On-Off-Back from sports injuries by Bob Ryan

There have always been sports injuries…..they’ve clearly changed over the years….Tommy John procedure has saved many MLB pitchers from early retirement….advanced medical ideas & procedures assist quick and complete recovery in many types of injuries that formerly lasted longer and developed into more severe consequences. But…the “DL” behind a players name occurs seemingly more frequently than decades ago…albeit for 10 days…..some thoughts are getting ON-OFF-BACK from sports injuries…

…first thought…..for decades, it seems, players thought it was a privilege to earn the starting position and play every day….I’m not so sure that sentiment…at least in part…has been replaced by an attitude of playing when I’m at my “best” being fully healthy & rested.  Second part to those numbers is the current managerial inclinations to get the best “match up”…. Left handed hitter vs right handed pitcher, etc….some of my thoughts…managers should play the BEST players on their roster daily..or almost daily…as far as changing the attitudes of the players…it’s possible that their current attitude reflects the current societal views on work in general. Check out the numbers  over the last 50 years in 10 year increments below…. with respect to field players playing 148+games and pitchers throwing over 190 innings….I must admit….I had forgotton some of those starting pitchers names.

2017 Cards- 3rd place 83-79  Matt Carpenter was the team leader in games played @145  Carlos Martinez was only pitcher over 190 with 205 innings.

2008 Cards-4th place 86-76  4 players played 148 games are more—Skip Schumaker-153, Ryan Ludwick-152, Troy Glaus-151, Albert Pujols-148; 3 pitchers pitched more than 190 inn—Kyle Loshe 200, Brandon Looper-199, Todd Wellemeyer -191

1998 Cards 3rd place 83-79   3 players over 150+ games-Mark McGwire-155, Ray Lankford-154, Brian Jordan-150…leading pitchers in innings pitched had just 161 innings –Kent Mercker & Todd Stottlemyer

1988- 5th place 74-88   Ozzie Smith-153, Vince Colemana-153, Tony Pena-149; only Jose DeLeon-225 was above 190

1978- 5th place  63-93   Keith Hernandez 159, Garry Templeton-155, Ted Simmons-152; over 190 innings pitched- John Denny-234,  Bob Forsch-233, Pete Vukovich-198

1968 Cards- 1st place-97-65 5 players played in 150+ games-Lou Brock-159, Orlando Cepada-157, Mike Shannon-156, Dal Maxvill-151, Curt Flood-150 ; 4 pitchers pitched 215+ innings- Bob Gibson – 304, Nelson Briles-243, Steve Carlton-232, Ray Washburn-215…5 players over 150 game and 4 pitchers over 215 innings….and 97 wins! They didn’t seem to tire too much, did they?

….2nd thought on a specific Card injury…so much of last year Matt Carpenter suffered with back pains…yes…he did lead the team in games played-145 but we often heard of his “playing through the pain” talk……he and the Cardinals had an entire winter to have his back “checked out”…..nothing…and already he’s barely played in Florida…..to me…this reflects very poorly on Carpenter AND the Cardinals for allowing this same ailment to persist…personally… I don’t’ want to hear about the Cards missing him….they should have taken care of business last winter.

…..coming back from injuries in mid to late-season…especially in sports like basketball…is difficult…players assume their roles …i.e. outside shooters, penetrators, rebounders, playmakers…  etc….when a player like Michael Porter jumps into the starting lineup against Georgia…even with all his talent…players roles are modified, his endurance was shallow and his personal expectations about shooting seemed to perplex the other players…he did shoot 17 shots (5 of 17) in 23 minutes….the usual shooters—Kassius Robertson & Jordan Bartnett had poor shooting games but…..clearly the offense was “out of kilter”. I think Porter may felt like that he “had” to show the pros that he could play at the highest collegiate level in order to ensure his very high draft pick selection…..a natural feeling but….I’m not so sure that he accomplished his goal

…still another injury thought that I’ve mentioned previously…the DL in baseball is being abused… players don’t fear that they’ll lose their job to that “hot & upcoming” rookie any longer…the 10 day DL must be abolished….make it a minimum of 20 days

….gee….I don’t have any medical training but some things are obvious….the 1st week of spring training, we read all about the muscular look of newly acquired Tyler O’Neill….so what happens….he pulls a muscle …at this point…..with respect to Nature Boy…..I just don’t think that O’Neill is going to be “the Man” this year or any year….remember, Seattle a team that seeks power from anyone….gave up on him…my personal flavor of the month is Adolis Garcia… I believe that he’ll be on the roster by May 1 if not April 1.

