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May 4, 2006

Under The Knife

Sold!

by Will Carroll

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If you take the new stadium into account, MLB is about $900 million to the good with the whole Expos transaction. I'm no economist, but that sounds impressive despite my distaste for the process.

The Nats getting an owner, a stadium and--soon, we hope--some stability doesn't seem to have much to do with health. That's flat wrong. The biggest key for team health might not be facilities and it might not be money, though few would argue that both help. Teams that succeed from a health standpoint don't do it because of luck. They do it because of plans that make health a priority and a part of how a team goes about its business. Stan Kasten has seen what team health and an organizational approach can do during his time in Atlanta with Joe Chandler, Dave Pursley and the rest of their fine medical staff. It's your team now, guys; how serious are you?

Powered by the new Pioneer Inno XM radio, on to the injuries:

  • As if Barry Bonds didn't have enough trouble in his life, he now has to pay more attention during batting practice. Those in the media obsessed with Bonds' head size will be happy to know that his dome can take the force of being hit by a ball and Bonds can still come back to play. I won't blame his 0-for-4 on the scary injury, though it's a plausible explanation. After a month, have we learned anything about Bonds? He can play with pain, he's retooled his swing to go opposite field, and he's on track for a year very comparable to the one Henry Aaron had at the same age.

  • The White Sox are going to go with their strength when dealing with Jermaine Dye. The team handles rehabs with the best of them, so they're going to give Dye a couple of days working with the medical staff to make sure that the calf strain he has doesn't develop into something worse. His legs have a long history, so the slightest change is more problematic for him than most players. The Sox aren't scared to play short and have a very flexible roster, so even with Brian Anderson scuffling, they'll do the smart thing and let Dye heal. He'll be back no later than Monday.

  • The Rangers are hanging around in the AL West despite injuries and role changes. The team got some good news Wednesday as Ian Kinsler continues to progress. He's swinging the bat well enough that the team is discussing what the next step will be. Kinsler isn't full strength yet, and probably won't be for the better part of the first half--this type of injury lingers--but progress is progress.

    The team also won't be without Antonio Alfonseca, cheap bullpen filler who looks like a nice signing at this point, for long. Alfonseca twisted his ankle and will miss just a few days.

  • Somehow, a text message came to me today on the Sidekick with what I think was the subject line (ROLEN) in the from line. It surprised me for a second, though it's always interesting to find out who's been reading. Scott Rolen, if you're out there, you should know that the tracheal viral infection that you're dealing with is making progress. The biggest concern is the weight loss and the stamina that's been sapped. While Rolen is cleared for baseball activity, he's still far from 100%. We've all had illnesses and know what that feels like even a week later. The body pays a price for an immune-system response. In the longer term, this is no big deal.

    Albert Pujols was back in the lineup and added another homer. I guess the back doesn't hurt that much. Amazing to think he's played much of the last three seasons with injuries that would have sidelined many players. Late news that Mark Mulder is returning to St Louis to have his back looked at bears watching.

  • The Yankees are taking their time with Gary Sheffield. They have the depth to spare for almost any position for the short term and there's no reason to rush Sheffield back. His wrists are a major part of his success, and the slightest problem there could have serious repercussions, both for his success and chances for reinjury. The team won't let Sheffield back before he's as near 100% as he'll get in the short term, and they'll keep a very close eye on him when he does return. Don't be surprised to see a bit of a power drain during May given the problem; this is the same type of injury he had in 2002.

  • I had mono back in junior high. Her name was Lynda, back when spelling things with a "Y" seemed cute and not affected. The virus was all she ever really gave me of any value, though remembering her name all these years later makes me wonder whatever became of that girl. I definitely remember suffering with mono for the better part of a year, draining me just enough to be really annoying. That's likely how Casey Kotchman feels, like an engine in need of a tune-up. It certainly helps explain his struggles this year. There's really nothing that can be done to help. The Angels and Kotchman will just have to hope that he can fight through it and eventually get back to normal.

  • The focus on the dollars that will bring Roger Clemens back has kept the focus off what he'll need to do once he signs on the dotted line. Clemens has been working out and throwing some, staying in good shape after the World Baseball Classic. He'll need some work in the minors, making it possible that he'll sign with the Astros and make Nolan Ryan a lot of money by pitching a couple times in Corpus Christi and Round Rock.

  • Quick Cuts: Stan Kasten appears to be moving fast. Some key Braves staffers are apparently checking real estate listings in the D.C. area Todd Helton will be back on Friday Postive sign of the night? Daniel Cabrera's velocity was down. His K/BB and that may indicate he's finally buying what Leo Mazzone has been selling: useable velocity Ever wonder what would have happened to a band like Fugazi if iTunes had been around back then? Lance Cormier heads to the DL, the latest Braves injury that's kept Bobby Cox working hard Milton Bradley is out a few more days, now with problems in his oblique.

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<< Previous Article
Prospectus Notebook: A... (05/04)
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