Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On Derek Jeter's Calf Strain, and Our Ticket Giveaway

Derek Jeter had the calf strain heard 'round the world during last night's game. Well, maybe not 'round the world, but it certainly was the sports story of the night.

Paul O'Neill was the first Yankee broadcaster to note that something was wrong with Jeter. Now everybody is worrying about when Jeter will get 3,000 hits. What's a little interesting is that I haven't heard much talk about the team implications if the captain is out; it's all about the hit record. 

Anyhow, I know from personal experience what a Grade 1 calf strain, which is what the Captain has, feels like. I was gong to catch the subway three years ago, and I tore my calf with just that little burst of energy to get into the subway before it closed. The pain I felt when I had the calf strain felt like I was shot in the leg! Longtime Squawker readers may remember that I had to be helped off the subway, as I could not walk on that leg. It took a few weeks, and a bunch of physical therapy sessions, for my calf to get back to normal. 

Granted, Jeter has more tools for quick healing at his disposal, but I wouldn't be surprised if he goes on the DL for two weeks over this. 

I read Filip Bondy suggest that overuse could have led to this injury:

And it is quite possible, in 20-20 hindsight, that Jeter was asked to play too many games in a row, at age 36, in order to assure he achieved the landmark hit in the Bronx instead of in Chicago or Cincinnati.
He hadn't sat out a Yankee game since May 5, though there were four off days built in the schedule and he'd been a DH five times during that stretch. It had become clear the Yanks were going to get Jeter as many at-bats as possible, and in the end it may have come back to bite them.
If there's any consolation in any of this, it is that once again Jeter was right. We don't know, and Jeter doesn't know, where or when he'll reach 3,000.
Nonsense. Players get calf strains all the time -- Adrian Beltre had one in spring training this year. Was that due to overuse? Jimmy Rollins and A-Rod also had the issue last year, to name a few examples. Heck, like I said, I had the injury myself, and I'm not exactly an elite professional athlete! To suggest that it's because Jeter didn't have a complete day off in an entire month is a bit silly, especially when he had four off-days and five days off in the field. Stuff happens.

And Bondy acts like the issue is the Yankees somehow driving Jeter into the ground to get the hit record. But, as Joel Sherman notes, the captain has 12 seasons with 150+ games played per year. He wants to play every day. 

Besides, up until this month, there was no way to know for sure when Jeter might possibly break the record. If he had kept up the brief hot streak he had starting in Texas, he would have hit 3,000 by now!

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In other news, we are giving away free tickets to Sunday's Mets game, courtesy of Blimpie. Go here to enter!

What do you think?


Uncle Mike said...

Dayn Perry's recent biography of Reggie Jackson seemed to be constantly repeating this: "Reggie showed he ego, then he lied, then he swung too hard and pulled a calf muscle, then he sat out a game, then he hit a long home run, then Martin (or Steinbrenner) complained anyway." Apparently Number 44 had them all the time.

As for Number 2, a cynical person might think, "He knew he wasn't going to make it to 3,000 on the homestand, so he cooked up this excuse and the club is going along with it." But I doubt that. Such an injury does hurt. How do I know? I'm not at liberty to say...

It's okay. Bowie Kuhn's not here to force the Yankees to start Jeter on the road.

Meanwhile, the Yankees' two hottest hitters lately have been Jorge Posada (apparently it was all worry about Jorge Jr.'s surgery) and Alex Rodriguez. (No attention on A-Rod, and he's hitting great? NCIS Rule Number 39: There is no such thing as coincidence.) Now, if we can just get Nick Swisher hitting, I'm starting to worry about him.

The Omnipotent Q said...

Anyone consider that Jeter's injury might just be age? He's no kid anymore as he's about to turn 37. I love writers like Bondy who have to find someone to blame for everything that goes wrong.

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