Another Thought on Injuries

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It was announced today that Tiger Woods not only won the U.S. Open this weekend but played with season-ending injuries-a torn ligament in his left knee and a double stress fracture in the same leg. I can't help but recall my musings of just a few days ago on the "fragile" nature of some MLB players. They sit out games for strains, sprains and other "sore-ness" that boggles the mind when compared to guys like Wood. What does this say about the culture of baseball? These guys, many of whom make obscene amounts of money whether they take the field or not seem to have no shame when it comes to sitting out a game or two or more with non-specific ailments and injuries. Woods' fortitude and determination are awe-inspiring.


Anonymous 12:09 AM CDT  

While I do admit that it's very impressive how Woods was able to perform so well with a torn ligament, golf is much less physically demanding than baseball because golf doesn't require actual *running*. Maybe a player can still hit with a torn ligament, but forget making the turn at first base..... and don't get me started on actually playing the field!
My point is Woods' sport allows player to play with various injuries.... baseball, much less so.

Anonymous 1:11 AM CDT  

Golf and baseball are far from the same thing. Major League Baseball requires grinding it out everyday. No doubt Tiger's impressive, but I'm sure there are countless baseball players that play through injuries everyday and nothing is made of it.

Anonymous 5:40 AM CDT  

How can you compare injuries in golf to baseball? In golf you don't have to run or jump or do anything overly athletic.

David 8:01 AM CDT  

Woods had a lot more to gain from playing in the Open when injured than some player does from playing in a handful of the 162 regular season games injured. The only real comparsion for a situation like this would be a player sitting out from a strain in the World Series, and I'm willing to bet that no player would want to do that and that no superstar would be made to.

Anonymous 8:31 AM CDT  

I won't argue that ballplayers don't tough it out like they used to, but I'm not sure Tiger Woods is a great example of intestinal fortitude. For the $$ he makes, I could hobble around the course with a leg in a cast and hit a golf ball. It takes just a little more physical agility to run down a fly ball, throw out a runner, steal a base, and so on...

Anonymous 8:55 AM CDT  

yes...however an acl and double stress fracture you would not be allowed to play baseball...the game itself would not allow you. what baseball activity would he be able to complete? I don't think any. also it's a team game so you would be hurting the team, unlike golf its individual...I do agree however that some of these injuries are ridiculous however I believe it's the GM wanting to make a particular roster move which can also play a part (betemit on DL w/ Conjunctivitis)

Shawn 10:25 AM CDT  

When Woods is playing near daily for a 6 or 7 month stretch, has to perform actions on the field that baseball players do instead of walking a course at a liesurely pace and starts throwing golf balls around 95 MPH I might be impressed. You act like there isn't a player in the majors that plays hurt.

Anonymous 10:26 AM CDT  

Are the MLB players just wusses? Is it a lack of certain "meds" they are no longer able to take? Do they just want a paid vacation while being on the DL?

The Dodgers are my team, and here's the list of those now hurt or on the DL: J. Schmidt, Nomar, B. Penny, R. Furcal, A. Jones, H. Kuroda...most of that list are former stars/allstars, and now hurting the club for being hurt.Maybe it's not the players, but the team doctors/conditioners/trainers that are screwing things up...

Anonymous 12:06 PM CDT  

Maybe its better to sit out a month than to play one game injured and miss a year.

Tiger also plays a touch less frequently than do MLB players.

Last, its up for debate whether Tiger's sponsors (such as those involved with the upcoming tournament that he will miss), and the PGA are really happy about the fact that he'll now miss an entire season. I frankly don't know if he could have avoided that if he had sat out the US and taken more time to rehab, but assume for the purposes of debate that he could have? To some degree, perhaps MLB players are acting in accordance with the interests of the direct/indirect sources of their "obscene amounts of money" such as the union, the owners, and their sponsors. Again, I don't know. Of course, I also concede that fans are another indirect source - but I don't necessarily agree that their interests (even if a consensus could be determined) should always govern to the detriment of all others'.

I am not challenging Tiger's decision, toughness, or resolve; I'm just opining that the comparison is inapposite.

Anonymous 3:29 AM CDT  

The closest baseball comparison to Tiger Woods playing with an injury at a major event would be Kirk Gibson in the 1988 World Series, when he had two injured legs, and could barely walk, but he hit a game winning HR anyway. I'm more impressed with Gibson, because can you imagine if he hit anything other than a HR, and had to RUN?? That's toughness.