Friday, September 16, 2011

Will We Get A Healthy Horse Tonight?

Alex Rodriguez's streak of consecutive 30-HR/100-RBI seasons will come to an end this season.  That much we know for sure.  And that's fine.  The ending of that streak comes with an injury-related asterisk because of all the time A-Rod has missed in 2011.  What we don't know for sure is whether or not The Horse will play tonight, whether or not his thumb is all the way healed, whether or not his knee will hold up to a full-time return to action moving forward, and quite frankly whether or not A-Rod will make it through the rest of the regular season and however far the Yankees go in the postseason without getting injured again.

The Yankee lineup is better with A-Rod in it, there's no denying that.  But the last couple months have shown us that the team is just as dangerous and successful without him in the lineup.  So Joe has a real tightrope to walk for the rest of this season in terms of how he uses A-Rod and how much he uses him.  Obviously it's important to shake the rust off, test the knee and thumb, and get his timing back at the plate so he's hitting on all cylinders come playoff time.  But in the interest of health, it might be more important to give The Horse more days at DH, take him out of games late for defensive replacements so he can rest, and to have some days where the team just leaves him in the paddock and lets him eat oats.  And that will be something that will have to be monitored daily.

I feel bad for doing it, because the guy's name is the title of this blog, but with all the bumps and bruises he's had over the last few years and now this season, I have to say that I'm not 100% confident The Horse will make it through the remainder of this year healthy.  In fact, I don't even feel confident he'll make it through tonight's game (assuming he will be in the lineup) without re-aggravating something.  So here are the odds:

- Re-aggravates thumb injury and leaves game- 2:1

- Re-aggravates knee injury and leaves game- 3:1

- Suffers some other leg injury and leaves game- 5:1

- Suffers some upper-body injury and leaves game- 10:1

- Plays whole game without injury, hits home run, and kicks catcher in the face with his back hooves after touching home plate- 500:1

Place your bets, people.  But do say a prayer that we get the long odds outcome and get the benefit of a healthy Horse batting cleanup from here on out.  I don't know if I can live with having to watch Eduardo Nunez man the hot corner in the postseason.

(I don't think horses have thumbs)

The Sawx Collapse: A Quick Photo Essay

Now only Youk knows for sure here whether the look of pain on his face is due to indigestion, his nagging sports hernia, or the fact that he just struck out in that at-bat and completely sucks as a baseball player and a human being, but never the less it's a fantastic job by the photographer in using the stadium lighting to pull your eye right to Youk's face.  He wants us to know Youk's pain, to feel it.

"Come on, meng!  Gimme a hug, meng!"

"... In the cold November raaaain!... "

Sad Josh Reddick is sad that he couldn't catch that 3-run homer and bring it back into the pahhhhhhhhhk.

And Sad Carl Crawford is even more sad that his team just got their dicks stepped on again at home.  Or maybe it's because he's still having an unbelievably shitty year: .249/.285/.396, .300 wOBA, 82 wRC+, and just 0.1 WAR.  Yep, that'll get the overtly racist home crowd to turn against you pretty quick if you're a black professional athlete in Bahhston.  Sadface.

Sure, the Sawx are probably still going to make the playoffs when all is said and done.  But it's still great to watch them, their fans, and ESPN wallow in their recent misery and have to sweat it out in these last couple weeks.  I'm legally bound as a Yankee fan to bag on them in situations like that.  It would be un-American of me not to.

(Photos courtesy of The Bahhston Globe and Reuters)