Watching the video of Mariano Rivera injuring his knee while power shagging (I still can’t believe this is a real term) fly balls in the outfield during batting practice, my cynical first reaction wasn’t one of concern for the New York Yankees reliever, or even to have questions about his future. My knee jerk reaction was to wonder how such an event would play out in the New York and even national media.
Neither disappointed, as even the typically sound and reasonable among us were pushed to levels of unrepentant hyperbole in their reactions:
Is Rivera the most widely respected athlete in history? Who else could get hurt and have the entire world frown?
— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) May 4, 2012
That’s not to suggest that Rivera going down wasn’t deserving of attention or that I was somehow above it all. The excellence of Mariano Rivera was only limited by the position that he played, as evidenced by this rather incredible fact sheet that Mike Axisa of FanGraphs put together. It wouldn’t be too difficult whatsoever to put together an argument suggesting that Rivera was better at his position than any other player in MLB history was at theirs.
What I’m writing about is the unfortunate hyper awareness that exists among many in my mid twenties to early thirties demographic. It has a habit of separating us from feeling a genuine unadulterated reaction to any given event, from which we might for once enjoy or suffer from something undefined by awareness of perspective. Instead of being certain of our own feelings, we’re firstly curious as to how others are going to react.
News of Rivera’s injury has been every bit as dominating of the baseball world as expected. This can most easily be witnessed in the coverage afforded the right handed pitcher’s supposed complication with his torn ACL. That word was used over and over again following the most recent examination of Rivera’s knee earlier this week. At first, it was reported that a complication was making the injury worse than it might have been previously thought to be. And then, it was announced that the complication wasn’t all that complicated at all.
All of this proves a simple equation: Big news + the slow reveal of little bits of information = hysterical assumptions.
Yesterday, it was announced that the so called complication was one of the blood clot variety. While examining Rivera’s leg, doctors found a blood clot in his right calf. What does that mean? Actually, not much at all. It was dealt with immediately, and as soon as Rivera gets a better range of motion with his leg, he’ll have his surgery. In fact, doctors have said that the clotlication shouldn’t impact his recovery in the least.
And that recovery is important because Rivera has also announced that he intends to come back next season despite yet another faulty assumption from most of us that 2012 would be his last season even before his injury.
I was leaning toward coming back. I was feeling strong on that. It’s hard. I was weighing how I feel, the traveling, the games, and it’s the same. The traveling, I hate it; the playing, I love it. I was torn between that.
Baseball with Rivera is better than baseball without him. And that’s something that Yankees fans would most especially attest to, even before last night’s blown save loss.
And The Rest
The Minnesota Twins are shaking things up with a couple of demotions of sorts, including Francisco Liriano’s move to the bullpen. Playoffs! [Star Tribune]
If Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale had an injured elbow, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the team might have been better off getting it examined rather than merely moving him to the bullpen. [South Side Sox]
Boston Red Sox public address announcer Carl Beane was killed yesterday in a traffic collision. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. [Over The Monster]
Meanwhile, Red Sox nation is steamed that pitcher Josh Beckett was out golfing a couple of days before missing a start due to stiffness in his back. [Joy Of Sox]
It sounds as though Ozzie Guillen has moved past his Fidel Castro comments, and would like reporters to do the same (NSFW language). [SunSentinel.com]
The anatomy of an eephus pitch. [Baseball Nation]
It’s all unravelling for the Baltimore Orioles. Dana Eveland will start on Saturday. [Camden Chat]
The New York Mets swept the Philadelphia Phillies. I wonder if Roy Halladay will want to be traded to a contender. [Amazin Avenue]
Today in #Want: A Matt Cain bobblehead. [NBC Bay Area]
It’s just your typical Little League umpire punches coach in face story. [NJ.com]
If there is a greater baseball card than Dave Rozema’s 1985 Topps card, I’m not sure my physical being is prepared for it. [1985 Topps]
The Chicago Cubs won a game with only 26 plate appearances. [HardballTalk]
Andrew Cashner is averaging the hardest four seam fastball in all of baseball to this point of the season. [FanGraphs]
On yesterday’s Getting Blanked Show we talked about Josh Hamilton’s four home run night and Francisco Cordero’s five run blown save. [Getting Blanked]