SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Curb Your Enthusiasm

At least that's what Jake Peavy should have done after the Padres clinched their division. Read this and see what I mean.

Proving perhaps that he's a long-lost Gramatica brother (was it Bill or Martin who blew out a knew while celebrating a kick years ago), Peavy broke one rib and possibly two when he was whooping it up with his Padres teammates after this historical event.

It's not that the Padres have much of a shot against the Cardinals anyway. But to have had a shot, they needed their ace to pitch well yesterday. He did anything but, thanks to his physical problem. And it goes to show you that no matter how much training, stretching and training room time professional athletes get, there's always a few of them who can come up with the highly improbable injury.

I'm sure there's a list of them somewhere, such as cutting oneself while opening up a package, putting one's finger behind the bagel that's being cut with a Henckel's knife, falling out of bed onto the floor and onto a water glass left at bedside, breaking one's hand on the headlight of one's 1950 Ford, but this one is high up on the list.

It wasn't as though the Padres won 114 games in the regular season. It wasn't as though someone had pitched a perfect game, a no-hitter or hit in 36 straight games. It wasn't as though someone hit a dramatic walk-off home run to clinch the ALDS, ALCS or World Series. It was about a .500 team winning a division that no one seemed capable of (or deserving of) winning.

A friend of mine frequently says that you have to be careful about taking victory laps in anything you do, because there's always someone to hit you from the blindside as your turning the corner down the home stretch to make the experience painful in the end. My wife and I joke to each other when we're talking about an accomplishment that we shouldn't separate our shoulders patting ourselves on the back. In the Padres case, one should be careful not to fracture ribs while jumping up and down in childlike glee.

Especially when there are more games to play.

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