I really want to know who in St. Louis has upset the injury gods because the last 10 months or so have been pretty rough.
Immediately after Albert Pujols was went down last week, I had a gut feeling it was not going to be good, meaning the 15-day disabled list would have been the best case scenario.
He never shows that much pain. Then speculation became reality. The team is fresh off getting swept by the Blue Jays and has only won one game since Pujols went down. Of course the bullpen, starting pitching and (lack of) defense have played major roles in this skid, but losing the player the nation most identifies your team, city and region with is a huge psychological blow.
But shouldn’t we be used to it by now?
When Adam Wainwright went down for the season before spring training really got kick started, some started to wave the white flag. Losing Waino almost guaranteed the Cardinals lost 15-18 games before the season started.
Not to mention, the cards have also been without David Freese for the majority of the year, one of the players targeted by many as a major role player in this 2011 season.
What would have the Blues done if David Perron would not have been knocked out cold by Joe Thornton causing Perron to miss the remainder of the season just 10 games and five goals in?
TJ Oshie missed nearly half the season with a broken foot as well. Perron and Oshie combined for 95 points the year before, but both figured to improve drastically on that mark this past year, especially Perron.
The Blues also had to endure injuries to Barret Jackman, Andy McDonald and Roman Polak this past season, all major players on the squad.
Remember, St. Louis is a three-sport city so there is one more team left that had to fight the injury bug this past season.
You remember, those resurgent Rams that sparked some interest in the city and nation-wide because of that quarterback they have?
Thanks to injuries he was essentially throwing passes to kids from the playground.
If Donnie Avery did not tear up his knee in training camp, I think it is pretty safe to say Sam Bradford’s numbers would have been a bit better.
But they weathered the storm and signed fellow Oklahoma alumnus Mark Clayton for Bradford to chuck the pig skin to, a move that showed me the team was committed to building around their young quarterback.
Clayton did great, amassing more than 300 yards receiving and catching two touchdowns in the season’s first five weeks.
Oh yeah, then he got hurt and missed the rest of the season.
Then former Mizzou stand out Denario Alexander, believed by many to be the top of the class as far as receivers go in the 2010 draft, but went undrafted thanks to multiple knee surgeries, signed on with the team.
He made perhaps the play of the year, with a Jim Edmonds-esque over the shoulder touchdown catch at home against the Chargers, but then had play sparingly thanks to re-occurring knee issues.
I see the theme here. It is a little like the weather. No one hears about an F-5 tornado going through Joe Schmo’s farmland in western Kansas, but when they hit an airport, a college town and a relatively large town in southern Missouri, then it is a big deal.
An injury here and there happens over the course of a season in any sport. But when it’s players like Pujols, Oshie, Perron and Avery, then your teams begin the path up a certain creek without a paddle.
So if there ever is an NFL season this year, I pray to the health gods that Mr. Bradford remains healthy, because with this recent trend it would seem he could be next.