Monday, August 27, 2007
Weekend adventures in Houston
Making the five-hour drive to southern Michigan Friday evening, I expected to catch the Pirate game on the radio and still have some free time before my arrival. There was little indication that the game would last nearly five hours itself, well past the time I arrived at my destination. There was nothing I could do but sit alone in my car, listening intently to the Houston broadcast on the trusty XM radio. The call of Xavier Nady's home run was beautiful. Severely paraphrased: "Brad [Lidge] said Nady will occasionally be fooled by the slider. In fact he struck out Nady on a check swing in Pittsburgh to end a game." After a pause, Milo Hamilton says softly, "He didn't fool him there. Nady just tied the game." Even with the loss yesterday, it was a good weekend for Pirates baseball.
But why do the Pirates insist on forcing Nady onto the field? I understand he is a gamer. I understand he wants to play. I love players like that, as I would assume many people do. That was great when he pinch-hit with a partially torn hamstring and tied the game with a ninth inning home run. But the largest concern should be having him ready for the beginning of 2008. This is a player that the Pirates are counting on to be in the middle of the lineup next year, and there is no reason to risk serious injury in an effort to reach 70 wins this year. It is one thing to start Tony Armas over Shane Youman (stupid, but I won't lose much sleep over it), but it is completely different to risk the health of a player you need in the future. This is a lost season. Nady should be shut down for the year so he can get ready for spring training.