Bad News Bears: Eric Chavez And Khalil Greene

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Tough day in the news for a couple ballplayers whose careers have already seen their share of ups and downs.

First is A's thirdbaseman Eric Chavez. He's in Arizona rehabbing his back. It's an injury that has plagued him since 2006, and has kept him from achieving the kind of consistency that would have allowed him to continue piling up the kind of numbers that got him a 6 yr./$66M extension in 2004. Now doctors are telling Chavez that if his back goes again, it's the end of his career.

Chavez is rehabbing his most recent back problem in Arizona in the hopes of rejoining the A's on their next homestand. Doctors, however, have told him that a herniated disk in his back could go at any time, even if he sneezes.

If that happens, Chavez will need to have his previously repaired vertebra, the L4-L5, fused with the vertebra that is currently herniated, which is the L3-L4. Another microdiscectomy such as the one Chavez had in October, 2007, is out, because it would leave his spine too unstable, Chavez said.

Spinal fusions don't allow for the type of physical activity performed by pro athletes.

"This last (diagnosis) is a little bit of a punch in the gut for everyone," A's general manager Billy Beane said, "Especially for Eric, because he's worked so hard and dealt with so many issues."

Of course, Spinal Fusion has been a complicated procedure ever since it was first invented by Miles Davis and John McLaughlin on the landmark 1970 album Bitches Brew. Here's hoping Chavez doesn't sneeze and is able to, at the very least, play out the rest of that contract extension. KEEP HIM AWAY FROM THE PAPRIKA.

Hard to believe, but the news is even more depressing for St. Louis Cardinals SS, Khalil Greene. The diminutive infielder has been struggling, just like he struggled during his final years in San Diego. He doesn't exactly have the best mindset about all of it, and suffers from extreme performance anxiety to the point where he physically hurts himself. Eek. Tony LaRussa (who probably thinks he's smarter than most doctors) is going to start benching him. That should help.

"At some point, he needs to play better. I'm just doing what I can," La Russa said before Monday night's game against Milwaukee.

Greene admitted to feeling increasingly overwhelmed by his situation and did not dispute accounts that he has several times punished himself physically.

Several team members have expressed concern about the degree of Greene's self-punishment.

"That's the way it's always been," Greene said, referring to his condition's compulsive nature. "It's not rational. It's not something I think as an intelligent thinking human being. ... I understand the disorder of it. It just doesn't help."

Cardinals fans were way too excited about Khalil Greene's spring training numbers, and it appears with his mercurial emotional state he did too. His anxiety diagnosis manifests itself in more classic and observable ways than the mysterious case that Dontrelle WIllis came down with earlier this season. That's not to say that Willis isn't telling the truth, one just hopes it's not as severe as Greene. But maybe the downtime will help Khalil. After all, if anyone knows the benefits of rest, it's Tony LaRussa.

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Khalil Greene and Dontrelle should form a support group with Kenji Johjima and Scotty Rolen.

Just as long as it's not on a Wednesday night. That's Rolen's book club night.

My form of self punishment usually involves a Jewel DeNyle or old Tori Wells dvd.

Brad Penny wants in that support group.

Bitches Brew: The Album Everybody Owns But Nobody Plays

You want difficult Miles Davis? I bought Aura on CD when I was 14, listened to it twice, and then got sent to a re-education camp by my parents where I was forced to listen to Pat Boone records for 23 hours a day.

Meh... could've been worse. You could've been subjected to "Hooked on a Feeling" 23 hours a day.

And yes, I do own Bitches Brew... and don't listen to it just like everybody else.

So Khalil Greene is Frankie from Real World San Deigo?

Especially for Eric, because he's worked so hard and dealt with so many issues.

You mean Eric Nies? From Real World I? This is just like that time that Eric had a fight with Kevin, because Kevin thought that Eric was partying with his friends in the house too much. Kevin took some comments too personally, and then things really escalated.

/trying to get Rob to vomit up a bundt-cake pile of anchovies.

The evening of the Heist is going to be a lot like the first night in Las Vegas, when Steven ended up naked in the hot tub with Trichelle and Brynn

Or like the introductory minutes of Hawaii, when Teck and Ruthie hopped nekkid into the pool.

I imagine it's gonna be a lot like this past season in Brooklyn when we all try to figure out if Rob is a tranny.

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