It’s been over four days since Juan Nicasio was struck with a liner while on the mound at Coors Field. Since Nicasio’s horrific injury, there have been a wide range of emotions, including: shock, fear, sadness, relief, hope, excitement, but, most of all, worry. At first we worried about Juan’s well being. Now that he is progressing on daily basis, the concern has turned more towards Juan’s future as a professional baseball player. With a plate permanently attached to his C-1 vertebrae, one has to wonder if his ability to pitch will suffer. Not to mention, the mental recovery from an incident like this will be a substantial obstacle. However, at this point, we should still just be thankful that Juan is alive. Last Friday night, something unspeakable nearly happened, and, just to be honest, I’m still having a tough time with it.
For the better part of the last few months, I’ve mostly been griping about the Rockies. It’s obviously been an extremely frustrating season. This current Rockies team has been nominated as the most disappointing team in the history of Denver sports. Right now, the fans’ disgust with the franchise is palpable, and rightfully so. Jim Tracy’s nightly lineup tinkering is as maddening as it is illogical. The message sent by the Ubaldo trade is a bad one. And, let’s not forget the players. After all, they are the ones that have to get it done on the field. However, the events of last Friday night should provide us with a little perspective.
For so many of us, the game of baseball is interwoven into the fabric of our lives, but we get a little carried away when it comes to the performance of our favorite team. We often put too much into winning and losing. Sometimes, we have to take a step back and just be thankful that we have the opportunity to hit up a Sunday afternoon game at Coors Field, where we can soak in rays, suds, and a game played so well it crosses over into art. Like everything else we enjoy about life, the game should be cherished because it can all be taken away in a blink of an eye.
In a way, Nicasio’s injury has helped me get over the Rockies’ miserable play this year. All I really care about right now is that Juan is alive and well. Reading about the young pitcher finally walking again on Monday made Ty Wigginton’s outfield defense seem pretty insignificant. And, I’m willing to bet that Nicasio’s mother could care less if her son ever takes the mound again. Tulo said that this was the worst thing he’s ever seen on a baseball field. I think that’s probably true for most of us. However, it actually could’ve been much, much worse. So let’s not go painting this unfortunate incident as a metaphor for the Rockies’ season. In the end, losing is just the result of a game. What happened to Juan was far too real.