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   1. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: August 31, 2006 at 01:39 AM (#2162399)
Schilling was looking downright shaggy today. Is he a Democrat now?
   2. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 31, 2006 at 01:55 AM (#2162453)
At least I can say I saw Zito pitch a gem live.

The last 3 days have sucked an enormous of ass.

I don't know what was sadder: watching Kevin Youkilis being pitched around, or watching Papelbon come on with a 5 run deficit because he needed work due to lack of need.
   3. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: August 31, 2006 at 02:04 AM (#2162480)
Some good news for the Sox

Kottaras looks like at least a starting-caliber catcher and possibly more. For six weeks of David Wells that is about as good as the Red Sox could have hoped for.
   4. Darren Posted: August 31, 2006 at 02:14 AM (#2162522)
Too bad Olney is the source. He seems to always be wrong about trades.
   5. Xander Posted: August 31, 2006 at 03:21 AM (#2162688)
It might have just gotten a lot worse...
OAKLAND, Calif. - Not long after the Red Sox sent 22-year-old left-hander Jon Lester back to Boston to be evaluated by club medical officials, sources indicated that one of the club’s most promising players is dealing with more than just a bad back.

Among the possibilities: Lester has cancer.

Although Red Sox officials are being extremely tight-lipped about the matter, Lester has been undergoing an array of exams in Boston for internal medical issues, including cancer.

Link
   6. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 31, 2006 at 03:26 AM (#2162698)
That's scary. I'll admit to a certain low-level schandefreude in seeing the Red Sox deal with the injuries to Varitek, Nixon, etc. but it's no fun with stuff like this and Papi's heart thing.

I hope they're both back healthy--and getting beaten by the Yankees--next season
   7. chris p Posted: August 31, 2006 at 03:33 AM (#2162704)
well if it is cancer, the bad back could turn out to save his life--it could be that they wouldn't have found the tumor until much later if they weren't looking at his back.
   8. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 31, 2006 at 03:39 AM (#2162707)
If it gets really, really bad
Oh, if it ever gets really, really bad

Let's not kid ourselves, it gets really, really bad
   9. PJ Martinez Posted: August 31, 2006 at 03:55 AM (#2162722)
"Lester was diagnosed with enlarged lymph nodes, according to sources. Such a symptom can be caused by an array of issues, from infections to cancer."

Let's hope it's an infection.

On the Wells front: Kottaras would be a very satisfactory get. He's young and has put up 800+ OPS's at every level. According to that Olney article, he also "has a reputation as a solid defender"-- don't know how accurate that is, but I'll take it for now.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 31, 2006 at 04:06 AM (#2162740)
My girlfriend's nearly a doctor. I told her the symptoms - bad back and inflamed lymph nodes - and she immediately said, "oh, that's not good." It sounds like Hodgkins lymphoma, or non-Hodgkins. She said it's certainly possible that viral infections of many sorts could cause inflamed lymph nodes, and being a major league pitcher could cause a bad back, and the pairing could be coincidental. TB would be another possibility that would account for both.
   11. Xander Posted: August 31, 2006 at 04:08 AM (#2162741)
Which is the good Hodgkins?
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 31, 2006 at 04:15 AM (#2162751)
I don't know. She went back to sleep, and she'll probably be pissy if I wake her up for another baseball/medical question.

Looking at the Internets, though, I think non-Hodgkins is the really, really scary one.
   13. Sam M. Posted: August 31, 2006 at 04:16 AM (#2162755)
Oh, good Lord. Forget pennants and that crap. All hopes for Lester's good health.
   14. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: August 31, 2006 at 04:19 AM (#2162760)
I believe Mario Lemieux had Hodgkins lymphoma. He came back in about a year, as I recall.
   15. Xander Posted: August 31, 2006 at 04:22 AM (#2162764)
I'm not saying it's a great Hodgkins...
   16. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: August 31, 2006 at 04:35 AM (#2162771)
I was wrong. Lemieux returned to hockey a mere two months after his diagnosis. This seems a remarkably swift recovery. He also required only radiation therapy. I imagine the treatment Lester would require (if he does, indeed, have Hodgkins) would depend upon the staging, though the early stages seem to be adequately treated with radiation.
   17. Raskolnikov Posted: August 31, 2006 at 05:24 AM (#2162793)
NHL is usually tougher than HD, but of course, as with all cancers - it's the staging that's the key to prognosis. Staging tends to be more key for NHL - because its spread is less orderly than HD. Lymphomas, in general, are usually not bad though, they tend to be very responsive to radiation.

TB would be low on the differential. Lester doesn't have the risk factors for it.

Of course, viral infections can cause this. But I expect that the Red Sox medical staff is pretty good and would not be alarmed by viral symptoms, which tend to be milder. (Then of course, the Rangers staff didn't work up Park's GI bleed with a Meckel's scan, leading to an unnecessary repeat episode, so everyone misses things once in a while.)
   18. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 31, 2006 at 05:32 AM (#2162795)
Raskolnikov,

It wasn't your fault, but following up a Lemieux post by abbreviating Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma confused the hell out of me. I was wondering what playing in the NHL had to to do with the seriousness of the disease.
   19. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 31, 2006 at 08:27 AM (#2162830)
I hate oncology
   20. Buster Olney the Lonely Posted: August 31, 2006 at 01:07 PM (#2162880)
I was wondering what playing in the NHL had to to do with the seriousness of the disease.

