(If you watched yesterday’s game, Buck already told this story, but… I’mma tell it anyways)
That guy in the middle? That’s Robinzon Diaz. In April 2008, he made his major-league debut with the Blue Jays. Four months later, the promising catching prospect was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates DFAd him at the end of 2009, and he bounced around the farm systems of five different teams over the next 7 years - even coming back to Toronto on a minor-league contract in 2016.
In his career, he played in 41 MLB games and hit exactly one home run. He’s now the Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen catcher.
The guy he was traded for? Some utility infielder who’d already played for four teams, with a .212 career average and 43 home runs to his name over four years. Said utility infielder would eventually convert to the outfield, develop a cannon for an arm, acquire unbelievable plate discipline, hit 272 further home runs (and counting), and break a few franchise records - along with being responsible for one of the Blue Jays’ most iconic postseason moments.
That’s right kids, you’re looking at the man who was traded for Jose Bautista.
On that day, I was on the phone with him, frowning at the small TV hung up on the wall in our office. You seeing this, I asked, and he told me he was. An alarm went off in the building, and I said hey, I think something’s going on here and then we lost the line.
I figured he knew I was okay. I hadn’t said anything about being on the other side of the Potomac so there was no reason for him to think I wasn’t safe, but I worried more about him, and my mom, than I did the people I knew who were actually in proximity to danger.I ran into one of the hometown reporters on the Capitol steps and asked him to get a message back if he could.
Later, after the Members all went home, I walked from Rayburn past the White House (well, as close as you could get), through the GW campus to Georgetown, sat in the chapel at Holy Trinity until my ass was numb and then wandered up the hill to the Glover Park rowhouse. It was quiet, eerily so without air traffic. The quiet before all the bad news to come.
I got a line out about 11:00 that night. Happy Birthday, Dad.
Our hometown football team is playing the neighboring town Friday night, and instead of wearing school colors everyone’s showing up in red, white, and blue. They’re selling 9/11 gear in the Spirit Shop, or so the high school Twitter account tells me.
I typed about eighty different tweets in response to that one, but I didn’t send any of them. I get that this year’s high school freshmen most likely weren’t even born when the towers fell, when the Pentagon burned. None of the kids in high school today have any context for what life was like before we surrendered our civil liberties in a desperate attempt to believe that the promise of safety is something more than a lie spoonfed us in exchange for our complacency.
Kind of hard to fit all that into a 140-character box anyway.
Besides, if I made my way to the 50-yard line screaming about manufactured terror and neverending war that benefits no one but the military-industrial complex and how the blood of thousands upon thousands upon thousands - ours and theirs - is on our hands and how the enemy is really ourselves I’d get arrested and the Carver County guys all look kinda mean, so.