A very good friend to have

Hello. Nice to see you again. It's been a while.

Last time we were together, I think, was that game when you were 3-for-4 with a homer. That was a great memory, one that lasted quite some time. But then you went on the skids and we kind of lost track of each other after that.

It's always that way with me. For the most part I have these short bursts of bliss in my relationships followed by periods of detachment. It's that way with most everyone except my very best friends, guys like Derek Jeter, Tom Brady and Tiger Woods.

Tiger and I are very close, but even the best of friends don't always get along. Last week in the U.S. Open I was with him on every tee box, but a funny thing happened once we got to the greens. It was like he ignored me, like I wasn't even there.

I'm sure he has told people I left him, but to be honest it seemed the other way around. We've been together through so many big putts in so many majors that you'd think he'd know I'd always be there for him. But that's how it goes.

That's always how it is with my relationships. And it sometimes makes for a lonely existence.

Sure my highs are unequaled, but it's those times in between when I feel all by myself. When the bullpen is struggling, the running game can't get going or the shots won't fall I might as well be in the witness protection program.

It was like that earlier this season with the Yankees. Even with all that winning and tradition, things that made us as close as brothers, all it took was a few losses for them to forget all about me.

And that hurts, to tell the truth. But I have to stay strong, keep my head up and be ready to try again. Because every time I lose touch, every single time, all those people can talk about is how they'd like to get me back.

I guess I am pretty fun to be around. When athletes spend time with me they seem to enjoy it, and why wouldn't they? I get to see some pretty neat things - everything from crucial birdie putts, to game-winning free throws to walk-off home runs. And victory stands, lots of victory stands.

Funny how I see many of the same things over and over - clutch hits, timely 3-pointers, last-second field goals - but never see other things at all.

For instance, I've never been around a 10-game hitless streak, never seen a quarterback throw five interceptions, never seen a golfer leave one in the bunker. And I have no idea what last place looks like.

But I've talked enough. It was nice to see you again, but that's three strikeouts in three at-bats. Time for me to go.

Todd Cline can be reached via e-mail at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Tuesdays.