That injury bug

Much has been said here about the Yankees and their injuries, much of which by the YFs has been along the lines of: "The Yankees are doing well despite their problems." Much of this talk has failed to take into account the fact that the Yankees had played only about a week’s worth of games with those injuries, as well as for the fact that the Red Sox also are hobbled by key injuries.

SF emailed me a question before he left for vacation, and I thought it a good one to ask here. What injuries do these teams have, and how have our respective teams fared during those injuries.

In this study, I’ve included all DL stints or players who have missed at least five consecutive games but weren’t put on the DL. I excluded DL stints that started before the season began because teams know going into the season this will occur and plan accordingly. Part of how well you play during injuries is the ability to adapt to unexpected absences. Carl Pavano, for example, is anything but an unexpected absence.

Here are all the players for the Yankees that have seen time on the disabled list this season, and the dates they’ve been there. In parentheses is the team’s record during that DL stint:

  • Gary Sheffield — May 6 to May 22 (8-8)
  • Hideki Matsui — May 12 (7-6)
  • Tanyan Sturtze — May 14 (5-6)
  • Bubba Crosby — May 17 (4-4)
  • Shawn Chacon — May 17 (4-4)

And for the Red Sox:

  • Coco Crisp — April 11 (21-12)
  • Trot Nixon — April 12 to April 16 (3-2)
  • David Riske — April 12 to May 22 (20-14)
  • David Wells — April 13 to May 25 (20-13)
  • Mike Holtz — May 17 (4-3)
  • Lenny DiNardo — May 25 (1-0)

The key periods of time for both teams, where two or more key players were out because of injury:

New York: May 12-22, when Sheffield and Matsui were both on the DL. Their record: 5-6

Boston: April 12-16, when Nixon and Crisp were both on the DL. Their record: 3-2. The Red Sox during this time also had Wells on the DL after his failed return, and the Sox’ record during the Wells/Crisp DL stint: 19-12

Further, the Yankees were in first place (Murray Chass take note) by six percentage points when Matsui went on the DL May 12. By the time Sheffield returned on the 22nd, the Yankees were 2.5 games back. The Red Sox, on the other hand were up 1 game on April 13, when Wells joined Crisp and Nixon on the bench. They still are up 1 game.

What conclusions can be drawn from this?

  1. The Red Sox have played better through their injuries than the Yankees. The Yankees are at best a .500 team over the past several weeks. The Red Sox have played at a .600 clip. As you can see, the Red Sox have a winning record during each player’s stint on the DL, even during the overlaps. The Yankees have a winning record during just one of those DL stints.
  2. During the two time periods that most resemble each other — the five games in which the Sox were out two starting outfielders and the 11 games in which the Yanks were also out two outfielders — the Red Sox had a better record than the Yankees. However, the Yankees also went 3-2 in their first five games, then went 2-4.

Several times, arguments have been made about whose loss is more important, etc. I’d consider Crisp and Matsui to be roughly equivalent. Sheffield was significant, and Nixon approximates him in that both teams lost two outfielders, but the length of time for which the Sox lost Nixon is nowhere close to that for the Yankees and Sheffield. The closest thing to the magnitude of Sheffield’s injury is the Sox’ losing 15-game winner Wells. Likewise, this does not take into account reduced performances from players playing while hurt or ill (Damon, Varitek, Giambi, Ortiz, et al).

The Yankees’ injuries might be more severe, and it’s clear they’re affecting the team more than the YFs here seem to admit. The Yankees’ ability to hang around first place is more a factor of the Sox’ own problems and injuries than any Yankee "heart" (as Jon Miller vomit-inducingly called it the other night).

The Sox’ injuries have played a key role in helping the depleted Yankees hang around. Losing Crisp has been mitigated somewhat by Pena and the emergence of Youkilis, but Crisp is clearly a better hitter than Pena and is faster than Youk, and the Sox usually have two automatic outs in any given lineup because of it. Without Wells, the Sox have been searching for a fith starter for the better part of a year, to no avail, and the man they’ve been using was just put on the DL himself. The bullpen has been reduced, partly by injury, to a two- (sometimes three-)man staff.

