<b>Summertime sniffles and baseball</b>

The last few days or so have been rough for me personally. I've come down with a case of the yuck and have been under the weather for the better part of a week or so. I've had to admit to myself that once again my allergies have gotten the best of me, and have had to put myself on injured reserve.

I've dealt with my allergies trying to suffocate me for years, it's nothing new. Neither is the the thought that "it's not a big deal. I'll overcome this in a day or two. I don't need medicine."

Guys, why do we do this to ourselves? I've witnessed this need to out-will illnesses from us, men mostly, as if we believe that if we convince our minds that we're not sick, then whatever is causing said illness will be convinced too and cease to exist. Science doesn't work that way. And yet, here I am going through the same routine again.

I've talked ad nauseam in columns past about my control issues, and that's probably why I hate being sick as much as I do. When you're sick everything is out of your control. And if you ignore it long enough, or pretend it doesn't exist long enough, then you're even further behind the eight-ball and are even less in control. Meaning, this sense of helplessness I dread every time my nose starts to run is ultimately made worse by my own stubbornness.

If I would just admit, "hey I might be getting sick" and up my vitamin-C intake or get more sleep, then maybe the full-blown sickness might not be as rough. But then again, that would first take me admitting that I'm not Superman and that I am getting sick. As I've mentioned, that's just not something that comes easy to most guys.

With everything corona-related happening now, it makes getting sick even worse. I've probably checked my own temperature and Web-MD more in the past week than I have in my entire life. I'm basically a doctor now.

It's one thing to fight back a cough in the middle of Walmart while you're healthy during this time. It's a completely different situation fighting one back while you look like you've been through a heavyweight bout. Either way, nobody wants that kind of attention.

It's not like when we were kids and being sick meant you got a day off of from school, and got to watch the "Price is Right" and "Judge Judy."

Back then, when I would get sick during the summer, I would try to find a baseball game on TV. I would focus on the game as hard as I could before eventually passing out and sleeping off whatever 24-hour bug had taken hold of me that day.

Baseball became my refuge as I recovered from summertime allergies and bad sunburns. You can doze off in the middle of the third inning and wake up two hours later just as the game was getting good. My dad used to do the same with NASCAR races, it's probably genetics.

Of course now, thanks to COVID-19, there is a real concern that baseball might not even happen this year. It seems America's old pastime, baseball, has now engaged in the country's newest pastime, arguing.

And much like our newest pastime, the arguments are led by two groups of people who would rather stand staunch in their belief than to see any resolve. Those of us not involved with either side's camp, just get to stand on the sideline waiting for something constructive to happen, and most of us at least have some variation of the sniffles. They say life imitates art, and now it seems sports are imitating life, nobody gets along.

We've got millionaire athletes arguing with billionaire team owners about a game played in the backyards of Americans everywhere, while those same Americans are forced out of work by no fault of their own. COVID has taken away my ability to clear my throat in the check-out aisle and now it's taking baseball. Growing up sucks.

I know, I know -- nobody likes when you wallow in your own self-pity. This column is meant more as a joke than it is any real critique on Major League Baseball's negotiations with its player base. There is more than I could type going into these talks. You've got a history of animosity between the two sides as old as the sport, player contracts, the lack of a physical audience in the stands, player health concerns when it comes to both illness and injury, travel concerns, stadium employees and their families, and a whole host of other factors keeping baseball from lulling me to sleep each day.

So, if I can admit that I am completely ignorant when it comes to the inner-workings of the MLB's labor dispute, then why in the world can't I just admit when I need to see a doctor?

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