As I watched A-Rod limp off the field this evening, my thoughts echoed that word written on the back of Cynthia Rodriguez’s shirt and so tastelessly bleeped out by the New York Post. “F—!” I thought with dashes taken up the spaces usually filled by a U, C and K.
And then I blamed C-Rod. You see, baseball karma is a powerful force. She wore a t-shirt to the Stadium that is expressly forbidden by Stadium rules. She, the wife of baseball’s $250 million superstar, flaunted the rules. She tempted Fate, and Fate came back to kick her husband in the ass. Or, as with so many other Yankees this season, the hamstring.
Next, I blamed Justin Morneau. Get out of the way, Justin. First, this guy undeservedly stole the MVP from Derek Jeter. Now, his fielders’ ineptness and his inability to stay out of the way led to an injury to the one guy the Yankees can’t lose.
Then, I sighed resignedly and started praying. The Yanks have announced that Alex Rodriguez has a strained hamstring. They aren’t saying tight or tweaked or anything else that would indicate a less severe injury. They are saying “strain,” and hamstring strains usually lead to DL stints. If the Yanks lost A-Rod, his 28 HR, 80 RBI and .671 SLG for an extended period of time, they would be dead in the water. I don’t need to break out the sabermetrics to show you just how important Alex Rodriguez is to the future success of the Yankees; anyone who watches games on a daily basis already understands that.
So with doom and gloom settling in, we just have to wait. Negative Nancy over here is warning us that the upper part of A-Rod’s hamstring suffered the brunt of the pull. That could be Very Bad. But at the same time, A-Rod is, in the finest sense of a timeless baseball clichÃ©, a competitor. He won’t be content missing games, missing the All Star Game, sitting around like a lump for the Yankees’ most important month of a bad season. He’ll want to come back quickly; he’ll want to DH if possible.
But right now, we just don’t know. We’ll know more tomorrow after an examination. So we wait with fingers crossed and breath baited. The waiting is the hardest part.