Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gimp Nation

Take a look around Yankeeland right now. What do you see?

1: Chien Ming Wang still out with the after-effects of his season-ending foot injury from last year.

2: Jorge Posada, the starting catcher, and José Molina, the back up, both out with strained muscle injuries (hamstring and quad).

5: Alex Rodriguez still not quite in top form after hip surgery--his range of motion thus far looks drastically reduced.

6: Derek Jeter missed last night with a pulled oblique and now we find out the injury's been bothering him for about the week. In his Jeterian way, he attempted to play through it.

9: Xavier Nady is still unsure of whether or not he'll need a second Tommy John surgery.

DH: Hideki Matsui left last night's game with tightness in his hamstring. He said it was just a cramp, but we'll see.

RHP: Brian Bruney is only beginning to rehab from a bum elbow.
LHP: Dámaso Marte has not been heard from in ages.
LHP: Phil Coke was unavailable last night with a balky back.

That's nine--nine out of twenty-five--players who were unable to either start or finish last night's baseball game.

Of course you could say 'no wonder the Yankees couldn't beat Halladay' since they probably wouldn't even with their A line up, but this is a bigger problem.

Last year, Wang, Posada, Matsui, Joba, A-Rod, Hughes, Kennedy and others all did stints on the DL and we thought that was injury depletion.

So what's going on here?

You can't make the argument it's just age--only Jeter, Posada, A-Rod and Matsui can argue that--but it certainly must be playing a part.

One has to wonder, when the Yankees gave out ten year contracts like Candy, if they even thought of this as maybe being a possible consequence.

Certainly this has to raise eyebrows. It's not just the amount of injuries--which, itself is an issue--but the fact that the injuries are allowed to go either unnoticed or unremarked on for a while, unless they're utterly obvious, like Posada's pull, which occurred during the middle of a game.

It's frustrating to watch a third place team, knowing that the placing may have something to do with the injuries, and that since so many of the older injured are signed for another year or two (or ten), that this is a scenario that could replay itself time and time again.

It's also frustrating to watch when another team, like the Jays, can suffer similar injuries and still put together a first-place team. Will the Jays keep it up? Probably not, but the longer they go, the more you have to wonder.

So why can't the Yanks seem to overcome their injuries? Is it poor roster construction? Is it because of who is injured? Who knows?

All that matters is that the Yankees, with Francisco Cervelli and Kevin Cash, Ramiro Peña and Angel Berroa, and José Veras and Jonathan Albaladejo have to find a way to win.

The great teams always find a way.