Whenever I see a post from Denton with JD Drew’s photo, I pretty much know what’s coming next. And I’ll admit that back in the spring of 2007, when he first took up residence in our outfield, there was many a night Drew had me stumbling drunk across Huntington Ave in the rain, begging the Gods of Baseball to bring back my Nixon to me.

Then, a few months later, I read about his son. And everything changed.

As I noted before, one of my kids has the same thing J.D.’s son suffered from. It’s called dysplasia of the hip, and it basically means that the hip has slipped out of the socket. So a surgeon has to go in and sew it back into place. In more severe cases, like my daughter’s, it has to be screwed into the pelvis.

The surgery’s one thing. But the recovery process involves wearing a body cast for about a month and a half. And when you see your kid engulfed from head to toe in plaster and fiberglass, let’s just say that the good times go on ice for a while.

I didn’t get much of anything done while my daughter was in her cast. But unlike Drew, I didn’t have 38,000 people riding my ass every night when I struck out or muffed a play in the outfield. So I give him credit for not flipping out and shivving anyone in the right field corner that summer.

Today, my young’un had another surgery. What I hope will be her last. Hardware was removed from her leg; metal that re-attached the head of her femur after it had to be fractured and repositioned in her hip socket to ensure its proper formation. I found it ironic that on the same day, Denton put the bulls-eye back on JD’s back.

Hey, the man has his reasons. But I vowed back in 2007, when I read about his son, that I could never speak ill of JD Drew.

It has nothing to do with OBP, OPS, RBIs, VORP, NOFX, NCC-1701 or how much the guy brings home in his paycheck. But as a man, as a father, JD Drew will always have my respect.