So all that to basically say: It’s too close to call, and it’s too early in the season. The Sox are more injured than appears because their three key losses (Crisp, Wells and Riske) have been essentially season-long injuries. Thus it’s disingenuous to say, "The Yankees are injured and they’re only one game out of first, so the Sox better watch out when we get healthy," because, um, the Sox aren’t healthy either, yet they’re performing better than the Yanks.

The fact remains that the Yankees have not been good over the past two weeks. They’ve been a .500 club, good for third in the AL East, and poor enough that if they continue to be a .500 club, they will be not only be treading water, they’ll be sinking in it, especially as the Sox begin bringing players off the DL in the upcoming days. The Sox have helped them stay in the race largely by losing two winnable games in what could have been a three-game sweep this week.

Those two games are the difference between half a game and 4.5 games in the AL East. They also highlight the importance of the head-to-head matchups between these teams. Before that series, the Sox were headed in one direction (10-4 in 14 games), the Yankees in another (7-7 in 14 games). If those trends continue in the upcoming weeks — and injuries like the ones we’ve seen cost Damon, Giambi and Posada more playing time — no number of Matt Clement starts or late Terry Francona hooks will help New York stay near the top.

39 comments… add one
  • Not the underdog anymore? Making it a little tough to find an identity?
    Don’t forget Posada now.

    walein May 26, 2006, 12:54 am
  • Haha, walein. I’m a UConn fan too, so I can adapt pretty well to the idea of being a favorite. I never think of the Sox that way though. Whenever I get cocky, things like this past series slap me back down again…

    Paul SF May 26, 2006, 1:24 am
  • Paul: you go to UConn?

    RichYF May 26, 2006, 1:26 am
  • I hail from New Haven and got swept up with the rest of the state during the women’s basketball team’s incredible championship drives in the mid 90s…

    Paul SF May 26, 2006, 1:29 am
  • I personally felt at the beginning of the season, with everyone healthy, the RS had the edge between the two teams. This was partially due to the RS advantage in depth, so it doesn’t surprise me that they have fared better during these injury-addled times.

    tom yf May 26, 2006, 2:48 am
  • I would be interested to see a statistical comparison between the Red Sox replacements and the Yankee replacements of the injured players. My guess is that Epstein did a significantly better job at finding competant reserves than Cashman did… and, if my judgement is correct, the Red Sox are playing fewer scrubs like Miguel Cairo and Terrence Long and Scott Erickson.

    Chuck YF May 26, 2006, 7:13 am
  • Let me get this straight, you consider the Yankees loss of Matsui and Sheffield to be equivalent to the Sox loss of Crisp and Nixon. On what F*&^%$G planet? You statheads out there can we see some RC comparison betweeen the two. I would bet that using last year’s full season numbers that Matsui and Sheffield account for 2-3X the amount of RC as Nixon and Crisp. Jesus, Paul you should be working as a spin doctor for the Bush Administration.

    Bozo May 26, 2006, 8:31 am
  • “What could have been a three game sweep” – ?
    Any series COULD be a sweep. Games are won and lost by the teams that are on the field — including starting pitchers. Is Clement the new SF scapegoat of the year?

    bj YF May 26, 2006, 8:35 am
  • I’m not sure where to go to this; though I agree with some of Paul’s conclusions (that the Yanks have a serious problem with their injuries; that the Sox did a better job of setting up their bench at the beginning of the year to handle such contingencies), I’m not sure I agree with the specific technique of analysis (comparison of a small sample of games to compare the affects on the respective teams). As Chuck’s posts kind of suggests, the Yankees replacements haven’t entirely been responsible for the offensive slump of the team. Melky has hit quite well, for example, and Bubba was hot before he went down. In that time, A-Rod and Giambi have both slumped.
    Sheff is now back, but to be without Matsui for a prolonged period, to have completely lost Pavano, and to have so many other banged up players….obviously it’s a problem.

