Spring Training: Pain, Pain and Ball Girls

Time for another round of spring training notes.

The Astros seem to be having injury issues. Lance Berkman injured himself, again, yesterday. Kaz Matsui has butt issues. J.R. Towles has hamstring issues. And pitcher Felipe Paulino, who for some reason was in the mix for a spot in the starting rotation, had to fly to Houston yesterday to consult with team doctors over arm problems.

I can sort of understand why Paulino had to fly to Houston in that he’s seeing the team doctor, but the guy has his own practice in Houston. But I still don’t understand why Matsui had to fly to Houston to see a doctor regarding an anal fissure. Am I really expected to believe that there are no doctors in the Orlando issue that handle ass issues? Is the medical state of the art in Houston that much more superior to Orlando when it comes to asses?

I’m puzzled by the whole “he will be reevaluated in four to five days” thing, too. I, too, once suffered from an anal fissure, and I know how damn painful it is. But the only treatment option my doctor gave me was surgery. And it worked. It was my understanding that these things don’t go away without surgery. So I don’t understand the reason to wait another four or five days to find out that it’s still there and not going anywhere. An anal fissure is fucking painful. Dude, just get the surgery done. It takes about an hour, and you’re out the whole time. Then they supply you with a prescription for some good pain meds. You’ll be back in a week. Good as new.

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Maybe the team should get Ty Wigginton involved in medical matters. The latest ridiculous Ortiz article was all about Ty Wigginton, medicine man – or rather, midwife. Sure, it’s nice to know Wigginton can serve as midwife to the birth of his son, but it doesn’t tell my anything about why the Mets, Pirates, and Rays gave up on the guy. I know it’s asking too much for Ortiz to actually put some content into that crap he writes, but still, can’t he actually make it germane to something. Like maybe Wigginton being able to midwife four more starters to go along with Roy Oswalt?

But speaking of my Jose de Jesus Ortiz, something’s going on over at the Chron. Ortiz left a cryptic blog post yesterday about a secret assignment he’s going on. It’s confusing dreck, as is normal for Ortiz, and it seems to say at various times that he doesn’t know when he’ll be back to the Astros, but that he will be back, but that we shouldn’t worry, he’s got a lifetime membership into the BBWAA so that he’ll always be able to vote on membership into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I wouldn’t think anything of this – besides the guy being a crappy writer – but from nowhere, Joseph Duarte is now writing Astros stories along with Brian McTaggart. And the Chron’s even set up a little Astros baseball blog for Duarte. Now, I didn’t see Sunday’s dead tree edition of the Chron, so I don’t know if this was handled there, but I haven’t seen anything about changes in the baseball beat.

What I’m hoping is that Ortiz is gone, gone, gone from the Astros beat. First, Duarte is actually a decent writer and reporter. Second, so is McTaggart. They’re both far superior to Ortiz. And they don’t let swallow every thing Drayton feeds them.

I know this all a pipe dream of mine. I know that come next week, this hack will be back writing about the Astros on a daily basis. But a man can dream – and since the Deschanel sisters aren’t actually responding to my psychic dream messages – maybe someone’s answering my psychic dream message about Ortiz.

Meanwhile, Duarte is doing some actual reporting. Yes, I know, that’s something shocking on the Astros beat. But it appears that the Orioles have been scouting Mark Loretta with possible trade talks in mind. Now, you could ask why the Orioles didn’t just sign Loretta when he was a free agent, but the Orioles already have a pretty good second baseman – a guy named Brian Roberts and he’s a lot better than anything the Astros have fielded at second since a guy named Jeff Kent left the team.

And it appears that the Cubs are desperate for a second baseman and they have been talking to the Orioles about Roberts. So the thinking is, if Roberts is traded to the Cubs, the Orioles will trade for Loretta. And seeing as how the Orioles farm system is in about as bad of shape as the Astros’ farm system, I see the Astros trading Loretta for another crappy corner infielder. Meanwhile, Matsui’s ass will be acting up on him and he won’t be able to play.

I know. I know. Stop looking on the bad side all of the time.

Perhaps I should do like Roger Clemens and write a play extolling the virtues of steroids. What, you haven’t heard about this? Why, it was performed on Saturday Night Live, and Rocket even appeared in it and offered commentary.

And this leads me to the Rocket’s last team, the Yankees. The Yankees are bitching because a Tampa Bay Ray prospect broke the wrist of a Yankee prospect last week in a collision at the plate. According to Yankee manager Joe Girardi, the Rays are all at fault because this was just a spring training game and the score didn’t matter, so the Rays shouldn’t have their players crashing the plate. Of course, my thinking is this: If it doesn’t matter, then why was the Yankee catcher blocking the plate? Why didn’t he just let the guy score? After all, it’s just spring training, and the score doesn’t matter.


And finally, here’s an idea for Drayton to rip off. Ball girls instead of ball boys down the foul lines. Maybe Drayton could find the 21st-century version of Marla Collins. -- John Royal

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