Saturday, May 30, 2009
My Recurring Dream, Featuring Manny Ramirez
I was playing left field for the Dodgers; number 99. Chad Billingsley was on the mound. Carlos Delgado walked off the on-deck circle and approached the plate. He took a few practice swings, then stepped into the batter's box. Billingsley turned toward the outfield, wiped his forehead, then scratched his crotch. Then he faced the batter, and looked for the sign from catcher Russell Martin. He shook off the first sign. He then gave a quick nod and delivered a 96mph fastball right down the middle of the plate. Delgado swung and hit a fly ball to left center. I sprinted toward the ball, not worrying about the hamstring I pulled in the first homestand of the season. At full speed I ran. Then, all of a sudden I was running in slow motion, as if in a dream. I ran and ran and ran. The ball hung in the air, and I felt myself gaining ground on it. I was now running at full speed. I was heading toward the wall in left-center. The wall was getting closer, but I knew the ball was within reach. I didn't make the major leagues by giving up. Suddenly the ball flew out of my reach, into the stands, and I crashed violently into the wall. Then I woke up. It was all a dream. It's a recurring dream - one that I've had since Manny Ramirez got kicked out of baseball for 50 games for using a banned substance, a woman's fertility drug. Ramirez, number 99, is still waiting to get back in the game - but there I am again, in my dream, with his number. If my dream seems familiar to you, it is. I gave a description of the above dream on Saturday, May 9th. I also mentioned that I was taking the weekends off; "Paul Solomon Takes Weekends Off," I announced. There are errands to run and family matters to attend to. That's why there is nothing new here, except for my recurring dream. Which brings us back to Manny Ramirez. The drug in question is reportedly human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), according to an ESPN report. It's a woman's fertility drug and it is typically used by steroid users after they come off a steroid cycle, to restart their body's natural testosterone production. A woman's fertility drug? That's one drug I'm sure most men would prefer to stay away from; it doesn't sound too healthy to me. Of course, most baseball fans are so used to hearing about drug use by their favorite players, they really don't seem to care anymore. Ramirez is currently 4th in the voting for outfielders for the All-Star game. He's still featured on billboards around Los Angeles. Ramirez and the Dodgers haven't made any statement or public service announcement denouncing performance-enhancing drugs. The game goes on, and Ramirez will be back. And so will my dream.