Revenge of the Voodoo dolls

Although life is grand after a 7-0 homestand that saw sweeps over the severely injured Dodgers (Furcal, AJones, Garciaparra, LaRoche and 3/44) and the severely injured Rockies (Holiday, Hawpe, Tulowitzki and Barmes), I'm sensing strange karma that may be responsible for some weird happenings that are in the news.

To quote Ricardo Montalban, "Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold."

Former Cub, Shawn Estes got his only win so far this season as well as the Padres only win against the Cubs. He was slated to open the upcoming series in San Diego vs the Cubs monday night until he fell going from the clubhouse to the dugout friday in San Francisco, breaking the thumb on his left pitching hand. He will be replaced by Cha Seung Baek a 28 yr old Korean and former Mariner minor leaguer.

So if the Estes news is a bit odd, what do you make of the Mark Prior news?

If you haven't heard, Prior apparently has agreed to have more right shoulder surgery after esteemed Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. James Andrews diagnosed a tear in Prior's anterior shoulder capsule. This time, the surgery will be done in San Diego at the Scripps Clinic (by Hans and Franz...well actually Padres team physicians, Drs. Heinz Hoenecke and Dr. Jan Fronek). The surgery date will be set when he sees his doctors this monday. Prior started having a return of shoulder pain during his ongoing rehab in extended spring training in Arizona around May 10th and had to shut down his rehab followed by an MRI and a trip to Dr. Andrews about 2 weeks ago.

As you recall, Last April 2007, Prior has an anterior capsular tightening by Dr. Andrews although reports I've seen have varied as to the operative details of that surgery. From an AP story on 4/27/07:

According to a team statement, Andrews performed a debridement of Prior's rotator cuff and repaired labral and capsular injuries in the shoulder.

"It stayed in the arthroscopic stage. But I think he had some touch up work in a lot of places," Hendry said. "But at the same time there didn't seem to be anything so significant that it would require more than the scope. It didn't have to be opened up and have extensive surgery."

If Prior does have a tear in the anterior shoulder capsule, it means the tightening procedure he had back in 2007 has had a tissue failure in an area most likely to be near where it was previously tightened. Things like that happen, but what to do about it gets more complex if it's bad tissue and not looseness of the shoulder that's his problem now.

When Hendry and the Cubs cut ties with Prior, it wasn't as if they hadn't tried to re-sign their first round (2nd pick) draft choice of the 2001 amateur draft. Hendry had two options, one was to offer Prior arbitration which would have amounted to another year of rehabbing for $3-plus million salary for 2008. The other option was to negotiate a new deal that would keep Prior as a Cub for two years but at a discount compared to the 2008 arbitration salary possibilities while he was rehabbing from surgery and a club option for 2009 (if his rehab was reasonably successful). Hendry offered a deal that would have given Prior more money than he ultimately signed for in San Diego (which was $1M). The proposed 2009 club option was based on medical advice that pitchers who underwent the type of surgery Prior had often need 2 years to recover fully. The Cubs had been paying Prior $3.1M in 2004, $3.5M in 2005, $3.65M in 2006 and $3.575 M in 2007. Considering he didn't pitch in 2007 and only pitched 43 futile innings in 2006, Hendry must have been thinking that's alot of green to spend for a pitcher that wasn't able to pitch and probably wouldn't be competitively healthy again until 2009.

Prior apparently was advised he would be better off (financially) as an unrestricted free agent for the 2009 season assuming he showed any semblence of his old form as a starter. It would also be easier to recover in laid back San Diego without the Chicago media to unearth every bit of minutia that happened along that road to recovery. After signing with the Padres, he expected a full recovery and even had predictions he'd join the Padres staff by June 1. Oddly, today's announcement came on that date. It was a calculated risk on his agent's part and it has just turned sour.

So now what?

The Cubs have finally and it appears happily moved on. Having the best record in baseball as of June 1st and knowing that they haven't achieved such early success since 1908 will give the media plenty of fodder for the moment. Without Prior, yet getting strong contributions as closer from a so far so good and healthy Kerry Wood makes a Star Wars, Episode VI ending seem possible. Moving on meant giving Kevin Hart jersey #22. The Cubs don't owe Mark Prior a penny for 2008 (or 2009). The Padres just flushed One Million Dollars down the proverbial toilet. Sure that's peanuts to a ballclub, but it couldn't have happened to a nicer club (so says Lee Smith, Leon Durham and Rick Sutcliffe). Mark Prior is moving on to his second shoulder surgery and what HE gets to expect will not be sorted out until they re-explore his shoulder.

