Miami Marlins Photo Day

There exists an old sports saw about the difference between injured and hurt. I probably saw it in a bad football movie once. Spring Training is a great time for fans (or, more to the point, media) to develop the ability to make this distinction on their own.

When Shelby Miller complains of shoulder tightness or Ryan Madson opts to take a break from throwing, it is worrisome. More so for a pitcher like Madson who is coming off Tommy John but, regardless, the injuries are more issues of “being hurt.”

Curtis Granderson and Jeff Mathis are injured. No amount of PR massaging or gently worded trainer’s language can unbreak bones, be they collarbones or forearms or what have you.

Curtis Granderson and Jeff Mathis are going to miss a chunk of time, this much we know. It’s the cases like Christian Garcia that are tougher to figure.

The Nationals swingman shut down his throwing program last week after experiencing “tightness” in his right forearm/wrist. The nebulous nature of the pain owes partly to a policy of misinformation and party to the difficult-to-pin-down inner workings of the human arm. Without getting inside that arm, who knows what might be the issue?

Davey Johnson is a baseball manager, not a medical doctor. After consulting with team medical officials and Garcia, he told reporters “the Nationals believe something is amiss with a tendon or ligament in Garcia‚Äôs wrist.”

After a few days of rest, the tune changed. The Nats official party line was one of caution, not concern. Johnson noted Spring Training is a long haul so there is no need to rush back ahead of time.

As with everything during ST, everything is about context. A player guaranteed a job can afford to be more cautious, with regular season readiness his only goal. Players like Garcia who are competing for jobs must balance the best interests of their health with their personal take on their employment opportunities.

Like in any professional sporting area, players will act a little crazy to get that paycheck. They will tell white lies about their health if it gets them into the big leagues, where larger paydays and better treatment services can nurse them back to health.

If Christian Garcia hurt? Might he need surgery down the road? Who knows? The Nats and their right-hander have plenty of time to get a handle on his health. It will never be as black and white as with clear injuries like Mathis, Granderson, and Pedro Feliciano. Working out the kinks is all a part of the Spring Training process.

And the rest

Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen lives the dream. [Capital New York]

Phil Coke meets the guy behind Phil Coke’s Brain [Michigan!]

Good luck, homeboy.


Torii Hunter hates facing Roy Halladay more than just about anyone on Earth. These comments sound eerily familiar. [Philly Daily News]

Poor Kenny Lofton. [Cleveland Plain-Dealer]

Beware the baloney starts of March. Like the Ides but against more non-roster invitees. [U.S.S. Mariner]

John Axford nailed the Oscars. Wish I could say the same about the Academy. Seth McFarlane is a stain. [Hardball Talk]

Well, maybe not everything McFarlane touches is all bad.

Is this good?