I have both nomar and prior in several of my leagues. Don't get me wrong, I am not thrilled that both of them have missed time this season and that they will continue doing so probably into June. However, I am glad that their respective teams are taking the time to make sure that both stars fully recover from their injuries. An approach like that should lead to positive and productive outings once they come back.
Contrast that approach to the one taken by the dodgers with hideo nomo or the redsox with Kim. both pitchers had injuries and were not, it seems, allowed to entirely recover from them. Consequently both of them have pitched well below their usual standards. Some other examples are jim thome, torii hunter, jose reyes...
There seems to be a trend of rushing players back from injury. I understand that that advances in medicine and physical therapy have made it possible to treat certain ailments quicker and reduce pain more effectively, but I am very sceptical that too many modern treatments can significantly accelerate how quickly bones recover from fractures or breaks (thome) or how quickly muscles heal and strengthen
after a strain (hunter or reyes). I wish that teams would give players those extra few days after the doctors say it is ok, just to make sure. Otherwise we end up with nagging and recurring injuries.
It is difficult to assess who exactly is to blame for this. It must partially fall on the shoulders of the team management. The desire to win short term often blinds them to the long term implications. Another culprit is the "tradition" of playing hurt that has been propagated by the media, the gibson home run, playing through various injuries etc. players feel pressure -- they want to come back as soon as possible to show everyone that they are not "soft."
Ask yourself this question... would you rather have, say, hunter sit out a couple of extra weeks and then not worry about running full tilt or have him come back early and have him worry about his legs every time he is on the basepaths or out in the field?
In the above I've ignored the various caveats and games played by teams regarding covering up injuries or stalling reporting their severity (see cubs or giants). I wish clubs were a little more forthcoming when it comes to describing some of their star players.
(after I wrote this I remembered another good example -- try to recall when you found out about Shaun Green's bad shoulder last year. He basically played the entire year with that injury, but only admitted to it at the end of the season).
Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll drown because you forgot to teach him to swim.
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