Longoria Falls Victim to the Dreaded Oblique Monster

 

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Tampa Bay Rays Third Baseman Evan Longoria said he felt “it” become sore and begin to tighten a bit during the Rays Batting Practice before Saturday night’s contest. Longoria pushed it off like it was a cramp, player play with aches and pains every night. He truly felt this same discomfort would somehow ease and just go away like so many before it.

Suddenly in the bottom of the 4th inning in only the second Tampa Bay Rays game of the season, Longoria felt the pain deepening during his plate appearance where he hit a line drive directly to Centerfield. Upon returning to the Rays dugout he sought out the Rays Medical staff who then delivered the bad news to Rays Manager Joe Maddon.

Instantly gone from the game was a key linchpin who had just received his second Rawlings Gold Glove Award prior to the game, and was a key emotional leader of this young Rays club. All because Longoria could not effectively decipher the origin of the pain in his midsection. It is not arrogance that makes you feel like something this small can not sideline you, it is an overabundance of confidence, and smattering of a simple lack of knowledge in understanding your own body.


16longoriaBENC__1223690601_7053.jpgWho could imagine something as small as a sore midsection muscle group could sideline a budding Major League Baseball superstar? Much less eventually have the power to possibly cost him the first month of this new season while riding the pine.

Players play in pain for a variety of reasons. Some do not want to let down their teammates and will go until the pain is too much, or the injury zaps them into submission. Others try and discard the pain and temporary thinking improper stretching or that the pain will work itself out as the body heats up and you begin to move. It is a problem formed the player’s own youth as much as it is Longoria’s want to compete.

I remember when I was in my mid-20’s and feeling adamantly on the field that I was definitely what Travis Tritt calls ” Six Feet Tall and Bulletproof”. I played through pain, subjected myself to increasingly harmful pivots and shooting bouts of pain from stem to stern because I felt this could not sap me of my energy and fight. Longoria found out firsthand, the body wins the fight every time.

I do give some credit to Longoria finally confessing to the pain before trying to get through the entire game and possibly making the injury worse and deepen his time away from the field. Best prognosis could have Longoria back in up to 15 days, but the oblique has a mind of its own sometimes and that could be extended to almost 30 days before Longoria sees game action again.


104388813_crop_358x243.jpgIn hindsight, I fell Longoria would have pulled himself from the Saturday night line-up knowing an early detection and treatment might have only kept him off the turf for a few days. Now Longoria will be reduced to “cheer leading” duty, trying to keep the positive vibe alive for the other 24 of his teammates.


Longoria most definitely learned a unique and timeless lesson last night as he sat frustrated on the bench after being replaced by Sean Rodriguez at his Third Base post to start the 5th inning. It is a simple philosophy that MLB veterans have known for a long time, that you constantly have to listen to your body talk to you.

It signals and barks warning signs to you all the time, but the hard difference to decipher is when it is an alarm being sounded within you, and when it is just plain soreness. The daily grind can produce false indicators, or even brief moments of discomfort with no lasting results. Learning to read the body’s complex signals is a hard job, especially when you are young. The game of baseball using a concentrated and bizarre bit of torque points and stress manipulation of your body constantly during an athlete’s performance.


longoria-evan-392-cp-080807.jpgUsing your Medical Staff to educate you and advise you sometimes can be a hard thing for a young player. You do not want to throw up the image of hypochondria, or being overcautious to the point of trying to find reasons for every ache, pain or muscle soreness. Then again, you do not want to play and agitate and injury into a prolonged bout of trying to get healthy again.

 

Longoria tried to play the odds with his body by hoping it was just a muscle stiffness that would fade away after a few innings of sweat, manipulation and further stretching of his muscles. It is a ticking time bomb of unexpected results that was defused before it became a threating injury.

The mind can sometimes “will” the body to do things beyond its own boundaries. In this case, Longoria was smart enough to notice the pain increasing and stopping before his machine was further damaged.


0811rays425.jpgThe Rays staff decided before Sunday’s game that Longoria will have a stay on the 15-day Disabled List and could possibly have a longer stint off the playing field.  The Rays immediately recalled INF Felipe LopezI, who was just 80 miles away at the Port Charlotte,Florida complex with the Triple-A Durham Bulls  and will be in the Rays dugout for the 1:40 pm start time.

 

It is a good sign that Longoria, the Rays outspoken clubhouse leader heeded his body’s signals when he did, possibly saving not only time on the bench but providing a sigh of relief for his team. Now we just have to send out positive vibes, hoping for a short time off instead of a lengthy rehab or reoccuring injury.

