Bobby Jenks was placed on the 60-day disabled list by the Red Sox earlier this week following two back surgeries and a pulmonary embolism, and today the reliever shared the details of his nightmarish offseason with Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
Once he was recovered from the pulmonary embolism Jenks underwent spinal surgery in mid-December and was recovering at his home in Arizona when he needed a second, emergency surgery on December 30 due to an “error” made during the first operation:
I don’t know whose fault it was. But there was an error done inside. I had four bone spurs on my spine. We talked about taking the top two out. The third one was started and not finished. So basically there was a serrated edge that sliced me open in two different spots and I was leaking spinal fluid.
“There was a serrated edge that sliced me open in two different spots and I was leaking spinal fluid” sounds like basically the worst thing of all time, but there’s even more. Jenks described how his “muscles were so torn open” and the pain was “excruciating,” along with concerns that the infection could potentially spread to his brain.
Jenks is in the second season of a two-year, $12 million contract, but his ability to pitch at all in 2012 is in question. He appeared in just 12 games for the Red Sox last year and hasn’t thrown since then, so it’ll be a long road back. And the ordeal–from which he’s considering legal action–caused him to lose about 40 pounds.
People are the absolute worst sometimes. The latest example: someone stole one of Jose Fernandez’s high school jerseys, which had been displayed in his old high school’s dugout for a vigil last night.
That report comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Tampa Bay Times who covered the vigil at Alonso High School in Tampa yesterday. Her story of the vigil is here. Today she has been tweeting about the theft of the jersey. She spoke to Alonso High school’s principal who, in a bit of understatement, called the theft the “lowest of the low.”
The high school had one more Fernandez jersey remaining and has put it on display in the school. In the meantime, spread this story far and wide so that whatever vulture who stole it can’t sell it.
In an earlier post I made a joke about the Indians starting Dennis Martinez if forced to play a meaningless (for them) game on Monday against the Tigers. On Twitter, one of my followers, Ray Fink, asked a great question: If you had to hand the ball to a Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher to give you three innings, who would it be?
The Hall of Fame-eligible part gets rid of the recently-retired ringers, requiring a guy who has been off the scene for at least five years, ensuring that there’s a good bit of rust. I love questions like these.
My immediate answer was Mike Mussina. My thinking being that of all of the great pitchers fitting these parameters, he’s the most likely to have stayed in good shape. I mean, Greg Maddux probably still has the best pitching IQ on the planet, but he’s let himself go a bit, right? Mussina strikes me as a guy who still wakes up and does crunches and stuff.
If you extend it to December, however, you may get a better answer, because that’s when Tim Wakefield becomes eligible for the Hall. I realize a knuckleball requires practice to maintain the right touch and subtlety to the delivery, but it also requires the least raw physical effort. Jim Bouton went well more than five years without throwing his less-than-Wakefield-quality knuckler and was still able to make a comeback. I think Tim could be passable.
Then there’s Roger Clemens. I didn’t see his numbers for that National Baseball Congress tourney this summer and I realize he’s getting a bit thick around the middle, but I’m sure he can still bring it enough to not embarrass himself. Beyond the frosted tips, anyway.
So: who is your Space Cowboys-style reclamation project? Who is the old legend you dust off for one last job?