Earlier in the month, [Yu] Darvish’s right elbow hurt. An MRI showed inflammation, which was about the best-case scenario. The Rangers should celebrate the fact that one of baseball’s five best pitchers isn’t so myopic to think he alone can solve the woes of an injury-destroyed team that owns the game’s worst record at 52-80. Pride has killed too many arms to count.
And yet it’s still one of the prevailing currencies in baseball – in sports, really – and somehow gets conflated with wanting to win. Take Rangers manager Ron Washington, a man whose candidness is one of his greatest qualities but, on occasion, exposes his weaknesses. At one point, he lamented Darvish’s slow recovery time, saying: “So he’s got inflammation. I’ve got inflammation.”
It got a chuckle, Wash being Wash, and he later apologized for it in a radio interview with 103.3 FM in Dallas. During that same interview, of course, Washington said he wanted Darvish to come back so “he doesn’t quit on his teammates; that’s all there is to me.” And then he suggested what Darvish felt in his arm differed from the diagnosis. And the entire thing spiraled down a wormhole of ignorance to a fetid place where dogmatism and machismo foster every last bit of this nonsense…
even as sources say Darvish’s elbow has improved, and were this a different circumstance he probably would pitch, it’s important to understand this is not a different circumstance. He would need to build up arm strength, pitch a simulated game in Arizona and maybe, just maybe, make it back at the end of September for a start or two. The Rangers aren’t going to tempt Darvish’s elbow, not with the rotten team they field on a nightly basis, not with him making it past his 28th birthday sans a scar on his arm, not with his contract running through 2017.
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