Sports teams are like Hollywood movies: sometimes they can be so bad they're actually good. Such is the case with the Miami Marlins, who are quickly becoming the Snakes on a Plane of professional baseball. More than seven years ago, Adam Greenberg was called up by the Chicago Cubs for his first MLB at-bat. But the very first pitch he saw struck him in the back of the head, cutting short his shot at the big time.
Now the Marlins have obtained special permission to give Greenberg a second appearance on Tuesday. It's an act of generosity that could only be offered by a team 24-games under .500, but it's also a chance for redemption for both the club and player.
For Greenberg, it's a mostly symbolic cap to a career that has never really recovered since the accident. He had been playing for Team Israel in its qualifying campaign for the World Baseball Classic. Now, he'll face New York Mets 20-game-winning knuckleballer R.A. Dickey on Tuesday here in Miami.
For the Marlins, it's a bit of karma. It was Miami left-hander Valerio de los Santos who struck Greenberg in the back of the head with a 92 mile-per-hour fastball in 2005. The feel-good-story is also a nice distraction from the team's disastrous maiden season in its new stadium.
Whatever the Marlins' motivation, you can't help but root for Greenberg. Just look at how nervous he is yesterday ahead of his appearance on the Today Show, where David Sampson handed him a one-day contract.
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"The support is humbling and it's just gratifying to know that when there is all this other stuff, mostly that's negative, going in the news," Greenberg told the Today Show. "So for me, this is great because someone is going to look at this and say: 'Wow, I feel better today.'"
After this season, we need it. Good luck, Adam.