Saturday, June 9, 2007

Faux Injuries


It has been a little over a week since Michelle Wie pulled out of a tournament due to a wrist injury. It has also been about the same amount of time since Roger Clemens had groin issues and needed to postpone his first start until today. There is more than a 30-year difference in age between the two. Clemens has a Hall of Fame career and Wie has yet to do anything except steal money from her sponsors. The timing of these injuries is what connects these vastly different athletes.

Those that follow sports fairly closely have been made aware of the Wie debacle. She apparently fell while trying to be an athlete (jogging) and harmed her wrist. She took some time off and then came back and was downright awful. In fact she was in serious danger of being barred from the LPGA for the rest of the year for shooting a very high score. A couple of holes from the finish she decided to withdraw/quit due to serious pain that would not allow her to finish the round. Wie made it very clear that the potential ban from the LPGA had nothing to do with her decision to quit. Oddly enough, two days later she was at the course of this week's major tournament practicing. As a result, many people, including Annika Sorenstam, questioned whether or not Wie just flat out quit. I am not a rocket scientist but common sense tells me Wie quit. There may have been an injury but the fact that she sucks at golf right now was the key determinant in her decision. As a sidenote, I do realize how pathetic I am for knowing the details of this story. This may be the first step in admitting I have a sports problem.

Now there is MLB's version of Brett Favre. In case you have not heard Roger Clemens has returned to the New York Yankees. Those that watch ESPN have had to watch his every ball scratch for the last few weeks in the minor leagues. Clemens is coming back to save the Yankees from themselves and allow the earth to properly rotate on its axis. Initially it was decided he was going to come back last week and pitch against the Chicago White Sox. It was determined last weekend that Clemens would not be able to make his start against the White Sox and instead would debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates. When I saw this crawl along the bottom of the screen I instantly thought it was bogus. ESPN tried to convince me he was injured by showing a first inning pitch from his last minor league start that suggested a tweaked groin. Any independent thinker would conclude ESPN was just covering for Clemens because he ended up pitching 6 scoreless innings on the night. Maybe it's just me but if I'm heading to the Hall of Fame I am not risking tearing my groin in half by pitching six innings in a minor league game. Everyone seemed to accept the story and waited breathless for today's grand appearance against the Pirates. Are you kidding me, Steinbrenner's paying Clemens a king's ransom to pitch against the Pirates? I don't care how old you are or if you're heading to the Hall of Fame. I am going to question the legitimacy of a groin injury that was pitched on for 6 minor league innings if you delay your debut appearance to face the Pirates.

Wie and Clemens have come down with interesting injuries. One has rightfully been hammered by her peers and the media. The other has escaped scrutiny because everyone wants a reason to talk up the resurgent Yankees. When all is said and done the evidence shows that both athletes are scared of the truth. For Wie it is that she seems destined to go down as a bust, which is unfortunate since she is still a teenager. For Clemens he is destined to show his age unless he is able to convince the Yankees and the media that he should only pitch in interleague games against weak NL lineups.

(Photo with Clemens elements from Peter Foley/EPA and photo with Wie elements from Donald Miralle/Getty Images.)

4 comments:

Kathryn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathryn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathryn said...

Joel... Did someone else come up with this argument and thus you have these pictures... or did you make the pictures and come up with the concept? I can't tell by the photo credits.

J M Smith said...

This is my own argument with my own Photoshop expertise.