The Feast of Richard the Scourged

You can neither stop nor contain our feast-day celebration series, which continues right now with…

Richard the Scourged

Life: From 1976 to 1980, J.R. Richard was an excellent pitcher and, from 1978 through the middle of 1980, was the best starter in all the majors, leading all starting pitchers in K/9 (9.7, better than Nolan Ryan’s 8.9) and FIP (2.28) over that stretch. However, on July 30, 1980, Richard suffered a stroke and collapsed while playing a game of catch before an Astros game. He was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery to remove a life-threatening blood clot in his neck, but never pitched in the majors again. After his professional baseball career ended, Richard became involved in unsuccessful business deals and went through two divorces, which led to him being homeless and destitute in 1994. Richard later found God and now lives indoors.

Spiritual Exercise: German polymath Gottfried Leibniz and Texan polymath Kris Kristofferson have both suggested that this is “the best of all possible worlds.” If that is the case, how ought we to understand the case of J.R. Richard? Or the proliferation of something called “Celebrity Apprentice”?

A Prayer for J.R. Richard

I have problems like
what’s the synonym for
delicious meal, again?
while you have problems like
instead of a doctor
a falcon accidentally
is performing my
important surgery.
I have problems like
please sign this petition
to help protect
the Oxford comma
in society
while you have problems like
that’s not a cork-type
bulletin board,
it’s the fragilest part
of my human psychology.
I have problems like
this shirt doesn’t wick away
moisture as advertised
while you have problems like
arterial thoracic outlet
gone wild.
I have problems like
wherever your heart is
that’s your treasure
while you have problems like
wherever your heart is
that’s your treasure also.

Biographical assistance courtesy of the Wikipedias.

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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