Results tagged ‘ Injuries ’

Malarchuk, Theismann and McCarthy: A Humbling Triumvirate of Danger

One and a half times.  That is how many times I have been able to watch the Brandon McCarthy play where a darting Eric Aybar comebacker destroys the Oakland A’s pitcher’s skull.  Holy mother of invisible friends, that hurts.

The first time I saw it my stomach dropped and I got real dizzy.  When the replay was shown again — this time in slow-motion — I anticipated the skull crushing but still wasn’t able to get through it.  I thought I was going to be sick.

I was sick the first time I saw Clint Malarchuk get his neck sliced by a Steve Tuttle’s skate back in Buffalo too.  In fact, I remember asking my dad if it was even real, hoping that the spewing, rhythmical blood staining the ice might be some cute Hollywood trick designed to draw in more fans.  Sadly, the situation was quite real.

As was Joe Theismann’s career ending leg snap, courtesy of Lawrence Taylor.  Even Homer Simpson had a hard time stomaching that!

The truth is, as much as we enjoy our professional sports, they do carry with them an incalculable element of danger.  Even with all that open space in Oakland, a ball can still easily find one’s head.  It found Brandon McCarthy’s, and it will find someone else’s too someday.  It’s all a part of the game.

Which reminds us that these people we watch and cheer and boo, they’re real people.  They bleed too, just like us.  And while they may have more zeroes in their bank accounts, they are putting themselves in danger for our enjoyment.  I think it’s important to remember that.

A baseball, a skate, a weakside linebacker, they can all become deadly weapons, at any time.

Get well soon, Brandon.  And here’s to hoping you get that threesome someday.

Peace,

Jeff

Joey Devine and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Few Years

Dr. James Andrews and his ground-breaking Tommy John surgical procedure has given many years of service back to Big Leaguers who may have otherwise been forced to retire.  It has also provided many extra years of thrills for fans.  Without the surgery, we don’t have Strasburg.  We don’t have Adam Wainwright.  We don’t have A LOT of big time stars.

But, not everyone recovers as planned.

Enter, Joey Devine.

Despite the surname, his career path has been anything but.  After a promising 2008 season where he went 6-1 in 42 appearances with a STUNNING .59 ERA, dude got kissed by the angel of shoulder death and was forced to have the highly effective surgery.  Unlike most people though, two years later, he still hadn’t recovered properly; and now, in 2012, it appears Mr. Devine has to have Tommy John surgery AGAIN.

If Devine ever makes it back to the Bigs, you bet I’m gonna stand and applaud his every appearance.  For the fortitude it must take to stay focused, to battle back against such adversity, would surely require we all do so.

Unfortunately, the current situation doesn’t look good.  So I’m gonna pour out some liquor for his career.

Hang in there, Joey Devine.  If it makes you feel any better, I know a Cantonese stripper named Joy Yee Divine.  So every time I hear your name I chuckle.  To myself, of course.

Hate me ‘cuz I make it rain sometimes, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Absence of Ozzie Not Enough to Shut Sox Mouth

Jake Peavy sure has a loose yapper.  In fact, it might be even more loose than his formerly detached latissimus dorsi, just one of the myriad things that have led to his supreme suckage in a White Sox uniform.

Sports Illustrated recently predicted the White Sox would lose 95 games in 2012.  I don’t see that prediction as overly hyperbolic.  The Sox were awful last year, and they haven’t done much to improve.  In fact, after dealing Santos to the Blue Jays, I’d even say the 2012 team, on paper, IS WORSE than 2011’s.

Still, Peavy and his Curt Schilling-like tongue is quick to point out that such an observation is off:

“That ain’t going to happen. I can promise you that. This team has too much pride. We are going to compete. That’s all there is to it.” (link)

Whatever you say, Jake.  Whatever you say.

If Peavy is correct (he’s not) and “pride” is all it takes to win ballgames, then why don’t teams just ditch everyone they have to sign 25 George Takeis and just get it over with?

