Wednesday, October 25, 2006


*UPDATE* Thomas Edward John, Jr. Surgery and You! (Or: Oh Shit!)

Before beginning this post, consider this list of names: Chris Carpenter, Mariano Rivera, John Smoltz, Tom Gordon: All pretty good pitchers who have succumbed to Thomas Edward John, Jr. surgery and come out ok. Carpenter, indeed, won a Cy Young a couple of seasons after jettisoning his bothersome ligament. This all brings me to everyone's favorte pie-in-the-sky, Kiko Liriano. Yeah, I called him Kiko. Big whup. Wanna fight about it?

So his "rehab" isn't going well. That's not a shocking revelation. I could link to a previous post where we predicted that this would be the case, but every other blogger and armchair orthopedic surgeon did so as well back in September. Which, not coincidentally, should have been when this surgery decision was made. Rather than continuing the current course, I hope the Twins wrap him in a box, put an "Extremely Fragile" sticker next to the address label, and ship him straight off to Dr. Andrews in Birmingham. In this event, we can at least get Kiko back at full strength for *most* of 2008.

Some may say, yeah, but what about Joe Mays? Others may now be saying, "Who?" I say, I like Joe Mays. I think his difficulties were compounded by the fact that he came back to the Twins not fully recovered and struggled. Then, he went to Kansas City. Do we really believe his troubles there were soley the result of having Tommy John surgery? See Mark Redman for proof of what happens to slightly above average pitchers being the Royals' big free agent signing.

The most tragic result of all of this is none other than another bothersome pitcher, Carlos Silva. If Liriano's ligament is toast or even if another kind of surgery delays his starting next season, you can bet Ryan will pick up Gordito's option. The word silva in latin literally means forest, but was metaphorically used by St. Thomas Aquinas to mean "unformed matter" and "untrained memory". How appropriate is that? Not only is he an unformed slop-throwing glob of fat, but if his option is picked up as a result of this..ahem..bump in the'll show that Terry Ryan clearly cannot remember the train wreck that was Gordito's 2006 season.

IF Liriano has Thomas Edward John, Jr. surgery, he may come back stronger than before, but it is by no means a "bump in the road". At least for the Twins' 2007 season. I'm not predicting last place. But it is quite a blow for a team with World Series aspirations. We could say, "Well, maybe Terry Ryan can sign or trade for a real difference maker.." Beyond Luis Castillo, when has Terry Ryan ever done that during the off-season? To get a pitcher that could approach filling Kiko's shoes, we would likely have to give up a top tier prospect like Kevin Slowey (something Ryan likens to the bubonic plague) or shell out a prodigious amount of clams (something Pohlad likens to a brain tumor). So, in other words, Scott Baker: Put on your big boy pants.



The Strib is officially reporting that Kiko will undergo Thomas Edward John, Jr. surgery, a move that will sideline him for the 2007 season. This clearly was weighing on the Twins' minds when they picked up Silva's option earlier this week, which hopefully will work out for the best. This is what it sounds like when doves cry.

The Twins need to figure out a way to put Liriano's bad ligament, or whatever it is, into Silva's knee. Liriano's better, and Silva's knee hurts. Everybody wins.
As long as we're trading body parts, Mary-Bysshe-Shelley-style, how about a guts-transplantation from Radke to Silva? He's retiring anyway.

Tuesdays With Torii
Throw in a shoulder socket in that Radke transplant and you've got a deal.
I just want to march the F-Bomb into the Mayo, plant my feet and say, 'This place has more MRI machines than all of Canada and its own power plant. The medicinal wizards here can turn an ankle into a knee. So fixing an ulner ligament in time for spring training should be something you people would do for fun in your spare time. And we're not leaving this building until this man can throw smoke! So let's quit standing around and get to work!'

I think that could be very effective.
Hey, maybe Kenny Rogers can teach Carlos Silva his special "happy" pitch for next year
It's major now that we add another arm.

Let's do this, boys.
Color me relieved on Liriano's surgery. I know I wasn't the only one skeptical he'd be able to make a full recovery w/out surgery. So hearing doves cry sounds a lot like "yo quiero surgery"...who knew
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