How about TB? I wasn't sure whether we were talking about tuberculosis or Tampa Bay. Neither sounds too good.
   21. Schilling's Sprained Ankiel Posted: August 31, 2006 at 01:58 PM (#2162930)
This is just horrible. If true, bad for Lester, bad for the Team. If false, horrible sensationalist reporting.
   22. Xander Posted: August 31, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#2162976)
It's just a Curb reference Kevin.
   23. Sean Forman Posted: August 31, 2006 at 03:54 PM (#2163091)
SportsTicker (OAKLAND), August 31, 2006 - Boston manager Terry Francona may not find much help in the Fenway bullpen should David Wells encounter trouble against tonight's opponent, the Toronto Blue Jays. The entire Red Sox bullpen was quarantined following the end of yesterday's game with the Oakland Athletics after several fans contracted smallpox while seated near the Red Sox relievers. Closer Jonathan Papelbon, a strong candidate for the AL Rookie of the Year Award, was greeted by Center for Disease Control officials in hazmat suits after leaving the field and was required to return to the bullpen for observation. The bullpen area which was covered with a large plastic bubble immediately after the game is now a temporary home to the Red Sox relievers, who hope to be released sometime today. "They have video games, tv, and some food in there, so they will probably be ok. We just hope no one contracts small pox as our starter depth is a little thin now and we really need a bullpen," said manager Terry Francona. The remaining Sox players were forced to return to Boston on separate flights as flight crews refused to fly with more than two Sox personnel on any one plane. "We were going to call up Craig Hansen for tonight's game," said GM Theo Epstein, who was forced to walk from Logan to his home in the Fenway District as no cab driver would take him on as a fare. "But he tripped walking out of a Chilis after last night's PawSox game and gave himself a concussion. We are working on some other options."

For several hours yesterday afternoon, it looked like tonight's tilt might have to be cancelled as an unprecedented swarm of locusts had descended on Fenway Park. "Thankfully, grounds crews were able to clear the field using snowplows," said owner John Henry, whose personal fortune was cut in half yesterday by an ill-informed investment orange juice futures.
   24. OlePerfesser Posted: August 31, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#2163364)
Thanks, Sean--we need a little cheering up. Make that a lot of cheering up.
   25. Sexy Lizard Posted: August 31, 2006 at 06:46 PM (#2163416)
The slogan for the 2007 season:

Sox Pox... Catch It!
   26. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: August 31, 2006 at 06:59 PM (#2163445)
If it gets really, really bad
Oh, if it ever gets really, really bad

Let's not kid ourselves, it gets really, really bad


Sometimes a pony gets depressed.
   27. Flynn Posted: August 31, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#2163471)
Honestly, what's next? Manny drops dead?
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: August 31, 2006 at 08:04 PM (#2163629)
I read waaaayy to many sentences of #24 before I figured out it wasnt real
   29. HowardMegdal Posted: August 31, 2006 at 08:35 PM (#2163702)
Sean- I hadn't thanked you yet today for Baseballreference.com. So I went and sponsored Wil Cordero.
   30. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 01, 2006 at 01:12 AM (#2164036)
I'm just surprised there weren't Snakes on the flight back to Boston
   31. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 01, 2006 at 01:19 AM (#2164049)
I hear Gabe Kapler and Kevin Youkilis are unavailable for the Sox's next series because G-d's chosen people have all been called up to heaven.

Sheesh, what next?
   32. Darren Posted: September 01, 2006 at 02:51 AM (#2164208)
I sort of believed the first line or two of that, Sean. It was well done because it started out as almost realistic, then blossomed into absurdity.
   33. Mattbert Posted: September 01, 2006 at 04:22 PM (#2164707)
I honestly bought it right up until Theo's quote. That's how ridiculously bad this season has become.
   34. Xander Posted: September 02, 2006 at 02:30 AM (#2165390)
Ortiz? Check
Manny? Check
Papelbon? Check
Lester? Check
Schilling? Check
Wakefield? Check
Clement? Check
Nixon? Check
Gonzalez? Check
Varitek? Check

What a shitty season.
   35. villageidiom Posted: September 02, 2006 at 03:24 AM (#2165465)
Don't forget Crisp, Wells, Timlin, and Foulke earlier in the season.

As I posted elsewhere, good thing Beckett is healthy!
   36. villageidiom Posted: September 02, 2006 at 05:02 AM (#2165535)
Actually, here's the full list of players on the DL this year (MLB players and likely replacements only), including number of days on DL from start of season through tonight. Anyone with a + next to the number of days is still on the DL as of 9/1.

