— Everything was going just the way you thought it would for Christian Garcia through the first 5 2/3 innings of the game. And then, what everyone had hoped wouldn’t happen did…inevitable as it seems to many of you, nobody saw this coming.
Nobody saw the elbow soreness that ended his night early. Scroll down if you want quotes from Garcia or manager Tony Franklin, but Garcia’s comments are very telling…saying if he could have thrown another pitch, he would have. It’s haunting to think that he was reminded of the pain that shut him down last year, and it makes you wonder about his long term future.
This is at least the seventh significant injury for Garcia during his tenure in the Yankees organization; he strained his elbow in ’05, strained an oblique in ’06, had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and knee surgery in ’07 as well as elbow tendinitis AND surgery in ’09.
At some point, you have to wonder if he can keep coming back…whether it’s even worth it for him. There is no question this kid is talented. Look at what he did tonight as his body betrayed him once again.
What you don’t see in quotes is his demeanor. He was polite, but crushed. He forced a smile. He looked and sounded like a guy who knew something bad had happened to him once again.
Garcia is likely to undergo various tests on his elbow tomorrow, and if there are any updates to be had, I will obviously post them here.
People like Christian Garcia. The feeling of shock in the press box once Tim Lentych came out of the dugout was very palpable…Garcia is considered a good guy, and even if he wasn’t, how do you not feel bad for someone who’s gone through what he has, only to have it happen again.
A quick Garcia story…I got to Media Day on Tuesday around 12:45, and as I was getting out of my car, the first person I saw was Christian Garcia, who was in his workout gear and walking towards the parking lot. He recognized me, said hello to me by name, and we had a brief conversation. It sounds so stupid to people who don’t do this, but that’s not normal in this business. You can walk past guys who you see 60-70 times a year and they don’t say a word to you. There are guys who don’t take your phone calls, guys who don’t call you back, guys who don’t acknowledge you exist.
Christian Garcia is none of those things. I truly believe that what team you follow or followed is meaningless in his job. You root for stories in this business. You don’t root for teams…although, yes, it’s more fun to cover a good team than a bad one. And most relevant, you root for good people. So let’s all hope this is nothing more than a minor setback for Garcia.
— OK, so this was Opening Day after all. It can’t all be about Garcia, right? This was a great night for the Thunder as a whole. They packed over 7,000 people in the place for the opener, the field was looking as good as it ever has, and the World Series trophy was available on the concourse for fans to see for most of the game.
On the field, Austin Romine was 1-for-4 with an RBI and Brandon Laird was 2-for-4. The bullpen spun three and a third scoreless innings, and this looked like a team that can compete with anyone in 2010. With everything going on, this wasn’t a great day for me to get real good impressions of these guys…so I’ll share more of my thoughts on these guys after I’ve seen them for a little while longer.
— Grant Duff was hitting 94-96 on the gun. Noel Castillo was around 92-94.
— Clarifying the rotation issues from pre-game…Ryan Pope goes tomorrow, Jeremy Bleich on Saturday, David Phelps on Sunday and D.J. Mitchell on Monday. Tuesday? Lance Pendleton and Wilkin De La Rosa are in-house options who weren’t used tonight, and Hector Noesi would be on full rest were he to be summoned from Tampa.
— I will be writing for The Trentonian on Friday and Saturday…but I will update everything I can until game-time, and immediately after. And if you aren’t following me on Twitter…do it. I update there all game regardless of where I write.
— Also, to address the comments…and I read each and every one, for what it’s worth…I provided every Garcia update there was to provide. There is nothing I can do in a situation like that until after the game. There is no access to players during the game, and there are never injury updates provided by the team during the game. I am not allowed in the clubhouse during games, nor is the team trainer allowed to speak regarding injuries.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com