Nationals.com and the Nationals Journal both write about the retirement of John Patterson. I'm tempted to crack wise with a line like "how can you tell?" but I won't because I find the whole thing very sad.
I saw Patterson pitch a number of times in 2005. I saw him beat Seattle 2-1 in what I believe was win No. 9 in that marvelous 10-game streak in June. I saw him pitch lights out in Philadelphia and get zippy run support. I had tickets to his shutout against the Dodgers later in the season and couldn't go. My brother went, as did a colleague. Both called me after the game gushing about his stuff. When the guy was on, he was quite fun to watch.
Who knows what is up with his arm? I know there were some questions about his toughness, some thought that it was all in his head when it took forever to come back from what seemed like a relatively minor injury. I'm not a doctor (though I am the son of one) and I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night but I don't really subscribe to either of those theories. I've seen it enough in sports over the years. Some guys can get hit by a Mack truck and play the next day. They heal quickly or they just don't get hurt. And some guys - Patterson being one - have no luck in that regard. Odd that he made it back from ligament replacement surgery but this wrist thing proved to be too much.
Patterson always seemed like a good guy, too, though I have no personal evidence of that. Guys I know who covered him said he was a standup guy.
Good luck in whatever is next for him. Meanwhile, I'll continue to dream about what might have been. I really thought for a while he was The One of all The Ones.