Thursday, March 26, 2020
Trey Mancini, 2018 Topps Opening Day #18
It took several things to bring me back to this blog after an unscheduled hiatus of nearly two years: a new scanner, the prospect of a spring without baseball, and of course, being confined in my own home for two weeks and counting.
Let me back up a bit. I'm perfectly healthy, as are my wife and son. Maryland has been doing its part to flatten the curve of COVID-19, and Janet and I are both fortunate enough to have jobs that can accommodate for full telework in the case of a friendly neighborhood pandemic.
Like most of you, I'm trying to come to grips with a really anxious, frightening, unprecedented situation. Our daily lives as we know them have been upended. We don't know when we will be able to hug our friends, visit our parents and siblings, feel the simple sense of community that comes from a meal at a restaurant or a night at the theatre...or the ballpark.
So as we're all looking for an outlet for our worries and frustrations, it only makes sense that I've found mine in a familiar yet long overlooked place. At its best, this blog serves as a place for me to share anecdotes and memories of my loved ones, to live out the highs and lows of my decades-long fandom, and to get really wonky about my hobby. Whether you've somehow found me for the first time today, or you've been reading since the beginning (back when Dave Trembley was still the manager and the Adam Jones trade was still a month away), you've allowed me into your life in a small way. We may not have games to watch today, or tomorrow; there's not even a guarantee that there will be an MLB season at all 2020. But in this space, we can still celebrate baseball.
It's no accident that I've chosen Trey Mancini as the first featured card on this blog since things went pear-shaped for the O's back in 2018. The Orioles have of course fully committed to a prolonged rebuilding plan, and the slugging outfielder/first baseman from Florida has been one of the rare bright lights for the team in recent times. But coming off a strong 2019 season (.291/.364/.535, 35 HR, 97 RBI), Trey appeared in only five Grapefruit League games this year before undergoing surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his colon. That's a scary thing for anyone to deal with, particularly a 28-year-old athlete at the top of his profession. There's still not a lot of news about diagnosis or long-term prognosis, so as with most things in our current climate, we wait and worry and hope and offer support.