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Thread: Rocco Baldelli's Career May Be in Jeopardy

  1. #1
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Rocco Baldelli's Career May Be in Jeopardy

    Just a few years ago, Baldelli's talent was compared to that of Joe DiMaggio. Injuries have plagued his career, though, and how an unfortunate illness may prevent him from playing ever again.

    http://blogs.tampabay.com/rays/2008/03/baldelli.html

    Baldelli's issues: "Abnormalities" that cause extreme fatigue

    Rocco Baldelli will be sidelined indefinitely - but is not retiring - because of what he said are "some type of metabolic and/or mitochondrial abnormalities,'' a condition that leaves him feeling extremely fatigued after just a brief workout.

    "When I say "fatigued" my body is literally spent after a very short amount of time out on the field which makes it extremely frustrating and difficult, but it's kind of a reality right now,'' he said during a 20-minute session with reporters before Wednesday's game. "I feel like I've done a serious workout after a very short period of time, and it's a very odd feeling. ... I try not to be too dramatic when I explain what's going on, but it's not easy when you're out on the field for a very short period of time and you're done, and you're not really worth anything else out there. That's a tough thing to handle because you wonder why. You wonder why this is how your body feels.''

    Baldelli, 26, said there has been no exact diagnosis but the consensus of several experts was the rare condition that limits the ability of his muscles to recover. "Basically somewhere along the line ... either my body is not making or producing or storing ATP the right way and therefore not allowing, apparently, my muscles to work as they should, and especially recover like they're supposed to on a day-to-day basis. It becomes very difficult to go out and literally be on the field every day and play.''

    ATP, according to the website health.howstuffworks.com is a chemical, adenosine triphosphate, that is the energy source for muscles and "in order to continue exercising, your muscles must continuously make ATP. To make this happen, your body must supply oxygen to the muscles and eliminate the waste products and heat. The more strenuous the exercise, the greater the demands of working muscle. If these needs are not met, then exercise will cease - that is, you become exhausted and you won't be able to keep going."

    Baldelli provided this description:
    "I think the best way to describe it is literal muscle fatigue and cramping way before my body should be feeling these things. I would go out there and I was pretty much incapable of doing basic baseball activities, running and hitting and throwing. These were things I had done my whole life pretty easily and at some point within the last two years, we're not exactly sure why, these things started to change.''
    Baldelli moved to verge of tears several times in discussing details of his condition for the first time. He indicated he did consider the condition life-threatening, saying "it's not something I'm overly worried about as far as on a long-term basis right now. And he said he would do "everything in my power" to get back on the field, but there was no timetable for a return, whether this season or ever. The Rays will place him on the disabled list to start the season and "identify" a replacement to be part of a platoon situation in right field and provide depth at the other spots and DH.

    "As far as my baseball career I'm not here to stand in front of you telling you I'm retiring,'' Baldelli said. "We're still going pursue any avenue that we can to try to figure out what is going on and have a better understanding of what is going on. But at this time throughout all of the extensive testing that we've done, we don't have a concrete answer. The doctors' consensus is these are the problems that I'm experiencing and there's probably a lot of medical proof of these things but they have been unable to specifically identify an exact reason or an exact problem down to a specific name. That's kind of frustrating.''

    Baldelli thanked the Rays for their support, saying "this is probably as difficult and frustrating a thing I've ever had to deal with as a person. And we're going to do everything we can to fix and hopefully solve this problem.''

    Before Baldelli spoke, Rays manager Joe Maddon offered this perspective:
    "It's tough to figure out. It's something that he feels. It's something that unless you're inside that body you have no idea what it feels like. And it's unfortunate because you're talking about a gifted athlete right here. One of the more gifted athletes I would think in all of the American League given a chance to play on a daily basis. So it's hard. It's hard for him. It's harder for him than for us. It's frustrating for us, it's a career for him. It's a way of life. It's supporting his family in the future. It's difficutl. So we're just trying to pay attention to him and respect, because you have no idea what he feels like and it's frustrating. But it's even more frustrating for him.''

    Baldelli, 26, has been sidelined since sustaining a hamstring strain in a May 15 game, and has played just twice this spring, last on March 4, because his legs haven't recovered well and don't feel right.
    "It's not really encouraging right now, it hasn't really been progressing,'' Maddon said before Wednesday's game. "It's one of those day by day situations and it's not moving forward.''

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  3. #2
    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: Rocco Baldelli's Career May Be in Jeopardy

    If he were a horse, I would suspect Polysaccaride Storage Myopathy. The muscles produce plenty of glycogen (the glucose storage molecule for muscles), but it is formed in such a way that the appropriate enzymes cannot break it back down into glucose. Symptoms are very similar to what Baldelli is experiencing. It is genetic, but it takes several years before causing any problems. I don't know if such a syndrome occurs in humans or not.

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    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Rocco Baldelli's Career May Be in Jeopardy

    Very sad.

    I wonder if ramping up with large doses of creatine would help.

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    So Long Uncle Joe BoydsOfSummer's Avatar
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    Re: Rocco Baldelli's Career May Be in Jeopardy

    Sounds like how I feel with my diabetes, which is proving a ***** to control.

    I wonder if roids of some sort might help? Maybe Rocco becomes the first "legal" roid user?
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    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Rocco Baldelli's Career May Be in Jeopardy

    He should seek out Dr. Canseco for the right cocktail to get him back on the field.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

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    Re: Rocco Baldelli's Career May Be in Jeopardy

    Quote Originally Posted by BoydsOfSummer View Post
    Sounds like how I feel with my diabetes, which is proving a ***** to control.

    I wonder if roids of some sort might help? Maybe Rocco becomes the first "legal" roid user?
    I think if he were to go that avenue, it would then become a case of long term vs. short term. Would you want to jepordize your future life after baseball to extend your career for a few more years? Steroids have obviously been shown to have long term effects. It's a tough question and one that isn't very easy to answer.

    Best of luck to him on what has to be a terrible situation. To go from a world class athlete to not being able to even do a casual workout has to be an awful feeling.

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    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Rocco Baldelli's Career May Be in Jeopardy

    Quote Originally Posted by Caseyfan21 View Post
    I think if he were to go that avenue, it would then become a case of long term vs. short term. Would you want to jepordize your future life after baseball to extend your career for a few more years? Steroids have obviously been shown to have long term effects. It's a tough question and one that isn't very easy to answer.

    Best of luck to him on what has to be a terrible situation. To go from a world class athlete to not being able to even do a casual workout has to be an awful feeling.
    Depression may take years off his life as well.

    If the decision were that black and white and up to me, say a productive 10-year career with no health issues, but then 10 years off my life (so I live to only 60 or 65), I would do it, but that's me.

    Trading 10 years in my prime for 10 years later on would be a no-brainer for me.


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