Well, maybe of his managerial life. Because, it seems, that his collapse at the Winter Meetings that threw a scare into everyone wasn’t the first time that’s happened to him. According to Jannie McCauley of the Associated Press, Tracy has been having issues with dizziness and fatigue for several years, and the fainting down in Florida was merely the capper to it all. However, he’s feeling much better now:
After his December episode, Denver cardiologist Dr. Barry Molk decided to drastically decrease Tracy’s meds – and it turned out to be the right move. He has more energy than he has in some time. He no longer is on the diuretic.
“I’m doing better than I was doing physically at any point during the course of the 2010 season,” Tracy said in a phone interview. “I just didn’t need as much medicine. And I needed that little tap on the shoulder from upstairs that I needed to go in for a little tuneup.”
I think the scariest part of all of this are Tracy’s comments that he kept his health issues — including several previous fainting spells and high blood pressure — secret because he “didn’t want them to think I was losing my edge.” With the “them” clearly meaning his bosses in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Colorado. Which, on some level I understand. But man, we only get one life. If you have a job where attention to your health is a weakness, find something else to do.
Glad to hear that Tracy has changed his mind about all of that. Even more glad that he’s gotten on a program that helps him out and has him feeling better. And while one’s health isn’t anyone else’s business,* I’m glad Tracy has gone public with this, because there’s no doubt others in and around baseball who are hiding their own health problems who may decide to take better care of themselves in light of Tracy’s example.
That is, unless you’ve been dead for 70 years and your family doesn’t object.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.