So the headline on MLB.com tells me that Chien-Ming Wang has suffered a hamstring injury. I panic. Then, I click on the link and Joe says it’s a cramp. So, what is it? Injury or cramp? I think I would be very upset if it’s an actual injury and Wang starts the year on the DL. I may even cry. Well…I probably wouldn’t cry. But I would consider it. Add that to Pettitte’s back spasms and this has been a potentially dangerous week for the Yankees.
These problems bring up an issue I have with Spring Training. I have the same issue with the preseason in the NFL. In this day and age, is it necessary to have a month-long preseason? Most professional athletes do not sit on the couch all offseason. Even those that are "out of shape" just need a little extra conditioning. Injuries popped up all over baseball this week. And for what? Absolutely nothing. A week ago Jason Giambi said something to the effect of "Screw this noise. Let’s play actual baseball." All this hullabaloo accomplishes is tiring out the players and increases risk of injury. Oh, yeah….and it makes a TON of money for Major League Baseball (game tickets, special jerseys and caps to sell, etc., etc.). The last two weeks of Spring Training are nothing more than a marketing tool. And the players pay for it.
Then, fresh off the excitement of ordering Extra Innings, I went to check the schedule in order to prepare for Opening Day. The Yankees play at 1PM on Monday April 2. That’s 11AM here. The reason I’m not going to Opening Day at Coors Field this year is because I have to work. 9 of 13 games on Opening Day occur before 5PM Eastern Time. If you ask me, this scheduling is more evidence of Baseball’s move toward being a rich man’s game. We’ve waited 6 months, gotten excited, suffered through nearly a month of usefulness, and who’s going to be able to watch games live? Either those with enough money to not worry about taking the day off or those who will have to make due with less for taking the day off.
Maybe I’m just grumpy today.