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A Word On Baseball Injuries
At the risk of playing on emotions, every American should see the documentary film Restrepo, which came out three years ago. It chronicles these great American soldiers bogged down in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. Great men doing right by America. The only time they do not show up for work is when it is impossible to do so. No matter your politics, remember to see this film.
At some point after a lesson like this, we drift back to everyday life, which includes our love – as New Yorkers – for professional sports. Mark Teixeira has been on the disabled list for all but eight games this year. He got hurt hitting a ball off of a tee. In other words, the ball was not even moving. The injury did not require another person to be present. He earns $22.5 million a year. That is 2.8 million dollars for each game he has played in 2013, where he has batted .151.
The market decides what a man gets as far as salary, and as a fan, I was okay with these figures when the man was at first base every day. He is a great player when he plays every day. I understand the salary, and I would be hard pressed to turn that down if someone was willing to pay me that amount. But I would also feel somewhat undignified in accepting such a salary if I did not play for it.
If players are not on a rehab assignment, they should have to travel with the club. Even if they cannot be in the dugout because of some roster regulation, they should be in their street civvies and sitting behind the dugout. This is how it’s done in the minor leagues. A team should not be paying for guys to sit in their private hot tubs. I am growing to dislike a lot of players, and not because of their financial successes. There is just something that seems wrong with making all of that money in a non-contact sport, and then being out for an entire year.
Players should be able to move to the right for a groundball and not break a leg indefinitely. They should be able to hit a ball off of a tee and not damage their wrist sheath for months. They should get hit by a pitch and head to first base, not to their home entertainment center. This Yankee team has been surprisingly good despite the injuries. But knowing what other Americans do on a day to day basis for so little, I am no longer looking forward to seeing these Faberge Egg players come back. In fact, the honorable thing would be to donate the remainder of their gluttonous salaries to men who actually go to work every day to protect us. That would be the honorable thing. If this seems ridiculous, it only shows how far we have drifted from reality…but that film will bring you back.