At the FanFest garage sale back in February, my 6 year-old daughter informed me that she wanted a Padres poster for her wall. This excited me. I knew that it would provide opportunities for us to talk about a specific player throughout the season.
After approaching a table we began to unfurl posters. The first one looked absolutely perfect with a Padre diving head first into third base before, “Oh my good lord in heaven, hallowed be thy name! It was Orlando Hudson!” After reflex-gagging I quickly rolled up the visage of O-Dog and moved on to the next poster where I found a nice sanitized image of one of my personal favorites: Tim Stauffer.
So we went ahead and purchased the Stauffer poster and hung it up on the wall.
Not too bad. The butterflies definitely accentuate the former Spider.
Tim Stauffer feels like such a constant in San Diego. As the longest tenured Padre, Stauf debuted in 2005 after arriving from the University of Richmond in 2003. I told the daughter that Tim Stauffer was a Richmond Spider. She said, “That’s gross.”
I decided that the daughter needed to know a little about her new favorite player so we sat down and decided to talk injuries. We started with a diagram:
After drawing on the walls I decided to use the magic of my i-Phone to record a conversation about Tim Stauffer’s elbow. I’ve done something similar before but it was when my daughter was 5. She’s 6 now. The younger daughter will also make her way into the discussion and she’s 4 1/2. If you take them together they average 5. Get it? Perfect.
AJM: “What would it mean to you if I said that Tim Stauffer was coming off of flexor tendon surgery?”
Daughter 1: “I don’t get it.”
AJM: He injured his flexor tendon. It’s in his forearm.
D1: “I still don’t get it.”
AJM: OK. He’s a pitcher. He injured his arm last year. Put your unicorn down. Could you point to it in the poster?
[Puts down unicorn, climbs on bed, leans over dresser, and masterfully points to Tim Stauffer’s right fore arm/elbow]
AJM: “Do you think he will be able to pitch this year?”
D1: “Yes. And I think he’ll have a good season. He’ll pitch the whole year.”
AJM: “So who are we rooting for this year?”
[At this point Daughter 2 hijacks the conversation]
Daughter 2: “Tim! Tim! Tim!”
AJM: “So what do you think Tim Stauffer should do to avoid pitching injuries this year. Do you have any suggestions?”
AJM: “What are they?”
D2: He needs to get a paper towel and put it on his knee. And he’ll go back out there and get a drink And then he’ll play and then use his arms and how to do it. And then he’ll go very fast.
AJM: “Um, OK. And so do you think he’ll have a good year? Will he be healthy?”
D2: “He’ll be healthy.”
AJM: “Is there anything else you want to say about Tim Stauffer?”
D2: “He’ll go back out there and he’ll have another drink and another drink then he’ll eat some grapes and he’ll use his hands and when soccer’s over he’ll play with his toys and his flower or his bandages or his play-dough and when he finishes that stuff, he’ll go down stairs and tell his mom and dad he’s done with his picture or he’ll go night-night and that’s it for the rest of the day.
AJM: “Interesting thoughts on Tim Stauffer’s 2013 baseball season.”
D2: “I’m not finished.”
AJM: “Oh. Keep going.”
D2: “And then he’ll go down stairs and tell his mom if he can have a Popsicle and then he’ll have a Popsicle and then his mom says no. His mom does not even know that he goes there back outside to the soccer team where all of his buddies are and he’ll use his hand again and then he’ll run really fast and read a book and then go back out there and kick a ball.”
AJM: “Why soccer? Isn’t he a baseball player.”
D2: “He’ll do soccer too! It’s why I keep mentioning soccer. And then he’ll ask his mom if he can get a Popsicle and then he’ll get a drink of water and then he’ll go back home and go night-night and then he’ll sleep with his animals and then he’ll – when it’s the morning time – he’ll drink some water and he’s off to soccer again and then he’ll be a football player and he’ll play and he’ll kick his shins and then on to the ball with his shoes and when the game is over his mom and dad will bring frozen grapes.”
Kudos to Daughter 2 for an epic display of free-form stream of consciousness.
Spring training isn’t just for ball players to round themselves into shape, it’s for families too. A father must assess where a child is at with their understanding of the game and then make adjustments as he sees fit.
In the AJM household, I can tell that we have some work to do in ’13.
#Padres RHP Tim Stauffer has been told he will begin season as a starter with Triple-A Tucson.
— Corey Brock (@FollowThePadres) March 27, 2013
Best of Luck to Tim Stauffer making it back to San Diego.