Sunday, March 05, 2006

more delays for prior

the unfolding drama of mark prior's spring pitching took another strange turn this weekend as prior's first spring training start was delayed another week. prior still hasn't faced live batters; the latest new date for that event is thursday, with an eye toward a potential cactus league outing next weekend -- if all goes well.

Prior's first start has been delayed until next weekend at the earliest, as he continues a gradual throwing program to get ready for the regular season.

"The last couple of years he hadn't pitched in spring training [much], but you've got to remember last year he didn't pitch much and only missed one [regular-season] start until he got hit with the line drive," pitching coach Larry Rothschild said.

"Maybe he's not a spring-training guy. You hate to think about it that way, but ...

as this point, this page would like to respectfully ask coach rothschild a question: what is the team's plan if it finds that mark prior isn't a full-season-of-major-league-baseball guy? because, after four years of 30 or fewer starts and a third consecutive spring frought with bizarre behaviors and missed dates -- denials and delays that would most easily be explained by an unacknowledged injury -- it's beginning to appear that he's neither.

erstwhile cub commentator steve stone has apparently ruffled a few feathers by connecting the obvious dots once again. stone's last foray into honesty regarding the club got him run off in another classically psychotic defense of the collective by tribco. for what it's worth, this page agrees with stone -- if they consistently treat prior like a hurt pitcher, he's probably a hurt pitcher, no matter how many lies and half-truths the agents of the team tell to obfuscate their behavior. even if they pitch him later this spring and in april, he's still likely a hurt pitcher -- just one that happens to be pitching anyway and making the best of it.

as such, it seems the odds of seeing a healthy and durable prior are diminishing as rapidly as the chances of seeing a healthy kerry wood.

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