Thursday, March 16

Assumptions, Predictions


So WSCR released a report a little while ago that Mark Prior has a posterior shoulder strain. The new release was an "incomplete report", but Prior will not throw at least for a few days. An MRI has probably by now already been taken (this morning) and he then will be reevaluated this Saturday, which will yield a "complete diagnosis".

So here is my proposed timeline, with facts mixed in, but mostly just my opinions and bleak predictions.
1) Prior has taken too kindly to the hobby of golf, much like Zambino and his incessant emailing of family members last year, which was luckily caught before it got to serious. I hear a golf swing can contribute to shoulder injuries, hmm?
2) Cubs attempt to cover-up or not release information regarding Prior's naggingly sore shoulder thus far this spring. In turn, they put him on a strictly monitored agenda to get him to 100%... all behind closed doors of course, so no one can see he is throwing much less than he should be.
3) The injury continues to nag, and the trainers realize it is time to get it checked out. The team releases the report that Prior is going to San Diego to see Dr. Yocum, although it's most likely nothing serious, because this is the first time Prior has complained of any soreness all year. They would just like to take every precaution. [hack!]Sorry, I just puked a little in my mouth.
4) The team releases the preliminary report that he has a shoulder strain and will be thoroughly evaluated a few days later.
5) Well, it looks like the injury is not exactly what was originally diagnosed, as the MRI showed a slight tear of Prior's rotator cuff. He will need a very minor surgery, but should be able to participate in an abbreviated individual spring training by April, and should be back pitching by the second week in May.
6) Prior has surgery. After the surgery, it is determined that the injury was slightly more serious that previously thought, and Prior will have to spend substantial time in rehab, possibly bringing him back around the time of the All-Star Break.

So I guess it's pretty clear that I am not giving many people associated with the team the benefit of the doubt right now, but let's face it. They have led the fans on with every single one of our pitcher's injuries in the past. It always turns out to be "a little more serious than previously thought" and "injuries to the shoulder are so complicated that it is impossible to predict exactly when [a pitcher] will be back from one. He'll just have to start getting loose and throwing when able and we'll see how it goes." Ugh, I feel history repeating itself...

Please, feel free to comment.


At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

1. You know what else can cause shoulder injuries? Throwing a baseball. Especially when you throw it 95 MPH and up. Perfect mechanics, horrible mechanics, that much velocity puts strain on many parts of your body including your shoulder.

2. Yes. Tribune covered up the injury. They also told Prior to continue to throw for 3 weeks so the cover up would be convincing, because that extra three weeks couldn't have caused more damage and would not have been valuable for rehab.

3. Prior costs the team a lot of money and is important to our chancees at play offs this year, which should affect merchandise sales; they are taking every precaution because he is an investment, not just because they like him so darn much.

4. Nothing to be said here.

5. Is this just you guessing, joking, wishing? Please don't talk about serious injuries that in all probability have not even occured yet.

6. Again, fans who start hoping that some of the best players on our team get significantly hurt just so they can feel validated about their conspiracy theory make me upset. Don't be one of those guys. If I wanted to read that I could go to the message board.

Okay, so here's how I propose we deal with this as fans: Don't worry about it too much. It's still March. Not only that, but as far as we know it really is just a sprain. Also, last I heard, whether we worry about it or not does not really affect how Prior deals with it (thankfully).

I wish there was some other news than this about Prior. I would like an update on Lee, but it does not appear to be available.

At 7:42 PM, Blogger Hyposquasher said...

OK, hit a vein on that one. Didn't mean to piss Cub fans off, believe me, but the more I read about how they knew 3 weeks ago blah blah blah, the more upset I got about it. Let me address your points individually.
Point X for reference: This was one of the most sarcastic posts I've ever made.

1) Yes, throwing a baseball of course puts stress on many parts of the body, and believe me, in honesty I don't blame golf or any other offseason activity of Prior. However, guys like Pedro Martinez or Clemens throw as fast as Prior and spend much less time on the DL, so there is something to be said about Prior's frequent injuries. As for the golf thing, refer to point X

2) I'm not sure if this point of yours is sarcastic or serious. How can you not be pissed at the Tribune for covering this up? Do you honestly think that 3 extra weeks of rehab would have NOT been valuable? Or that 3 additional weeks of pitching with an injury DIDN'T make it worse?

3) I totally agree that they SHOULD take every precaution. My statement about taking every precaution again was sarcastic. I don't think they DID take every precaution... afterall, they let him pitch for 3 weeks on a sore shoulder cause they were too embarrassed to say he was hurt again. That pisses me off.

4) I had a pepperoni roll with dinner and man do I have gas...

