I was listening to the Cubs game on the radio the other night and heard a question someone emailed in to Ron and Pat. The question was directed to Ron and went something along the lines of questioning if the players in past years (specifically the 1960's and early 1970's when Ron played) where better conditioned than current day players as they spent less time on the disabled list and played in more games. Ron's response was interesting. He said that the baseball contracts back then were one year deals. So, even if you were injured you had to be out there playing day after day so no one could come up and take you job. In today's world of guaranteed and multi-year contracts, it is not as big of a deal. Players can go on and off the DL as needed without worrying about their playing status the rest of the season and next year.
It was a really good question. I find sports contracts like this interesting. It's almost like we baby the players of today. They get more conditioning, better medical care, and yet they play less often then players in the past who probably didn't even get free aspirin. Whatever happened to no pain, no gain or there's no crying in baseball. I understand if you can't play due to a broken foot (Johnson - foul ball off foot), but some other injuries like a left calf strain (Blanco - not considered a serious injury) put someone on the DL for 15 days. That's like me calling in sick for soreness in my left hand - can't type work related emails for the next 15 days. Don't I wish. I understand the need to be cautious, but it sometimes seems to go too far. We need more players that keep playing through the pain and manage their injuries and pain (Lee - bulging disk in neck). Just sayin'!