The good news: Whitey Herzog is OK now and was at the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-up talking to reporters;
The bad news: He spent 23 days in intensive care starting in September after a nasty fall at his house left him with bleeding on the brain.
The “good” news: He was colorful — dare I say amusingly so? — in recounting how that all went:
“I told Mary Lou (his wife) I’d go home and feed the goats,” he recalled. “The next day the nurse would say, `Did you feed the goats?’ I said, `I don’t have any goats.”‘
Still, Herzog said, he was lucky because despite bruising his brain in two places, doctors were able to stop the bleeding without drilling into his head.
“Once they drill through your brain, you don’t know what they’re going to come out with,” he said.
To be clear: Herzog’s medical state and confusion it created were not amusing. But it is a relief that he’s better now and able to talk about it all such a matter of fact way. Brain injuries are super scary.
Glad to hear one of my favorites of all time is on the mend.
Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.
Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.
The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.