ‘um next time,” lawn chair would remind me. “Now let’s fold me up, force me into the trunk of your mom’s station wagon, and convince her to take us for slushies or you’ll scream yourself hoarse every time we stop at a red light.”
Who knows where Chase and Scott are headed. They’ve delayed this (starting to feel more and more inevitable) surgery for so long, there can’t be a sane thing they haven’t tried to mend the curdling of his muscles and the inflaming of his bones. The “mystery specialist” they’re consulting with could very well be the Phanatic wearing a doctor’s get-up, with Chase so delirious from baseball-starvation his mind actually translates the “doctor’s” advice, given via a series of honks and comical thrusts, into something coherent.
Meanwhile, Scott Sheridan stands in the corner, shaking his head and wondering what in the hell is going on.
“Thanks for the advice, Doc,” Chase will say, then wave enthusiastically at a lawn chair only he can see.
“Atta boy, Chase,” lawn chair will respond. “You just keep doing what you’re doing.”