Which, I suppose, is a good thing. The Sox have very little use for a defensive minded forward.
I get it. Buchholz is missing a ton of time because he slept on his shoulder funny, while Bergeron played in game
seven six after being decapitated. But the question nobody asks is, “How many of Bergeron’s passes during that game seven came within one inch of their intended target?” How about six inches? A foot? Was he ever asked to dump the puck into a one foot square area of ice? Was he asked to do it 100 times? I didn’t think so. That’s a pretty important question. And, here’s another one. Can we admit that there’s a difference between a game of precision, and a game of force?
How about this. You’re lying on the operating table. The surgeon holds up the scalpel before making her incision. You can see it’s a little nicked up. Do you ask for a replacement? Or do you tell her to go ahead because you used a knife that was a little nicked up when you cut your steak the day before?
So, maybe we need to stop getting on someone’s case when they are out of action a little longer than people think. We can stop the “If I missed work every time I had a stiff neck…” comparisons. There are different situations, and different expectations. Why is that so hard to understand?
But, I hear, we’re paying these guys to be in the line-up. They should play through pain! Oh really? Didn’t John Lackey pitch through pain a couple years ago? How did that work? Oh right. He was constantly ridiculed as he put up the worst season any pitcher has ever had. Good thing he manned up and pitched through all that pain, eh? How about the Curt Schilling example. Game one of the 2004 ALCS. His ankle was injured, sure. But it worked, and didn’t hurt. It had been numbed or whatever it was. The only issue was that he could feel (and maybe even hear) the tendon flicking as he pitched. So, it was really just a mental block. But, he toughed it out. He had what he called the worst bullpen session of his career. But, he toughed it out. He did what he was paid to do. He went out there, and gave up six runs in three innings. The Sox lost the game, and it probably should have cost them the series. Only a couple Mariano Rivera choke jobs saved Schilling from being the series goat. Wouldn’t it have been better if Schilling had backed down? Sent someone else in his place? Didn’t toughing it out hurt the team?
Of course, lots of people play hurt with no noticeable effects. Right? “Everybody’s banged up this time of year.” If Johnny Damon or Dustin Pedroia can play at an elite level while battling nagging injuries, why can’t everyone else? OK, another couple examples. Your kid claims he’s sick, and can’t go to school. Or his foot hurts, so he has to miss church. Then, you turn around and he’s chasing his brother in a game of tag with no noticeable limp. Do your eyes well up with pride as you realize what a tough little guy you have on your hands? Or do you yell, “Well, you certainly don’t seem hurt to me! Get your church clothes on!” Or, when those news programs secretly record people on disability performing physical tasks, do they report on all these heroic people manning up and going through their lives? Or is the report that these people don’t seem injured, and must be faking the injury in a scam? Isn’t it possible that all these people who are constantly playing at a high level despite all these injuries they keep telling us about are just whiney? When Johnny Damon goes on and on about his sore hamstrings, but then steals two bases, is it possible that his hammy didn’t hurt as much as he thought it did? Maybe it’s not a high threshold for pain, but rather a high sensitivity to pain?
So, maybe we need to just get off everyone’s case. Maybe these players will all come back when they can help the team. Maybe we can stop saying that 75% of so and so is better than his replacement. It’s hardly ever true. Maybe we can patiently wait for these players to actually heal.
Maybe we can focus on results?