….sometimes, players try “playing through” their injuries……admirable but not always wise….for example….Jay Bouwmeester’s hip injury is severe…..I’m not even close to a hockey guy but I do know that the Blues were surrendering tons of goals over the past several weeks….not surprising when you realize one of key defenseman has  been struggling with a bad hip

…Blues injury list lengthens with Scottie Upshall being added with the Bow-Man to DL…it’ll make us bring up some of those “prospects” for a 1st hand look at them under fire

…I don’t think that there is anything  injured or wrong about the free agent system…for years and years…fans have moaned about the gigantic salaries of the players….now teams are evaluating long term contracts and realizing that generally they DON’T pay off for the team in the long run with most players…superstars YES….most starting players-NO…hence Lance Lynn, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb are still swimming around in the free agent waters… while Mike Moustakas…who had turned down a $17.4m offer in November from KC has to settle with the Royals for $6.5m last week …it has multi-year options based on production.. sounds fair to me

Other odds & ends

….Cards missed an opportunity…..I just don’t think that placing Carson Kelly in a back-up role is going to enhance his development or really help the Cards win this year…..Jonathan Lucroy just signed a 1 year deal for $6.5m with the Oakland A’s…Lucroy would have been a terrific backup catcher for Yadi…allowing Yadi to play 1b more frequently or Lucroy can play 1B as a backup…Kelly could have been dealt for the ever coveted “draft” picks or a starter.

….Soooo…..in college basketball….you compete in conference basketball for 3+ months just to get seeded in a 1 week tournament…..clearly the trials, struggles, all the road games, and tribulations of a 3 month schedule are erased as a #2,3,4 seed …or lower…wins the automatic guarantee to the big dance with a 3-4 day tournament win…I would prefer that the conference champion get the automatic guarantee and the tournament champion would get the consideration….I realize that the post-season conference tourneys are here to stay …for one reason….$$$$$$…btw….between conference tournaments and the  3 week long NCAA tournament that requires player-students to miss many, many classes…the NCAA can give lip service to their concern about student education but their actions speak much louder about making huge $$$ for several missed class days rather than the student’s success off the court.

…just noticed….John Caliperi has taken Kentucky to 8…now it’ll be 9 ….NCAA tournaments and has won only 1 NCAA Championship…..another btw…..Kentucky has been to the NCAA tournament every year but one (2008-09) since 1991…as you can imagine that led to the firing of Billy Gillespie and brought in John Calipari

…what mighta been….Mizzou passed on Coach Bill Self back years ago….Self landed @ KU…his yearly trips to the NCAA since 2003 have resulted in 1 National Championship; 1 National Runner-up; 5 Elite Eights; 2 Sweet Sixteens; 3 Second Round and in early in his KU career 2 First round games…now that isn’t to say that Mizzou would have matched those marks but it is to say that Mizzou missed on a very, very good coach.

 

Comments

  1. In all of Bill Self’s appearances in the NCAA, one would have to say that with the talent he had on the floor, he definitely underachieved. He has been a number one or two seed in most of the years, yet only has one title. He is a good coach, but certainly not a great coach. Give a coach like Shaka Kahn that kind of talent and he would have won several titles.

  2. Kevin Niewoehner says:

    I’m happy with Mizzou’s current coach and, like B.K., have no regrets about not siging Bill Self. Look at the turaround in the program in just one year!

Speak Your Mind

*

2 × 5 =