Sometime today, we will likely have a better idea of the extent of Alex Gordon’s groin injury. While Royals’ Nation breathed a sigh of relief when learning during last night’s game that Gordon had not suffered a knee injury, nothing about how the All-Star outfielder went down suggests this injury is minor. It’s a shame.
It is a shame, because seeing any player get hurt for any team is not something to rejoice in. Sure, Miguel Cabrera’s injury cripples the division rival Tigers, but I like watching Cabrera hit (not so much when playing Kansas City, but you get the point). When Bryce Harper suffered a similar injury to that of Gordon, there was no joy in his situation. Injuries to superstars or almost stars get our attention, but injuries to the guy just trying to hang onto the last spot on the roster are just as bad. Baseball is full of injuries and that is just how sports works, doesn’t mean it is not a shame.
It is a shame for the Kansas City Royals, having their best season since I had hair, to lose arguably their best player. On the best defensive team in baseball, Alex Gordon is the best defender. If you put any stock in awards, Gordon was awarded the Platinum Glove last winter signifying his status as the best defender, period, in the league. He has, by a large margin, the best on-base percentage on the team (9th best in all of baseball). This is not a player this team, or any team, simply replaces and moves on.
It is, more than anything, a shame for Alex Gordon. Here is a guy who was right on the edge of playing his way out of baseball in 2010. A game that had always been easy for him had become incredibly difficult. He hit .232 in 2009 and just .215 in 2010. The next George Brett had been sent to the minors and changed positions. He had slugged under .400 in both those years. Alex Gordon quite frankly rebuilt himself as a ballplayer (with no small amount of help from Kevin Seitzer) in the winter of 2010-11 and emerged as a left-fielder who could hit, get on-base and defend like no other.
A lot of guys remake themselves and work incredibly hard doing so, but that does not diminish what Alex Gordon did and continues to do. It’s a shame.
All that said, ALEX GORDON IS NOT DEAD!
In fact, his career is not derailed either, just delayed. There are real tragedies in the world and Alex Gordon having an injury that keeps him from playing baseball for a period of time is not a tragedy (it’s a shame – get it?). At 10:15, we will know just how long the Royals expect to be without their Gold Glove outfielder. You know, the ALL-STAR.
If, by a stroke of good fortune, Gordon’s time lost is a week or two, then you play Jarrod Dyson and hope that he (or Orlando) can hold their own against left-handed pitching. Any longer than a couple of weeks, and I think the Royals have a real problem. While I like Dyson against right-handers, he’s shown nothing against lefties and freaking Alex Rios is slogging around over in right. If you have read my last couple of columns you know I am all-in to get another bat…and that was before Gordon got hurt.
Anyone have Justin Upton’s number?