113 David Wells
99 Lenny Dinardo
78+ Matt Clement
73+ Hee Seop Choi
66 Keith Foulke
54+ Phil Seibel
51+ Wily Mo Pena
47 Coco Crisp
46 Mike Holtz
43+ Tim Wakefield
40 David Riske
33+ Trot Nixon
32+ Jason Varitek
30+ David Pauley
19+ Abe Alvarez
15 Mike Timlin
15 Ken Huckaby
15 Enrique Wilson
12+ Adam Stern
11+ Alex Gonzalez
5+ Jon Lester

Obviously the list does not include Pena (7+ days), Ramirez (6+ days), and Ortiz (5+ days), all of whom have been unavailable lately though not on the DL. And it doesn't count the coming days that we know Clement, Lester, Wakefield, and Stern will miss.

The above totals 897 person-days on the DL through 9/1, which works out to roughly 6 people on the DL each day of the season. Of those on the list, roughly half would have been on the MLB roster and the other half would have been minor league "ready replacements" for those MLB players.

This is not out of the ordinary. By 9/1 the 2004 Red Sox had missed 990 days to the DL among comparable players. But unless Byung-Hyun Kim is counted as a starter, the entire starting rotation accounted for 0 days in 2004, vs. 239 days for the 2006 team. On offense, the 2004 team was hit worse - 283 days lost for Trot, Nomar, Reese, Mueller, and Bellhorn, vs. something like 190 for the 2006 "starters" - but as you could guess starting pitching is harder to replace. Much of the impact to the 2004 team was in the bullpen (Kim, Williamson, Dinardo, Mendoza, Leskanic, Bobby Jones) or on the bench (Ellis Burks), areas where additional temporary help is not as difficult to find. Furthermore, in the bullpen their three biggest role players remained healthy: Foulke, Timlin, and Embree.

(Thanks to soxprospects.com for the transaction info that led to the above list.)
   37. Darren Posted: September 02, 2006 at 12:16 PM (#2165598)
But unless Byung-Hyun Kim is counted as a starter, the entire starting rotation accounted for 0 days in 2004, vs. 239 days for the 2006 team.

People tend to forget this when talking about the 2004 team. They note how lucky the team was to not have their starters miss any games, forgetting that Kim was supposed to be in the rotation originally and was instead out for the year. Having Arroyo around was very nice depth. The way in which the team was lucky was that they lost exactly 1 sp and his replacement stayed healthy the whole year. This meant they never had to go to starter #7 or 8.

I have a hard time believing this team's injury woes are "not out of the ordinary" even in the sense that you suggest. I guess it's just that this year's team is missing good players as opposed to the 04 team.
   38. karlmagnus Posted: September 02, 2006 at 02:07 PM (#2165625)
This team is totally snakebit; it has had bad dierolls on a huge succession of random events, including most importantly poor Lester's cancer, which has to be about 1 in 10,000. The nonsense about the Yankees having been equally snakebit really gets up my nose; they lost 2 just above average outfielders (Sheffield's slowing down, Matsui never that great) and got incredibly lucky in a replacement for one of them - really none of the Sox prospects since Nomar have contributed ABOVE expectations, though in Papelbon's case it was because he was forced into the closer role that doesn't maximise his value.

In my view, a better team than 2004, but 2004 got very lucky, and this team has got even more unlucky. If it plays decently from now till the end of the season, and finishes in the 88-92 win range, that will prove my point (if it collapses further, it's a 2001 repeat (poor chemistry) or we all badly overestimated its talent.)
   39. villageidiom Posted: September 03, 2006 at 12:44 AM (#2166056)
I have a hard time believing this team's injury woes are "not out of the ordinary" even in the sense that you suggest. I guess it's just that this year's team is missing good players as opposed to the 04 team.

And timing, too. On average they've been missing two starting pitchers all year, but it was one in the first half (Wells) and three in the second (Clement, Wakefield, and some combo of Wells and Lester). In the first half they lost Coco, but in the second half they lost Varitek, Nixon, Pena, Gonzalez, and have had significant non-DL time lost for Ramirez and Ortiz.

Many good teams can miss one starter and still win at a good clip. Few can lose three and do the same. Similar statements can be made about the lineup: they can stand losing one bat, maybe two, but when they lose six or seven at a time it's hard to compete.
   40. Darren Posted: September 05, 2006 at 02:33 AM (#2167810)
Well tonight was a nice little bright spot. Tavarez is useful and the local boy wins it in extras. Cheer up everyone!
   41. villageidiom Posted: September 05, 2006 at 03:00 AM (#2167826)
And mrsidiom can now wiggle her toes and occasionally hold light objects in her left hand. And the littleidioms start school tomorrow. All is well!

But I still want a pony.
   42. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 05, 2006 at 04:36 PM (#2168156)
I'm glad to hear mrsidiom's condition is improving.

---

I'm going to the game tonight. I hope they win, but, you know, whatever. According to <a href="http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060904&c>redsox.com</a>, Papelbon's MRI is scheduled for today. I'm still a big enough idiot that I think it might turn out ok.

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