TAMPA - I've just come off a few days of vacation, a necessary few days, to spend with friends, one of which has a story that makes Manny Ramirez's exit insignifant and Rory's fold in the Masters less heartfelt.
It's a story about courage, about twists and turns in one's life you can't explain.
His name is Randall. Randall used to live in Pass-a-Grille and now resides in Berry, Canada (about an hour north of Toronto).
Russ, my best friend, and I spent four days with Randall enjoying the moment. We laughed, we played golf, we talked sports, and we talked about Randall's road ahead.
There was a time when we teed it up at Isla Del Sol without a care in the world. That was almost 20 years ago.
These past few days were different. No matter how much we laughed, there was the inevitable circumstance we all tried to deal with.
Randall has cancer. Sarcoma he told us, that has spread to his lungs. Chemo didn't take. Come tomorrow, he will begin his first step in a clinical trial program.
Randall never smoked, he is athletic as all heck, and if you could have seen him these past few days, you would have seen a man and athlete that carries with him something Manny didn't exhibit here in Tampa, or Rory on the back nine of Augusta.
That would be heart and determination.
Pars weren't easy to come by, but he scored more than a few.
While we would take Advil, he would take prescription pain pills for his hip.
Randall gave it everything he had this weekend. He will continue to give it everything he has from here on out.
We don't know what clinical trials there are out there that could prove success. All I can say is, and Russ would second this, whatever doctor takes Randall under his wing will get someone you would want up at the plate.
You go get 'em Randall, and the heck with Ramirez.