The Phillies were among the least injured teams during consecutive World Series appearances in 2008-09, but Karma was a bitch in ’10 when they put 18 players on the shelf. (AP Photo)
The most talked about muscle in Philadelphia since Wilt Chamberlain published his memoir is reportedly 100 percent after Cliff Lee assured reporters Monday that his strained side is back to normal. Lee reportedly complained of soreness near his left arm pit last month, a situation that wasn’t brought to light until the Inquirer’s Bob Brookover reported about it Sunday. The 32-year-old southpaw was reportedly shut down for only eight days and was cleared to resume normal workouts before pitchers and catchers arrived last week. Lee is reportedly back on schedule.
The moral of this story is that injuries actually happen, and seem to happen more with age. Aside from the usual ankle sprains, cortisone shots, loose bodies, hernias and knee scopes, for two seasons the Phillies enjoyed a rather clean bill of health. To be more specific, the 162-game baseball season claimed relatively few casualties.
That wasn’t the case in ’10. Bad slides knocked out half of the infield. Warm-up drills caused the shortstop’s downward spiral. A wild pitch claimed the final piece of the infield puzzle. It didn’t stop there. A temper tantrum directed at a metal chair took their most effective reliever out of action. A blow to the head caused the starting catcher to miss a few rounds. And so on.
Injuries are to be expected. The Phillies also suffered a fair share of grizzled-veteran ailments and still won 97 games. Jamie Moyer’s arm fell clean off. No surprise there. Ross Gload pulled his groin legging out a double because ... he's Ross Gload. Chase Utley will be hit by a pitch about once a series. Someone’s oblique muscle is going to pop; last year it was Joe Blanton, now Lee’s side is already an issue. Shane Victorino will blow a tire again. Jimmy will, too. J.C. Romero’s elbow is held together with frayed duct tape. Danys Baez will suffer a phantom injury because he stinks. You get the drift.