No Longer A Prior-ity

May 15, 2008 – 5:47 pm by McD

It’s clearly “backwards week” in baseball. The Rays and Marlins are in first place. The Tigers are terrible. Jim Edmonds is a Chicago Cub. And Mark Prior getting hurt again didn’t do one iota of damage to the team he’s “playing” for, other than the fact that the Padres are paying him $1 million this season.

Prior felt pain in his pitching shoulder (again) last week as he rehabbed in Arizona. I have no idea why it took until now for the story to make it to the press, but I guess it shows how far Mark Prior has fallen. I usually take this time of year to make fun of Cub Fan’s pain and mock Dusty Baker’s idiocy one more time. Now I’m just happy the Padres didn’t have anything riding on a healthy Mark Prior this season, unless they expected him to hit cleanup or play centerfield. And even if they did, he’d still be better than whoever is going to be out there for the next few months.

It’s got to suck to know the Cubs had three amazing power arms (Wood, Prior, and Zambrano) at the same time. Now Wood is a closer whose arm is going to fall off any day now. Zambrano is the only one that’s worked out at all, despite being a 275 pound Nuke LaLoosh. And, of course, Mark Prior is hurt (again) after missing all of last season. At least his arm will be fresh, if he ever pitches again, that is.

It’s sad how this isn’t even news anymore. It’s like, “Mark Prior got hurt. Huh. Hey cool, National Treasure 2 is on DVD and Blu Ray!” Or something like that, anyway.

If this injury really turns out to be anything serious for Prior, it may be time for the big righty to seriously consider hanging up the glove and Spring Training Practice Jersey. He can’t stay healthy for any meaningful length of time anymore and it isn’t really news when he’s hurt. Plus, there are like 10 other young pitchers that are all in the sweepstakes to be the “new Mark Prior” this season. My money is on Tim Lincecum, but the odds are 1-2 for Edinson Volquez since Dusty Baker is managing him.

Shame about Mark Prior, though. He coulda been a contendah…if he hadn’t been grossly overextended in the minors and in college, had Dusty Baker as a manager, and the collective bad karma of Cub fan against him. A damn shame.

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