    YF May 26, 2006, 9:56 am
  • For me it’s been interesting seeing a touch of Yankee fan schizophrenia over the injury situation, and I don’t mean that as a flamethrow. What I have observed is the simultaneity of two ideas, the first being “the Yankees are really banged up, but the Sox haven’t been able to stretch the lead at all, so how good can they be?”, along with a cry of “we’re screwed, how many injuries can we possibly sustain?”. The first question can only be answered over a longer period of time, particularly if Crisp comes back. The second question is much more immediate, and also very hard to answer. I think Paul does a good job debunking the idea that the Red Sox are somehow way healthier than the Yankees, which is what that first question seems to imply, though I agree with YF on some of the methodology. But the Sox have lost a 16 game winner for the entirety of the season (Wells) and their leadoff hitter and centerfielder (Crisp) for 90% of the season. So though Bozo gets quite angry at Paul’s suppositions, the fact is that the Red Sox have been without a key starter and a key outfielder for a much more sustained period of time, whereas Sheff was out for 2+ weeks, Matsui out for 3+ and counting. It is therefore difficult to make any equivalencies between the two teams, since the Yankees haven’t been without Matsui long enough to know how much their team (and replacement players) will perform in the absence of their leftfielder.
    The fact that Wells and Crisp have been gone so long combined with the better-than-expected performance of WMP has tempered those blows for the Sox and sort of made them background, which I think is where the mistaken perception that the Sox have somehow been much more fortunate than the Yankees w/r/t injuries. I think this misperception is what drives the “why haven’t the Sox pulled away – the obviously aren’t that good” line comes from.

    SF May 26, 2006, 10:57 am
  • You say Sox have also had key injuries, equivalent to Yankees’. Doesn’t Sox record suggest that, in fact, their injuries aren’t as key as you make them out to be? Yanks lost two of their main run producers, you’re equating that with Crisp and Nixon? Granted, both CC and Trot are very important to the Sox, but that hardly means their loss is the same as losing two 100+ rbi men.

    Anonymous May 26, 2006, 11:19 am
  • Also, try to give Yanks at least a little bit of credit. “Could’ve been a 3 game sweep”?? It’s not like Sox just laid down for the last 2 games, is it? Is it possible that Yankees just outplayed them? Yeah, Schilling won, but it’s not like the lineup got significantly better for the next two games, and the NY pitchers for those games are hardly the second coming of Sandy Koufax.

    Anonymous May 26, 2006, 11:22 am
  • The players aren’t necessarily being equated. But you have to factor in the games missed. Crisp, when he returns, will have missed upwards of 40 games, and Wells 10 starts. Sheff only missed 16, Matsui slightly less to this point (that will change, obviously). In another month the situation will have metamorphosed, particularly with Matsui, and at that point this will probably be a different discussion. But at this moment, which is what Paul is posting about, the general view of the Yanks vs. Sox injury situation is misperceived, in my opinion, particularly by YFs.

    SF May 26, 2006, 11:27 am
  • Yeah, at this point it’s too early to tell. I think Yanks will pick it up, though. Departure of Sturtze (and the non-arrival of Pavano) are probably not so bad in the long run. Sturtze was awful and Pavano is like the Yeti (much discussed but rarely seen). Cabrera will only get better as he becomes more comfortable in the field, and he’s hitting at a decent clip already. Sheff is back.
    The main concern, IMO, is the pitching, both starting and ‘pen, which is the case for Sox also. Who knows what you’ll get from Wells (other than his timeless wisdom)? And Randy Johnson? Urgh.

    yankeemonkey May 26, 2006, 11:37 am
  • I really don’t understand where SF is coming up with these mass generalizations about YF misperceptions. I think it’s kind of bs. First of all, I ask why, in his analysis, the Sox can count Wells in the loss ledger but SF makes no accomodation for the Yanks loss of whipping-boy Pavano.
    I don’t think there’s any szchizophrenia. Yankee fans are rightly concerned about the incredible rash of injuries sustained by the team–those that have knocked players onto the dl, those that are just nagging, and those that may or may not exist (specifically, Randy Johnson’s decline). These jeopardize the long-term success of the team, regardless of the present status of the Sox.

