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Moyer's body suddenly remembers it's 47

Dec 30, 2009, 2:53 AM EDT

moyer small.jpgIf Jamie Moyer did indeed make a deal with the devil, it appears that ol’ Beelzebub has decided it’s time to cash in.

Moyer, who has had an amazing ability to avoid major health issues over the course of his 23-year career – a career spent baffling hitters with an array of marshmallow fastballs, Bugs Bunny breaking balls and invisible changeups  – has had a hellish time over the last three months.

Enter, Todd Zolecki of

Moyer, 47, has been in the hospital three times since he suffered a sports hernia injury in September, and he has a fourth trip coming up. He had an initial surgery Oct. 2, but returned to the hospital Oct. 7 with a blood infection. He seemed to be making progress until he had to go back to the hospital Nov. 24 after complaining of recurring symptoms. During that stay, he had a second surgery, on Nov. 27, after tests showed a small collection of infected blood.

Moyer continues to wear a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) to fight the infection, and next month has to go in for surgery to repair a meniscus on his right knee.
Despite all of this, Moyer claims he’ll be ready for the start of spring training in mid-February.

Optimistic as the ol’ lefty is, this is the exact reason I was puzzled that the Phillies gave him a two-year contract entering the 2009 season. No matter how much of a freak of nature he might be, he will still be nearly 48 when his contract expires. Anyone remember how suddenly and viciously Nolan Ryan’s career ended? Let’s hope Moyer doesn’t suffer the same fate.

“I was telling my wife Karen that I’ve been playing 20-plus years and never had a surgery,” he said. “So I guess I’m making up for it this offseason. I’ve been pretty blessed to stay away from that kind of stuff. I guess it was my time.”

Blessed, perhaps. Or maybe his body finally woke up and realized it was 47.

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks.

  1. Old Gator - Dec 30, 2009 at 5:45 AM

    Nolan Ryan’s career ended…suddenly? At fortysomething?
    Reminds me of Ed Wood Jr.’s immortal voiceover from Glen or Glenda: “And then, as suddenly as it began, the war ended.”
    Now I grant you that part of what’s so funny about that line is visual, but he’s talking about World War II.

  2. smokehouse - Dec 30, 2009 at 7:46 AM

    Keep your chin up Lefty. You still one more year than a 5 year wait for the HOF to come calling.

  3. Bobby Townsend - Dec 30, 2009 at 10:23 AM

    I think it is time to hang em up after you honor the final year of your contract. I still rue the day the Red Sox traded you back in 1996 after going 10-1

  4. Xpensive Wino - Dec 30, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    Don’t see how his age has anything to do with these particular injuries. This could happen to anyone.

  5. Bob Harkins - Dec 30, 2009 at 3:29 PM

    Well it ended suddenly in that his arm gave out mid-game, his final pitch hit for a grand slam by some guy named Dann Howitt.
    But point taken. Makes me think of Chevy Chase’s “Fletch”:
    Doc: You know, it’s a shame about Ed.
    Fletch: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was really a shame. To go so suddenly like that.
    Doc: He was dying for years.
    Fletch: Sure, but… the end was very… very sudden.
    Doc: He was in intensive care for eight weeks.
    Fletch: Yeah, but I mean the very end, when he actually died. That was extremely sudden.

  6. Eat a Peach - Dec 30, 2009 at 3:32 PM

    Love the Fletch reference – perfect.
    Also – PICC … feeling ill …

  7. Old Gator - Dec 30, 2009 at 5:13 PM

    Heh, yeah, that was a goody, wasn’t it? Gotten better with age, too – unlike, say, middle aged pitchers….
    One more great commentary on “suddenly” was the shpiel laid upon manacled traitor Sir Anthony Babington by Queen Elizabeth I’s royal rackmaster in that fabulous BBC production Elizabeth R. The about-to-be executed Babington, who has plainly already suffered like a Singapore teenager convicted of spraying graffiti on a wall, asks the rackmaster if his death will be quick. The rackmaster smiles, leans casually against Babington’s stockade, and replies “Death is always quick. Ah, but the road to death…” I spare our more tender minded correspondents the details which, as you can imaginer, are copiously and vividly narrated much to Lord Anthony’s mounting consternation. It must have been like sitting through a Howard Cosell broadcast.

  8. Son of Shane Mack - Dec 30, 2009 at 6:39 PM

    Well, hopefully this isn’t too serious.
    Nolan Ryan’s arm gave out – that doesn’t sound like Moyer’s problem.
    Besides, Ryan threw hard – up until his final injury. Moyer hasn’t thrown hard since the Clinton administration.

  9. Paul - Dec 30, 2009 at 7:39 PM

    You know, the link provided says nothing about how Ryan’s career ended. Why is it even there?

  10. Paul - Dec 30, 2009 at 7:42 PM

    Nevermind! There is this awesome new invention called a scroll bar, and I was enlightened.

  11. Bob Harkins - Dec 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM

    Apologies for making you hunt for it. :)

  12. Bob Harkins - Dec 30, 2009 at 7:44 PM

    Any comment with a “rackmaster” reference is good in my book.

  13. Old Gator - Dec 31, 2009 at 12:59 AM

    Yeah, I’m kinda fond of the term myself. Although, when you think about it, it does also sounds like a line of Sears Kenmore appliances, doesn’t it?

  14. BeenThere - Dec 31, 2009 at 11:31 PM

    It really amazes me when anyone in the major team sports can keep going strong into their mid fourtys. Good luck Jamie, you are one of my Heros. Now don’t screw it up by having affairs with 15 or more women, or other.

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