In news that helps explain why the Indians felt the need to acquire veteran outfielder Chris Dickerson from the Pirates earlier today, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that center fielder Michael Bourn’s hamstring strain is “more serious” than initially believed.
Bourn has struggled with hamstring problems since last season, eventually undergoing tendon surgery, and this time around Hoynes says he’ll be out for at least 3-4 weeks. That puts a potential return date at early August even if things go smoothly and given Bourn’s recent history that should probably qualify as very optimistic.
In between the disabled list stints Bourn has been his usual self this season at the plate, hitting .267 with a .695 OPS compared to his career .270 batting average and .699 OPS, but he’s attempted just 10 stolen bases in 66 games after previously being one of the most potent base-stealers in MLB and the Indians didn’t give him a four-year, $48 million contract for his bat.
The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.
After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.
Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.
Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:
In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?