    YF May 26, 2006, 11:45 am
  • Discounting Pavano’s injury because it happened in spring training while counting Well’s injury (after 4IP) and Crisp’s injuryt (5 games) is laughably self-serving.
    Casting your homerism as a “study” is likewise ludicrous. There’s nothing systematic, objective or even worthwhile about your “analysis”.
    I can’t wait to see your in-depth research proving that apples only taste better than oranges when the oranges wear pinstripes.

    Brutal Hugger May 26, 2006, 12:15 pm
  • Let’s see…Red Sox have the best infield defense in the AL, two dominant starters (and a third that always seems to confound the Yanks), a dominant closer, and two of the best hitters in baseball. And that’s without Nixon, Crisp, or the immortal Lenny DiNardo.
    I can’t imagine why they’d be performing better than a team that has, over the last couple weeks, batted Bernie Williams 5th more than once, seen Kelly Stinnett come to bat 74 times with the bases loaded, and watched more Miguel Cairo than any team should.
    The injuries clearly impact the Yankees more. They went from “on pace to score 950 runs” to “batting a lineup that would have trouble scoring against the Columbus Clippers.”

    yankeesnj May 26, 2006, 12:17 pm
  • It comes down to pitching. The Sox put themselves in a bind when they traded Bronson. I still like the deal but it probably hurt them for the short term, even though WMP has played pretty well. When Wells disappeared and Papelbon entrenched himself in the bullpen, Boston went from having seven starters to four. Thus far, other than the predictable Pavano injury (yes it was predictable, look at his career), and a missed start by future Devil Ray Shaun Chacon, the Yankees pitching staff hasn’t suffered any injuries of the severity of a Wells or Riske. And, no, Tanyon Sturtze doesn’t count.
    In the end, I still like Boston’s pitching staff better than NY’s. That could change depending on Clemens though.

    mattymatty May 26, 2006, 12:19 pm
  • I think the Yankees have a similar (notice I didn’t say equivalent) situation in losing a ~15 game winner in Johnson. The only difference is that Wells isn’t playing for the big club, while Johnson is heroically eating about three innings per start. Both are likely cases of drastic dropoffs due to age and health.

    tom yf May 26, 2006, 12:19 pm
  • Is this Yanks fan schizophrenia or Sox fan paranoid delusion (not to flame throw here)? The majority of Yanks fans who’ve posted on this site, including YF and myself, haven’t claimed that the Sox should be well ahead of the Yanks right now. I joked about those “scrappy” Yanks only being 1 game behind right after the heroic (no joke there) victory against the Rangers. I think this was a week after Matsui’s injury, so I was being pretty toungue-in-cheek. YF expressed the need for Cashman to do something fast about the injury situation. At the same I would lying if I said I wasn’t happy, even surprised, about the Yanks recent series victory against the Sox. Heck, even the sagacious Curt Schilling understood that the Yanks were vulnerable coming into the series.

    Nick-YF May 26, 2006, 12:21 pm
  • yankeesn – You’re equating depth with losses due to injury. They aren’t the same thing. You can lose the best player in baseball but if you have the second best player in baseball on the bench the dropoff and thus hit your team takes might not be so significant. But when the drop off from Posada is Stinnett (all-star to AAA player) and the dropoff from Matsui is Terrance Long (same) then it becomes more significant. However, the dropoff isn’t necessary the fault of the actual injury so much as it is due to the team’s lack of depth, which is the fault of the GM. Simply put, the Red Sox injuries have been masked better than those of the Yankees because of the Red Sox vastly superior depth. Willy Mo has done a vastly superior job playing every day than Stinnett has, even when accounting for their positions. Or make the same WMP comparison to who ever is in left field for NY.

