Thursday, July 1, 2010

Henning + Zumaya 4-Ever!

Joel Zumaya has had some really bad luck the past couple years. We’re definitely going to miss him the rest of the season and I sincerely wish him well in his recovery. But Lynn Henning may not make it through all of this. I think the man is having a nervous breakdown.

What hurt as much as learning about -- and seeing replays of -- Joel Zumaya's elbow fracture Monday night was the sheer calamity an injury brings to his life.

Sigh. Joel Zumaya is going to go home. He is going to be attended to by doctors and not have to worry about how he’s going to pay for it. In a few months, he’s going to start rehab on the arm. Then, he’ll attempt to come back next year. He will continue to be paid $915,000 this year to do nothing. I know lots of people in worse situations.

Lynn, you write for a newspaper in Detroit, Michigan. Don’t you dare write some sappy, pandering b.s. article about how sad you are that Joel Zumaya is going to get paid to not do his job when many of your readers are unemployed and in serious debt. I’m pretty sure yours are going to be the only tears that are shed.

This is a different man, folks. Endearingly different.

Yeah, I hear the third or fourth time you end up out for the year with an arm injury, suddenly you have a halo appear over your head and Nickelback songs start making sense to you.

Most fans perceive him to be a wild, reckless guy with not much discipline and fast-lane tendencies that probably contribute to his long, frightful history of season-wrecking breakdowns.

Can’t imagine why.

There's an ounce of reality there.

A 40 ounce. Harf.

He's not staid. He is not reserved. He has as much energy as any guy in baseball, and that energy can be channeled in lots of ways.

Mostly into hookers and blow, I assume. Well, and Guitar Hero.

But know this about Zumaya:

I love him. He completes me. He makes me, Lynn Henning, want to be a better man. (sniffle)

No player in the Tigers clubhouse cares more about his craft.

You hear that, Justin Verlander, you overpaid goofball? Why can’t you care about your craft as much as Zoom does? Jerk!

You hear that, Carlos Guillen? You know how you’ve changed postions four times and came back from several injuries just to help the team win? You’re Zoom’s bitch in the caring department!

And YOU, Magglio Ordonez! When your wife was sick and you still were in the U.S. playing baseball? Try walking a mile in Joel's shoes.


Nobody on the roster is more devoted to the game or to his team.

So devoted that the past four seasons have seen him pitch in 28, 21, 29, and 31 games. If only we could get him devoted to preparing for the game.

Nobody beats him at being a husband and a father.

You got those tattoos for nothing, Brandon! Sucker.

And nobody -- nobody -- is a better brother.

Hear that, Ashlee? Don Kelly isn’t the great brother you think he is. He’s no Glass Joel.

Seriously, though…f-ck you, Lynn. It sucks that Zoom’s hurt again. But this article is embarrassing.

It's difficult to believe any person in baseball has so committed himself to helping his family escape tough times and nail down financial security that, in such heartbreaking fashion, eluded the Zumayas for too many years.

Difficult to believe? For the love of Cobb, are you serious, man? EVERY young player helps his family as soon as they get paid! Get Mama a house. Get Daddy out of debt so he can retire. Get brother Ray-Ray that expensive hooker he always wanted…the one without the peg leg and the V.D.

And the only story more familiar in sports than that is the one of the guy that can’t stay healthy and his career fizzles away. Joel Zumaya is not a unique snowflake.

But he has made around $3 million in salary alone in his brief career. And that doesn’t include endorsements, personal appearances, or any investments he may have made. Plus, he’s going to be back and paid well again next year. Yes this injury sucks, but put the f-cking violin away.

Those tears flowing as he was carried from the field Monday?

Rick Knapp when he realized what he had left in the bullpen?

Pain explained most of it.

Never eat Chipotle before a game.

The enormous responsibility he feels toward his family was one more emotion -- and reality that came crashing down on him in the split second it took to deliver a pitch and fracture his elbow.

Joel Zumaya is not a racehorse! They aren’t going to shoot him, Lynn. HE’S GOING TO KEEP GETTING PAID! Unlike me or millions of others out there if we were unable to do our jobs anymore. (Shoulda listened to that Aflac duck.)

This is all separate from his indispensable role in the Tigers bullpen.

Joel works the grill when they get together for burger Wednesdays.

Along with Jose Valverde, he is the most important relief pitcher on the Tigers staff.

No. Jose Valverde is the three most important parts of the Tiger bullpen. Number one, how awesome he is. Number two, his leadership. Number three, his dancing. Number four, however, I will put Joel as a setup man…even though Ryan Perry did it most of the season before getting hurt. I didn’t see you trying to get Perry elected Pope when he got an owie.

And now he is gone. For this year, at least.

You watched Titanic today, didn’t you, Lynn? You’re way too emotional to be writing right now.

People who say Zumaya is simply destined to be injured and re-injured have history on their side. They know, also, that his almost alien power at throwing a baseball places spectacular stress on his body.

Everyone knows that aliens make the best pitchers. Cy Young? He was from Mars. Nolan Ryan? Jupiter. Roger Clemens? Well, he was just a prick from Texas. But Bob Gibson, little known fact, he was from one of Neptune’s moons.

But I wouldn't rule him out, and not only because the doctors -- and we should remember they're the experts here -- say he should recover.

Oh. The doctors say he’ll be fine. Then what the hell are you doing writing this like it’s Ernie Harwell’s obituary, then?

Zumaya's will is beyond measure.

Lynn tried measuring with his patented will-ometer. He couldn’t get an accurate reading. That’s how amazingly abundant Joel’s will is.

He remains, personally speaking, one of the most fascinating, most authentic, men and pitchers one could experience in a lifetime of following this game.

I’ll never let go, Jack…I mean Joel. I’ll never let go.

Yes, the Mark Fidrych comparisons have long been made, and with plenty of parallels.

Joel, do NOT go working under any motor vehicles, okay?

But the nature of Zumaya's injuries, while ominous, are vastly different from the ruined arm Fidrych had to confront 30 years ago.

They at least offer hope Zumaya can make it back. And for no other reason than the sheer goodness that drives this man, anyone who cares about people -- let alone a super-talented baseball player -- should root for his recovery.


Does Lynn Henning have a bit of a schoolgirl crush on Mr. Zumaya? This article would have broken my heart…if I had one.

Get well soon, Zoom. We’ll all miss you.

But not like Lynn Henning will, that’s for sure. Yikes.


Rob said...

I feel like I should take a shower now

Dan said...

Wow thats scarry, hennings a tool to begin with but dang. I've had man crushes before but I think Lynn might actually be a stalker.

CJ said...

Ha! Thank you. That article was completely embarrassing. I'd like to think Zumaya secretly thinks so as well. It's the first thing I can think of that could go up against EPSN announcers talking about Derek Jeter.

Kate said...

Maybe your hope for Stephen Drew will come true....

Joel Zumaya said...

That's embarrassing.

Joel Zumaya said...

That's embarrassing.