Thursday, June 23, 2005

Since when did pitching become more dangerous than U-Boat duty?

(Note for those not historically inclined: U-Boat duty was possibly the most dangerous position in World War II, with the exception of just about every infantry position in the Red Army in 1941.)

What is it with pitchers that they cannot stay healthy and then when they get hurt, it takes them obscene amounts of time to come back? At some stage, the Yankees and Red Sox are going to figure this out and develop eight-man rotations so they can be prepared for the inevitable maladies that strike hurlers. The Braves don't have their revenue, so they are vulnerable to instances like last night when Horacio Ramirez strained his groin scoring from third in the 5th inning. I played in a softball game with a collection of out of shape lawyers last night, there were 21 runs scored, and everyone managed to round third without putting him/herself on the 15-day DL (which is not to say that that's where Horacio is going to end up.) And the sad thing is that Ramirez was pitching very well last night when he got hurt.

At least Horacio's injury appears to be minor. Listen to Mike Hampton discuss his mysterious strained forearm in today's AJC:

"I don’t think it’s anything minor,” said Hampton, who has pitched once in five weeks and not since May 31. “I’m frustrated. I guess I’ll just hang out, do what they tell me to do. They can keep paying me not to play, I guess.”

The left-hander is 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA in nine starts this season. He’s scheduled to begin light throwing today, but didn’t sound confident.

“It ain’t no better,” he said of his forearm, which hasn’t responded to rest and extensive treatments, first prescribed by Braves doctors and reiterated by noted orthopedist James Andrews.

“We won’t know until he throws,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

Andrews told him “at least” two more weeks of rest on June 8.

“And if it don’t work, wait another two weeks,” Hampton said. “So that’s where we’re at now.”

That's encouraging. If this was the NBA, I'd automatically be suspicious that this is another gambling ban on the sly, like the one that David Stern purportedly handed down to Michael Jordan after the '93 season. Bud Selig isn't nearly competent enough to pull that off.

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