15 possible days without the services of Longoria will seem like a eternity to some fans, but it is a short time considering if he has torn that muscle, or even ripped a bit of its strands, he would have a permanent spot on the bench watching his teammates perform and wish he had listen to his internal “machine”.




14 Comments

Oohh..the oblique. Curtis Granderson gave us a scare with his oblique a few days before the season Opener. Luckily for us, he made it back. Good luck, Evan!
-Virginia
http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com

Virginia,
Every season it seems that a particular injury just gets some huge bit of press. I truly think “oblique” is going to be one of those nasty words in baseball this season. Garnderson, Joba and now Longo…..maybe we should bubblewrap a few other players to secure them from the oblique moster.

Rays Renegade

At least it’s early in the season and not down the stretch…I’m just miffed because I need to find a new third baseman for my fantasy team :)
Catherine
http://chisoxblog.mlblogs.com/

I think the Rays’ medical staff needs to be very careful and watch over that oblique very carefully. Jose Reyes went through an oblique injury last year which cost him about 1/2 the season and when he did return, he wasn’t himself until late Sept.

Jason Bay is also going through a rib/oblique injury now. Just as long as he remains off the field until it’s healed he will be fine, but if he come back too soon, that’s when you can run into problems and extended time on the D.L.

Will –Put it in the Books!

Russel,
I thought of using that word play in my blog title, but after the razzing I got over my Aprilo Fool’s post, thought better if it all.
Seriously, I have had a few of these when I was weight training in college and beyond, and they can seem slight asnd no problem until they pain rips up and grabs you tight.
Back then the ice, hot treatment was the best solution. Now with eletroysis, Tens unit and even localized massage and manipulation, the prognosis can be push into weeks instead of a few months.

Rays Renegade

Catherine,
Possibly you can just ad someone like Rays INF Sean Rodriguez or Felipe Lopez who will get the Lion share of starts until Longoria is back from the DL….They are under the radar guys who might add a bit of stability as back-ups in deep leagues. But if you have to have just one 1B/3B, then this option would crush your team.
Still, two weeks/15 days is alot better than if Longo had let the injuury fester a day or two then come back with a tear or partial seperation…or worse a umbilical hernia that requires surgery and at least 30 days to regain muscle depth and stability before rehabbing.

Rays Renegade

Will,
I have total faith in Head Trainer Ron Porterfield and the Rays Medical staff in regards to Longo’s busted belly muscle.
Porterfield is the one guy who stood by and did whatever was needed when Rocco Baldelli had his situation in the past. He is a tireless worker and gatherer of information.
I would think by tomorrow he might have every article every written about the treatment and cause of oblique strains/tears/injuries…That si how good he is at his job.

Rays Renegade

It could have definitely come at worse time that early-April, but still not a nice way to end off a rough opening weekend for the Rays…
http://letsplay162.mlblogs.com/

Not good news for Longo. I’m hoping that it’s nothing serious because I really love to watch him hit, and I want to see the Rays do as much damage as possible when they play the Yankees and Sox.

Michael

http://phanaticaddict.mlblogs.com/

Michael,
One of the reason Longo cut his mullet was because of the weird cycle of problems from his classic 1967 Camaro and AK-47 stolen, to this belly buster of an injury.
I think it is just a bump in the road, and if Longo follows Ron Portfield and his team, all will be fine by possibly the end of the month.
It happened at a bad moment, but something things like this happens so someone else can rise to the top….Keep you eyes peeled for a new hero emerging.

Rays Renegade
http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Good stuff as always. I’ll be at game tonight, and will try to come to your seats to introduce myself and say “hi”!

Jeremy,
Any time during the season is a bad time for any sort of injury to a key member of your squad, but I agree, if I had to pick a spot, either now or going into the All Star week would be the best times.
I remember back in 2008 when both Longoria hit the DL in the middle of the season, so many people did not see the long term goal….Who would have imaigned you lose a few key members during a playoff season and still get to the last 5 games of the year. Hopefully the Longo saga will only be a possible 4 weeks…..He says 15 days, I say 4 weeks.

Rays Renegade

Raysin’,
Come on down…..Most people can’t seem to find me unless I wave my hands or take clothes off…..Well, not really, but it feels that way most of the time.
I have had a tendency this season to wander all over the place…..not sure why.

Rays Renegade

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