And I’ll be 41 this whole season, which you will note is old. This is a depressing year for me. Not only am I older than every single member of the Royals — that almost goes without saying anymore, unless Julio Franco stops by — I’m also one month older than Royals general manager Dayton Moore. Also, it appears I really will have to do that colonoscopy at some point. Isn’t there any way to get back to, say, 35. I was OK with 35.
I turn 35 in July, so I suppose that makes this my age 34 season (yay for the baseball calendar!). Like Posnanski, I've been playing that compare-the-age-to-the-ballplayer game for a long time. I felt good about it until Nomar Garciaparra -- nine days my junior, and the player I've always used as a point of reference for player ages -- started to break down a few years ago. Then I started to look around at players my age, and noticed that their examples provide a nice little microcosm of where I am these days, both for the good and the bad:
My future held so much promise back in 1997-98, but after moving around a lot, I realized that, despite flashes of brilliance, I was merely competent (albeit underrated) at my job, never destined to be a superstar like some of my contemporaries.
There are times lately when I feel like the only reason I'm sticking around is because my production, while not fabulous for my position, isn't as easily replaceable as you'd think. Indeed, there are some days when I feel like I'm merely hanging on to this job by a thread and watching my waistline expand. Still, I've been far more fortunate in my career than I've had any right to expect, and there are many days when I feel like a champion, even if I spend a lot of time seeming somewhat dazed and distracted, wondering what might have been. These are the sorts of thoughts that can bedevil a man's soul.
So, here I am, my long tenure making me feeling older than I really am. Realizing that, like many, I haven't felt all that young since I took that victory lap back in 2003. I wonder sometimes: can I still be productive? Useful? Desirable to the opposite sex?
Hard to say. All we can know for certain is that, in the future, there will be some aches and pains along the way, and that some day I'm going to have to take medication just to get by.