FanDuel - WFBC

June 22, 2005

Gagne Done For Season: What was hoping wouldn't happen just became a reality as Eric Gagne will undergo Tommy John surgery; which will take him out for th rest of he season. Gagne didn't play much this season, and it's a shame. Expect him to come back next season and be better than last season.

posted by Pickles84 to baseball at 05:23 AM - 30 comments

Tommy John might keep him out most of next year, too. There are numerous cases where it takes 12-18 months to come back (if at all) from that surgery. Good luck to the countrymate, though, on a speedy recovery.

posted by dfleming at 06:17 AM on June 22

yea, they (whoever they are) are saying that he will be out until the next (or after the next) All Star break. Meanwhile, the Dodgers cannot buy a win. They've lost eight in a row, only winning one out of their last nine.

posted by jasonspaceman at 07:41 AM on June 22

I have to admit that i was a little unfamiliar with this type of surgery. i found a little more info here http://espn.go.com/trainingroom/s/2000/0315/427112.html

posted by chefwest at 08:17 AM on June 22

It's a very major surgery which, if performed wrong, can end a pitcher's career. However, it has been proven that a lot of pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery pitch better than pitchers who haven't had Tommy John surgery.

posted by Pickles84 at 08:22 AM on June 22

a lot of pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery pitch better than pitchers who haven't had Tommy John surgery. Sure, but that's neither here or there. What you mean is, some people who've had the surgery in recent years throw harder than before they had the surgery (due to the tendon they use nowadays being longer/ stronger than the one they used to use). Anything else is apples v. oranges.

posted by yerfatma at 09:26 AM on June 22

Which brings us to the endless debate on whether or not one would consider Tommy John surgery to be performance enhancing. Let's see, he was throwing his fastball at 97 consistently prior to the surgery - this may give him another 3 MPH on top of that. Couple that with the 78 MPH change and the 68 MPH curve and you've got your ol' unhittable closer back again... Or we'll never see him again. Too bad - he was on the way to the HoF if he kept it up for another 7 years or so.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:27 AM on June 22

Meanwhile, the Dodgers cannot buy a win. They've lost eight in a row, only winning one out of their last nine. I bet they wish they played the Twins more...Choi would hit seventy-five homers. Gagne has already had the surgery done once hasn't he? Isn't that pushing it to have multiple Tommy John surgeries? And does Tommy John get a buck everytime someone says that? (probably not, but I bet Dr. Frank Jobe, who patented that surgery I'm sure, made a buck or two over the years).

posted by chris2sy at 10:00 AM on June 22

Am I the only person to notice the difference in Gagne from his awful days as a skinny worthless starter to the suddenly ripped closer. The joints of the the human body can not handle the added muscle mass. Just ask Barry or Big Mac or better yet Jose...

posted by a1bartone at 10:40 AM on June 22

The joints of the the human body can not handle the added muscle mass. I hope he learns his lesson!

posted by YukonGold at 10:52 AM on June 22

Am I the only person to notice the difference in Gagne from his awful days as a skinny worthless starter to the suddenly ripped closer. The joints of the the human body can not handle the added muscle mass. Just ask Barry or Big Mac or better yet Jose... he was never a skinny starter. I live in LA and have been going to games for years. When Gagne was starting, he was not skinny. The guy used to be a good hockey player back in college and alwasy had some size. He added size naturally with wieghts and diet. The added speed came because when you only have to come in and throw 1 innning, you can throw it as fast as you can. Even when he started , he could throw 95. I pray he isn't done and that the TJ surgery is a success. Yes, some pitchers have returned after the TJS and been even stronger. He is young(28) so even if he misses a season, he will still be HOF material. Another 6-7 seasons of 40+ saves should do it. Plus, he is practically unhittable already with all the off-speed stuff he throws! Thankfully, he has a Cy Young and that 83 Straight Saves record, which may never be matched.

posted by bluekarma at 11:01 AM on June 22

Everytime I hear tommy john surgery it just makes me miss tommy john. (there are no jerks here bluekarma)

posted by justgary at 11:39 AM on June 22

He is young(28) so even if he misses a season, he will still be HOF material. Another 6-7 seasons of 40+ saves should do it. The guy has only pitched 3 meaningful seasons. He's going for his second Tommy John. "Another 6-7 seasons" is hardly automatic. And even then, the HOF is not a closer-friendly place, or else this guy would already be in. Plus, he is practically unhittable already with all the off-speed stuff he throws! Which begs the question: why don't the Dodgers convert him back to a starter? If he has such insane off-speed stuff, he can cut a few MPH on his fastball, and still mystify hitter for 7+ innings. No?

posted by qbert72 at 11:41 AM on June 22

there are no jerks here My career here has been meaningless.

posted by yerfatma at 11:43 AM on June 22

And even then, the HOF is not a closer-friendly place, or else this guy would already be in. No it's not a closer friendly place, true - but Lee Smith is hardly Hall of Fame material. The suggestion was that if Gagne could put up similar numbers to his last three years, he's a lock. Lee Smith never sniffed anywhere close to those numbers. It's not just about totals in the HoF - it's about dominance - Gagne's 3 years really have no peer. Smith is more like John Franco and Jesse Orosco, but with a shitload more saves. I don't think it even warrants an arguement. (Though I do think that closer is the most overrated position in all of sports - how many busted-ass starters go into the pen and all of a sudden become All-Stars because they throw one inning with a lead and don't give anything up?) Which begs the question: why don't the Dodgers convert him back to a starter? If he has such insane off-speed stuff, he can cut a few MPH on his fastball, and still mystify hitter for 7+ innings. No? This one I'm less clear on - with Gagne's stuff, how could he not be a good starter? The best I've heard is that he lacks the focus needed for a whole game, and that his stamina isn't great. Plus, there's the old adage about the 'closer mentality' which he seems to possess in spades.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:53 PM on June 22

