Billy-Ball Daily: 2006-7-21

Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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Countdown: Three days until surgery

Friday, July 21, 2006

Top of the 1st
This is my last column for a while; I’m heading to the Disabled List.

From the time I was 12 years old my right knee and I haven’t gotten along. It’s been inflammations, one -itis or another, both cartilages gone, and now, tri-compartmental arthritis, constant pain, and constant misery. I’ve had it.

So I made a decision. I’m getting rid of it. I’m getting a total knee replacement. I’m firing my knee.

Monday, I enter the hospital and I will remain there until Friday. The following week I will be home and hopefully starting to be mobile as I receive physical therapy at home. Starting the third week I start a program of P/T at Sports and Physical Therapy with my great therapist, Chris Morin, who works with Scott Waugh, the physical therapist of the Boston Red Sox (okay, Scott is great too). I am confident that I will be back writing daily by the first Monday in August (and hopefully a little sooner).

Unfortunately, I don’t own a laptop (next season, I’ll start the Billy-Ball-Laptop-Fund) so after this Sunday, if you need to communicate with me (who really needs to communicate with me?) you can e-mail my boss and caretaker, Mrs. Ball, at

The only depressing news that I hear is that I will be as good as ever. I hope that I’m better than that because this knee has not been very kind to me.

So coming soon, to a computer near you, Bionic-Billy-Ball.

Stay well and be in touch.

Top of the 2nd
Marcus Thames’ hard takeout slide broke up a potential, inning-ending double play in the 7th and Chris Shelton followed with a go-ahead double and the next thing you know is the Detroit Tigers have a 2-1 win over Jose Contreras and the Chicago White Sox.

Contreras (9-2) gave up two runs, six hits and a walk over seven innings but lost his second start in a row. Kenny Rogers allowed only one run and six hits over six innings.

Tiger rookie youngster Joel Zumaya (5-1) gave up one hit in the 7th and the 8th innings throwing between 84-102 mph. Tiger veteran oldster Todd Jones pitched the 9th for his 25th save in 28 opportunities. Chicago’s first four hitters were 0-for-29 in the last two losses at Detroit.

Another sellout crowd of 41,075 at Comerica Park (including Tom Hanks and Opie) cheered the Tigers as they reached a season-high 5