damn it. It’s just, damn it.
Look, maybe I am greedy. In terms of personal performance, this is a very incredible season. The Mets ace Jacob DeGrom ruled in a way that we have never seen a pitcher dominate. Angels ace/DH Shohei Ohtani is doing things we have never seen on a baseball field. The youth team-Vlad Guerrero, Fernando Tatis and Ronald Acuna-played like superstars. Realizing potential is a matter of great concern.
All this is very, very exciting. The future of this sport is very bright.
but? Byron Buxton was on the injured list again on Tuesday. Big deal, you might say. You might say, wake me up when he is not on the shelf. You might say that the water is wet and Buxton is injured.
Shut up, I will definitely say.
Buxton is special. He is a special genius, he is a special player, he must work harder to overcome injury obstacles, which is more than any two or three ordinary players combined. He won the long-awaited breakthrough season.
In a short period of time this spring, it seems that 2021 may actually be his year. In the 24 games at the beginning of the season before he landed in IL, Buxton hit 0.370 with 9 homers, 5 stolen bases and 1.180 OPS. His graceful steps once again patrolled the outfield for the twins. This is glorious.
Buxton is the Byron we have always known. His talent made him the No. 2 pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, and was ranked among the top prospects in the Major League Baseball for three consecutive years.
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But then, the hip was injured. Buxton missed 40 games. After returning, he made 3 of 9 shots in the first two games, with a doubles, a home run and two RBIs. However, in his third hit in the third game of his comeback, his hand was hit by a 94 mph Tyler Mahle fastball.
The twins manager Rocco Baldelli called it a “boxer’s fracture”, which is a fracture (the bottom of the fifth metacarpal bone of the left hand).
“It’s not fair,” Baldley said at the post-match press conference.
Damn it, it’s not. It’s too cruel.
How did Buxton perform on the court this year? Let’s put it this way: In his 27 games, Buxton’s bWAR was 3.0. This is the ninth place in the majors that started on Tuesday.
ninth. He played 27 games.
The other batsmen in the top 30 have played at least 49 games. That 3.0 is ahead of Acuña, who has 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases. It is ahead of Ohtani (as a batsman) with 23 home runs. It is ahead of Nick Castellanos, who leads the majors with an average of 0.341. It is ahead of Jose Artuf, Manny Machado, Matt Olsen, Rafael Devers and many other players who have excellent seasons. Mike Trout (Mike Trout) also had a great season, then he entered Yal due to injury. In his 36 games, he released 2.0 bWAR.
Similarly, Buxton reached 3.0 in just 27 games. That’s silly.
Losing Buxton-another absence that will certainly be measured in weeks rather than days-is not only devastating for the twins and their fans, but for those of us who like to watch special players do special things. It is also devastating. When I watch Buxton, I can’t help but think of Eric Davis, the star I’ve watched since I was a kid. Davis is a rare genius, but injuries-so many brutal injuries-left him with the label of “hypothesis” at the end of his career, rather than the label of “Hall of Famer”.
Thinking that this might be Buxton’s final baseball destiny, I feel painful. He was only in his 27-year-old season. It’s not too late. Health can be a fickle thing.
I feel the current pain in Buxton, perhaps more painful than I usually do. He has fractured the fifth metacarpal bone of his left hand; I am currently dealing with a fracture of the second metacarpal bone of his left hand. He was hit by a 94 mph fastball in a baseball game, and I fell and injured while chasing a foul ball in a beer league softball game.
The best thing I can do now is to take off the splint and type. But what? Do not. I had to ask my wife to open a ziplock bag yesterday. The finger was broken, but the whole hand hurts when I pressed it hard. The doctor told me six weeks before any physical activity. I hope I don’t have to go back to the office; Buxton will receive some of the best treatments in the world on a regular basis. However, the fractured bones will not heal faster.
Here I hope that Buxton will recover soon. When he comes back, he is full of strength. He somehow started where he left, just like he came back from Illinois for the first time in 2021. My fingers are crossed (right hand, of course).