Injuries: You CAN predict them… kinda

Before the season began, there was a lot of squabbling back and forth about how old and injury-prone various teams are, particularly between Yankee fans and Red Sox fans. The squabbles went something like:

Red Sox fans: No way the Yankees repeat. The Core Four? They’re like 50 years old. They’re gonna spend all season on the DL. Also, Nick Johnson LOL.
Yankee fans: Yeah well it’s not like your team is the picture of health. Ortiz? Wakefield? Beckett? Dice-K? (etc etc etc)

There were also a lot of debates about the importance of various old and/or frequently injured players. It all got very tiresome, honestly. But to some extent, it’s turned out true. Nick Johnson’s on the DL. Posada hurt his foot and Mariano, his side. Pettitte had to skip a start due to elbow stiffness. Dice-K was out for weeks and hasn’t been consistently effective since he came back. Beckett’s on the DL with back issues.

On the other hand, you just can’t see some injuries coming. Yeah, the older and/or more injury-prone guys might have gotten hurt, but so did Jacoby Ellsbury and Curtis Granderson. Ellsbury injured himself getting elbowed in the ribs by Adrian Beltre as they collided on a fly ball. Granderson pulled up lame running the bases. Both of these guys are young and have no history of injury. It just kinda happened. Granderson just got back today; Ellsbury was back for a day relatively recently but went back on the DL, with his return unknown.

Injuries happen in sports. Being relatively old sure as heck doesn’t help, but freak accidents happen all the time. So basically, you can predict one part of baseball: someone on your team is probably going to get hurt at some point unless you have a freakishly lucky team. You just can’t predict who.

ETA: Unless Dusty Baker is your favorite team’s manager. Then it’s pretty predictable. (Thanks Steve H.)

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2 Responses to Injuries: You CAN predict them… kinda

  1. Steve H says:

    This post is incomplete without a Dusty Baker reference.

  2. Steve S. says:

    People get nuts about age, but guys who’ve stayed healthy enough to play for a long time are likely to continue to do so. The 25 year old who everyone thinks has the world in front of him is unproven, and many of them will be weeded over time out for health related reasons. It seems counter-intuitive that the old guy will stay healthy more than the young one. But it’s all about track record, and the lack thereof.

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