Finding Mudville: Summer doldrums

  • Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July is a wicked month when it comes to sports.
Sure it’s mid-July and we’re in the midst of the baseball All-Star break, the Mid-Summer Classic as it were, but beyond that nothing much is going on.
I watched the Atlanta Braves lose to the Cincinnati Reds on All-Star Break Sunday. The Braves lost their entire starting outfield to injury within a 24-hour span. An abductor strain, a slight hamstring pull and an oblique injury.
I know there’s more to the human body than connecting the ankle bone to the shin bone, but what are an oblique injury and an abductor strain? I never knew I had these.
Imagine my surprise when I did a little bit of reading and found out not only do I have four of these oblique muscles, but there has been a puzzling rise of oblique injuries lately in baseball.
The obliques are broad flat muscles that attach the rib cage and the pelvis on each side of the body. I’m looking there now, where my rib cage is connected to my pelvis and all I see is a lot of belly. I’ve played baseball since I was six years old and I have never hurt my oblique muscle. I guess you hurt your oblique when you swing and miss – which explains why I never hurt mine. I didn’t miss … much.
It’s a slow sports week so cut me some slack here. I know I wasn’t the best hitter in the world. I didn’t earn my money hitting, but I never hurt my oblique swinging and missing a pitch, much less getting a cramp there.
Those types of things usually kept me out of the swimming pool after lunch for 30 minutes or so.
So I did a little more reading to find out what an abductor is, and I didn’t know I had one of those either.
The abductor muscles are located in the upper rear hip, which leaves me to wonder why B.J. Upton grabbed his shoulder after diving for the line drive. Or maybe he hurt his oblique and Justin hurt his abductor.
I just know one of the first lessons I learned after signing my contract with the Cubs was conduct of play on the field included what you grabbed or didn’t grab in the event of an injury. I’ve been hit just about everywhere imaginable over the years and was fortunate enough that when I got hit in spots I wasn’t supposed to grab I wasn’t in front of a stadium full of baseball fans.
They told us to grab our feet in the event we were ever hit in that spot.
I figure if I’m hurting somewhere on my person and that area is located halfway between my brain and my feet, I’m not going to bypass that hurt area to continue on to the ankle and below.
That’s when I learned how to duck.
Football practice starts in three weeks. I can’t wait.
I’m sure given the sports doldrums we’re mired in this week, you can’t wait, either.

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