Thursday, May 1, 2008

Paging Dr. Basedow

Congratulations, you've just joined the 76% of Americans who forget to stretch before doing any physical activity.

They’re dropping like flies out there! It seems like the Yankees should have listened to Uncle Tony about stretching before physical activity because the injury bug has reared its ugly head in the Bronx. Pete Abraham gives the full breakdown here:

They are 28 games into the season and here is their list of injuries:

Andy Petitte (back spasms, spring training)

Jorge Posada (right shoulder strain, April 1)

Derek Jeter (left quad strain on April 7)

Jason Giambi (left groin strain, April 5)

Jose Molina (left hamstring, April 13)

Wilson Betemit (eye infection, April 14)

Alex Rodriguez (right quad strain April 20)

Joba Chamberlain (left hamstring, April 24)

Brian Bruney (right foot fracture, April 24)

Add Phil Hughes to that list who, as of yesterday, is on his way to the DL with a strained oblique and a 9.00 ERA (both equally serious).

With the exception of Wilson Betamit and “the pink-eye”, all of these injuries have been musculoskeletal injuries, and I have a hunch most of them could have been prevented. This is not the case of Jeter sliding into third base and busting up his shoulder (does anyone else hold their breath when he slides head first?). These are all nagging injuries that came from the wear and tear of a baseball season. Most of them also are the product of players playing hurt and reaggravating the injury. Shockingly, this is not the first time it has happened. Remember “The Great Hamstring Scare of 2007.” Just about a year ago, Chien Ming Wang, Mike Mussina, Hideki Matsui, Phil Hughes, and Johnny Damon all had hamstring problems in the first month of the season.


One would suspect that the cold weather certainly has affected this. Trips to Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, Baltimore and Boston in wet and cold conditions can’t be good for players who are still trying to get loose early in the season. Still, the Yankees have 9 players on the DL tied with the Texas Rangers for worst strength and conditioning program in the league. It’s actually 10 if you count Farnsworth’s 3 game suspension for throwing at Manny, as CBS Sports does (Farnworth out three days for being a head case). Of course, no team in the MLB has lost two players who were considered for MVP last year (A-Rod and Posada).

I’d say the blame should be shared here. Was Girardi paying close enough attention to the players? Was he too wrapped up in trying start his career with the Yankees off with a bang? Did he not feel comfortable telling a veteran like Posada or A-Rod to shut it down? When Jeter injured his quad, he came back a day early. Girardi said it would be one game after he was fully recovered. As far as those covering the Yankees knew, he did not sit this extra game. Perhaps the players should have known better than to play with the injuries? It took Tony Pena noticing A-Rod’s limp to get him out of the game. A-Rod seemed to be content to keep playing. I do think one thing is clear though…

It’s time for the Yankees to hire a new strength and conditioning coach.

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