Like the Warriors when they heard about Yao’s foot (even though Houston destroyed the Wizards last night without him), Kevin Frandsen couldn’t help but take a little pleasure from someone else’s injury announcement yesterday.
Omar Vizquel is all set for arthroscopic surgery to clean out his knee, meaning Frandsen will take his place at shortstop for the time being. Supposedly, Vizquel should only miss the first week of the season due to his awesome fitness level.
Omar brags about how he is in the condition of a man in his 20’s, and to a point I agree.
Three years ago my buddy Francis (a huge Twins fan) and I saw him after a Giants game near the entrance to the players’ parking lot signing autographs. Frank wanted to stick around so he could heckle new Giant LaTroy Hawkins (a former Twin). Hawkins never came out, but while we were waiting Omar pulled up in a Mercedes coupe and walked to a small crowd of us. Omar was in full Euro form: tight red shirt, painted-on designer jeans and those futuristic looking Pumas with the criss-crossy Velcro straps.
The middle-aged woman standing behind us said, “Ooh, that’s a man right there.”
Since then, Francis has brought up Vizquel’s physique a few times as well, which I’ve never teased him about…until now, I guess. I think if Francis and that middle-aged woman had a conversation today about Omar it would go like this:
Middle-aged woman: I love Omar, he’s what I call a real man.
Francis: It shows you why these guys are professional athletes, and I’m not.
Middle-aged woman: I liked the jeans he was wearing.
Francis: He looks pretty small on the field, but he’s built! Total specimen.
Middle-aged woman: And his shirt. Mmmmm. And he was so nice to sign autographs for everybody. I had him sign my Easy Spirits.
Francis: I was in shape like Omar back when I was wrestling. I’m glad we stayed after the game, hoping LaTroy would come out of the parking lot so I could heckle him. No LaTroy, but Omar … that was a man right there.
Of course, none of that changes the fact that Vizquel still has the knees of a 41-year-old, regardless of his body fat percentage or how often he sleeps (Vizquel claims to get around 10-11 hours a night – being a ballplayer must suck).
If he’s having surgery because he felt a pop in his knee, it’s going to take a while to get back on the field, taking away a chance to find his timing at the plate before the season starts (which he needs, because his performance last year offensively would have embarrassed Jose Uribe), and he’s going to need frequent rest during the season.
A lot of talk with Bonds leaving has centered on Vizquel taking over the Giants as his team in the clubhouse. However, if one isn’t playing well, or at all really, who’s going to listen to that player? They won’t listen to him talk, and it’s not like Vizquel’s music is much to listen to, unless you really, really, really like the Goo Goo Dolls.
It says here that Vizquel will not play as many games or get as many at-bats as Frandsen, or even Ray Durham for that manner (anybody who thinks we’ll be able to trade Ray Durham for anything mid-season is fooling themselves). Not only that, but Frandsen will be able to prove to the rest of the league that he can play shortstop if he takes advantage of this opportunity, perhaps assuring him of at least a utility role in the Majors for the next few years, a la Mike Benjamin or Ramon Martinez.
Good news for Frandsen, bad news for those who enjoy watching a real man. It will be interesting to see if Kevin can fill those Pumas while Omar rehabilitates.