You have to lose cause-and-effect. The made-up kind, I mean. Mike DiGiovanna on Gary Matthews' comeback:
- Matthews, who underwent surgery to repair the patella tendon in his left knee last October, is getting an opportunity, thanks in part to a torn pectoral muscle that sent Vladimir Guerrero to the disabled list on April 18.
If the switch-hitter hasn't made the most of it, he is making something of it. Matthews has started 15 of the team's 26 games and entered Wednesday batting .288 with 12 runs batted in. He has as many RBIs in 59 at-bats as Bobby Abreu has in 96 at-bats.
"It's a good start," Matthews said. "The knee is good. It has responded very well, and my hard work over the winter has paid off. It's nice to be healthy and not have to take anti-inflammatory medication and pain-killers."
"Foundation is everything -- I couldn't stay on my back side, I didn't have the strength, and when you don't have your base, you have nothing," Matthews said. "It's hard enough to play this game when you're healthy, let alone having a significant tear in your knee. I'm glad we did the surgery."
If he's feeling good, I'm happy for him. Honestly.
Is it churlish, though, to point out that Matthews's .270/.314/.349 is even worse than last year's .242/.319/.357? Is it overly negative to mention that Matthews is making $10 million this season, and that the Angels are on the hook for another $23 million over the next two seasons? Is it terribly crass to suggest that Matthews' contract looked ridiculous when he signed it, still looks ridiculous, and might wind up being one of the silliest deals ever?
Perhaps. Maybe the knee's feeling better and the performance will follow, eventually. But it's way, way, way too early to start throwing MVP parties and talking about the wonderful benefits of the medical profession.
(H/T: BTF's Newsstand)