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Did you miss me? Yes, I took a night off. I watched the NCAA Finals, enjoyed the fact that Texas was home a couple nights earlier, and generally enjoyed the HDTV feed. In the end, working on PowerPoint slides all day and booking this week’s BPR had me burned out, and I’ll make it up to you today. I’m well into a very interesting piece that you’ll get while I’m gone next week. One of the weaknesses in looking at injury information is dealing with minor league and college data. In the first piece we’ll take care of one of those issues, and I’m hoping to get the second one taken care of in the very near future.

  • My feelings on how the Indians have dealt with C.C. Sabathia are clear. I feel he has been overused, but at least as much blame falls on Sabathia himself for not maintaining himself, for his legendary nightlife, and for his seeming complete lack of understanding of the value of a medical staff. Sabathia insists on keeping the team and trainers in the dark on even minor injuries, making it hard to adjust for them. Eric Wedge seems to be in the same situation as Charlie Manuel was last year–never knowing which Sabathia might show up at the park.

  • Bad news for the Braves. It looks like Paul Byrd is not going to be ready to return as scheduled. Reports vary on if it was a setback or if Byrd simply doesn’t feel ready to contribute as a starter. Either way, Byrd’s absence, if only in innings, hurts the staff and thins them at the end of the rotation. As long as Byrd is out, the Braves will be forced to rely on the inconsistent Jason Marquis and the unproven Horacio Ramirez. I’m not sure how fast Leo is rocking right now, but much more of this and he’ll look like someone at a Quiet Riot concert–old, no hair, still trying to headbang.

  • Kevin Millwood is not only healthy and ready for his start later this week, he sounds angry. I’m not sure if this is a positive or negative, but I like angry pitchers. All his quotes this week sound vengeful and bitter, but smart and not of the headhunting variety. The Phillies will likely be very quick with a hook after his groin strain, but he looked great in a side session and reported no pain.

  • Derek Lowe was his typical self, all movement, average velocity. A patient Blue Jays team had some success at making him come up in the zone and Lowe ended up leaving with a blister in the sixth. It doesn’t appear to be serious enough to cause him to miss his next start.

  • Sean Burroughs is again experiencing pain and soreness in his problematic, post-surgical shoulder. I really don’t have much insight beyond noting the symptoms, but shoulder injuries are often difficult to come back from, even for non-pitchers. Anyone who has been through even a mild rehab knows what I mean. Burroughs will miss some games, but I’m unsure if short rest will be enough or if another DL stint is forthcoming.

  • Reports from Anaheim are that Troy Glaus was removed more as a precaution than anything else. Glaus had a hamstring tighten up and the team got Glaus out as soon as possible. There’s no major concern, but missing a game or two is quite possible. Better that than letting it go and losing a big bat to the DL.

  • Both Carlos Beltran and Kevin Mench are closing in on rehab assignments after recovering from oblique strains. I’ll let you be the judge as to which is more important to his team.

So tonight I was with my best friend, driving to the Red Cross to donate blood–always a good thing. As I waited, I had my copy of BP, so I sat down, had a cookie and read up on the Reds and Phillies, who I’ll see this weekend. A nurse came over to get something and noticed the book. “Is that Baseball Promurmur?” she asked, mangling the name. “Yes, familiar with it?” I asked, surprised. “My husband gets that every year,” she said. “Do you like it?” I smiled. “I wrote it.” OK, at least part of it. The look on her face was priceless. BPers–they’re everywhere!