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Limb-o
2004-07-09 14:01
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

I had been preparing this week to write that my biggest error of the year was this May 27 post, suggesting that Adrian Beltre undergo surgery to address the bone spurs in his ankle immediately, rather than wait until the end of the season.

My retraction was in the works because in June, Beltre posted an OPS of 1.035. And though Beltre has begun July with 4 hits in 24 at-bats, three of those hits are home runs. Together with five walks, he's OPSing .852 this month - playing his usual supoib defense all the while.

But I'm putting my retraction out of action for now, with the news that by favoring his bad ankle, Beltre has come up with a strained quadricep that will keep him out at least until July 15.

The ankled anchor of the Dodger lineup, the quadraddled quadrupler, Beltre now has two bum limbs. And now the Dodgers face the potential change of their stretch-drive marketing campaign from from Think Blue to Think Blue Cross.

So, perhaps for the wrong reasons, I may have been right back in May. In any case, the Dodgers are again faced with a decision. Do they send Beltre back onto the field as soon as he can do more than handstands, or do they grant him a real recovery?

Speaking of limbs, I'm not going to go out on one this time - not too far, anyway. I'm only going to advise the Dodgers not to be guided by wishful thinking regarding Beltre, as they were with Hideo Nomo and Shawn Green, but by a clear, unemotional analysis of the costs and benefits of the choice before them.

If a wobbly Beltre takes the field in a week, I would like to believe it was because the Dodgers have calculated that the worst is over, not because they are praying that the worst is over.

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