He won't even be the Padres concern come October.

 

Comments

Methinks the Drs. Amos and Andy would have better success with Prior's maladies.

Sucks about Prior. Even if he's not with us anymore I feel for the guy - he was the best in the biz, arguably, in late 03.

On to brighter news - 1st time in 1st in league on June 1 since 08? Lovin' it!!!! Guess I'd better get back to reading Crazy 08 after all.

prior learned the hard way there's a difference between hiding a blister from the medical crew/trainers/coaches and hiding minor foot/shoulder problems.

there's a time to "man up" and a time to get ready to go to work. april isn't the playoffs.

hopefully the cubs learned a lesson, too, about taking a kid's word vs. checking a kid out if they think there might be a medical problem.

at least it's not the cubs' problem.

I read Crazy 08 the past January. Loved the current event anecdotes thrown in to make one appreciate how different the times were.

Here's a Hardball Times interview with the author Cait Murphy

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/crazy-08/

Crazy 08 was full of anecdotal stories of the era particularly Chicago politics/corruption. Had never heard of this famous serial killer near Chicago (LaPorte, IN) but it was included although I don't remember if there was any baseball connection.
Belle Gunness
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_Gunness

for those two links. I vaguely remember Cait Murphy being interviewed on one of the Chicago radio stations a year ago or so as well, but that interview is really good. I like those historically contextual-type books, so I think I'll like this one if I ever get time to read it.

Was at the game today...

"Sweeep!!! Sweeep!!! Sweeep!!!"

Awesome.

He certainly wasn't much of a teammate to the minor - leaguers while he was on his many rehab stints here. In fact, he came across as a major - league jerkhole. Nothing wrong with that - it's a business after all, but it's hard to feel anything for the guy at this point.

great Star Trek plug with the Klingon proverb...

Belle Gunness was an amateur compared to Elizabeth Bathory, but there's actually currently a film in the works on Gunness' life story and there are no ties to her and the Cubs or baseball in general. She was just a pop culture example to reference the era/time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Bathory

No, I just read about Gunness, so I'm up on Chicago Politics, dB. But you're not the angry, brilliant young mind you once were, just itching to vent your frustrations. Once RobG told you it wasn't your fault, you lost the edge, dB. You stopped hitting the books with a vengeance, and now I've read stuff you haven't even heard about yet.

Face facts, my friend--love made you soft, unable to stand up to an academic showdown, like you used to. You're just no longer that good--dB Hunting.

Now how do you like them apples?

(no, really, I don't know why I spent 15 minutes looking for and editing that from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. There is something wrong with me, something very very wrong with me. Above post was all in jest)

Chad:There is something wrong with me, something very very wrong with me.

Must...resist....Must....show...some...control.

Phew! I made it!

1) Gunness had nothing to do with Chicago politics.
2) anyone who thinks Kevin Smith diolog is biting satire will likely soon use Tina Fey references in the same regard.

ouch man! I was only kidding around. You're post made me think of that scene so I played on it. I didn't mean anything by it at all.

And Kevin Smith rules (used to). Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back sucked. As did Clerks 2. but Clerks, Mallrats and Dogma are great.

And Tina Fey rules too. 30 Rock is the funniest show on TV. And that comes from a converted Tina Hater.

I can't say I feel anything for Prior any more, either. I laughed my ass off when I saw this news this morning. Not after all the stories of his general attitude. Was there any mention of checking his vagina while they were already operating on him?

Was there any mention of checking his vagina while they were already operating on him?

Woo! Go ignorant sexism!

I giggled. Sorry. Guess that makes me an ignorant sexist and a chauvinist in your mind to some extent, as well. Sorry I let you down, buddy.

Ouch. Called an ignorant sexist by someone I've never even met or spoken to, for a playful jab I took at an Ex-Cub's manhood. How will I ever recover?
Woo! Go ignorant prejudice!
(ducks behind cardboard life-size Mark Prior cutout)

It's true that you're totally sexist and should be ashamed of your misogynist ways--but the Big Lowitzki is a total fag for calling you on it.

Taking posts #3 and #12 together, Prior is a soft pussy who was an idiot for trying to pitch through pain. Makes sense.

