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Old 09-04-2002, 12:06 AM   #1
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Default Short and Sweet

There are very few times when I'm ever at a loss for words. In fact, those that know me know how hard it is to get me to shut up. A couple years ago, I screwed up my vocal cords and couldn't talk for two weeks and nearly died. Tonight, due to an almost complete lack of injuries, I'm going to be short of words, but it should be a nice little UTK. Better than last night's that was sent out as HTML coding because I hit the wrong button ... oops!

Do I lead with Pedro or Mariano? Rivera or Martinez? I'll flip a coin and say Pedro ...

The Pedro Martinez saga got comical today when George King of the NY Post printed that Pedro's arm was hurt despite not being able to identify a source, identify an injury, or actually name a valid arm injury. King was supposed to be defending himself this afternoon on Mike and Mad Dog so if anyone heard it, let me know. Lee Sinins of the phenomenal ATM reports and Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia had perhaps the best take on this: "Pedro Martinez will be scratched from his start tomorrow, due to a strained left hip. The team is denying a report from the New York Post, which claims he's really suffering from an arm injury. The NY Post report was written by George King. A good rule of thumb is to believe nothing written by King that isn't verified by everyone else. Even if King tells you an ant can't hurt you, assume you will dead within seconds if one spots you, unless you can verification on King's info." I made a couple calls and ended up emailing Lee with this: "How pissed is Pedro about King's report? So pissed that questions about his arm are being addressed not only by the staff, but by him. You can imagine my shock when I called there this morning to end up with Pedro on the phone. (Very cool feeling, but not good for the panic attacks.) His arm is fine and they think the King report came from him misunderstanding an explanation of why they were worried about his hip. Dr. Morgan (team doc) said the hip strain could cause him to change his mechanics and end up hurting his arm. King probably just heard "hurt" and "arm" since they're both monosyllabic." (I left out the part about the incredibly addicting NCAA Football 2003.) To summarize, don't worry about Pedro. The important thing is that his arm is fine, the team is being cautious, and Tony Cloninger has enough knowledge of biomechanics to know what kind of risk he would be taking to send Pedro out there.

Mariano Rivera is talking more than the finalists on American Idol. He's trying to convince everyone that he's coming back this season and despite how some have taken my words, I don't doubt it. I think he will come back, but I don't think he'll be near full strength. Let's guess and say that he has about two weeks in his shoulder before he needs to shut it down. How do you spot him in to get his effectiveness up when you may be risking his availability for the playoffs? Can you have a closer who has to be babied? Do you risk his future to get what I think is the last ring the Yankees will get in a while? These are the questions Joe Torre gets paid the big bucks for and more often than not, he's been right.

How do we know that Ken Griffey is coming back? Reds team physician Tim Kremchek tells us. He told us on Sunday that Griffey was ready to come back ... but no Griffey. He told us again on Monday .... no Griffey. Again today ... same thing, no Griffey. Vanna, I'd like to buy the doctor a clue. Getting Griffey back should not be a priority, but getting him ready for next year should be. Leaving it in the hands of Tim Kremchek may not be the best way to do it.

Is Cristian Guzman hurt? Some insider sources are questioning the health of his back and the Twins aren't talking. UTK is trying to find out what's up with the important cog in the Twins machine. We got some video and Guzman isn't bending correctly for grounders, appears to be moving pretty tentatively, and in the words of my high school football coach, "That boy don't look happy." I can't say that it is a back injury since the way he acts could also be a hip or knee injury, so we'll hope that someone in the Twins organization will be forced into answering a question, probably asked devoid of context. That's fine, if it gets the info out. Just because the strike was averted doesn't mean I'm letting up on transparency. No, I'm getting harder on that issue and two packages went out today from UTK HQ that should help make the baseball world a bit more clear.

Three days after saying the injury to Jason Isringhausen wasn't serious enough to warrant an MRI, the Cards had Izzy inside the buzzing machine today in hopes of finding out what is causing the piercing pain in the back of his shoulder. Is it the curse that the Cards have lived under all year or has this been coming on for a while? Isringhausen has long been an injury risk and he may have reached his breaking point. The Cards may be able to survive losing him for an extended period of time, but any more injuries may psychically damage the Cards the way the suggestion that Tony Larussa is Manager of the Year damaged me today on the radio. The Cards are also dealing with an injury by dealing with an injury. Tino Martinez's shoulder soreness allows Albert Pujols to move to first and not stress his sore groin. Now this is a smart move.

Alex Sanchez had extensive surgery on his ankle and while a recovery is likely, it is unclear what effect the injury may have on Sanchez's career. A guy like Geoff Jenkins can come back from an injury like he had because speed was not one of his tools. For Sanchez, it was almost the only one he had and he maximized it fairly well. Following Sanchez onto the OR table was pitcher Shane Nance, recently called up to Milwaukee and already in jeopardy of losing his career. I guess we can't blame this on the Brewers. Nance ruptured his biceps, a similar injury to that which Frank Thomas and Dean Palmer returned from. Neither of those hitters was able to fully return to prior form, but more worrisome, I can't find a comparable injury for a pitcher. Nance is done and Ben Diggins got shelled yesterday, but still, I think the Brewers won in the Tyler Houston trade. Ouch! I would like to share a new website I found that will go in the "sites better than the official sites" section of the links soon - is visually one of the best baseball sites around and its more than just about the Brewers. I was stunned to find someone so passionate about the hard to love Brewers, but then again, I just ordered a Brewers jersey, #33. Go check it out.

No, I can't tell you what's in the packages. I can tell you that you can find me over on, where intelligent baseball talk lives. I can tell you that you can look for me on Yahoo Messenger (cubfan333). I can tell you that you'd better get your order for the new SBE in soon before Lee gets flooded. I can tell you to look forward to Greg Rakestraw's feature on the Famous Chicken, an interview/conversation with Bill Chuck of Billy-Ball, and hopefully a big announcement about an off-season project. Until then, I'll be back tomorrow with UTK.
UTK available only at

"I was pulling for Pete and agreeing with (commissioner) Bud Selig that Pete should be eligible for the Hall of Fame," said Giles, now chairman of the Phillies. "Bud was close to making him eligible right after his meeting with Pete (November 2002). Right after that, Pete got into tax trouble (in California), and that delayed the process."
- Phillies Chairman Bill Giles in the Dayton Daily News, January 25th, 2004.
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