I guess you could call it a wake-up call. That game could have been my last ever. “Forced retirement’ I guess you’d call it. And I didn’t pitch it that way. I pitched it like just another game.
I’ve been asked in the media and by my coaches and teammates what I’ve been doing differently since then. Nothing, I tell them. Because I haven’t changed my delivery or mechanics. I’m not throwing off a different part or the rubber. What I *am* doing is treating each game like it could be the last game I pitch. And if it is going to be my last game, i want to show the fans, the league and the world who I really am. Ryan Rose, Cy Young Award-winning pitcher. Perennial All-Star. One of the elite in the Elite Players League.
I’m not planning on retiring or being hurt or anything like that. I don’t *intend* for any game to be my last. But I didn’t plan that little incident either. I guess you could say I found out the hard way. It was something I had heard at church while I was growing up but I didn’t really understand. “No one knows the hour of his calling” or something like that. No one knows when his elbow will break, either. Somehow, though, that didn’t touch me the same way.
Now I’m treating every game like it’s the game of my life. And it shows. My fastball has more giddy-up and my breaking balls bite harder. And I’m hitting my spots well. Getting double digits in strikeouts every game and 18 against the Crush. It’s like being reborn almost. Kind of like being a rookie all over again but you don’t have to make the rookie mistakes
I was given a second chance and I’m not wasting it. It may be my last.