Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Bad As It Looked
2006-04-21 06:46
by Derek Smart

The word came down last night, and by now you've likely already heard the news that The Savior has been laid low with a fracture of the distal radial and the distal ulna bones, which will put him in a cast for approximately six weeks, and could keep him out for as long as three months.

Honestly, I'm still processing this, although I'm actually feeling less depressed than I did after the injury to Nomar last season (which a diary over at Bleed Cubbie Blue eerily notes, occurred on the same day, if you're in the right time zone), which is odd because this one figures to be so much worse in terms of it's overall impact on the team.

That's where I think expectations come into play. Last season, I expected the Cubs to be in the mix for a playoff spot, and this year I don't, despite their hot and entertaining start. Not that I came into this season believing contention wasn't possible, I just didn't convert that belief to expectation the way I've done the last two years. I still had hope, just as I did in previous seasons, but without the added weight that comes with presumption of destiny.

And that's where I'm at, even today, even in the glaring light of this undeniable setback. When I look at this team, I don't see a group that should contend, but I still see one that could. Granted, the Cub's already razor thin margin of error has become mere atoms thick, but this was always a club that was going to rely on run prevention to get them where they were going, so this aspect of their game merely becomes a greater imperative. That the overriding goal is less easily achieved is starkly true, but difficulty does not preclude accomplishment.

So, I'll leave you for now with this advice: If you've had expectations for 2006, temper them. The team's prospects for success have been dealt a severe blow, and nothing can change that. No team is good enough to endure the loss of a player of Lee's caliber for half a season without suffering profound ill effects. The Cubs are clearly a significantly worse team today, and any assumptions you've held regarding their performance should be altered accordingly.

Yet, I implore you, do not lose hope. It may be a thing for fools and dreamers, but what's life without a healthy dose of daffy romance? Expectations based on false assumptions or misapprehension of facts can, indeed, cause great pain, but hope is a sustainer, and if ever there was a group of baseball fans in need of sustenance, it is us. So hope, my friends, hope and live, and if our hopes become flesh, then so much the better.

2006-04-21 07:49:03
1.   joejoejoe
FYI - 'distal' is the location of the fracture on the bone, if it was broken at the end closer to the body it would be a 'proximal' fracture.
2006-04-21 07:54:36
2.   Derek Smart
Well, I'm not a doctor, I just play one on the Internet! Really, I'm merely parrotting what's in all the papers, so I lay any responsibility for inaccuracy at their feet. ;)
2006-04-21 08:04:46
3.   joejoejoe
2 You are still accurate. I read the post and thought "what is a distal bone?" and looked it up. Any osteopaths care to weigh in on this subject? I have the same medical degree as Doctor Dre and Julius Erving so I may not be 100% correct here.
2006-04-21 08:31:28
4.   Ken Arneson
I'm not a doctor of anatomy, either, but I am a bachelor of arts. Doesn't 'distal' describe the fracture rather than the bone? So shouldn't it be, 'distal fractures of the radial and ulna bones'?
2006-04-21 08:37:56
5.   84 Cubs
Distal? Come on, people. Let's not get pedantic. The right word for this is not "distal" - it's shitty. As in "Today Derek Lee suffered shitty fractures of the radial and ulna bones in his right wrist, which is shitty luck for him and shitty for the Cubs prospects for 2006."

Pure, simple, elegant - shitty.

2006-04-21 09:00:34
6.   joejoejoe
4 I think it's such a common injury that the complete description has turned into a kind of shorthand for sawbones.

From WebMD: "The distal radial fracture is the most common forearm fracture. It is usually caused by a fall onto an outstretched hand (FOOSH). It can also result from direct impact or axial forces. The classification of these fractures is based on distal radial angulation and displacement, intra-articular or extra-articular involvement, and associated anomalies of the ulnar or carpal bones. . . In the United States, 17% of all emergency room visits are due to wrist injuries (Wood, 1992; Hanel, 2002). In 1992, McMurtry et al reported that distal radial fractures account for one sixth of all fractures seen in the emergency department."

The sound you heard is the Cubs' season going FOOSH.

2006-04-21 09:08:55
7.   joejoejoe
4 Distal and proximal describe the location of the fracture but not the type of fracture.

More on fractures from Baptist Hospital:
Fractures are first described by breaking them down into two groups:
* closed, which means that there is no break in the skin, or
* open, which means that part of the bone is sticking out through your skin.

Fractures may also be:
* complete, where the bones are broken totally apart into two or more pieces,
* incomplete, where the bones are only cracked or partially broken, or
* greenstick, where the bones are bent, and sometimes broken. (This type of fracture usually occurs in growing children.)

Complete fractures are also broken down into more specific types, including:
* transverse, when the break is straight across the bone,
* spiral, when the break travels around the bone,
* oblique, when the break is diagonally across the bone, or
* comminuted, when the break has crushed or shattered part of the bone.

Sorry to turn this thread into Toaster,MD.

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