Thursday, April 12, 2007

Performance Enhancement=Hamstring Pulls?

On Opening Day, my brother and I were just getting to our seats as the Devil Rays' roster announcements ended, and the Yankees' roster began being called out. As usual, they started with the non-high profile coaches--it's always a lot of fun when trainer Gene Monahan gets to take his bow, since it's the only time all season he'll run onto the field without it being bad news.

One announcement that caused us a shrug and a chuckle was the announcement of the "Director, Performance Enhancement" Marty Miller. The shrug was because it sounded new; the chuckle was because the title sounded a lot like the title that the Yanks gave Chad Bohling a couple of years back--Director of Optimal Performance--which was ironic since the start of the 2005 season was pretty sub-optimal.

Anyway, Miller's fancy new title just means that he took over the Yanks' strength and conditioning program this year. Which is a shame, since so far the main evidence of "performance enhancement" on the 2007 Yankees seems to be a series of hamstring pulls which have taken down four Yankees players so far. Mike Mussina joined Chien Ming Wang, Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui in feeling something "pull" in his leg during last night's start. Like Damon (but unlike Matsui and Wang) Moose hopes to avoid the DL, but we'll have to see what happens, since hamstring problems tend to linger.

The lesson here, of course, is don't go for a fancy title when a simple one will do.

The Yanks lost their series finale in the Metrodome, 5-1, after dominating the Twinkies 18-3 in the first two games. Seeing that yesterday's starter for the Twins was retread's retread Ramon Ortiz, there was good reason to anticipate a sweep at the start of the game. Alex Rodriguez continued his hot start, batting in the Yankees' only run.

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