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October 17, 2003

Under The Knife

Heartbroken

by Will Carroll

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Yes, I'm heartbroken, but for now, let's just leave it at that. Congratulations to the Florida Marlins and the New York Yankees.

Powered by several Goose Island beers on Bud's tab, on to the injuries...

  • Jack McKeon knew that he had to play Game Seven like there was no tomorrow, throwing Brad Penny and Josh Beckett on short rest, while Dontrelle Willis was in the bullpen warming up, at one stage, after pitching in Game Six. It's one thing to play like there's no tomorrow, but it does make things a bit awkward when tomorrow comes. The Marlins enter the World Series with two off days, giving the likely start to Dontrelle Willis, both on match up and on account of the fact he's about the only one that will be ready to go. I'll have more on this in tomorrow's Series Health Report.

  • Johan Santana had his expected scope of his elbow, and the results are about as good as could be expected. While you never want your young ace pitcher getting cut, it was a scope-job, and only one chip was found. Santana could be back throwing inside of a month and will certainly have no ill effects by spring training.

  • Despite the suggestion of his manager, Larry Walker isn't going to retire. Instead, he's having his annual tune up--this time, it was a cleanup in his shoulder and minor knee surgery to clean up the cartilage. As usual, Walker will be ready for spring training, but it's just a matter of time before he's injured again--the only question is how effective he'll be in between those inevitable injuries.

  • The Dodgers are in some massive flux with many rumors that Dan Evans and Jim Tracy will both be on the street as soon as new owner Frank McCourt gains control of such decisions. I won't offer my opinion on these moves because I don't have enough information regarding the political or personality issues. What I do know is that the surgery on Shawn Green's shoulder was completed, and that instead of repairing the labrum, the damaged cartilage was removed. This is significantly more likely to cause future issues, and raises doubts that Green will recover to the level many expected from this great player.

  • There's a big, nasty story breaking regarding steroids. This one is directly affecting track and field, but there are big baseball connections, specifically involving Barry Bonds. While Bonds' representatives say he has no connection to this, some of the press will be lazy and see "Bonds" and "steroids" in the same page and just go nuts. Yes, I'll be following this closely.

  • I was lucky enough to get a tour of the Giants training room when I was in Pac...er, SBC Park in July. Barney Nugent showed me around the world-class facility, and he was clearly proud of it, from the treatment table built around a support pillar to a medication closet that's second to none. But what I remember the most was how much Barney seemed to love what he was doing. He told me a story about how much time he spent working to get Ray Durham back, so much so that people joked that they were 'going steady'. Barry Bonds didn't miss much time this year due to injury, Jason Schmidt pitched effectively through a major injury, and much of the credit must go to the excellence and passion of Barney Nugent. Now it turns out that all the time he was healing his players, he was in pain himself. It was an honor to have met him, and the profession is better for having had him. UTK wishes Barney nothing but the best in whatever enterprise he chooses to succeed in next.

Back tomorrow with a World Series Health Report.

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