A-Rod’s Prospects After Steroids, Injury, Time Off, and 40: An Interview with an Expert Athletic Trainer and Champion Bodybuilder

Dos Equis commercials peddle their fictional man-of-many-feats as the “most interesting man in the world,” but my old friend Stu Yellin can give that old beer drinker a run for his money. I met Stu when we were 5; we spent much of the next decade getting each other in trouble in school, usually when one of us tried to make the other laugh in class by drawing pictures like Spider-Man beating up the teacher (an actual example of a drawing Stu showed me in 12th grade). My art skills never grew past middling (though I did just draw a decent Groot for my kids), but Stu became a major TV cartoonist, drawing the Colbert- and Carrell-voiced “Ace + Gary, The Ambiguously Gay Duo” for SNL, The Tick, and Lizzie McGuire. He then became an art teacher — before becoming a pro bodybuilder too. He got a very late start, competing only as of his early/mid-30s, yet won Pro Cards in various drug-tested federations (most notably the WNBF, the strictest one on substance abuse), and won first place as a middleweight in several “natural bodybuilding” competitions with tough drug testing.…

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Quick Hit: Brett Gardner Had Surgery On A Muscle I Probably Don’t Have

So I guess that answers the question of what was wrong with Gardner’s abdominal area in the second half of the season.  Sounds like something that would be painful to walk around with, let alone swing a baseball bat, run around, and throw a ball as hard as you can.  This certainly lends some explanation to Gardner’s second-half offensive fade and lack of stolen bases, and it’s good to know that he’s going to make a full recovery and be ready for Spring Training.

Bigger picture though, is this late-season injury thing starting to become a trend with Gardner?  Without looking it up, I feel like he’s ended 3 or 4 seasons with a bunch of nagging injuries that have left him playing at far less than 100% and killed his production.  He’s not a huge guy and he plays the game very aggressively, so some of it is just the natural result of playing the game every day for 6 months.  …

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Sabathia Update: Back To 100%?

The Yankee season has been over for almost a month, and with the World Series in the early stages and free agency not yet underway, the only real player news is injury news.  There was a fair amount of news regarding CC Sabathia and his rehab from knee surgery this week.  He was on ESPN Radio on Wednesday to discuss it, and Chad Jennings put together a post recapping all the major talking points.

The biggest one is obviously CC’s health and all sounds well on that front.  Sabathia said he’s been “telling people I’m 100%” and that he’s been throwing 2 days a week at The Stadium.  He said the knee feels good and discussed the importance of him being healthy going into next season while adding that he still believes he can “definitely get back to being able to go out and dominate a game, and just be myself.”

Good on the guy for being confident, but I think I’ll pump the brakes on any kind of optimism until I have somebody other than Sabathia confirming he’s 100%, preferably somebody in the medical field.  …

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Get Ready for the 2015 Postseason: A-Rod in the “Best Shape of His Life”! But Let’s Look at Past “Best Shape” Claims…

The Hypothesis: The news that “multiple reports say [A-Rod] is in the best shape of his life” (10/13/14) is useless for predicting his performance. Or am I just a snarky, condescending jerk for mocking the concept that diet and exercise can help a near-fortysomething who, to play well for a team I like, reportedly is working harder than the many who let their bodies go by their early/mid-30s – like those Girardi “ripped … for being overweight, not being ‘hungry'” in an impressive bit of managerial wordplay?

The Slipshod Methodology: I Googled “best shape of his life” yankees and “best shape of my life” yankees to find others with off-season “best shape” reports; the first five pages of results from each search yielded 10 “best shape” claims. (I included a few that didn’t quite say “best” but did claim dramatically better physical condition.) I then looked at their performance the seasons before and after the offseason “best shape” claim.…

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Beltran Has Successful Elbow Surgery

Well that’s good news.  This story came out yesterday afternoon and it’s the first positive one we’ve read about Carlos Beltran‘s right elbow in a long time.  Doctors successfully removed the pesky bone spur along with some other assorted “loose pieces” yesterday, and Beltran is now on the 12-week road to recovery referenced by Feinsand.

You can call me crazy for this, and considering my thoughts on Teix maybe I am, but I really feel like this is going to help Beltran have a better year next year.  Probably not 2012 or 2013 better, but somewhere between the .350-.360 wOBA he put up in those years and the .310 he put up this year.  Hey, he might even be able to play some games in the outfield and not clog up the DH spot too.…

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Quick Hit: Shut It Down

Nothing wrong with that.  It’s the right move at this point.  There’s nothing left to play for and there’s no need to risk further injury to any of these guys.  I can understand Ells and Teix wanting to get back out there for pride’s sake or to be a part of Jeter’s final games or whatever, but I’d prefer if they joined Beltran and started working on healing and getting ready for 2015.  It’s all over for 2014.  Time to shut it down.

Shut It Down

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Injury Updates: Tanaka, Teixeira, Beltran, Sabathia, Ellsbury

I’m really looking forward to the end of the season so I don’t have to do these posts anymore, but the season rolls on and so must the injury reports.

Masahiro Tanaka felt no pain or discomfort in his elbow yesterday after his return outing on Sunday.  He went through his normal next-day routine and all signs point to him being A-OK for his final start on Saturday.

Mark Teixeira received another cortisone injection in his right wrist on Sunday and said he could be back in the lineup as soon as tonight.  Apparently the first 2 injections were in a different part of his tendon sheath and this 3rd one was in a different spot, making it OK to do.

Carlos Beltran continues to sit out due to pain in his elbow, but said he’s not going to proceed with the surgery until after the end of the season.  Not sure I follow the logic there.

CC Sabathia played catch yesterday, the first time he’s had any kind of throwing activity since having the latest surgery on his knee.  …

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Injury Update: Teix’s Wrist Acting Up Again

Days-Since-Last-Injury-0Hey!  I remembered the picture this time.  Not that that makes the news any less crappy.

Mark Teixeira was noticeably absent from last night’s lineup, and we found out before the game it was due to his wrist acting up again.  Joe told reporters before the game that Teix told him the wrist was bothering him during last week’s homestand and it must have gotten to the point where he couldn’t play with the pain anymore.

This was to be expected at some point late in the year simply because it was expected prior to the season and it’s been the norm for Teix since game 1.  This was the 1 injury problem we and the Yankees were prepared for.  Guys who have this surgery usually have lingering issues the next year.  Teix has been no different.

Teix has been slumping badly and I’m a firm believer that all the injury problems have piled up to the point where he can’t be effective anymore.

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Report: Prado Out For The Rest Of The Year

The hits (figurative injury hits, not literal baseball hits) keep on coming, huh?  Apparently Prado had to have emergency appendectomy surgery sometime between the end of last night’s game and when you and I woke up today. Meredith Marakovits had the story early this morning and the team confirmed it by announcing that he had been put on the 60-day DL and replaced on the active roster by Jose Pirela.

This is a huge blow to an already laughably ineffective lineup.  Prado has hit .316/.336/.541 with 7 HR and 16 RBI in 37 games as a Yankee.  He’s been on an absolute tear since mid-to-late August and he’s continued his hot hitting even as he battled a recent hamstring injury.

No way to spin this as a positive.  The lineup just lost its best hitter, and curious as I am to see what he can do, I don’t expect Pirela to fill that gap.…

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