Dispatches from Self-Quarantine

Hello, FI Fam.

I know it’s been a while, and I had a reason. But as the poet Robert Burns once wrote, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley”.

As many of you know, I work two jobs. Both were ridiculous during the Christmas holidays, and I was, frankly, exhausted. I thought that I could take a bit of a break before the season began, and then I could be refreshed and excited and ready to be the cheerful, energetic Prof that you all know and love.

Then I got hit with the whammy of things changing drastically at both jobs, disruptions in my personal life, income insecurity, and now this.

I understand that in the best interest of public safety, the people who make the game actually happen, and their families, we have to postpone the season. I know this. But it was supposed to be five days from now that we’d have baseball back in our lives, and for me, the tether that keeps me sane nine months out of the year. And now it’s gone.

Does it sound ridiculous? Of course it does! This is a game. It’s not life and death, like what almost 800 people in Italy have faced in ONE DAY. It’s not the babies getting this virus in my current state, or the old folks in Washington state who are dying without being able to say goodbye to their loved ones. In the scheme of things, baseball means nothing.

But it’s sometimes all I have. And I know for a lot of you, it’s the best part of our lives in some dark and awful times.

Trying to stay calm when the thing that helps me focus and feel connected to life is ripped away from me has been difficult.

Thursday the 12th I had a job function that required me to go to our branch office in Connecticut. I stopped at many rest stops in New Jersey and Connecticut, taking precautions the entire time, but when I got home, within 24 hours the governors of each state were talking about enormous gains in people testing positive with COVID-19. I had just been to two of the biggest hot spots of the virus on the east coast.

So I’m a little scared these days. I’ve been in self-quarantine since Monday, trying to keep my spirits up. Working at home from job number one since job number two has closed indefinitely. I’ve been sick nearly all winter long, and with the aforementioned exhaustion, plus the chronic headaches that I’ve always had my entire life… well, every day is an adventure in “am I sick or is this just my normal condition”.

We might not have baseball for a while, but the more I think about it, has baseball really gone away? This is a time to rediscover the game. The people who play the game. What it is that makes us love it so much. This is what I have been doing. Getting to know more about the players, their personalities. What makes them tick. Looking at old games with a new appreciation. Opening my mind, and my heart, to really see the beauty of baseball from the inside out.

It’s not much, but it will make the game so much sweeter when we can all rally together again and hear those words that we take for granted far too much:  Play Ball.

19 thoughts on “Dispatches from Self-Quarantine

  1. Prof, it’s just good to have you back and to know you’re OK. We’ve all missed you.

    As far as baseball, YouTube is full of complete recordings of memorable games from nearly every team and era since games started getting taped. I watched El Keed snuff the Indians with 14 strikeouts from a 2013 game yesterday – glorious to watch, heartbreaking to reflect upon, but then that’s how Bart Giamatti put it: It breaks your heart. It is meant to break your heart….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Gator, my friend ❤️ I’ve missed you all, too. I was so looking forward to doing the daily recaps and getting back into our family routine.

      I watched a video of nothing but nasty pitches from Maddux like five times already, and highlights of Game Seven 2016 to make myself happy.

      Also watched some old college basketball games. Funny how you KNOW what’s going to happen and yet you’re still yelling at the TV 😂


        1. I was watching the 1992 Duke/Kentucky basketball game. I think I’ve seen it at least five times in my life (not including live, because I stayed up to watch it) and I still get excited lol


    1. ❤️ thanks Angel. Sometimes I feel like Stitch, from Lilo and Stitch – “this is my family. I found it on my own. It’s little and broken, but still good.”


      1. I haven’t watched any of the Frozens… my intense dislike of “Let It Go” basically caused me to stay away from the entire franchise!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s actually a good story for females. We enjoyed it. 2 is not worth it. “Do you want to build a snowman” makes up for “Let it go.”


  2. Welcome back, Prof!

    Yes, these are strange times and everything seems inside out and backwards, but we’ll get through it, although we may drive each other – and ourselves – stir crazy in the process.

    I have two kids in university that have just had their second semester completely turned around. They went from a nice structured course load… knew when and where their lectures and labs were, when their midterms and exams were… to a week of nothing, including mainly radio silence from profs, and now to a mishmash of live online lectures, recorded lectures, no exams, some exams, maybe exams (no constant standard whatsoever), and all right around the time when they need to be choosing courses for next fall and in the case of my daughter… choosing her major. Needless to say, they are both pretty confused and lost right now.

    Me, I’ve always been a “take it one day at a time” kind of guy… 30 years in the military will teach you how to roll with whatever comes, I guess. Luckily I can work from home, and other than my limited social life, not a lot has changed, but for the kids — and for many people — it has been a huge disruption.

    At least we are healthy, and I’ve been limiting myself to necessary grocery shopping only. And at least we can interact and socialize virtually, which will likely keep a lot of people from going completely nuts.

    And yes, we can re-watch old baseball games to tide ourselves over until the real thing comes back. In fact, I think it’s a good time for a re-watch of Ken Burns’ documentary again… and maybe the 1992 and 1993 World Series. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey all, just wanted to jump in on the convo and say I’m still around. Work has been absolutely insane lately, on top of several other major projects, we had to drop everything to prep for a potential office shutdown and/or work from home situation. Been working overtime nights and weekends to get done, and it looks like we are going to hit our ready state just in time for our state to get shut down. (We may still be deemed essential, so not sure what’s going on there.)

    So I haven’t had much time to post as I’d like, and honestly the season getting delayed kinda helps me out a lot as I don’t have time to do the recaps. But hopefully things will stabilize soon and I’ll be back to posting.

    Also wanted to do a quick big time shout out to RaysFan1. Dude’s been keeping the site alive almost single-handedly and it’s been an absolute pleasure reading all your articles. I’ll give you a more official thank you when I get a moment, but seriously, thanks for all you’ve done.


    1. Great news! Live baseball! The KBO Giants can be seen live tonight on YouTube (9:40 ET). As I’m sure you already know they feature your beloved Dan Straily.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. I came across this essay by Rod Dreher, an anti Trump, principled conservative who has been strongly supportive of strong measures to slow the virus. He points out there is good reason to believe from the available evidence that the spread of the virus is greatly, slowed like most viruses, by the higher heat and humidity of the summer months. He also points out the testing rate in the US is, finally, increasing exponentially.

    Here’s an excerpt

    We’ve been steadily growing our testing ability since the outbreak began. America tested 44,176 people today, and every day sees a big increase. Yesterday, we tested 34,654 and it was 27,372 the day before that. A week ago, it was 4,124.
    But these increases are small compared to what’s in the pipeline. This week we saw FDA approval of new testing systems from Roche and from Abbott labs that run tests ten times faster than current methods. To give you an idea of what this means, Roche brags that their Cobas 8800 machine can process over 3000 tests per day. Until today, Louisiana hadn’t had a total of 3000 people tested. Roche is now making and shipping 400,000 test kits per week in the US, while Abbott is making a million of their test kits each week. Those systems will be coming online this coming week.

    Today, we got even more good news, with Cepheid getting FDA approval for their new test, which will detect the virus in 45 minutes and can be used in over 5000 Cepheid machines already in US hospitals. This will allow hospitals to test all their staff and every incoming patient on a consistent basis, so that we can keep our doctors and nurses safe and our hospitals don’t spread the disease. Those testing kits are getting shipped out this coming week.

    We might be hearing “Play Ball!!!” sooner than we think



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