It’s not difficult to understand why we as baseball fans root for the past-his-prime rookie. He is an underdog. He is like us in some ways. He is finally getting a shot in “The Show.” All that Hollywood stuff.
33-year-old John Lindsey, an infielder for the Dodgers, provided a Hollywood moment on September 9 of this season. After 16 years in the minor leagues, 1,571 games played on the farm and countless bus rides, Lindsey finally got his shot in a major league pinch-hitting appearance and … flew out.
To me, it’s always better that way. Feels more real.
Lindsey got a standing ovation that night by the alert Dodger Stadium crowd and eventually got his first hit. He racked up 12 major league at-bats over the past two weeks. But now he’s done for the season, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, due to a fracture in his left hand that he suffered when he was hit by a pitch during Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks.
That’s baseball. Ain’t it great?
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.