Mark Texiera is the starting first baseman for the New York Yankees, with a $22.5 million dolllar annual salary. I like Mark Texiera, he is a big reason my Texas Rangers are doing so well. About two weeks ago,on a routine swing and trip around the bases, he hobbled home and was diagnosed with a "calf strain." He hasn't played in 3 weeks, during which the Yankees have completely tanked (which is A-Ok with me, being a Texas Rangers fan.)
I was watching when the injury happened, and I thought ...oh come on!. A calf strain? Really? That keeps a 22 million dollar man out of a playoff chase? A calf injury? From just swinging the bat? Its not like he ran into a wall or a collision at home plate ... he was swinging the bat!
Well, what a difference a couple of weeks makes. My calf injury is basically the same as his: a Grade II strain. And there is nothing wussy about it. It affects the ability to flex the foot and plant and drive. Thus no running or acclereation, much less lateral speed. Of course, I assume Mark Texiera is spending all day every day rehabbing, and when he isn't doing that, he is lifting weights or swimming or something to keep up his fitness. He doesn't work in an office -- its his job to stay healthy and be an athlete. And its taken him 2 weeks to come back in a critical point in his team's season.
And so last weekend Texiera rejoined the Yankees in a critical game. He estimated (somewhat playfully I suspect) that his calf was at 87.3%. On the last play of the game, Yanks down 5-4, runners on first and third, one out,...Texiera comes up. A hit or fly-ball means a tie game. The one thing he cannot do is hit into a double play.
So what does he do? Groundball..oh no!...not a double play ball! The other team turns one, and throws to first for the second out. Texiera hustles as fast as he can, slides into first base to beat the throw (which is a proven bad idea), because he said he couldn't lunge with his calf...and he is called out. Game over! Yankees lose a critical game. And it gets worse...Texiera re-injured the calf muscle and may be done for the season! Yikes. So he couldn't run as fast because of his calf and hit into a double play costing his team. Then, he re-injured himself to boot. That is just terrible.
Mark Texiera... I feel for you.
So, as the saying goes, Judge not lest ye be judged. Or until you have walked in his shoes for a mile. Or something like that. And don't come back too early.