By now it's been revealed that one of the larger holes in the Giants' offense - and their potential playoff hopes - was a bout of appendicitis that felled Andres Torres. Or, as I like to refer to him, ONdres Torres.
There's been speculation as to when he should be expected to return, based on the appendectomy - related trials of other players. For me, the jury's out. Hope for the best - but if you're a Giant fan (Why yes, I am! How did you know?) don't hold your breath.
Consider this: Maybe no one but the man himself knows how long ONdres was feeling the effects of the onset of appendicitis. He's no spring chicken, and here he is possibly stepping into the playoffs for the first - and maybe the last - time in his belated career.
A little ONdres review, for the enlightenment of the masses, per Baseball Reference.
June 3, 1997: Drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 23rd round of the 1997 amateur draft, but did not sign.
June 2, 1998: Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 4th round of the 1998 amateur draft. Player signed June 23, 1998.
April 22, 2004: Granted Free Agency.
April 26, 2004: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago White Sox.
October 15, 2004: Granted Free Agency.
November 16, 2004: Signed as a Free Agent with the Texas Rangers.
June 12, 2005: Released by the Texas Rangers.
December 20, 2005: Signed as a Free Agent with the Minnesota Twins.
October 15, 2006: Granted Free Agency.
March 2, 2007: Signed as a Free Agent with the Detroit Tigers.
October 29, 2007: Granted Free Agency.
November 20, 2007: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.
November 3, 2008: Granted Free Agency.
January 9, 2009: Signed as a Free Agent with the San Francisco Giants.
That's just the travel itinerary. Here's the playing resume:
Year Age/Team # of MLB games
As you can see he's had a few cups of coffee but until landing with San Francisco had never enjoyed the full breakfast buffet. That three year gap between Texas and San Francisco is ominous. There's a lot of info I'm too lazy to chase down, and given my ham - handedness with formatting it's a case of best left alone anyway.
There are some issues well known. Per Wiki:
"Torres was recently diagnosed with Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Torres would look to the third base coach to get his sign, and he would forget it before he even got back into the batter's box. Torres has since gotten medication and is now a spokesperson for ADHD."
Then there's the fact that he's basically a 32 year old rookie. Does he have a bright and promising - and lengthy - future in baseball? I'm sure there are many opinions on that question...including one owned by the man himself.
Such a convoluted path. And in his first full season - and a solidly successful one, with playoff icing so enticingly close, here comes yet another setback.
I was gifted with appendicitis the day after I landed in Alaska as a fourteen year old in 1974. Luckily for me I had a mandatory high school physical where the doctor asked me if I had anything unusual going on. This particular doctor happened to be a friend of my father's...and my father was of the opinion my "funny pains" were just the flu.
"My side hurts." I told the MD.
He reached over and gently poked the exact spot. "Here?" he asked.
"We'll schedule you for surgery."
I got a Craig boombox out of that one. It introduced me (Curiously turning knobs until a little red light came on) to the joy of stereo.
My half brother Tom, some ten years my senior, was not so fortunate. He ignored the warning signs until his appendix ruptured, resulting in seventeen days in the hospital for his efforts but he managed to make a successful recovery.
ONdres Torres had been reported as having been checked into the hospital for "Emergency appendix surgery" per Hank Schulman of the SF Chronicle.
Otra vez (once again): "Emergency" surgery.
Like I said, perhaps no one but ONdres knows how long he considered his past, his present, his future...and how much pain he was in.
But I'll bet it was - and continues to be - fairly substantial, on many fronts.
To anyone who's observed him in the field it's clear that he's been playing his heart - and now his appendix - out simply because he has a chance to.
I wish him nothing short of an absolutely wonderful career, however long it may take.