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An unlucky break

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A little quiet on the D'backs front; I've been occupying myself with a bunch of other things, not least my first involvement in a wrestling "angle" for the local pro federation, Impact Zone Wrestling. I officiated at a wedding between the "white trash champion", Cowboy Jack Durango, and his valet, Adrenelyn. Of course, like all wrestling marriages, it didn't quite go as planned, with a rival interfering: it ended up with an unconscious Adrenelyn being slammed, face-first, into the cake. Naturally, I had made my exit as soon as it turned into an episode of Jerry Springer. :-)

A similarly traumatic - if somewhat less icing-related - injury befell D'backs prospect Chris Young, who is set to miss four to six weeks, or pretty much all of spring training, with a broken bone in his right hand. He's just undergone surgery to repair the damage, suffered when Young was "doing some agility drills, jumping up and down off boxes." He lost his balance, tried to brace himself, and broke his hand upon falling. Oops. At least he wasn't "washing his truck", playing basketball, or carrying a slab of dead animal up stairs. It's expected that Young should make a full recovery from this, though there has been some crowing over the injury in certain forums, suggesting that he'll never the same player again.

We lost Mike Gosling to Cincinnati, who snared him off waivers where Gosling was placed after the acquisition of Jeff DaVanon. [Though to give you some idea how desperate the Reds are, they offered Quinton McCracken a spring-training invite] It's kinda disappointing: between Gosling and Josh Kroeger, we've lost starting pitcher and outfielder prospects on the waiver wire - it's questionable whether the starting pitcher and outfielder that we acquired (Hernandez, DaVanon/Byrnes) were significantly better, even in the short term of this season.

That particular issue has, I think been well-discussed elsewhere. So today's most interesting - or, at least, potentially debatable issue - is the question of Felix Heredia, signed to a minor league contract last week, despite being one of the 12 major-league players who failed steroid tests last year. Should he even have been signed? Even should he make the squad, he'll still have a ten-game suspension at the start of the year.

There does seem some hypocrisy on view here, as certain, very temporary, Diamondbacks coaches would perhaps claim. "As it relates to his suspension, it is what it is. When the season starts, he's going to have a suspension to serve. I'm not sure that factored into our decision other than the awareness that it's still out there... I don't think it's a check against him," said Josh Byrnes, which is a somewhat more forgiving attitude to that shown to Wally Backman.

Has Heredia shown contrition? Acknowledged responsibility for his own actions? Or even admitted that he did anything wrong? Not that I've been able to see. All I've found are reports blaming surgery-related medication or a dodgy batch of B-12. [Though with regard to the former, he did have an aneurysm in his left shoulder that required an operation.] Morally, he seems about as clean as Mark McGwire or Rafael Palmeiro, i.e. not very.

Now, it's one thing to have a player on your roster fail a test, but signing one subsequently to such a failure seems a different matter. It's almost a tacit acknowledgement that steroid use is somehow "okay", or at best a minor infraction. One also wonders whether Heredia has other skeletons in his closet: Deadspin.com refers to an incident when Heredia was arrested for a violent confrontation with his wife.

True? Hard to say. The link in the article no longer points to a valid page. But if so, s'funny how that little gem appears to have gone unmentioned. How desperate are we for a lefty in the bullpen? After Heredia, I get the horrible feeling we'd have signed Jack the Ripper - or at least given him a spring-training invite - if he had a decent curveball...