Are the Giants outrageously unlucky with all these injuries, or are they just experiencing the same thing the Athletics have been dealing with for years?
For the San Francisco Giants, the injuries just keep coming. And coming. Both of their catchers just suffered spontaneous concussions while you were reading those last two sentences. On Tuesday, news of Sergio Romo and Carlos Beltran hitting the disabled list was quickly followed by word that Nate Schierholtz, Jeff Keppinger and Aaron Rowand were either unavailable or limited for that evening's game -- which of course went into extra innings since the Giants only had two position players on the bench. On Wednesday afternoon, news got out that Brian Wilson visited Dr. James Andrews and was diagnosed with elbow inflammation. For the Giants, the amount of injuries has grown from unfortunate to downright comical.
Meanwhile, Oakland Athletics fans are watching the Giants' 2011 parade (to the trainer's room) and saying, "Welcome to the club." While the Giants were getting hot at the end of last season with a lineup that was pretty near close to perfectly healthy, the A's were limping to the finish with a team that easily led the league in days players spent on the DL with 22 DL trips (second only to Boston) resulting in almost 1,600 days missed. By comparison, the Giants placed players on the DL 16 times for less than 700 days in 2010.
(One interesting thing noted last year by Beyond The Box Score: DL trips and days spent on the DL have increased steadily since 1989.)
But what about this year? Do the Giants have any room to complain with all their injuries, or is it simply that the Giants get that much more attention than their neighbors to the east? Are the Giants and A's in the same boat in 2011, or have they truly reversed roles from last year?
The collective answer to the questions in the last paragraph is probably "all of the above." While the A's have suffered far worse losses to their starting staff (five starters have hit the DL this season, including season-ending injuries to Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden), as a team they've only been hit with 12 trips to the DL for a total of 617 days missed through Aug. 17. The Giants, on the other hand, have sent players to the DL 21 times in 2011, but they haven't lost an incredible amount of days (739) compared to the A's.
By the end of the season, the Giants will probably be known as the team that suffered worse from injuries, both because of who missed time and because the Giants' injury troubles keep mounting while the A's suffered worse from the injury bug earlier in the season. While both teams have two key players who definitely will miss the rest of the season (Anderson and Braden for the A's; Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez for the Giants), the Giants have five guys on the DL currently compared to three for the Athletics, with several Giants seemingly primed for a two-week break or longer such as Jeff Keppinger, who suffered a bone bruise in his wrist after a collision at first base with Atlanta Braves rookie Freddie Freeman.
San Francisco 49ers dip into the UFL for a QB
-- After it looked almost like a sure thing that the Niners would sign Daunte Culpepper to add much-needed quarterback depth, and instead they signed Josh McCown to a contract said to be worth the league minimum. Culpepper played for the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL in 2010, while McCown (Culpepper's teammate on the Raiders back in 2007) led the UFL in passer rating (79.3) with the Hartford Colonials, where he completed 114 of 202 pass attempts for 1,463 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Not a lot of huge QB numbers posted in the UFL's only season.
-- Neither the Niners nor Raiders won their preseason openers, although the Raiders certainly put up a better fight in their 24-18 loss to the Cardinals. The Raiders also had better QB play, as Jason Campbell, Trent Edwards and Kyle Boller combined to complete 23 of 36 passes for 249 yards a TD (thrown by Edwards) and no interceptions. For the 49ers, Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick (who played most of the game) combined to go 11-for-27 with 127 yards, no touchdowns and 2 INT.
-- The Warriors are cleaning house during the lockout, laying off most of the team’s existing VP- and senior-VP-level business-side executives, save for some top sales staffers.