Sunday, May 13, 2012

Today is Andy-Mo Day - the day we see the effects of age and inactivity

John Sterling is right. Most key moments in a season happen without anybody predicting them. Jayson Nix bops a lazy fungo to the wall, and kaboom, we lose our closer. Robbie Cano hits a grand slam, and suddenly bang, his slump is over. It's the tweak of a muscle or the tweak of a swing. Don Henley called it a New York minute. William Blake called it eternity in an hour. It's neither. In one moment, our entire season changes. And we won't know until weeks have passed.

But today, we see one coming down the rails. Today, we see what age and inactivity can do to a great pitcher. Today, we see what Mariano is up against when he tries to return next year.

That's not to suggest we'll know anything today. Andy could get bombed, then get it together next week. Or the opposite. But today, we will see some hard answers to thorny questions: How hard is he throwing? Can he get off the mound? Does he still have the pickoff? Are batters zeroing in? Are they hitting shots? Is there hope?

In July 2013, Mariano might have a day just like this. Today, we get to see whether there is hope for this year - and to ever see the Great Rivera pitch again.

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