Peavy is now a shell of what he once was.  He doesn’t have the velocity and he doesn’t have the mental toughness to PITCH his way out of mistakes.  He lets his emotions dictate performance.  And he is constantly whining and bitching and talking crazy to the press.

He has done nothing in Chicago but play bad baseball and run his mouth.  Sox fans can only hope he does well enough to get traded by July.

Hate me ‘cuz I compared Peavy’s mouth to Schilling’s, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast schnook, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

The Champion of A$$hats. This Week in Jake Peavy Cockamamie…

Peavy did it again over the weekend. He told the press that his teammates need to start “laying it on the line”……WOW…

Team leaders are everyday players and Peavy needs to shut the hell up. No one wants to hear it from a guy who pitches every 6th day and has spent most of his time with the Sox on the DL…

Who exactly is not trying hard enough? Stop waving your weiner around, Peavy. It’s enough.

“Dagnumb it I’m gonna pitch hurt cuz I give it my all unlike these other guys cuz I’m a cowboy screw it all if my back falls off of me. And especially when I give up one of those 600 foot three-run homers. Mah teammates need to pick it up.”

Thanks, Zambrano.

This isn’t a team game. It’s a cerebral game. It’s a day to day game that you grind out over the course of a six month season. You know what, Jake?? Find your way to a winning record before you spout off because you’ve just been a jabbering hole of bad injuries. You were supposed to be the top of the rotation guy for what the Sox gave up.

His teammates probably think he’s an absolute a$$wipe. He’s impossible to trade. Paul Konerko is the leader by example and Peavy needs to shut his damn mouth.

Speaking of the dumb and stupid, THIS HAPPENED over the weekend as well.

–Johanna Mahmud

The Filibuster

Despite the late-inning dramatics and clutch hitting by Team America,
the World Baseball Classic will be especially notable to MLB managers
because of the rash of injuries that has hit the players. With
important team leaders like Chipper Jones, Kevin Youkilis and Ryan
Braun suffering injuries, how do you think this will effect teams’
decisions to let their players participate next time around?

– Allen
__________________________________________

tom cruise oprah.jpgA wise woman (my mother) once said, “Jeff, nobody’s perfect. Tom Cruise comes close but just look at how screwed up he is.  Still, Tom is about as close as you can get.”

The World Baseball Classic, still in its infancy, is similar in that it has yet to find the perfect balance of entertainment and logic.  We, the viewers, cannot expect it to be the perfect international tournament it aims to be — not yet at least.

There are naysayers.  There are those who feel the Classic is a colossal waste of time.  There are general managers and agents and players and pundits who see it as a liability more than an asset.  And I understand their points of view.

theo epstein.jpgIf I were Omar Minaya or Theo Epstein or Frank Wren and I was forced to watch my best players risk injury in the name of a “friendly” tournament with seemingly zero tangible gain, I guess I would be a little ticked off too.  But I believe the World Baseball Classic is more than just a King Bud money machine meant to get more people interested in Major League Baseball around the world.  To me, it is a showcase of the most talented players on the planet: a baseball bravura boasting a playoff-like atmosphere during the most boring weeks of spring training. 

And whether ballplayers are playing in the WBC or in Jupiter, Florida or with their kids at home, guys are going to get hurt.

guitar hero.jpgJust ask Joel Zumaya about his Guitar Hero hangup.

Or just ask Aaron Boone about his penchant for pickup basketball.

Or just ask Ken Griffey, Jr. about wrestling with his children.

And while the easy way out is to say let us put an end to this World Baseball Classic for good and focus on the regular season, players are still going to find ways to injure themselves on and off the field.  Personally, I would rather see a guy get hurt for his country than a video game.

The WBC only happens every few years, folks.  Eventually, the kinks will be worked out.  In the meantime, the foreseen benefits of firing up an entire baseball-following planet are far and beyond more plentiful than the occasional injury risks inherited by players, teams and front offices.