5) This is in no way wishing, believe me, and more on that in point 6. It is me joking more than anything, and maybe slightly guessing. I don't think that is an accurate word in this case because I am not guessing that what I said will definitely happen. It's more a forecast of what would supremely piss me off than anything, and the post as a whole is me voicing my dissatisfaction with the front office. I'm not guessing that what I said will happen, but based on recent events as well as not-so-recent events, I wouldn't put what I said out of the realm of possibility with our front office. Again, I am usually a Hendry supporter, this is just me expressing my feelings at this current moment.

6) Please don't say I have a conspiracy theory... I don't. And also, please don't say I am wishing any of that comes true so that I feel 'validated'. If that's how you took the post, then no offense, but you took it wrong. I feel the same as every true Cub fan. I hope that post is the complete opposite of how things turn out!!! Believe me I mean that! I am just a little disgusted, and feel a little betrayed by some of the politics behind the recent actions.

All in all, I'm glad you posted, because if other people took that the way you did, then I need to point out that it is in no way a declaration of my wishes, or an assumption that his injury is that serious. It just seems in this case that this is panning out the way every other injury to one of our pitchers always does. And all I mean by that is that history tells us it is always worse than what the front office has told us.

More on a different topic tomorrow, so check back and we can talk about it.

At 7:51 PM, Blogger Hyposquasher said...

Also, for the record, one of the things that really annoys me about this whole situation, is that they came out and said that he was going to a doctor. And that a full report would be released today. Then the report becomes that they have an incomplete diagnosis, and he needs an MRI and a full checkout on Saturday? Isn't that what yesterday was for??? Ordinarily I think I would say "oh, that's odd..." but it just seems to be turning into every thing I remember from every pitching injury in recent times. Sorry I left that out, but that is the thing that really makes me feel jerked around (as well as the so called 'cover-up') and part of what seems shady about the whole thing.

Alright, enough out of me... it probably isn't that bad, I just felt pretty crappy as this whole story came out.

At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

I definitely was not happy to see that Prior had an injury.

2: I meant this sarcastically too. I don't think Tribune had much reason to cover it up. I guess there could be embarassment over him being injured again, but certainly that 3 weeks would have been valuable enough to outweigh risk or embarassment.

5., 6.: There are enough Cardinals and White Sox fans and ESPN broadcasters around to let us know how things just aren't going to work out for us again. finally did release an article, here's a summary: MRI revealed moderate strain to a muscle in the rotator cuff, Prior won't be allowed to throw for 7-10 days and Baker is looking for a youngster to fill in for him in early April. 7-10 days of not throwing could mean several weeks of set back pitching wise, unfortunately, but things could still work out well. Late April or sometime in May we could still have a rotation of healthy Zambrano, Prior, Wood, Miller, and Maddux.

As for why Clemens and Martinez don't seem to get injured as much, I'm not entirely sure that's true because I haven't looked up the numbers, but they are different people. Hard to compare anyone to Clemens. However, Prior's serious injuries have been the result of freak accidents: Run over by Mini Giles, hit in the elbow by a line drive. Last I heard those were the incidents that resulted in the most time on the DL for him so far. Wood is a different story, but I would suspect a lot of his problems have come from that nasty, hard slider.

If I missread anything in your post, I'm sorry. But I don't like all the negativity I've seen from the fans since 2003, and the bad-news mongering just makes me upset. Granted, there isn't much else to talk about at this time, and that's probably part of what upsets me- I want baseball season, I want a healthy rotation, and I want to watch the Cubs win some meaningful games.

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Hyposquasher said...

One last thing, actually pointing out how I vehemently agree with you.

I have seen a lot of the "conspiracy theory" type stuff today too, and I definitely didn't want to be lumped with them. But part of what all of those people are saying is how Prior is "always injured" and how the Cubs "should have traded him when they had the chance." I agree with you wholeheartedly that that is just dumb talk. He has had one or two arm problems, but like you said, the majority of his injuries have been the result of accidents that would have injured anyone. To those people I say: Last time I checked, Prior started 27 games last year and won 11. That is from a guy who is "always injured?" Or "should be traded?" Like I said, I couldn't agree with you more that reading that from "fans" really upsets me. So one final time I just wanna say again that the post from my perspective was directed at the team officials and not Prior. I love Prior and am proud when he wears a Cubs uniform, and like you, I hope the injury isn't that serious.

Like you said, Wood is a different story.

Touche Lazlo, touche.

At 9:16 PM, Anonymous poleax said...

you guys need to kiss and make up. it's like the odd couple.

seriously though, prior's latest setback is depressing as hell. but there's still plenty of time to get things right, as the season is damn long after all.

At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Yeah, luckilly divisions are won over 162 regular season games, not spring training, so we have plenty of time to see how things work out. As for the kissing part, I'm not too sure about that.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Hyposquasher said...

You know you want to... LET'S NEVER FIGHT AGAIN!!! [sob]


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