I hate to shart in people's celebratory ice cream sundaes, but it's the truth. Everybody and their mother, their father, their mother's friends from book club, and their father's buddies from rec league basketball was abuzz today after Joel Sherman penned this piece in The Post quoting Mo's rehab doctor as saying he believed Mo could return to the mound in 2012. I'm not going to bother listing his reasons why, you can find that out for yourself by reading the story, but they seem perfectly reasonable. The reaction to this story around the Yankosphere and associated comments sections was something like this:
I get it. I really do. I worship at the Altar of Mo just as much as anybody. I've probably slurped him in the pages of AB4AR more than any other individual Yankee, and with the number of times I've referred to him as a robot or inhuman, this story should be right up my alley. But to actually expect that he is going to return to pitch in a Yankee uniform this year is just silly.
I don't give a crap what kind of rehab work he's been doing and how well he's been doing it. The most important thing here is that it takes 45 days post-surgery for him to start doing the rehab activities that really matter- running and throwing. He's already at about 2 months of not doing either of those things, and with the surgery taking place roughly a month ago, he's looking at not being able to start doing them again until around the end of this month. Being 42, you have to all but guarantee that the Yankees are going to take it slow with him, so I'm thinking a month of just those activities to test the knee and get his body back into some semblance of baseball shape. And this is throwing, mind you, not pitching; big difference. So a month for that, and probably at least a month for a full rehab program pitching in the Minors before he's ready to come back, and that's IF there are no setbacks anywhere along the way.
If you do the math, and I'll admit my math skills can be a bit poor at times, that's 2 months. 2 months starting from the end of this month. That's August and September. All the MiL seasons wrap up earlier than the Major League season, which means there won't be any MiL teams active for Mo to get his rehab outings in with. And I know he's the Great Mariano, but I just can't envision a scenario where the Yankees throw him back into the Major League bullpen without any kind of real, game-situation practice. Please keep in mind that I'm being conservative with my time estimates here, so this all goes out the window if certain things take longer.
Look at the bright side of this. Mo has already said he's coming back in 2013. So if the rehab he can do right now is going well, the surgery was a success, and his doctor is very confident that he's going to make a fast and full recovery, those are all good things. Let Mo get all the conditioning and rehab work in that he can this season because it just means he's got a headstart on preparing for next season, and that should lessen some of the concerns and uncertainty that could and likely will surround his return when Spring Training 2013 kicks off. But don't even start to entertain the notion that he's going to pitch again this year, and definitely don't prepare yourselves for it because it's not going to happen. It's just not going to happen.
How about this? Free AB4AR t-shirts to everybody who reads this site on the reg if Mo throws 1 more pitch in a Yankee uniform this year.