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.