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Thursday, March 5, 2009
A-Rod injury impact

From ESPN colleague Stephania Bell:

My first thought upon hearing the news: "And so it begins."

Wishful thinking, perhaps. Not that I'm rooting for Rodriguez's career to go in the toilet. But a few bumps along the way are more interesting than an easy cruise to 800 home runs. And I can't escape the feeling that A-Rod's steroids issue naturally is followed by a serious injury and then will be followed by the Yankees essentially eating a big chunk of the $178 million they still owe him.

Not that I'm hoping for that. Not exactly.

Anyway, what I really wanted to address was whether or not we should accept the estimate of 10 weeks of downtime as reliable. Well, Bell is all over it:

When I read that Rodriguez is (1) having hip surgery and (2) will miss 10 weeks, I assumed 10 weeks is the minimum. Hips are scary. You can't fake a healthy hip.

If he's back in 10 weeks, the Yankees should be fine. Cody Ransom will do for a month or two. But if A-Rod is out for something like 19 weeks, that will be a real problem. The numbers I've looked at suggest the Yankees and the Red Sox both are good for something like 97 wins. But if you remove Rodriguez from the equation for half the season, suddenly the Sox jump to the head of the class.