Today’s news is powered by a trip in the wayback machine, offering bloopers from the station that used to carry the Yanks …
- PeteAbe reports that while Brian Cashman has stated the Yanks have not made a decision on whether A-Rod will have surgery, however:
Alex is staying in Colorado for “the foreseeable future.”
Said Cashman: “The stiffness is the beginning of the process. Eventually there is going to be pain. … You have to be realistic. We could be on the verge of having an incident. … What’s best for him is what’s best for us.”
- The Times lays out the possible surgery/recovery timetables:
Later, Cashman acknowledged that Rodriguez could make the injury worse by playing without surgery. “Oh, that’s absolutely a possibility,” Cashman said. “The worse the tear, the more complicated the surgery.”
If Rodriguez chooses to play, it is likely that he would have regular magnetic resonance imaging tests to see if the condition is worsening.
If Rodriguez has surgery to treat only the torn labrum, he could return in four to six weeks. But if there is an underlying bone problem in the hip joint that needs to be repaired, the likely rehabilitation period would be four months.
- The specialist who saw Rodriguez earlier this weeks thinks Alex “could” play through it:
In a Thursday conference call with the Yankees and other parties, Dr. Marc Philippon, the specialist, described for others how the surgery would work. But there also was an indication, during the call, that there is a “75 to 80 percent chance” Rodriguez could get through the 2009 season playing through the discomfort.
- Ian O’Connor thinks an A-Rodless Yankee team might not be so bad, in a way:
Why? Because an extended A-Rod absence would swing open a door of delicious opportunity, that’s why.
The Yankees could go back to being the Yankees. They could go back to being the team that won four championships in five years with reliable pitching and a harmonious band of position players that didn’t need a slugger whose favorite teammates are Me, Myself and I.
“It was all about the team for us,” Tino Martinez said. “There were no real stars. You had Bernie [Williams] and [Derek] Jeter, but not superstars. We just figured out ways to get a lead and win games. “Position by position, this year’s team has much more physical talent than we did. It’s a way better team than our championship teams. But we knew how to come together, and that’s the trick.”
[My take: But you still have to put runs on the board at some point ...]
- MLB’s on-line store has now banned you from personalizing an A-Rod jersey with the name “A-Fraud”.
[My take: MLB .... turning down the chance to make a buck? Amazing!]
- Buster Olney writes that the absence of Rodriguez will ramp up the pressure on the historically slow-starting Teixeira:
Teixeira already was being paid for production, but now, any hiccup on his part will be devastating for the Yankees. A slow transition to New York, which has been typical for most of the big-name players acquired by the team in the past decade, might crush the Yankees’ playoff hopes. They need him to hit early and hit late; they need him to hit all season.
After Teixeira didn’t hit for much power at the outset of 2008, the first baseman referenced his history as a slow starter and said he knew that inevitably, he would step up — a comment that drew the attention of one of his former employers. “That’s not going to cut it [in 2009], after he signs with the Yankees or the Red Sox,” the official said. “If you get a contract for 20-plus million dollars, nobody is going to want to hear about a slow start. They’re just going to expect you to produce.”
- BP.com’s Joe Sheehan looks at the possible subs for the ailing Rodriguez:
Of the players in camp, Eric Duncan and Cody Ransom have third base on their resumes, but neither can carry the position. Kevin Goldstein is particularly unimpressed by the prospect: “In 64 games at third base last year, Duncan had more errors (11) than double plays (eight), and hit just .233/.295/.366.” Ransom has an acceptable .251/.348/.432 line in scattered MLB playing time; in his minor league career, he’s played in 222 games at third base with a .959 fielding percentage and a 27/22 DP/E ratio. That’s not encouraging.
- BP.com’s Will Carroll runs down the Yankees’ treatment options:
The key here is that surgery is not a given. The aspiration may give enough relief that he can play through the season with only occasional setbacks and more aggressive monitoring. It could be that it gets better and a strengthening program adds to the stability, allowing him to only miss a few weeks. The danger is that the conservative measures might fail, which would push his return date back further than it would have been had they gone straight to surgery. We have to remember that the gamble of taking conservative measures comes with a high payoff. Let’s say for the sake of this example that Rodriguez will miss no time if the aspiration works, four weeks if he just needs the strengthening program, and twelve if he ends up having surgery. It’s not as if this is a 1-2-3 game; the Yankees will know quickly that the aspiration is working if there is a reduction in his symptoms. He’ll begin the strengthening program immediately; if he’s falling behind, or if there is no reduction in his symptoms, they’ll shift gears.
- Just so this isn’t TOO A-Rodian a post, here’s BP.com’s Jay Jaffe, from an online chat Friday:
Nick Stone (New York, NY): How do you see the Matsui/Nady/Swisher logjam working out? Seems like Matsui will be riding a lot of pine, what with Posada DH-ing more.
Jay Jaffe: I think Matsui is the odd man out unless he’s beating the snot out of the ball and running like the wind given what we’re hearing about Hip Hip Jorge’s shoulder. Nady may worm his way into some time covering third; Joe Sheehan noted today that he did play the position in college, so maybe that could make up for his lack of pro experience (three games). In the end I think Swisher will get slighlty more playing time than Nady by dint of being a switch-hitter and occasional center field candidate, but it will be basically even.
- BP.com offers up some known (and less well-known) replacements for Rodriguez.
- The Times detailed Mariano Rivera’s side trip to the D.R. for some “ambassador” duties.
I’ll leave you with a little droll humor, from the Jay Jaffe chat, featuring yours truly:
dianagramr (NYC): Any chance Carl Pavano is reading about A-Rod’s hip labrum and thinking “dang …. that’s one I hadn’t thought of”
Jay Jaffe: ROFL
Til Monday …