The truth is: baseball (yet again) was light years behind the rest of sports in not having an authentic international forum.  And while the rewards of the Classic won’t be seen for another twenty years or so when little Chen Jianguo and Mario Perugino and Ned van Flanders are all grown up and starting superstars in the Majors, I think we all owe it to the world to give this tournament a chance — and most of all, to enjoy it.

But just to be safe, we should all continue to pray to the baseball gods that our team’s best players escape injury free and refrain from jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

On Ben Sheets: Buyer Beware

If you’re wondering why Ben Sheets remains unsigned in the latter half of January, take a look at this video which accurately portrays the pitching mechanics and inherent injury risks typical of Sheets’ style of play:

That’s one ugly mess that I wouldn’t want to clean up, let alone dish out millions of dollars to for a multi-year deal that would most likely end in pain and suffering (see Carl Pavano & the Yankees).

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Number Five!

MLBlogosphere came out with their latest power rankings featuring the top ten most popular blogs from MLB.com.  On behalf of everyone here at RSBS (myself included along with just Allen), I would like to thank the fans, the lawyers, the paparazzi, and all five members of NKOTB for their undying support and unfathomable loyalty to the staunch wordy baseball-politico diatribes presented here.  With the help of a seriously disenfranchised Brit, you US Americans have put Red State Blue State over the hump and made us the fifth most popular fan blog in all of MLB.comLand!

While we’re happy to be honored so, we were hoping you, dear reader, could pick up the slack a little and make us number one.  I mean, what is fifth place really?  The fourth loser?  

If we have to, Allen has agreed to sell his body (frail and pasty as it is) to anyone who can generate hits on our site at nothing less than light speed.  I would provide the sedatives to any willing participant as well as a package deal including up to at least three years of therapy. 

albert-pujols-5.jpgIn the meantime, I guess number five ain’t so bad.  If it’s good enough for A.P., it’s good enough for me.  And A.P.’s pretty damn good…

In recognizing this and celebrating the fact that bipartisan blogging can actually turn out a modicum of success, I leave you, dear readers, with the gift of a fascinating video that I have yet to understand.  Since the last post was about injuries and their affects on the game, I thought this might be a fitting tribute to staying healthy — on and off the field, computer, wherever you might spend your time… for me that would be in a bar. 

Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

http://widgets.clearspring.com/o/486957c54c88e2fc/48719e9dff19588a/4871700e285e5e1a/43d31059

The Filibuster

At the midway point in the season, it seems like every week we hear
about another marquee name that has landed on the DL. Which of these
injuries will turn out to be most significant to their team and who do
you think will go down next?

– Allen

                                                                                       

Okay, Al.  I see what you’re doing.  You’re trying to sound smart again — like you actually know what you’re talking about.  That’s fine.  Let me remind you that Red State Blue State is read by many an intelligent person (and some not so intelligent – see urinal diving at Wrigley).  This means that every once in a while you have to try a little harder, go the extra proverbial mile or dare I say: write something.

Now that that is off my chest, I will indulge you with an answer…

People get hurt.  It’s part of the game.  You know this.  The better teams rise above injuries and continue to play well despite the setbacks.  The Red Sox have been doing this without David Ortiz.  The Cardinals have been doing this without Chris Carpenter.  The Cubs have been doing this without Alfonso Soriano.  Obviously, having a star player out with an injury cannot help any team; but I think it’s safe to say that all the teams that are in contention will not be devastated by an injury of one person alone, at least, not yet as we’re only halfway there. 