    mattymatty May 26, 2006, 12:25 pm
  • Whoa, YF. This isn’t self-serving. Nobody is saying the Yankees aren’t suffering (they are). But there has been a lot of self-pity around these parts (from both YFs and SFs, YFs of late for obvious reason) about the injury situations for each team. I asked Paul to take a look at the games missed in more specific terms, and I think he’s done a useful thing here.
    Regarding Wells/Pavano, I didn’t intend to dismiss Pavano’s absence, but the two players performed quite differently last year, so in those terms I think the loss of Wells is simply different than the absence of Pavano, a distinction that you may not care about. The Sox, rightly or wrongly, were looking to Wells to at least approximate last year, while the Yankees were hoping Pavano would far exceed last year. I think that’s a distinction worth noting, though you may not. And counting Johnson in the “injury” or “loss” category is completely incorrect, Tom, though I understand what you are getting at. It would be just as incorrect for me to put Tek in that category, just because he’s stunk this year. The loss of Riske has also been a factor, keeping a guys like Holtz, Van Buren, Delcarmen on the roster when they should be in AAA. It’s not insignificant, the loss of a dependable middle reliever, which Riske has been for several years.
    Basically, I wanted to look at the games lost to each team by important players, and after seeing them it looks to me like the Red Sox have had the worst of it so far, the Yankees will have the worst of it going forward.

    SF May 26, 2006, 12:44 pm
  • The other main thing that gets left out of this discussion is that even if you take Matsui, Sheffield, Pavano, et al. off the roster, and pretend they don’t exist, the Yankees still have the highest payroll in the majors.
    In other words, the Yankees should in theory remain competitive even if these players never return.
    The only true surprise, given how much Steinbrenner spends every year, is that the Yankees don’t win 120 games annually.

    Hudson May 26, 2006, 1:27 pm
  • “it looks to me like the Red Sox have had the worst of it so far,”
    I haven’t seen any convincing evidence whatsoever to support this thesis. You could just as easily make the opposite argument.
    Here’s what I know: the Yankees are beset by injuries. Potential long-term loss of Posada, who’s been helping to carry the club over the last couple of weeks, is terrifying.

    YF May 26, 2006, 1:37 pm
  • I guess I could ask a question a different way, looking at the situation TO DATE (not looking forward, however crude and limited that might be – we’re not talking about the future here, just the season up til today).
    Would Yankees fans rather have been without Damon, Farnsworth, and ‘random 16 game winner” for the entire season or, as in reality, been without Sheffield for two weeks, Matsui for two weeks, and Pavano for the season? Personally, I would opt for #2. I think situation one is much more comparable to the Sox’ scenario with Crisp, Wells, and Riske. Again, forget the future, just for the moment, though I know that is somewhat silly. We’re just talking about the season to date.

    SF May 26, 2006, 1:46 pm
  • It’s not a useful comparison. Isolating three players from the Sox, and then looking for Yankee comps is basically useless, because it takes no account of the performance of replacement players, or the countless others lost for lesser periods (a start here, a game there). If you want to count up the number of win shares that either team has been without, based on the entire 40-man roster, and then balancing that with the peformance of the replacements–then you might be doing something useful. But that’s some very complicated extrapolation; I’m not that competent a stat guy to even know how to guage this. Perhaps BP can handle it. But this I know: your method doesn’t tell me much.

    YF May 26, 2006, 1:59 pm
  • Matty –
    I totally agree with you, and that’s my point. The injuries have hurt the Yankees far more because they lack depth for whatever reason you prefer.

