If we had to identify the three most common themes of the 2011 season thus far, it’d read something like this: rainouts, flu viruses and oblique injuries.
The first can be explained rather easily. Spring is a wet season in almost every part of the baseball-watching world and North America has been pounded by several major storm systems this year.
The second is a little trickier, but influenza is influenza and it tends to spread pretty quickly.
The third? … well … listen to this:
According to Christian Red of the New York Daily News, sports physician Dr. Lewis Maharam has discovered that the upswing in oblique strains across Major League Baseball can probably be traced back to the legal dietary supplement creatine.
Creatine adds water molecules to muscle fibers, which can cause those fibers to separate.
“This makes for easier muscle tears and slows the repair process, leaving them on injured reserve longer,” Maharam says. “It is because of these side effects that professionals for a long time went away from creatine when they could use anabolics and HGH. Now that testing is stronger, I have seen a trend back toward the safer creatine.”
Evan Longoria, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Jason Bay, Angel Pagan, J.A. Happ, Ronny Paulino, Fred Lewis, Jon Garland, J.J. Hardy and Erick Aybar have all been plagued by oblique issues in one form or another this season. And they’re far from alone.
Creatine, at least to this point, is not banned by baseball, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL or the NCAA.