No DL for the weary, Yu know

By David Lewis

       My neck hurt when I woke up Tuesday morning. As happens almost every night, I had tossed and turned on a too-soft mattress. It envelopes me in comfort when I go to bed, but by about 2 a.m., my back hurts, and I wake up, shift to another position, doze off, wake up, shift to another position, doze off É

       Then the alarm goes off.

       I apparently shifted into a position that didnÕt agree with my neck. So it hurt when I got up. But I had to go to work anyway.

       Now, if I worked as a pitcher for the Texas Rangers, I would have gotten the day off. Just the day before, the Rangers opened the season with a relief pitcher on the mound because all of their million-dollar babies were suffering from aches and pains. Two had pains resulting from a poor nightÕs sleep.

       Yu Darvish, the staffÕs ace, was on the 15-day disabled list with a stiff neck. Darvish told reporters over the weekend that the pain in his neck resulted from sleeping wrong.

       Matt Harrison, who missed most of last season with a back problem, was on the disabled list because his back hurt. He apparently slept on a too-soft mattress in the house that he rented in Surprise, Ariz., for spring training. The pain went away when he changed the mattress — this was in February — but he still went on the DL and was unavailable to pitch in MondayÕs opener.

       And then thereÕs Derek Holland, who fell while he was playing with his dog and hurt his knee.

       Darvish and Harrison are reportedly feeling better and should be in the rotation soon. Holland, who had surgery on his knee in January, is expected to be out until the middle of the summer.

       The Rangers might have won MondayