Legoland, Jesse Orosco, Jessica Simpson, dead cat

Cats beware ...
Cats beware …

So today I drove the kids down to Legoland, a nice theme park outside of San Diego that I never, ever, ever need to visit again. During one of the many long waits, I Tweeted about my last visit to the place. A couple of folks asked for me to elaborate. So here I go …

The year was, I believe, 2002, and Sports Illustrated asked me to profile Jesse Orosco, the longtime Major League relief pitcher who was still going strong into his mid-40s.  The ol’ Met was game, and I flew out to wherever he lived in Southern California. When I arrived, he asked how I’d feel about visiting Legoland.

“Um, that’d be great,” I said.

“Cool,” he replied. “My daughter wants to see a concert there.”

So we went. Me. Jesse. Jesse’s wife. Jesse’s daughter. The concert was a young, relatively unknown singer named Jessica Simpson, performing for free. I remember little, save for the moment when she called a soldier up onto stage and sang to him. I pretty sure she crooned over piped-in tracks. Not an indictment, just a memory.

Anyhow, it was fun. And, on the way home, I sat in the front seat of Jesse’s big black Humvee.

Before reaching his house, we heard thump-thump beneath the front right tire.

Jesse Orosco accidentally ran over a cat.