Wednesday, November 14, 2007

M*A*S*H Unit: Chicago

Cal Eldred is a pretty good story. A pitcher who screwed up his arm and made a miraculous comeback by inserting a 5 inch screw in his pitching elbow.

Cal had Tommy John surgery five years prior to being on the White Sox. Then in 2000, while on the Sox, a nerve in his pitching elbow flared up and then a stress fracture that kept reappearing forced the "screwy" option. It was basically there to stabilize everything. He ended up pitching until the end of the 2005 season with the Cardinals.

This got me thinking about what I called the M*A*S*H unit. From the early 90's until the early 00's, every player that had a career threatening injury would probably sign on with the White Sox long enough to get better and move on.

Bo Jackson, Ellis Burks, Roberto Hernandez, Cory Snyder, and many, many others. It seemed that if I saw a bad injury happen to a major leaguer, they would be rehabbing in a White Sox uniform sometime soon. I'm probably exaggerating a bit, but it always seemed that way. Then again, with Herm Schneider running the rehab, I'm not that surprised. I can remember Robin Ventura's bone sticking out of his leg and Hermie fixed that. Robin went on to play for a few more years after that. Although, not with the White Sox.

I miss the M*A*S*H days a little bit. If nothing else, superstars would stop by and play catch in a Sox uniform before moving on to a major league team. It gave Sox fans real hope. Once in awhile, it resulted in a division title. 1993, strike-shortened 1994 and 2000 come to mind.

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