Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Shingles and Slumps: A Baseball Diagnosis

photo from stltoday.com

Tony La Russa just looks like he hurts.  Exhibiting symptoms of shingles, an extremely painful skin rash causing blisters, the right side of La Russa’s face is red, puffy and scabbed, his eye nearly swollen shut.  If he hurts half as bad as he looks, Tony must be intolerably miserable.

Now I’m not a doctor, but I like to play one when I’m bored.  Also, I’m a mom, and we all know that mom’s are better at intuitive diagnostics than medical doctors.  So, here’s what’s up:

Shingles often appears during times of STRESS.  Sometimes with illness, we have to look at the environment. Currently the Cardinals are winning – thanks to a surging offense spurred by Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday.  These two super sluggers were both batting over .400 in early May.  However, what’s missing in this massive batting explosion is an expected solid contribution from sir Albert Pujols who is having the slowest start of his career, batting a currently light .252.

Why is Albert, perhaps the best player in baseball, riding such an uncharacteristically long slump?  This topic has been bludgeoned to death all over the sports blogosphere.  So, I will keep it limited to my Mom Intuitive Diagnostics:  While Pujols is quick to deny it, that mega-contract he won’t talk about is bound to be keeping him up at night.  He may not be worrying about the hundreds of millions of dollars or how he will spend it, but I expect he IS pondering the uncertainties right now.  His career and his family’s future are both very much contingent on this ever-present, yet taboo topic.

In my expert mom opinion, that-of-which-we-do-not-speak is causing some STRESS for both Pujols and La Russa.

Patients: TLR and Pujols

Symptoms: Miserable face/eye rash and uncharacteristic poor batting average

Diagnosis:  STRESS.

Cure: Sign a contract.

<Confidential> There is another, more sinister explanation.  Unconfirmed sources have reported that a voodoo curse was flung on the Cardinals when they decided to trade away shortstop Brendan Ryan, ultimately sacrificing top tier defense for more pop in an infield bat.  We may be witnessing the manifestations of an obscure baseball hex known as Shingles, Singles and Errors.  Obviously, this hex would explain Tony La Russa’s face AND the performance of Ryan Theriot. We will keep you informed if more evidence surfaces.

Tonight the Cardinals begin a 3-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers.  Here’s hoping the aromatherapy, bubble bath and soothing Nature Sounds CD’s we shipped express-delivery to the clubhouse today help ease the STRESS.

(pssssstttttt…. Get a contract signed!)

Oh, and if it is that Shingles, Singles and Errors hex instead?

Well…. let’s just hope our unconfirmed sources are wrong.  ;)

2 responses to “Shingles and Slumps: A Baseball Diagnosis

  1. Dathan May 6, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    ::Cross exam::

    Where were you, Erika, the night of December 12, 2010, when the alleged “curse” is said to have been conjured up? Have you a single credible alibi?

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