From: Tom on 23 Aug 2007 19:04
On Aug 23, 5:51 pm, Lance Freezeland
> On Thu, 23 Aug 2007 21:53:57 -0000, Tom <drso...(a)aol.com> gave us:
> >On Aug 23, 12:49 am, Jeanne Douglas <hlwd...(a)NOSPAMpacbell.net> wrote:
> >> <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/16/AR200708
> >> 1601687.html>
> >The link's not working for me, Jeanne. Is this the Charles Krauthamer
> >(sp?) column from Sunday?
> In case others have trouble, here it is:
> Return of the Natural
> By Charles Krauthammer
> Friday, August 17, 2007; Page A23
> In the fable, the farm boy phenom makes his way to the big city to
> amaze the world with his arm. At a stop at a fair on the train ride to
> Chicago, he strikes out the Babe Ruth of his time on three blazing
> pitches. Enter the Dark Lady. Before he can reach the stadium for his
> tryout, she shoots him and leaves him for dead.
> It is 16 years later and Roy Hobbs returns, but now as a hitter and
> outfielder. (He can never pitch again because of the wound.) He leads
> his team to improbable glory, ending the tale with a titanic home run
> that, in the now-iconic movie image, explodes the stadium lights in a
> dazzling cascade of white.
> In real life, the kid doesn't look like Robert Redford, but he throws
> like Roy Hobbs: unhittable, unstoppable. In his rookie year,
> appropriately the millennial year 2000, he throws it by everyone. He
> pitches the St. Louis Cardinals to a division title, playing so well
> that his manager anoints him starter for the opening game of the
> playoffs, a position of honor and -- for 21-year-old Rick Ankiel --
> fatal exposure.
> His collapse is epic. He can't find the plate. In the third inning he
> walks four batters and throws five wild pitches (something not seen
> since 1890) before Manager Tony La Russa mercifully takes him out of
> the game.
> The kid is never the same. He never recovers his control. Five
> miserable years in the minors trying to come back. Injuries.
> Operations. In 2005, he gives up pitching forever.
> Then, last week, on Aug. 9, he is called up from Triple-A. Same team.
> Same manager. Rick Ankiel is introduced to a roaring Busch Stadium
> crowd as the Cardinals' starting right fielder.
> In the seventh inning, with two outs, he hits a three-run home run to
> seal the game for the Cardinals. Two days later, he hits two home runs
> and makes one of the great catches of the year -- over the shoulder,
> back to the plate, full speed.
> But the play is more than spectacular. It is poignant. It was an
> amateur's catch. Ankiel ran a slightly incorrect route to the ball. A
> veteran outfielder would have seen the ball tailing to the right. But
> pitchers aren't trained to track down screaming line drives over their
> heads. Ankiel was running away from home plate but slightly to his
> left. Realizing at the last second that he had run up the wrong prong
> of a Y, he veered sharply to the right, falling and sliding into the
> wall as he reached for the ball over the wrong shoulder.
> He made the catch. The crowd, already delirious over the two home
> runs, came to its feet. If this had been a fable, Ankiel would have
> picked himself up and walked out of the stadium into the waiting arms
> of the lady in white -- Glenn Close in a halo of light -- never to
> But this is real life. Ankiel is only 28 and will continue to play.
> The magic cannot continue. If he is lucky, he'll have the career of an
> average right fielder. But it doesn't matter. His return after seven
> years -- if only three days long -- is the stuff of legend. Made even
> more perfect by the timing: Just two days after Barry Bonds sets a
> synthetic home run record in San Francisco, the Natural returns to St.
> Right after that first game, La Russa called Ankiel's return the
> Cardinals' greatest joy in baseball "short of winning the World
> Series." This, from a manager (as chronicled in George F. Will's
> classic "Men at Work") not given to happy talk. La Russa is the
> ultimate baseball logician, driven by numbers and stats. He may be
> more machine than man, but he confessed at the postgame news
> conference: "I'm fighting my butt off to keep it together."
> Translation: I'm trying like hell to keep from bursting into tears at
> the resurrection of a young man who seven years ago dissolved in front
> of my eyes. La Russa was required to "keep it together" because, as
> codified most succinctly by Tom Hanks (in " A League of Their Own"),
> "There's no crying in baseball."
> But there can be redemption. And a touch of glory.
> Ronald Reagan, I was once told, said he liked "The Natural" except
> that he didn't understand why the Dark Lady shoots Roy Hobbs. Reagan,
> the preternatural optimist, may have had difficulty fathoming tragedy,
> but no one knows why Hobbs is shot. It is fate, destiny, nemesis.
> Perhaps the dawning of knowledge, the coming of sin. Or more
> prosaically, the catastrophe that awaits everyone from a single false
> move, wrong turn, fatal encounter. Every life has such a moment. What
> distinguishes us is whether -- and how -- we ever come back.
> And on this last point, Krauthammer certainly speaks from experience.
Thanks Lance. Not that it's any of my business, but I've wondered
about Mr. Krauthammer's disability. I infer from your closing comment
that it is from an injury, not genetic or a birth defect.
From: Greg Barnes on 23 Aug 2007 19:11
In article <1187910278.567618.148420(a)i13g2000prf.googlegroups.com>,
Tom <drsoong(a)aol.com> wrote:
>Thanks Lance. Not that it's any of my business, but I've wondered
>about Mr. Krauthammer's disability. I infer from your closing comment
>that it is from an injury, not genetic or a birth defect.
From his Wikipedia entry:
}In his freshman year at Harvard Medical School in 1972, Krauthammer was
}paralyzed in a serious diving accident.
Don't count on it, monster man!
From: Lance Freezeland on 23 Aug 2007 19:32
On Thu, 23 Aug 2007 23:11:06 +0000 (UTC), gsbarnes(a)drizzle.com (Greg
Barnes) gave us:
>In article <1187910278.567618.148420(a)i13g2000prf.googlegroups.com>,
>Tom <drsoong(a)aol.com> wrote:
>>Thanks Lance. Not that it's any of my business, but I've wondered
>>about Mr. Krauthammer's disability. I infer from your closing comment
>>that it is from an injury, not genetic or a birth defect.
>From his Wikipedia entry:
>}In his freshman year at Harvard Medical School in 1972, Krauthammer was
>}paralyzed in a serious diving accident.
And finished med school nonetheless, earning his MD from Harvard in
"I believe in the Church of Baseball" Annie Savoy
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From: Jeanne Douglas on 23 Aug 2007 22:20
In article <1187906037.832102.3880(a)z24g2000prh.googlegroups.com>,
Tom <drsoong(a)aol.com> wrote:
> On Aug 23, 12:49 am, Jeanne Douglas <hlwd...(a)NOSPAMpacbell.net> wrote:
> > <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/16/AR200708
> > 1601687.html>
> > --
> > JD
> > "...if you think the 'Star Wars' prequels are a disease, then
> > 'Serenity' is the cure."
> The link's not working for me, Jeanne. Is this the Charles Krauthamer
> (sp?) column from Sunday?
"...if you think the 'Star Wars' prequels are a disease, then
'Serenity' is the cure."