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Buddy, Can You Spare A Player?
2006-05-12 08:49
by Ken Arneson

Last Friday, my indoor soccer team had half our roster either injured or out of town. We started the game with just two substitutes. (You sub in and out somewhat like hockey.) Then one of our players got thrown out of the game for arguing with the ref, and then another pulled a leg muscle. We only trailed 3-2 at halftime, but we played the entire second half with no substitutes at all. Of course, we got tired, the other team pulled away, and we lost 11-6.

I played that entire game on not one, but two sprained ankles, injured in the previous week's game. In that game, I twisted my left ankle early in the first half, and then about five minutes later, I went back in the game, and promptly rolled over on my right one. The right ankle was hurt worse than the left one, but I consoled myself with the fact that at least I had scored a goal in the process of hurting myself. I took one for the team, and we won that game.

The week before that, in the first half, one of our players fell, landed on his shoulder, and broke his collarbone. They had to call in the paramedics to get him fixed up and moved out. We postponed the game.

My ankles still feel sore, but I'll be out there again tonight, provided, of course, that we have enough players to field a team without forfeiting. We have two more players hurt, including our goalie, whom we'll be replacing with a friend of one of our players who played goalie as a kid, and happens to be in town visiting from Indianapolis on a business trip.

The point of which is to say, I know exactly how the A's must feel right now. Players are dropping like flies, and if you can somehow manage to stand on two feet at all, you're in the lineup. Kendall is tossed out, Eric Chavez has a bacterial infection, Frank Thomas pulled a quad, Justin Duchscherer has a bad elbow, Joe Kennedy has an muscle strain in his arm, and none of those guys are among the three four A's players currently on the DL. It's getting so bad that I half expect the A's to call in Will Carroll on a business trip from Indianapolis to pitch tonight, and maybe they'll ask him to bring Scott Long with him to play third base, since there's a pretty good chance he'd be a better hitting replacement for Chavez than Antonio "0-for-2006" Perez has been.

Of course, the Yankees aren't doing a heck of a lot better. Gary Sheffield is on the DL, Randy Johnson is pitching in pain, and Hideki Matsui broke his wrist last night. With all that hobblin' going on, it's hard to have any idea what's going to happen this weekend. I'll be happy if the A's can manage to take even one game off the Bronx Bombers, and head back home after all this misery only a game under .500, and still within striking distance of the division lead.

2006-05-12 11:37:29
1.   Xeifrank
I love playing soccer and did so all the way through college, but stories like this is why I don't play in competitive soccer leagues anymore. Way!!!!! too many injuries. No thanks. I will play in a pickup game here and there and that's it. I will stick with the old man's game of softball from here on out. And believe it or not people actually get hurt playing softball. Probably because it's the only 75 minutes of the week they ever excercise, but that's another story for a later thread.
vr, Xei
2006-05-12 12:47:02
2.   Ken Arneson
Yeah, I don't much care for the injuries, either. But I'm probably going to keep playing soccer until my body tells me I can't play it anymore. That hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure that day will come.

Fortunately, this is a low-intensity league, but the injuries happen anyway, just because we're all just a bunch of old farts.

I played soccer and basketball growing up, but my body told me to stop playing basketball in college. Too much knee and back pain. So it's just been soccer for me since then.

Softball isn't my sport, but it doesn't seem like much exercise compared to the sports I'm used to playing, where you're running around the whole time.

I suppose when I can't run anymore, and my soccer days are done, I'll take up golf or something. At least I'll be moving and chasing a ball, even if it isn't running.

2006-05-12 13:38:27
3.   ToyCannon
You can easily make softball a sport with exercise. You run to CF between inning which is 14 sprints a game. You need to be a good hitter so you can run the bases 4 to 5 times a game. You get out of it what you put into it.
2006-05-12 13:39:13
4.   ToyCannon
You guys still thrilled that you stole Milton and Perez for Ethier?
2006-05-12 14:08:56
5.   Ken Arneson
3 I can't get motivated to run for the sake of running, which is what running to CF between innings would be. Not much different from running on a treadmill: I'd be telling myself to run because it's good for me.

I don't have to force myself to run when I'm playing soccer...I just do it without thinking, in the process of working towards a different goal.

4 I don't think I was ever "thrilled" about it, and I certainly didn't think it was a steal at the time. In fact, my initial reaction was negative. But I thought it would be good because I thought Perez would be a decent hitting backup. Instead, he's turned out to be another Keith Ginter: could never field very well, and then stopped hitting like he used to the instant he showed up.

2006-05-12 17:23:11
6.   scareduck
5 - small sample size, mebbe. Remember, 250 AB.
2006-05-12 19:31:53
7.   Will Carroll
Spraining the opposite ankle after a functional sprain? That's the very definition of cascade injury!
2006-05-12 21:51:47
8.   Ken Arneson
6 Yeah, I know. But the way Perez looks at the plate right now--completely lost and overmatched--makes me think he might not be the backup type, the kind who can keep his swing and timing and pitch recognition if he's not playing regularly.

7 The second sprain happened when I was jumping up trying to do a header in traffic, and I just landed wrong. Perhaps I was subconsiously trying to avoid landing on the other foot, but it happened so fast, and the goalie bumped me in the air, so I kinda doubt it. I'm more inclined to think it was just bad luck.

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