[WARNING: the following post contains schadenfreude. If anyone is uncertain what that means, this post should provide you with a textbook example]
What is music to my ears?
Any sentence that contains the words Liriano and Sore Shoulder. Sore anything, really. I’m not picky.
The Associated Press via Yahoo! reported today that Francisco Liriano missed the Twins first official workout of spring training due to shoulder soreness. Liriano deems the shoulder issue minor. Well, he would, wouldn’t he.
It is, of course, in terrible taste to wish harm on the enemies of one’s baseball team. Francisco Liriano has done me no specific harm whatsoever, other than helping my beloved Tigers to finish 3rd. Nor is he a love-to-hate player like A.J. Pierzynski. I’m sure that most Tigers fans would freely admit, even when not under the influence, all the terrible things that they would really like to see happen to him. Why do I immediately, instinctively, cheer up when I hear that Liriano’s shoulder is sore? Because his team is better than mine, and he’s talented enough to be a big reason why. So consider this an admission of guilt: as a fan, I am prone to care about wins and losses more than I do about the athletes as actual people. I too thought first and foremost whether Cabrera’s DUI would force him to miss Spring Training or even the start of the regular season. I have no doubt that somewhere in the greater Chicago area you will find some Sox fan hoping fervently that Miguel Cabrera gets jail time – just to keep him out of a Tigers uniform. Some fans have no souls. I may be one.
Now, probably all of this is nothing. Chances are Francisco Liriano will be back to his old self in a day or two, with no lingering effects at all. He’ll probably log another 200 innings and maybe even contend for the Cy Young in his contract year. Not all minor shoulder problems can turn into major ones. But then, how often have you ever heard of season ending shoulder surgeries that didn’t start as minor shoulder soreness??? Hmmmm??? I’m not above pointing out that Liriano’s closest comp by similarity score at baseballreference.com is Noah Lowry, who never pitched an inning after his 27th birthday. His #2 comp is Chris Nabholz, who was great through age 26 then fell apart and was out of the bigs at 28. His #3 comp is Shaun Marcum, who’s still pitching (very well) for the Jays – but missed his entire age 27 season. His 4th closest comp is our own Justin Thompson.The folks at Puckett’s Pond have been strangely silent regarding Liriano’s shoulder, maybe there is something nobody wants to discuss?
With any luck, this story simply will not go away and we will be bringing you updates as the information becomes available. Preferably including words like ‘setback’ & ‘timetable’.