I'm not an athlete. Clearly. So I can only imagine what it feels like for a competitive soul to sit there and recover from an injury while the rest of his team plays. The itching to get out there and perform must be nearly unbearable. Even missing a few days must suck; baseball players play baseball because they want to play baseball, not watch it. Being on the bench while healing must feel like being on a deserted island. A nasty, mean, ugly, miserable island.
Hearing about all the players dropping like flies during Spring Training kind of bummed me out. It got so bad one day that the Twins had to get special permission from the commissioner's office because they couldn't come up with the required five regulars to make a road trip. Not to mention, I was still bummed out about the hold-overs from last season.
So, it's been great to read accounts about guys, one-by-one, taking positive steps off that lonely island.
First, Joe Nathan has been showing great promise, with no setbacks, coming back from Tommy John surgery last year. All reports indicate that his velocity is good and his command is improving.
And then, the big news, Justin Morneau took his place at first base for the first time since July. If he feels ok over the next few days, it might be the beginning of the end of that nasty concussion. Although, I must say that I rather enjoyed watching my Twitter feed as he took the field -- Gardy had Chris Parmalee listed on the roster at first base, the sneaky devil. Not that I ever want Gardy to do that again...
Delmon Young played his first game after being out with turf toe. He walked in his two at-bats, but he ran from first to home reportedly without favoring the foot. This is encouraging.
The ginormous crater in the bottom of Michael Cuddyer's foot left from the wart removal is said to be healed over. Assuming all he feels is a little tenderness, it won't be long until he can run around on it. (If you haven't seen the picture of the said crater, look here for the photo he uploaded to Twitter -- not for those with weak constitutions.)
Joe Mauer is still out, but we keep hearing reassurances that he's just being cautious and taking things easy. As long he's ready on Opening Day, it's all good.
Even all the other minor nicks and bumps (Fransico's shoulder, Baker's elbow, Alexi's ankle, etc.) are kind of taking care themselves as the players shake off the off-season rust.
So, here's hoping that by April 1, 2011, that stupid Injury Island is truly deserted and all our guys are ready to play.