I have not been a great blogger lately. I've come here less and less more and more. My appearances have sometimes been limited to flogging my latest piece of writing elsewhere (usually in some newspaper or magazine you have to pay to read) and then sending you there (and, on top of that, asking you to write the editors of said journals to tell them what a swell guy I am.)
In other words, I've been a jerk.
I offer that blanket apology (and a small blanket it is; if it were winter, you'd freeze...) because I really do have a serious request to make. I want you to offer up some prayers.
They're not for me; I wouldn't be that selfish when I've been so casual with our relationship. They're for a good friend of mine, Big Jay Atton.
I've known Jay for 18 years. When we met, he was a kid of 20 and I had just been asked by another ballplayer to manage a softball team over in South Boston's M Street Softball League, a premier fast-pitch league in Boston. The first player I met on the team was Jay. As I say, he was 20. However, it was hard to judge his age. I only found it out years later by doing retrograde math. Jay was maybe 6' 6" and weighed probably 270, but he had (as now) a real baby face. He could have been anywhere between 16 and 25.