Jose Bautista

The Jose Bautista wrist injury timeline

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July 16: Jose Bautista fouls off a ball in the eighth inning of a game against the Yankees and immediately grabs his left wrist in pain. The Jays announced after the game that no break was found, that he had an injury to a tendon and that he’d undergo an MRI the following day.

July 17: Bautista is placed on the DL after the MRI revealed wrist inflammation, according to the Jays. Bautista, for his part, called the injury a strain.

“Just as I was finishing my swing I felt something weird around my wrist, and on the recoil is when I felt sharp pain,” said Bautista, who had started all 90 games this season before Tuesday night. “So obviously a little scary at the time. You can’t help but think the worst.

“I thought I had torn something or maybe broken my wrist, but that’s not the case and I’m happy to know that.”

July 28: Bautista resumes swinging bat 12 days after getting hurt. The Jays were initially optimistic that he’d be able to return when eligible on Aug. 1, but they admit now that won’t be ready.

“I don’t want to ever say no, but it still projects to be a few more days than Wednesday,” manager John Farrell said. “But [on Friday], I said it would be Monday by the time he started to swing — and here he is already off a tee. But he is making good progress.”

Aug. 2: Bautista says he’s still experiencing wrist discomfort.

“I’m still ahead of the suggested game plan, according to the hand specialist,” Bautista said. “Their recommendations were initially to not even attempt to pick up a bat for two weeks, and I’m at 16 days and I’m swinging in a cage with some liberty and somewhat of a free feel to my swing.”

Aug. 7: Bautista undergoes followup MRI, leading to a very skeptical blog entry from yours truly.

“He’s still complaining of some soreness in one small area, there’s a recommendation of a follow-up MRI just to compare it to the original MRI,” Farrell told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. “We’ll have further information once the MRI is complete.”

Aug. 9: The second MRI reportedly reveals no additional damage.

“They didn’t have to do it,” Bautista said. “It’s just more the doctor trying to be cautious before I get the bat back in my hands. What he was thinking was the same thing that came back. It’s just still inflammation, not further damage, so it hasn’t got any worse.

“It’s getting better, but slowly. I would hope that it would be healing quicker, but it’s not. We’re going to just give it a couple more days, then start hitting Monday.”

Aug. 13: Bautista starts swinging again.

“We’re going to go at the pace his tolerance allows,” Farrell said.

Aug. 23: Bautista hits two homers in rehab game.

Aug. 24: Bautista comes off disabled list, goes 0-for-4 in Jays loss.

Aug. 25: Bautista aggravates wrist injury versus Orioles.

Aug. 26: Bautista returns to disabled list.

Aug. 28: The Jays announce that Bautista will undergo season-ending surgery to repair the tendon sheath in his left wrist. He’ll need up to six months to recover.

“We followed the course of action that was recommended at each time during the recovery after the original injury,” Bautista said. “The only way I could have played again this year without having surgery was to do what we did. I tried, there’s just too much instability in that tendon. It got to the point where risking injuring to the tendon was not worth it. That’s why we’re opting to do it now, that way I have plenty of time to be ready for spring training and the season.”

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The Jays never, to my knowledge anyway, straight out lied at any point when discussing Bautista’s injury, but they definitely downplayed the severity of it right from the start. That said, I’m not sure they did anything in how they brought Bautista back. Obviously, if Bautista was told two weeks to swing a bat, he shouldn’t have been back doing it after 12 days. That probably didn’t make a big difference, though.

In the end, this probably worked out for the best. The Jays weren’t going anywhere with all of their injuries this year, and it wouldn’t have done any good for Bautista to try to gut it out over the rest of the season. As long as the main problem here is truly the tendon’s stability in the sheath, it’s nothing that should affect Bautista in 2013 and beyond. Nomar Garciaparra had damage in the same area a decade ago, but his injury was a much more significant split tendon. David Ortiz had a tear in his tendon sheath four years ago and came out of it fine.

Tony La Russa went into the Pirates broadcast booth over Hit-by-pitch criticism

MESA, AZ - MARCH 10:  Chief baseball officer Tony La Russa of the Arizona Diamondbacks gestures as he talks with coaches in the dugout before the spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at HoHoKam Stadium on March 10, 2015 in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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On Tuesday a couple of Arizona Diamondbacks batters were hit in head by Pirates pitcher Arquimedes Caminero. Caminero did not appear to be trying to bean these guys. He simply had no control whatsoever. That the Pirates just sent him down to the minors underscores that. Still: a bad situation given the inherent danger of plunkings in general and beanballs in particular. Thank goodness nether Dbacks batter appears to be injured.

It would make sense that Dbacks folks would be a bit upset at this, but Tony La Russa took things to the next level. The Pirates announcers apparently mentioned something about the Diamondbacks’ and La Russa’s history with hit-by-pitch controversies. And then this, from Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic . . .

La Russa acknowledged he went into a broadcast booth during Tuesday night’s game after he “heard some stuff on the air” that he considered inaccurate about his history with retaliatory pitches during his managerial days.

“I never have stood for inaccuracies,” La Russa said, “so I corrected the inaccuracies.

“It’s about taking responsibility. If you’re going to speak untruths then you’re going to get challenged and you should be responsible for what you say. I am. I reacted.”

