Holland Injury Brings Out the Cynics
Quick question, is the rest of the world as cynical as my colleagues in the media? Since most of my time is spent with writers and broadcasters, I am seriously not sure. I have known about this toxic cynicism for a long time, but it really came to light with the Derek Holland news. Seriously? Nobody in the media believes that this knee injury was caused by a clumsy moment with a dog?
I first heard the news late Friday afternoon when I was walking into the restaurant and my phone blew up. The news was not good, 20% of the Rangers pitching rotation would be on the shelf until at least the All-Star break. Worse yet, for me anyway, the best interview in the clubhouse would be absent for all of spring training and half of the season. So once in the restaurant I decided to sit at the bar. A few minutes later my phone was full of questions, my gut was full of ribeye and beer.
The questions were many beginning with how did this happen? Who will take Derek’s spot in the rotation? Does this mean a more robust effort to sign Masahiro Tanaka? Would you like dessert? No to the dessert. I usually reserve those calories for more beer. As for the others I will try to shed light on each of them.
First, how did this happen? This question is the crux of the column. Or perhaps the answer is. Derek was quick to explain, even though he was embarrassed by the circumstances. He tripped going up the stairs over his dog. Why is that so hard to believe. Any dog owner knows that going up the steps with your canine can be problematic.
The conspiracy theorists went right to work. “ Wait a minute,” they said , ”Derek plays in a recreational hockey league, I bet this happened on the ice, and he does not want to tell us that he got hurt playing hockey.” Here is where that logic is flawed. He does not care if we know how it happened. In fact, I submit that he would rather tell us that it happened doing something manly like playing hockey as opposed to something clumsy like tripping over a dog.
Derek cares what the Rangers know, they are not only his employer, but they are his friends and really his family. Derek would not lie to his friends and/or family. He is too good a man to do that. Besides it is likely that he couldn’t even if he wanted to do so. The surgery was performed by team doctor Keith Meister. The same Keith Meister who was the Stars team doctor for six years, he was also the doctor for several US National Hockey teams. If anyone would recognize a hockey related injury it would be Meister.
As for who will replace Derek in the rotation, my money is on Nick Tepesch. He is not a sexy pick, but he did well for the first half of the season filling holes in an injury depleted rotation in 2013. Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross will have a chance to win that part time rotation spot too. As for the Tanaka sweepstakes, the Rangers had made their offer and their bid before the Holland injury happened. I don’t believe they will change their offer based on this.
To all my cynical media colleagues I can only ask that you save the hockey conspiracy for the movie version of the 2014 season. That is the kind of thing a fiction writer like Oliver Stone will love.