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May 19, 2003

Under The Knife

Severe Seems to be the Hardest Word

by Will Carroll

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My Giants source tells me that Neifi Perez knew the infield fly rule. I suppose that knowing the rules is something, but I'd rather have a player who can actually play the game. Everyone this weekend seemed to lose both their concentration and their cool--and thanks to some unfortunate luck, a number of them will lose some time to injury. Let's get right to the good stuff:

  • Go ahead and cringe. Mike Piazza has a severe groin strain. According to team sources, Piazza's muscle came just short of completely tearing. He'll try to avoid surgery, but it still remains a possibility. Best guesses have a pretty big range, but I'll stick with six-to-eight weeks. I'm not sure what impact, if any, this will have on the alleged move to first, but I don't think a position change would reduce the timetable. I'll have more on this injury later this week.

  • It appears that the curse from the Cards bullpen is now in the outfield of the Twins. Doug Misspelling stepped on Joe Crede's foot and severely sprained his ankle. He's likely headed for the DL, but is trying to convince team officials that he'll be back quickly. Once again, the Twins have the opportunity to bring up one of their plethora of corner guys and either figure out how he can help them or at worst, showcase him for a trade.

  • While we're watching Freddy Garcia for signs of injury, the Mariners are working hard on his mechanics. Bryan Price apparently found something on video and thinks it's fixable. He'll get some extra work on the side and have his next start pushed back a day. While I don't expect immediate results, I'm sure the boys over at U.S.S. Mariner will give us immediate reports.

  • Sammy Sosa is walking. It's not quite like saying Christopher Reeve is walking, but for the Cubs, it's not bad news. Sosa should be swinging by mid-week and back at the minimum.

  • It was a bad weekend to be Trot Nixon. First, his boneheaded play will surely be on blooper reels for a while, and ultimately gets Larry Walker off that particular hot seat for a similar incident at Dodger Stadium a few years back. Sunday, Nixon left the game with a tight hamstring--he will be checked tomorrow. Keep your eye on this one since the Red Sox have about a million roster options for the corner positions.

  • There are a lot of names that might be coming and going in Florida, but the one name that might surprise is A.J. Burnett. He was famously unhappy with the team signing Ivan Rodriguez and the injury may just make this impossible to get over. Like Jon Lieber, there are a lot of teams that would take him on for a rehab year with the idea that he could be an ace again in 2005.

  • Speaking of Tommy John survivors, John Franco is just over a year removed from his procedure and his control looks solid. That's the most surprising part of some recent recoveries--the command is coming back more quickly. Franco should be back in New York in the next few weeks and it wouldn't shock me at all to see him getting some save opportunities.

  • Bernie Williams is having a small problem with his knee which should clear up with rest and therapy. Hideki Matsui was able to play CF while Bernie DH'd. Nick Johnson's stress fracture opened up the slot, while Jason Giambi returned to first base and Bubba Trammell manned left. Roster flexibility is a good thing, even when the Rangers are sweeping you.

  • The Astros are smartly dropping Roy Oswalt on the DL to make sure he doesn't rush back. With some rotation problems, moving your best pitcher doesn't seem logical, but it does give the team a chance to take a look at some guys a couple times at a non-critical juncture while helping to ensure that your ace gets some additional rest. He'll be back in the minimum.

  • Reports on Jimmy Haynes' rehab outing were good; the Reds could use him back in the rotation. Creatively finding answers for that rotation (four man?) will make or break the Reds season. Right now, they're the Rangers without Alex Rodriguez--but then again, the Rangers don't have an outfield like the Reds.

  • Lost in the controversy of Zach Day's ejection for having superglue on his finger was the fact that Day has a blister. Day has not only been one of the best pitchers in the NL, he's about all the Expos have left that is completely healthy. The blister doesn't seem serious, and Ron McClain was obviously working on it quickly, but no word on if he might miss a start. It looks like he might not be suspended, but the effect would be the same.

  • Further proof that the Orioles not only don't get it, but they may just be counter-productive. Jack Cust may not be the player many people expected him to be, but taking away his patience isn't going to help. Why is it that the A's are harped on for not having won a World Series? Would just one--like the aggressive Angels have--make that much difference?

  • There's something about Damian Moss that doesn't look right. He's one of a couple guys who appear to be losing a bit of command. I'm looking into this.

  • It can't be just me who changes the channel when Stuart Scott is anchoring, right? Not once, but TWICE in the same highlight, he decided to karaoke some DMX. If I wanted to hear DMX--and I don't--I'd turn on some DMX. When did SportsCenter stop being just about sports? Dammit...and you know what's worse? They replay SportsCenter so much that I have to hear it AGAIN just now...

  • Anyone know anything about Bluetooth?

I'll be back tomorrow with more of what's broken in baseball.

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