Friday, July 12, 2013

Derek Jeter Has A Grade 1 Strain

Well, this hasn't been the most stress-free day I've ever had. 

When I went to bed last night I was expecting to wake up to news that Derek Jeter was perfectly fine. After all, he hasn't been running a whole lot since returning from the DL, so feeling some tightness was not surprising due to the running/sprinting he did in yesterday's game.

After waking up and looking around for some news, and not seeing anything, I was a little more concerned. Nothing serious, but I figured the MRI would have been done soon after the game, so there would be something about it fairly early today. That's when a bit of pessimism crept into my head.

As the hours ticked by, that pessimism grew bigger and bigger. If the Yankee Captain was perfectly fine, then why not say that right off the bat? Perhaps not a formal press conference, but something to reassure the Yankee fans that there was no reason to get all worked up? They could always hold a press conference later, after the news already broke, to further explain what was happening and why there was no reason to worry.

I'd had Twitter open for hours, since that was the place I'd likely get the news regarding Jeter first. And then, at about 3:20pm EST, a couple bits of news came in. And unfortunately, neither bit made me feel better. On the contrary, my worst fears started to look more and more likely.

The first thing I read was somebody saying Derek was not in today's lineup. That alone was bad news, as it was expected that Jeter would start at shortstop today. Even if they were careful with him, another DH-day would have been okay. Things got better for a second when I saw that he was listed as a bench player, meaning he could come into the game later. Just another example of the Yankees being extra cautious, which is hardly surprising. But that lineup is not official until it's presented to the home plate umpire shortly before gametime. So that card could change.

At about the same time as the lineup was announced, it was reported that Brian Cashman would hold a press conference to go over the results of Jeter's MRI. Not a good sign at all. Some people said that perhaps Cashman was just trying to build drama, or just wanted to be in position to answer questions right away. I mean, people wouldn't just accept he's okay... they would want to know what was found.

Well, after waiting an excruciating 20 minutes, while scenario after scenario ran through my head, Cashman finally took a seat and made the announcement... a Grade 1 Strain. This means that while there is some damage to the muscle fibers (less than 5%), rest is all that's needed to recover. Unfortunately it could take up to three weeks to recover from a strain, which is why another trip to the DL is not out of the question.

Cash admitted that the team may have brought The Captain back to early. I can't help but think that by "too early" he meant in general, not just his return to the Yankees. I mean, this strain could have happened in any game... MLB, AAA, or otherwise. And furthermore, this isn't a re-injury to his ankle, so I'm not about to place any blame on the team or Derek himself for maybe returning too soon.

Like I said earlier, a strain is not something that could have been foreseen by anybody. It's just something that happens when a player's body is trying to get back into the swing of things. Even if Jeter didn't play in a game for another week or two, that wouldn't have prevented a strain from happening when he did return. July 11th, July 18th, August 11th... it doesn't matter. Eventually Derek would have been running harder than he has in a while, and an injury such as a quad strain would occur.

Let's just be happy that it isn't Jeter's ankle again, and he's not lost for the season. Whether you think Jeter will hit well upon his return or not, his mere presence on the team means quite a bit. Just ask those that have played with him the last 19 years.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)