by John Furgele
The rites of spring: leaves on trees, dirty snow banks on road sides, and pitchers and catchers. Yes, baseball is alive and hopefully, well, after a tough, tough offseason.
That said, we are at it again. Every time, a pitcher or player feels a tweak, a crack or anything thet might be just a sign of being a human, they ask out of workouts, games, and just about everything else. The crisis management team gets called and rather than miss a day or two, the tweak sets back the player three times the time it should. What are we missing here? What has happened to the great American baseball player?
Johan Santana says he feels some tightness in his elbow. But, rather than go out and throw through the nonsense, he has to pushed back and back and back. We’re not even in March and already the Mets are saying that Santana may not be able to take the ball on Opening Day.
Are you kidding me? One day of pain, and the whole program needs to be redone and reworked? Stopping short of saying that the old timers were tougher, but the old timers were tougher.
This is baseball, this is life. If most of us didn’t go to work because of a little pain, we’d never get up in the morning. Derek Jeter’s hamstring was sore, and manager Joe Girardi acted like the whole season was in peril and was deathly afraid of letting Jeter leave to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
Nobody wants to hear about Jeter’s sore hamstring, or Santana’s kind of stiff elbow. Make Santana take part in practice. Make him throw pitches. If he blows out his elbow, only then let me know, because hearing about every twinge, tweak, stiffness and soreness is un-American and even more un masculine.
There has to come a time when the team says, “Santana’s elbow is a bit stiff, but we’re going to let him throw through the pain, confident that once he’s warmed, the pain will be gone.”
That is an athlete.