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August 4, 2005

Under The Knife

Not-So-Swift Justice

by Will Carroll

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The Rafael Palmeiro story keeps going in odd directions. With the winstrol revelation now public, is there anything more coming? Rumors have begun to circulate about more revelations and connections, rumors that, as yet, haven't come to fruition. Palmeiro has allowed the release of his testing documentation to Congress, something that will no doubt leak to the press.

What's still bothering me is perception more than fact. I believed Palmeiro when he testified and I also believed Baseball when they told us that steroid suspensions would be swift justice. If their idea of swift is two or three months, then our definitions differ. I understand and appreciate the need for due process and negotiated procedure. I just don't like the idea that there are players out there playing while knowing that their positive test result is becoming public at some point in the future.

Powered by T-Mobile and my Sidekick. I've put nearly 1,000 minutes on that thing over the last seven days and no problems. It allows me to say, "on to the injuries"...

  • Somewhere beyond bad luck lies the Mariners pitching staff. I won't chronicle the long painful history here, but suffice it to say that no team has more entries in the injury database for pitchers.

    The latest victim is Jorge Campillo. Called up from Triple-A Tacoma, Campillo lasted just one inning before leaving the game. You guessed it, he's headed for Tommy John surgery. The experience with Tommy John surgery is that the damage that it repairs doesn't happen overnight. Campillo likely damaged his arm well before his one-inning debut. He'll miss the rest of the season and likely most or all of next year, too.

  • Ryan Klesko will miss at least a couple games with what was described as "severe" back spasms. There's no clear genesis for this problem and Klesko hasn't had problems with his back since May. Klesko is likely to swap over to first base at some point, switching with Xavier Nady. Neither is a defensive whiz at either position, so protecting Klesko from injury is the key issue.

  • The Angels are looking over their shoulder at the A's, hoping that getting their rotation healthy will help them hold off their surging rival. No such luck. The Angels were forced to put Jarrod Washburn on the DL after his forearm and elbow had inflammation following a bullpen session. Washburn had sounded positive after the session, but the team elected to go with Chris Bootcheck in order to see if a run of anti-inflammatories can get Washburn back to his usual level. The Angels are feeling positive about Kelvim Escobar. So far, his return from elbow chip removal is slightly ahead of schedule. Escobar was able to throw off a mound and came away pain-free. Escobar's expected to pitch in the bullpen initially, rather than taking some rehab time in the minors. We could see him there in late August.

  • The Phillies are very concerned that Jim Thome is still unable to throw. Worse, his hitting hasn't been great, a problem mitigated by Ryan Howard showing some results. Thome is headed for Double-A this weekend where he'll be limited to DHing. Expect the Phillies to take this very conservatively, using as much of the rehab time as they can before bringing Thome back. Thome could force their hand by looking like the Thome of old, but team sources don't expect that to happen. Thome's next three years figure to be a hot topic this winter, both in Philly and in Dallas.

  • As bad as his injury looks, Chipper Jones said he'll miss just a couple of days. The Braves are the masters of getting players back quickly and avoiding the DL, so there's no reason to doubt Jones' assertion. His shoulder strain shouldn't affect him in the field, but there's no question it will affect him at the plate, though it's always tough to tell with switch-hitters. Jones was saved by his limitations, according to a team source. "[Jones] has no flexibility in those shoulders. He's a rock. That probably prevented the thing from popping clean out." The Braves are also close to getting John Thomson back. He'll make one more rehab start, perhaps two, before returning to the rotation. The Braves could be fully healthy by mid-month, allowing them to pull away from the rest of the division.

  • Manny Ramirez and Edgar Renteria collided during Wednesday's game, forcing Ramirez out of the game. It looked more awkward than violent, though Ramirez did leave the game with bruises on his chest and cheek. The incident isn't expected to cause either player to miss much time, if any. Ramirez might ask for a specific off-day again, something sure to cause gnashing of teeth in the Hub.

    Then again, they might be distracted from more Manny-mania by the return of Roberto Petagine. A longtime stathead fave, Petagine was buried in the Reds organization, then spent a couple years bashing Japanese pitching. He was called up to replace John Olerud, who was placed on the DL with a strained hamstring. The Red Sox are also looking for ways to get Keith Foulke ready. Making a solid comeback from knee surgery, Foulke is throwing off the mound already and appears on track for a mid-month comeback. Foulke is against a minor-league stint to get ready, something the team wants him to do. There's no fix yet on whether or not Foulke's mechanical problems have been corrected or what to expect as far as velocity or even role once he returns.

  • Quick Cuts: Erik Bedard is pitching like a guy scared that his elbow is going to hurt. It's tough to succeed in those circumstances The Cubs expect to activate Kerry Wood, Nomar Garciaparra and Scott Williamson on schedule Friday. All successfully completed rehab assignments Roy Halladay will throw a sim game on Thursday, more to check his fielding skills than anything. A Sunday start is back to "possible" Ted Lilly is throwing again, ahead of schedule on his rehab from shoulder tendonitis Matt Williams turned down the job of GM for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

If you're in the neighborhood of Indianapolis' Victory Field, stop by and say, "hi." I'll be out there with the ESPN 950 crew. We're also prepping what should be a very interesting BP Radio--you can probably guess the theme, though we'll also mix it up a bit.

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