    yankeesnj May 26, 2006, 2:07 pm
  • Wow, this debate realy picked up. I agree that the sample sizes are small on all these injuries. The season has really still only just begun, but there’s nothing we can do about that. When you look at the DL times and durations, however, the Sox have more key players on the DL for longer times to this point in the season, as SF said. And when you look at the records, the Sox have still performed quite well. Crisp, Riske and Wells all have missed *months* not just days or weeks.
    Currently, though, the situation is worse for the Yankees — in part because of the Sox’ depth (pitchers in AAA who have basically been able to produce a .500 record out of the 5th spot/long relief role, and Wily Mo Pena), and in part because the in the last three weeks, the wheels have fallen off the Yankee bus. In those weeks, the Yankees have performed much worse than the Sox have during their significant injuries.
    A month from now, the Yankees will have likely had more key players injured for longer times then the Sox, then we can re-examine their records and standings. Barring more injury on the Sox’ end, I’d expect that the Bostonians will have pulled away from NY.
    And, Hugger, using “clever quote marks” while “discussing” a “study” doesn’t add much to the discussion. The Yankees knew going into spring training that Pavano might not start the season, just as the Sox had the same realization about Wells. The difference is that Pavano has never come close to getting back into the bigs, while Wells was scheduled to return after two weeks, did return after two weeks and was found to still be injured. The Sox didn’t plan for that, which is why it counts in our discussion about injuries and their effects on the teams’ play.
    And please spare me the inanity of saying that Crisp’s injury doesn’t count because it happened too early in the season. That doesn’t even make sense. If Damon was hurt Opening Day, Yakee fans would be screaming, and rightly so, about how much such a horrible and unexpected injury affected the team. At the end of the season, should we avoid discussing the Matsui injury because it occurred in the first quarter of the year?

    Paul SF May 26, 2006, 2:39 pm
  • I think there are so many different lines of argument going on here that it’s almost as if there isn’t an argument. That’s my Yogi Berra-ism of the day.
    What stands out to me about the Yanks recent struggles with Matsui and Sheff down is that their replacements haven’t been all that bad. You might argue, for instance, that during that stretch, Old Man Bernie put up better numbers than what Matsui was giving the club during his slow start. And Melky’s performance, though not Sheffield-esque by any stretch of the imagination, was pretty strong. Likewise, as YF pointed out, Bubba hit very well for his brief time as a starter, and he played excellent defense to boot. What I learned from that is that small sample sizes are small for a reason, and often misleading. During that same period, Giambi has struggled, Jeter has regressed slightly and A-Rod hasn’t exactly been MVP-level. So, while I agree that the Yanks’s bench and ability to deal with injuries is probably worse than the Sox’s, their so-so performance during this period of injury doesn’t conclusively illustrate that.
    A minor point, but one that I wanted to make, I also don’t quite agree with the way MattyMatty cherry-picked replacement comparisons. It’s self-serving to compare Stinnet, a catcher, to WMP, an outfielder. Stinnet should be compared to Mirabelli. Both basically have put up similar career numbers. They are decent back-up catchers. The cult of Doug in RSN sometimes makes him seem much better than he is. It convinced Kevin Towers to trade Loretta for him, a move that collusion investigators should really look into. The more apt comparison is Crosby and WMP, and, of course, Theo wins that in a landslide. And then there’s Melky versus Dustin Mohr and Long versus Harris.

    Nick-YF May 26, 2006, 2:47 pm
  • Again, this is anecdotal and arbitrary. If you want to use the 40-man roster as a baseline, and then create some kind of equation for measurement, go ahead–I’m ready to be convinced. But the Wells/Pavano justification continues to make zero sense to me. The Yanks were expecting his return in April. If they’re both using a roster spot, they’re both using a roster spot. That’s the bottom line.
    .

    YF May 26, 2006, 2:55 pm
  • Though Melky vs. Mohr and Long vs. Harris isn’t right either, Nick, since Melky is a starter and Mohr/Harris are spot players.
    And YF, calling this discussion (or my take on things) “useless” is a bit nasty, I have to say. We’ve generated some interesting discussion here, and only looking at things through sabermetric glasses, as you seem to imply would be the only way to assess things, is a limited and narrow way to define “usefulness”. There’s nothing wrong with engaging a little subjective debate on our teams’ positions and their current injury woes. We haven’t hit on an airtight method for quantifying the impacts of these injuries, since there are so many moving parts. But looking at players, their roles, and those players that fill similar roles on the other team isn’t a useless place to start. It seems like you are willing to discuss these things, but then when you hit a dead end you attempt to terminate the discussion by saying something like “well, it’s far too statistically complex for me to have an opinion”, which is kind of a sham argument. If that’s your position on this, why bother entering the discussion at all, or why have any “subjective” discussions not numbers-based at any point?
    Regardless, I agree with you on one thing: I don’t think isolating three players is the best way to make my case, but I was doing it not to make my case but to provide a more relevant comparison of players in discussion. It’s not a terrible starting point. It’s certainly not an ending point, either.

