Monday, May 07, 2007

Monday Morning Manager

(my weekly take on the Tigers)

Last Week: 6-0
This Week: (5/8-10: SEA; 5/11-13: at Min)

A perfect week? Well, yes -- and then...NO.

Perfect in terms of the record: 6-0, with the hapless Orioles and Royals (that almost rhymes!) serving as fodder for the Tigers. But very IMperfect, too, when you consider the bad news out of Kansas City Saturday night.

Joel Zumaya -- Zoom-Zoom. Zoomie. The Big Z. However you choose to refer to him. Gone, out -- and it's anybody's guess for how long.

"I heard something pop when I threw a fastball in the bullpen," Zumaya was quoted as saying about the injury to his middle finger on his throwing hand. "I thought I cracked my knuckle."

If only.

The extent of Zumaya's injury won't be known until today, most likely. He will be examined by a hand specialist in New York, according to the reports.

Manager Jim Leyland said he was preparing for the worst case scenario. I shudder to think what that may entail.

Still, it's being classified now as a "strained" finger, and we'll have to go with that for now. Certainly it's less daunting than other scenarios.

My theory about injuries in sports is this: best to have them earlier, rather than later. OK, so it's not so much a theory as it is common sense. But to miss Zumaya now, in early May, is certainly preferrable to losing him in August or September.

Besides, it still might be relatively minor. We'll see.

Zumaya aside, it was a great week for the Bengals. A couple of comeback wins against Baltimore, a systematic destruction of the Royals, and the warming up of bats such as Sean Casey, Gary Sheffield, Craig Monroe, and the continued heat of Placido Polanco and Magglio Ordonez. A great week for the beleaguered offense.

They might need to stay hot, too -- if the bullpen's diamond stick pin is out for any considerable length of time.

Thank goodness for the starters.



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