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Alex Rodriguez Overseeing Own Rehab

posted Apr 11, 2009, 6:03 AM by Steven Seagal   [ updated Apr 13, 2009, 1:19 PM ]
The world of Major League Baseball today is filled with superstars earning tens of millions per year as they play out multiyear deals worth hundreds of millions.  Therefore, it is no surprise that these superstars are under microscopic observation on a regular basis from the organizations guaranteeing those contracts.  When something goes wrong, like an injury requiring surgery and extensive rehabilitation, the focus becomes even sharper.  Team doctors, trainers, therapists, acupuncturists, psychologists, and a whole host of others descend on the superstar like locusts and micromanage every swing, pitch, long toss, throw, bullpen session - whatever - at every step of the way.  Everything is documented and reported ad nauseam.

That's why it's so refreshing to see that Alex Rodriguez, perhaps the biggest superstar in the game - and certainly the player garnering the most media attention - has decided to take his rehab into his own hands.  I haven't seen any Yankees press release disclosing that A-rod has shunned Yanks staffers, but that's probably because they don't want it publicized.  Despite the lack of disclosure on the Yanks part, the evidence is piling up.

April 6, 2009 - Joel Sherman and George A. King III reported that A-rod's recovery was ahead of schedule and that he may return even before May.  His source of information?  Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long, who speaks daily with A-rod.  Seems reasonable - likely, A-rod heard from a trainer or doctor or someone trained in some sort of medical capacity that his rehab was ahead of schedule and relayed that message to Long.  Nope.  A-rod's assertion that he's ahead of schedule is based on the fact that he "feels 70 percent."  I don't even know what that means.  I feel about 47% today, because I drank too much last night and I've still got hours to kill til baseball games start today.  I'll be ready to resume work activities by Monday.  I project a rehab schedule of drinking 46 beers tonight, leading to a 22% feel tomorrow, but after a strenuous electrolyte replacement program and many long hours on the couch on Sunday, I'll be back to 86% by Monday morning.   Long went on to betray a troubling amount of ignorance to A-rod's rehab program, saying he wasn't sure if Rodriguez was hitting off of a tee or doing flip drills as part of his rehab.  Good god, who is driving this ship?

April 11, 2009 - The AP reports that A-rod will resume baseball activities on Monday.  I guess A-rod pronounced himself healthy and ready to go.  He's probably about 83%.  Anyway, Yanks manager Joe Girardi ventured into uncharted territory when he began discussing A-rod's rehab program. 

Girardi said Friday that Rodriguez has been swinging a broom [editor's note: "swinging a broom" is what all Dominicans do if they're not playing baseball] for the past few weeks and slowly increasing his workload. Girardi doesn't expect Rodriguez to return to the Yankees before mid-May.

Okay, so maybe there is no inconsitency here - I mean, you would expect a guy like A-rod who wants to say all the right things to be overly optimistic about his recovery and his manager to be equally cautious.  Hence, A-rod says April, Girardi says May.  And maybe Long was talking about hitting off a tee or doing flip drills with a broom, not a bat.  Seems kind of weird - I don't know what you'd be hitting with a broom.  Certainly a baseball would be too massive to be safely hit with a broom handle.   Girardi and A-rod must discuss this type of drill, though, even though he doesn't discuss it with his hitting coach, so I'm not worried.

"I believe he's swung a broom handle, which is much different than a bat,'' Girardi said. "I talked to him through a text just a couple of days ago. He's excited,'' Girardi said.

While swinging the broom handle, Girardi said, Rodriguez has been "hitting something. I'm not exactly sure what it was.''

What the fuck is going on here?  Who in the Yankees organization knows what this guy is doing?  I have this image in my head of A-rod standing around in a backyard in Vail, Colorado, by himself, swinging various household objects at various other household objects and nodding his head approvingly.  In my mind, he's very fond of the metal rake-5 golf balls drill, where you take a steel rake, flip toss 5 golf balls, and attempt to hit each golf ball with a separate tine of the rake.  He also likes the coal shovel-beach ball drill.  Other drills A-rod has been doing include the clothes dryer squat thrust, marco polo in a local Vail public pool, the Derek Jeter dart toss (for hand-eye coordination), and his personal favorite, "throwing on [Madonna's 1986 album] True Blue and punishing my body with intense yoga poses."

"Incredible workout music..."