At the midway point in the season, it seems like every week we hear
about another marquee name that has landed on the DL. Which of these
injuries will turn out to be most significant to their team and who do
you think will go down next?
Okay, Al. I see what you’re doing. You’re trying to sound smart again — like you actually know what you’re talking about. That’s fine. Let me remind you that Red State Blue State is read by many an intelligent person (and some not so intelligent – see urinal diving at Wrigley). This means that every once in a while you have to try a little harder, go the extra proverbial mile or dare I say: write something.
Now that that is off my chest, I will indulge you with an answer…
People get hurt. It’s part of the game. You know this. The better teams rise above injuries and continue to play well despite the setbacks. The Red Sox have been doing this without David Ortiz. The Cardinals have been doing this without Chris Carpenter. The Cubs have been doing this without Alfonso Soriano. Obviously, having a star player out with an injury cannot help any team; but I think it’s safe to say that all the teams that are in contention will not be devastated by an injury of one person alone, at least, not yet as we’re only halfway there.
Will the Mariners suffer without J.J. Putz? Maybe. But guess what, they’ve been suffering all season long, so life without Putz can’t be much worse than life with him. Will the Indians have difficulties without Victor Martinez in the lineup? Perhaps. But once again, the Indians have been su<king with Martinez, so losing him won’t make them much worse. In some cases, an injured player is better than a healthy one. Take the Tigers’ Dontrelle Willis for example. The guy is worth much more to his team hurt (and out of the lineup) since when healthy he wasn’t able to find the strike zone with Google Maps and a Smart Bomb. Willis was hurting the Tigers every fifth day by walking 5, 6, 7, 8 guys a game!
My question is this: at this point, who really cares if the Mariners, Indians, Tigers, Pirates ad nauseum do suffer “key” injuries? None of these teams have a shot at contention in the first place, so it shouldn’t be that big of an issue.
The better teams are good with their stars. The best teams survive without them.
…who do you think will go down next?
In this particular case, Al, it’s not just one person who is “going down” next; it’s an entire people and their dreams. I realize that the suburbanites of Detroit are just now waking up from their Hockeytown heroics — hung over and cotton-mouthed — realizing that their baseball team is still an absolute joke. Sure, they had a good stretch there a couple weeks ago, but the standings don’t lie and they have so far to go now that it just seems too daunting a task. And all those injuries… whoo wee. How on earth could they ever come back from that?
I’m here to tell you that they won’t, folks.
Make plans for October, Tiger fans, ‘cuz you’re going to have a lot of free time.
In fact, why don’t you just settle down for another painful football season full of Matt Millen, Matt Millen and Matt Millen.
Of course, humble MLBlogger that I am, I must admit that I’m writing this drunk with sorrow from the ill-fated weekend had by Cardinal fans worldwide. I’m sitting here watching my inbox blow up with what I’m sure are rampant evil expletives from the equally drunk (with alcohol) Cub fan base that can’t seem to leave me alone. As I attempt to mend my feelings and my dopamine levels, I promise more will follow soon. I lost a bet or two that will surely embarrass me tomorrow and I’m sure you’ll all want to revel in that.
In the meantime, do me a favor and don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
To be whole, you must be broken.
When the British imprisoned Gandhi, did he give up his string of peaceful protests? When Judas ratted out Jesus, did J.C. stop spreading the gospel? When Hillary blasted Obama for being associated with a hifalutin crazy-talkin’ preacher, did he cede the race, kill the birth of hope politics or spit on the dreams of US Americans to see real change?
No. They didn’t.
Now, as the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves in a similar predicament, the task is at hand: persevere, stay the course, rise from the dead if need be, but most importantly: keep on doing what you’ve been doing. Keep winning.
Without question, Albert Pujols’ injury is a devastating blow to a team who has already overcome an onslaught of adversity. Losing three seasoned veterans to other clubs, losing an ace starter, losing a key utility man to the evils of addiction, these are just a few of the obstacles they’ve been forced to overcome — not to mention the fact that no one — NO ONE — even gave them a fighting chance before the season started.
Yet despite all of the above, the Cards sit just 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs (as I write this), and they’ve gotten there with hard work, solid pitching, timely hitting and gutsy performances. Pujols is and always will be the catalyst, but they wouldn’t be competing in the NL Central if it weren’t for the blue collar efforts of a mostly unheard of supporting cast.
Ludwick, Ankiel, Schumaker, Molina, Miles, Franklin and Lohse = Guts, guts, guts, guts, guts, guts and guts.
So why change anything now? Put Duncan at first base, adjust the batting order, put on that jockstrap and let’s grow a pair! Don’t lose a step! Do NOT panic! Do not get crazy, give up hope, make a stupid move or cede the race!
In other words, keep the same, simple attitude and forget about the baseball pundits that are now saying the Cards haven’t a chance in the world. According to them, we never did (see 2008 current standings, 2006 final standings for evidence of how this has been overcome before).
It’s only June. It’s far from over. And I’m right. Don’t hate me for it.