Kenley Jansen isn't the first player to pitch with a heart condition, as Bill Veeck reminds us.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen hasn’t pitched since August 27th, when he suffered a recurrence of the irregular heartbeat that put him in the hospital last season. Jansen is taking blood thinners, though he may undergo a procedure called cardiac ablation over the offseason, which would allow him to go without the medication. He hopes to pitch again this month.
Lou Gehrig put out less often than he made out, getting on base in the batter's box helps you get on base in the bedroom, taking a girl to a game is the best way to beat birth control, and other lessons I learned from old-timey baseball songs. (Caution: some adult themes.)
Baseball and sheet music. Put them together, and the very words conjure images of taking in an afternoon affair at the ballpark with one's nearest and dearest before retiring to the parlor and gathering 'round the piano for the latest in Victorian after-dinner entertainment.* What could be more wholesome?
Everything, apparently. The following songs, unearthed on a trip through the Library of Congress' online Performing Arts Encyclopedia, are dirty enough to make one wonder why it was that Nelly Kelly** loved baseball games, and—even more suspiciously—how she came to know all the players' names.
Kenley Jansen has cardiac arrhythmia, Nate McLouth gets his ouster in more ways than one, Nick Punto becomes the latest victim of an oblique strain, Clayton Richard is done for the year, and Nelson Cruz deals with another leg injury.
Kenley Jansen, LAN (Cardiac Arrhythmia) [AGL: TBD, ATD: TBD] (Explanation)
Jansen was hospitalized for two days for a cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), but after consulting several cardiologists, he chose to start taking blood-thinning medication and was placed on the disabled list. When nerve impulses go awry, the heart can beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or irregularly. In most arrhythmia cases, people complain of a fluttering or racing heartbeat, but symptoms can also include chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting, to name a few. Arrhythmias are a symptom of something else, and while usually harmless, the root cause of the arrhythmias still needs to be investigated to rule out life-threatening conditions.
The causes of arrhythmias are numerous and include everything from scarring of the heart caused by heart attacks to hyperthyroidism. Structural changes in the heart and blocked arteries can cause changes in the heart’s rhythm. Even the less scary sounding culprits, like stress, too little sleep, or supplements can have the same affect.
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A trip through the annual unlocks Ken's inner muse.
Among the bells and whistles currently found on our player pages, by far my favorite section is the list of player comments taken from BP Annuals past. The cast of authors may change from year to year, but each season’s comments are equally well-written and educational, and when read chronologically, they often provide a tremendously entertaining overview of a player’s career—or at least how a player’s career has been perceived over time.