We'll never know to what extent his injuries and willingness/unwillingness to pitch through them encompassed. The team kept everyone in the dark about his many physical problems, and Prior kept mum about them as well.

"It is very cold in spaaaace."

KAAAAAHHHHHNNNNNN!!!!!!!

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3422138

The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on Fantasy Baseball, so it looks like they can continue to use the players names and stats for free for now.

Are MLB and MLBPA really so hard up on money that they need to squeeze out every last cent and piss off their current and future fanbases?

http://www.wbbm780.com/pages/2248736.php?

I've always had mixed feelings about naming little league teams after big league clubs. It's great if your kid is on a team he likes. It's another story if your kid is a Cubs fan but ends up on the White Sox or Cardinals. :/

I disagree, and I actually had to COACH the White Sox last year.

Our league went to minor league team names for a couple of years, and while some of the uniforms are pretty cool (we were the Burlington Bees one year), the kids were totally bummed. They don't care whose teams they're on, as long as they look like major leaguers.

Cool. I suspect that's true with the vast majority of kids.

A year or two ago, I heard a couple of rather heated discussions on the radio (one on local Chicago sports talk, another on Dan Patrick) where people were taking the opposite viewpoint -- "my kid isn't a Cubs fan but they're making him join the Cubs". Of course, it was all adults complaining, not the kids. 8)

Here's a fun bit for little leaguers:

http://improveverywhere.com/2008/04/07/best-game-e...

I was always jealous of the kids who were on the "Cubs". When I was a kid, wearing your little league cap to school was cool, especially since they had a real MLB logo on them. I always wanted to be on the "Cubs" so I could wear a Cubs hat. Unfortunately, I never got to be.

It just felt wrong to wear another team's colors.

in our little league there were no team names (mlb). It was chico's bail bonds style.

i played for Mac Towing in my last year before i transfered leagues to another town's where they used real team names.

Sweet.

I had 2 years with Steele's Auto and Wrecker, a year with Chicago's Pizza, and then, my favorite, a year with Brummett's Trash Service.

I started with "Jackie's Pizza" -- a team with great coaches, teaching me lots of things (like not to swing flat-footed). Unfortunately for me, my dad also owned a business that sponsored a team. I was traded to my dad's team, and the coaches there sucked. I regressed on almost everything.

I'm sure that's the only thing that stood between me and a multi-million dollar MLB career.

/that's the ticket

We fans of language tend to refer to that behavior as "greed."

And the answer is yes, they are a bunch of greedy bastards. Greed causes businesses (and let's be frank, professional baseball is a business) to pick short term, two handed money grabbing over solid long term gains. This also tends to be a good indicator that the business has a weak managerial culture that encourages intellectual short sightedness.

But you all know all of this already. MLB is run by a bunch of freaking idiots.

How does that work out? Do the Pads have to shoulder the cost of Prior's surgery?

Of course the Pads pay for the surgery. Who else would pay? I'm sure the MLB health care package is pretty sweet :)

Sorry apparently you missed the pun intended. i should've italicized "shoulder".

I bet it will cost an arm and a leg. Okay, at least an arm.

Now that was humerus. Socket to me...

...ihh

These comments are really off the cuff.

The Cubs SHOULD be rated #1 which is about the first time I can say that in my lifetime. Even the 84 team would have been blocked by the Tigers at that time had power ratings been around then. In 03 the Braves, Giants and Yankees all won over 100 games.

Not that power rankings mean anything, but...
============
even Phil (wrongway) Rogers is on board with his power rankings:

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

I say, hey...somebody's got to be #1, might as well be us.

I love the comments in this article:

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/rose...

Haha yes, the best is:

"You would find a negative charater flaw in Mother Teresa. You really are unbelievable".

Rosenbloom is getting hammered, my god, lol.

Rosey (now that's an oxymoron) is from LA so deep down he's most likely a Dodger fan, tries to be cynical/skeptical just because he amuses himself with that approach and would much rather be playing (and losing) at Texas hold'em than really putting any thought into what he writes.

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 4 hours 13 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 4 hours 14 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 13 hours 56 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 16 hours 53 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 17 hours 6 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 17 hours 15 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 17 hours 20 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 17 hours 38 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 18 hours 15 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 18 hours 32 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 18 hours 34 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 18 hours 52 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 18 hours 59 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 19 hours 55 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 20 hours 13 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 20 hours 17 min ago view