    SF May 26, 2006, 2:57 pm
  • SF, the comparison is positional and based on the depth chart of the respective teams. Crisp and Trot go down and WMP and Mohr start in their stead. Am I missing a player on the Sox before Mohr? So, if Matsui and Sheff go down, Bubba/Bernie and Melky take their place.

    Nick-YF May 26, 2006, 3:02 pm
  • I understand, Nick – I was simply looking at head-to-head.

    SF May 26, 2006, 3:05 pm
  • Nick – I have a feeling if we start doing very serious head-to-head comparisons of the #6 guys on either team’s depth charts over reasonable sample sizes then there’s a world of hurt ahead for both our squads.

    SF May 26, 2006, 3:10 pm
  • I bet you Long puts up a better VORP than Harris over a 162 game season!
    That is a scary proposition indeed, but look at Bernie. He’s going to log a full season of at bats at this rate, and that should not have been part of the plans going into the season. To quote YF: Grr.

    Nick-YF May 26, 2006, 3:14 pm
  • SF: The question was framed in objective terms; as was your response. When subjectivity masquerades (intentionally or not) as objectivity, I’m going to call bs. I’m all for subjective argument; but let’s make sure we understand that’s what’s going on from the outset.

    YF May 26, 2006, 3:25 pm
  • Many good points in both the post and comments. Someone upthread mentioned the nagging — or, I would say, anticipated — injuries that are looming over the Yankees, which I agree is a big factor in the perception of the Yankees as being more up-the-creek than they are _at the moment_.
    Damon, for instance, is already nursing multiple injuries, and while he has earned a reputation for toughness and playing through injuries, it also gives good reason to be pessimistic about him raising his game in the immediate future (currently batting .284), even if he does stay off the DL.
    Obviously no one can predict the future (hey, maybe Damon catches fire), but the point is that there are a lot more storm clouds hanging over the Yankees than there are for the Red Sox. Even if Wells blows out every joint in his body (seems oddly plausible, no?), the Sox have a fighting chance at replacing him with a promising prospect.

    airk May 26, 2006, 3:35 pm
  • Ah, yes, YF: the self-appointed arbiter of objectivity. Puh-leeze.

    SF May 26, 2006, 3:58 pm
  • Wow, when a thread gets to the point where your comparing the VORPs of Terrence Long and Willie Harris, you know you’ve gone deeeep.
    Here’s a different take on the Yanks injury situation, though… :)
    Doctors: Still 50-50 Chance That Broken Bone Will Mean Euthanasia For Matsui
    May 25, 2006 | Onion Sports
    NEW YORK—Surgeons for the New York Yankees say that although Hideki Matsui seems to be healing satisfactorily two weeks after undergoing surgery to repair the broken left wrist he suffered May 11 against the Red Sox, there is still an outside chance that the outfielder will have to be put down. “You obviously don’t want to think in those terms, since besides being a valuable property, he’s been a real competitor,” said Dr. Stuart Rosenwasser, the Yankees team physician, who performed the surgery and has been observing Matsui’s recovery in a special padded stall. “It’s no exaggeration to say Hideki’s been a real horse for this team.” If worst does come to worst, owner George Steinbrenner has said that Matsui would be put to rest along the third-base line along with euthanized Yankee greats Joe DiMaggio (bone spur) and Lou Gehrig (broken leg).

    Spidey May 26, 2006, 7:03 pm

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