This is an incredibly informative piece about the TJ procedure. Will Carroll says Gagne can expect a quicker rehab than most guys since it's his second time through. That puts his return around ASB '06.

posted by cl at 02:20 PM on June 22

Gagne's 3 years really have no peer. But Weedy, you don't really think 3 peerless years (if such a beast existed) would be worthy of the Hall, do you? At this point I would say Lee Smith (who I have a soft spot for, given he was one of the few Boston closers of my youth who delivered-- and bonus points for doing it right after a nap every time) is a much better canidate than someone who had a few amazing seasons.

posted by yerfatma at 03:29 PM on June 22

It's the classic "peak vs consistancy" debate about HOFs. A good example would be Pavel Bure in the NHL. He had a short(er) career, but when he played he was easily one of the best on the ice. Is that enough to get him into the HOF? There are contemporaries like him in the HOF already (Mike Bossy being the best one), so it makes it easier to vote him in when the time comes. However, the BBHOF is very weird about what position the players had, and "reliever" is one of those "new" positions that don't have many contemporaries with which to compare them (see also: Designated Hitter). If there were 10 or so "relievers" in the BBHOF, then you'd be able to say "Yes, Lee gets in because he's very similar to Pitcher X." But there is a glut of 300+ Save relievers that retired (will retire) all around the same 15 year period. Lee is obviously at the top of the list in total career saves, but it's tough to say that he's really "the best" of the group. However, you have to establish a line somewhere, and he might be a good start. If Lee gets in, does that mean John Franco (second all-time in saves) gets in automatically?

posted by grum@work at 03:51 PM on June 22

All this stuff about the Dodgers and Gagne doesn’t really matter. Everyone knows that the Los Angeles Angels are Los Angeles’ best team that plays in Los Angeles.

posted by tommysands at 03:55 PM on June 22

Pavel Bure was a pain in the ass in NHL 94 and 95 for Sega. Ergo, he gets in.

posted by yerfatma at 04:32 PM on June 22

But Weedy, you don't really think 3 peerless years (if such a beast existed) would be worthy of the Hall, do you? No. But I think seven or eight might warrant it given the circumstances. Look at Koufax, Hunter, and Puckett as examples of HoFers who didn't have the totals, but were dominant enough in their time to be considered totally appropriate for the pantheon. Smith was never dominant. Franco was never dominant. Niether won a Cy Young and niether was really even considered to be the best at what they do (Franco may have for a few years in the NL in the late eighties). But again, this is where one has to consider that closers don't usually get considered. However, the fact that Gagne, statisically and reputationally, is considered so far and away the best at what he does, at a time when being a closer is a big deal, gives him an edge that Smith and Franco can't beat with longevity. I guarantee you that if Gagne comes back next year and picks up where he left off, and then retires in five more years he'll at least get more consideration than either Smith or Franco.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:05 AM on June 23

I still think he hit the 'roids his body was never that big and for the record I was a Field level season ticket holder for three seasons including the ones that Eric changed from unsucessful starter to amazing closer.

posted by a1bartone at 08:17 PM on June 23

And did you take his rectal temp? Or is it your suggestion that Dennis Eckersley, Flash Gordon and every other struggling starter who became an ace closer took steroids? (Ok, so Flash was still doing fine as a starter)

posted by yerfatma at 09:04 PM on June 23

Never suggested such, just going on the obvious facts - mediocre career then bulked up body, wild success followed by career threatening injury. Not to mention the rampant abuse of steroids throughout the sport that is just coming to light. Gagne is not alone there are plenty of athletes that sacraficed their long term health for the money, fame and sucess.

posted by a1bartone at 12:24 PM on June 24

Never suggested such, just going on the obvious facts Those aren't really "facts". Those are suppositions and accusations. Facts would be something like: - Gained 40lbs of muscle between seasons (proven by signed weigh-ins from the team doctor). - Personal doctor prescriptions for steroids - At least two first-hand accounts from other players that they saw him using steroids (and not just "saw him pop a few pills"...can confirm they are steroids) Otherwise, you can play the "he's on steroids!" game with every single player that suddenly taps into the ability that lay dormant before. Why assume he used steroids? Why not just assume that a change in position (starter -> reliever) and being older (bad years = 23-25, good years = 26-28) made the difference? It's happened to other former starters-turned-closers that haven't been accused of steroid use.

posted by grum@work at 12:44 PM on June 24

I wasn't convinced about the steroids. 195 for a 6'2 former hockey player seems perfectly normal. Then I had a look at his career stats, and found out that he pitched exactly 82.1 innings in 2002, 2003, and 2004. If that doesn't point to flagrant steriod use, I don't know what does.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:03 PM on June 24

If that doesn't point to flagrant steriod use, I don't know what does. Actually, it points to a poorly programmed robot. It obviously reaches some sort of buffer-overflow and they have to shut it down for the season.

posted by grum@work at 03:22 PM on June 24

Good news! The ligament wasn't torn, just a little frayed, so it didn't need to be replaced. He could be back in six months.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:24 PM on June 25

And I've got Brazoban! I love fantasy sports... you get to cheer players' injuries and misfortunes and root against your home team. What could be better?

posted by dusted at 01:21 AM on June 28

Well, if you don't have a home team, you get rid of part of the problem. Bring me back my Expos!

posted by qbert72 at 07:29 AM on June 28

I believe that train has left the gare.

posted by dusted at 06:05 PM on June 28

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