Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone. (Los Angeles Dodgers )
PHOENIX — I'm told when you have one of these mini-strokes, your fingers might hit the wrong keys, so my meaning well in a column might come off as something else.
I can't explain the previous 39 years.
I should have known this trip to spring training was headed to the hospital.
They tell me the first clue should have been when I fell getting out of bed. Again and again. By the way, I do not recommend sitting on a toilet and falling off toward the tub.
Fortunately, my training as an athlete — having played as much golf as I have — saved me.
I'm told I should have dialed 911. That's funny. Marriott hotels do not have telephones between toilet and tub. And I'm a platinum member and usually get one of the better rooms.
By the way, I understand the true meaning of being a lifetime platinum member. It means there's a good chance you might die in a hotel room.
I would have called the Bagger, who lives here, but while I was coming here, the son-in-law was taking the family to Disneyland. A spur-of-the-moment thing.
Reminded me of Angry Arte. I go one way, he goes the other.
As I contemplated life on the floor between toilet and tub, just knowing they clean their bathroom floors a lot more than the wife brought me a certain peace.
Eventually I rode the walls back to bed and decided I wouldn't cover the Dodgers in the morning. I thought that would make me feel better.
I've been called a dummy repeatedly the last few days for not calling for help. Had it been a full-blown stroke, I had three hours to get the medication to avoid bigger problems. I was lucky it was a TSA — make that TIA. Still have a few problems typing.
I alerted Times beat reporter Dylan Hernandez that I couldn't cover the Dodgers. He told the Dodgers because he thinks delivering good news makes him more popular.
Dodgers PR guy Steve Brener called to confirm, a little too giddy for my taste.
I mentioned banging into the furniture and suddenly he's got me talking to Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone. She wanted me to look in the mirror and smile. I never thought of that before. I never see anyone smiling when I arrive, so this was my chance to see what it would look like.
The rest is a blue blur with the Dodgers saving me. I wonder if this means their motto for 2013 will be: Win It for Page 2.
I hope I don't have to wind up calling them the Choking Dogs.
Falsone went above and beyond. She sent trainer Aaron Schumacher to get me to the emergency room.
As I lay there contemplating life, I thought about the last question I might have asked as a journalist.
"Is Joe Blanton a part of your rotation?" I asked Angels Manager Mike Scioscia.
"Yes," said Scioscia.
I contemplated the last thing I might have said as a journalist: "I thought you were trying to win this season."
I remember thinking there was something wrong with my speech as I talked to Scioscia. There still is. I now sound more like Mike D'Antoni than myself.
I was also tired, I thought from running from Hank Conger. The catcher wanted it known he could outplay Dwight Howard with one arm tied behind his back. Conger is 4 feet 2.
He had a picture of himself playing basketball in a Huntington Beach youth league. First time I ever saw a player as wide as he was tall.
Later I vowed to recover so I could see Conger take on Howard. I know some Lakers fans will be picking Conger.
I finished typing Sunday's Albert Pujols column in the emergency room. Now you understand the headline: "Looking forward to nine more years of Albert Pujols."
They had me stay overnight so the nurses could practice taking blood in the dark. Brener and Tom Lasorda stopped by. Lasorda used the bathroom so I would know he was there with me the whole way.
The Times' obit writer emailed to wish me well.
Hernandez stopped by to see if it was time to apply for the Page 2 column. Ned Colletti was a visitor. There were no Angels, and I was pretty happy about that because the last place you want to see angels is in a hospital.
They tell me I'll be fine. I'm supposed to interview Floyd Mayweather on Tuesday, so we'll see.
To be completely honest, I wrote this to see if I could still do it. (I await the messages to the contrary.)
When I was discharged, one of the nurses gave me a going-away gift. I wasn't surprised, knowing how much the nurses wanted me to go away.
Inside I found the fish — the singing bass that my daughter and I exchange — while trying to outdo each other in the process.
The very best medicine. I've got to take care of myself so I can find a way to get it back to her.