Will the Mariners suffer without J.J. Putz?  Maybe.  But guess what, they’ve been suffering all season long, so life without Putz can’t be much worse than life with him.  Will the Indians have difficulties without Victor Martinez in the lineup?  Perhaps.  But once again, the Indians have been su<king with Martinez, so losing him won’t make them much worse.  In some cases, an injured player is better than a healthy one.  Take the Tigers’ Dontrelle Willis for example.  The guy is worth much more to his team hurt (and out of the lineup) since when healthy he wasn’t able to find the strike zone with Google Maps and a Smart Bomb.  Willis was hurting the Tigers every fifth day by walking 5, 6, 7, 8 guys a game!

dontrelle_willis.jpgMy question is this: at this point, who really cares if the Mariners, Indians, Tigers, Pirates ad nauseum do suffer “key” injuries?  None of these teams have a shot at contention in the first place, so it shouldn’t be that big of an issue.

The better teams are good with their stars.  The best teams survive without them. 

…who do you think will go down next?

In this particular case, Al, it’s not just one person who is “going down” next; it’s an entire people and their dreams.  I realize that the suburbanites of Detroit are just now waking up from their Hockeytown heroics — hung over and cotton-mouthed — realizing that their baseball team is still an absolute joke.  Sure, they had a good stretch there a couple weeks ago, but the standings don’t lie and they have so far to go now that it just seems too daunting a task.  And all those injuries… whoo wee.  How on earth could they ever come back from that?

They won’t.

I’m here to tell you that they won’t, folks.

Make plans for October, Tiger fans, ‘cuz you’re going to have a lot of free time.

In fact, why don’t you just settle down for another painful football season full of Matt Millen, Matt Millen and Matt Millen.

Of course, humble MLBlogger that I am, I must admit that I’m writing this drunk with sorrow from the ill-fated weekend had by Cardinal fans worldwide.  I’m sitting here watching my inbox blow up with what I’m sure are rampant evil expletives from the equally drunk (with alcohol) Cub fan base that can’t seem to leave me alone.  As I attempt to mend my feelings and my dopamine levels, I promise more will follow soon.  I lost a bet or two that will surely embarrass me tomorrow and I’m sure you’ll all want to revel in that.

In the meantime, do me a favor and don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Cards Must Embrace Occam’s Razor

To be whole, you must be broken.

When the British imprisoned Gandhi, did he give up his string of peaceful protests?  When Judas ratted out Jesus, did J.C. stop spreading the gospel?  When Hillary blasted Obama for being associated with a hifalutin crazy-talkin’ preacher, did he cede the race, kill the birth of hope politics or spit on the dreams of US Americans to see real change

No.  They didn’t.

Now, as the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves in a similar predicament, the task is at hand: persevere, stay the course, rise from the dead if need be, but most importantly: keep on doing what you’ve been doing.  Keep winning.  

Without question, Albert Pujols’ injury is a devastating blow to a team who has already overcome an onslaught of adversity.  Losing three seasoned veterans to other clubs, losing an ace starter, losing a key utility man to the evils of addiction, these are just a few of the obstacles they’ve been forced to overcome — not to mention the fact that no one — NO ONE — even gave them a fighting chance before the season started. 

Yet despite all of the above, the Cards sit just 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs (as I write this), and they’ve gotten there with hard work, solid pitching, timely hitting and gutsy performances.  Pujols is and always will be the catalyst, but they wouldn’t be competing in the NL Central if it weren’t for the blue collar efforts of a mostly unheard of supporting cast.

Ludwick, Ankiel, Schumaker, Molina, Miles, Franklin and Lohse = Guts, guts, guts, guts, guts, guts and guts.

occam3A.jpgoccam2A.jpg

So why change anything now?  Put Duncan at first base, adjust the batting order, put on that jockstrap and let’s grow a pair!  Don’t lose a step!  Do NOT panic!  Do not get crazy, give up hope, make a stupid move or cede the race!

In other words, keep the same, simple attitude and forget about the baseball pundits that are now saying the Cards haven’t a chance in the world.  According to them, we never did (see 2008 current standings, 2006 final standings for evidence of how this has been overcome before).

It’s only June.  It’s far from over.  And I’m right.  Don’t hate me for it.

Peace,

Jeffy

albert-pujols-wallpaper-1.jpg

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