That’s a totally chill and above-it-all way for a Hall of Famer and the head of baseball operations of a major league club to react. Glad to see La Russa, as always, is a portrait of zen.

Either way, the Pirates announcers should be excused if they were somewhat inaccurate. For you see, La Russa has always been somewhat hard to pin down on his plunking/beanball politics. In the past he’s said that another team accidentally hitting his team is bad while defending his own team’s clear and obvious retaliation. He once blamed an opposing hitter for escalating a situation by not avoiding what was clearly intentional attempt to hit him by his own player, claiming that a mere inside pitch with no intent was worse than his own guy TRYING to hit the opposition.

The common denominator to La Russa’s history with this stuff is (a) whatever the Tony La Russa-led team is doing is correct; (b) whatever the other team did was incorrect; and (c) almost everyone who isn’t Tony La Russa just doesn’t get it and that’s their problem, not his.

So of course he’s gonna go into a broadcast booth to La Russa-splain things to them. It’s a complicated business about which he and he alone has clarity. He’s doing us a favor, really.

Wade Boggs embroiled in non-controversy over his Yankees World Series ring!

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The Red Sox held a ceremony honoring the 1986 team last night and one of the key members of that team, Wade Boggs, was in attendance wearing  his Red Sox jersey. He also wore his Yankees World Series ring.

When I heard about this controversy a few minutes ago I did something that neither I nor most people who are a part of the Internet Industrial Complex usually do: wondered whether this was actually a controversy.

I quickly scanned around and found a good dozen or so articles talking about it and people talking about them talking about it. I noticed people making reference to how, theoretically, this could upset some Red Sox fans or be seen as a sign of disrespect. But I could not find anyone who actually cared. Anyone who was actually upset about it. I can’t say that I read every comment to every article, but you usually don’t have to dig deep to find people mad about something on the Internet and I could not immediately find anyone who was mad about this. Lots of jokes and comments about the idea of being mad, but no one who actually cared. It was like an obligatory ceremonial function the meaning of which everyone has forgotten.

There are a lot of “controversies” like that. They tend to be more common in the entertainment world than the sports world — people referencing a “scandalous” thing some singer or actor did which, in reality, scandalized no one — but it happens in sports too. In sports it’s when a convention or custom is not followed or when someone doesn’t otherwise conform to some set of expectations. A lot of the time no one cares at all. It’s all about the politics of recognizing situations in which someone might, in theory, care. Or once did long, long ago.

Maybe someone is genuinely mad at Wade Boggs over this If so, I’d love to hear from that person and wonder why on Earth they’d care. But I sort of feel like such a beast does not exist. And for that I’m pretty glad.

The Cardinals had a “statement loss” yesterday

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 25: Manager manager Mike Matheny #22 congratulates Matt Adams #32 of the St. Louis Cardinals as he enters the dugout after scoring a run during the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on May 25, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
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I’ve always been critical of the concept of “statement games” in Major League Baseball. Maybe it matters more in football where there are far fewer games and thus each one means much more, but in baseball a win lasts, at best, 48 hours and usually less. Like Earl Weaver said, we do this every day, lady. When you’re constantly talking, as it were, any one statement is pretty unimportant.

I’ll grant that a “statement win” is a thing players use to motivate or validate themselves, of course. We on the outside can roll our eyes at the notion, but we can’t know the minds of a major league player. If they think that they made a statement and it’s important to them, hey, it’s important to them. I’ll admit, however, that a statement loss is a new one to me:

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Kolten Wong provided the basis of that headline. Here is what he said:

“I think we still made a statement. We were down 6-1 right off the bat. The game before, we were kind of in the same situation. We were tired of it,” second baseman Kolten Wong said. “Our pitchers have been our go-to these past few years. It was time for us to step up and I think we all kind of felt that, too. We just wanted to make this a game and show that we have our pitchers’ backs.”

In context it makes sense. A moral victory, as it were. They got to one of the best pitchers in the game after finding themselves down by several runs thanks to their starting pitching betraying them. The hitters didn’t go into a shell when most folks would excuse them for doing so against a guy like Jake Arrieta.

Makes sense and no judgments here. Moral victories matter. Still, it’s hard not to chuckle at the headline. I can’t remember a big leaguer talking quite that way after a loss.

Julio Urias to be called up, make his MLB debut tomorrow

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20:  Starting pitcher Julio Urias #78 of the Los Angeles Dodgers participates in a spring training workout at Camelback Ranch on February 20, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Dodgers have been mulling this for a long time, but they just announced that they plan on calling up top prospect Julio Urias. He’ll be making his major league debut against the Mets tomorrow evening in New York.

Urias is just 19 years-old, but he’s shown that he’s ready for the bigs. In eight Triple-A games this year — seven starts — he’s 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 44/8 in 41 innings. He has tossed 27-straight scoreless innings to boot. While the Dodgers and Urias’ agent are understandably wary of giving the young man too much work too soon, he has nothing left to prove at Oklahoma City.

Urias turns 20 in August. Tomorrow night he will become the first teenager to debut in the majors since 2012 when Dylan Bundy, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Jurickson Profar each made their debuts.