The Rock Report

Jake Peavy Injury May Look Bad, But Could Be More Of A Blessing...

What does winning the lotto, cheeseburger diets and Jake Peavy all have in common?   
Sometimes things are too good to be true.  
Yesterday the Chicago White Sox put out a statement that pitcher Jake Peavy is experiencing some right rotator cuff tendinitis, and has been since the early part of the month.  Jake Peavy is attempting to return to the White Sox starting rotation since he detached his latissimus dorsi muscle in his right shoulder on July 9th of last year.  This revelation comes after three straight weeks of the White Sox doctors and coaching staff saying that their 16 million dollar starting pitcher was "ahead of schedule" and on his way to a miraculous recovery.  
Then again this latest setback could be in fact a good thing, here is how. 

It was hard for me to get excited about Jake Peavy returning to the mound on March 4th making his spring debut pitching a scoreless two innings.  It was difficult because of the nature of the injury that Peavy suffered to the same Angels not eight months prior.  The injury Peavy suffered was truly unique, in fact Peavy was the first Major League pitcher to have the injury occur.  To complete tear a latissimus dorsi muscle from the shoulder and expect to pitch ever again was originally thought to be impossible.     
Yet you cannot deny the "gung ho" spirit of Jake Peavy.   
Working all off season with the best doctors and specialists in the country with a desire to do what he gets paid millions of dollars to do is admirable.  Too many athletes would have simply taken the paycheck and not gone that extra mile if they felt they did not have to.  I will credit Peavy for that even though at time it seems he could be his own worst enemy.   
However the White Sox coaching staff has never been able to handle a personality like they have with Jake Peavy.  When the White Sox traded for Peavy in July of 2009, the deal came with mixed reaction.  On one hand White Sox fans had to be pleased that their GM Kenny Williams once again went out and got the top name available on the trading block while others were skeptical about the trade deeming it an extremely high risk with a player's injury history like Peavy's.     
So far, the later are the one's puffing out their chests.   
Since the White Sox traded for Jake Peavy, he has made 20 starts with a record of 10-6 and a 4.11 ERA.  Sox fans have more memories of time off the field than on when it comes to Jake Peavy.  A pitcher who averaged 198 innings pitched between 2003-2007 has averaged 104 innings a season the last two years in 33 starts. Following the ankle injury suffered in San Diego, Peavy has missed nearly 15-20 possible starts in a White Sox uniform in only a season and a half.    
While there is no recovery timetable for a latissmus dorsi muscle tear on a big league pitcher, the terminology we have heard all spring long is "ahead of schedule."  How can anyone (doctors/coaches/Peavy/etc.) say that Jake Peavy is ahead of schedule when it comes to recovering from this injury?  If there is no schedule to refer to, how can you say it in the first place.  While modern medicine is getting better by the hour, it has to get somewhere first to get better to begin with.   
Jake Peavy in essence is his own guinea pig.     
"He's maybe got tiger blood," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who added: "If that injury happens (back when I played), he's done."   
Instead of drinking tiger blood, the Chicago White Sox look like fools today.   
While saying that they would be treating Peavy's rehab with kid gloves and be very cautious with his progress, why did they rush him out on a mound so quickly?  If indeed the White Sox organization wanted to make sure their star pitcher was officially 100% when he first pitched in Chicago, why did they rush ahead the original schedule of his return?   
Don Cooper on Monday morning visited with Mully and Hanley Mornings on 670AM The Score:   
"The long range plan, in a perfect situation, we had him planned to start the first game of the playoffs, so we are going to backtrack from there...I guess the positive thing to think about is that he's going to be back, it's just a matter of how long this is going to take. And when we get him, hopefully he'll be strong the rest of the season and we'll reach that plan of him opening the playoffs."   
How in the world could the White Sox move from a goal of the start of postseason (September) to opening day (April) based on four starts in the Arizona cactus league?   
"Believe me, as long as I am the manager of this ball club that is the last time he convinces me," he said. "I will make the call. I will have the power to let him go out or not. I know it sounds powerful, but the last two times he didn't convince me, he convinced everybody [else] he could go out there and perform and the next day, and we got bad news. I am the manager of the club and I was the guy who was against [Peavy pitching], but he said he was fine and ready to pitch."   
Ozzie Guillen is doing what he does best right now in deflecting all the blame his direction, but the blame should be put on him anyway for going against what he felt.  He is the manager of the Chicago White Sox yet this move showed that he trusts his players a little too much.  Ozzie showed that he got caught up in the "gung ho" attitude of Jake Peavy and not simple human biology.  Unfortunately by Ozzie buying into what his 16 million dollar pitcher was selling him, he brought him back too early in 2009 which led to mechanics issues in 2010 and got his pitcher hurt once again.     
If you want to put blame on someone, there is blame to go around to everyone involved in the Jake Peavy recovery, but one thing that Jake Peavy has is time.  The Chicago White Sox are not in dire need of his services from opening day on.  In fact with Peavy possibly headed to the disabled list to start the season, that could be the best news at all.  By putting Peavy on the DL you allow him as much time as he needs to make sure he recovers at or near 100%.  While Peavy's desire to get back on the field is attractive and respectable, he needs a reality check once in a while.  Unfortunately Ozzie Guillen and his coaching staff was not able to give that to him, but now they have their opportunity.   

Sometimes things are too good to be true.  Jake Peavy pitching from a mound according to doctors way ahead of schedule was too good to be true.  By learning from this experience and the mistake of rushing Peavy to this point, they know now not to trust in the human spirit and begin to respect human science.   
Don Cooper with Mully And Hanley Monday on 670AM The Score   
"We're not listening to him much anyway, we're listening to the doctors and the trainers. You think he's running the show? No, that's just not the case.......Listen, the inmates don't run the asylum."   
If Ozzie Guillen is tired of being convinced by Peavy that he is fine and Don Cooper is saying the White Sox do not listen to Peavy and the inmates do not the asylum.....   
Someone is not telling the truth here.   
The White Sox have egg all over their face today because they did listen, they were fooled.....and they had to take back the keys from their highest paid inmate Jake Peavy.   
John "Rock" Mamola is the Associate Producer of The Mully And Hanley Morning Show and Host of The Rock Report on WSCR 670AM The Score   
You can follow Rock at 



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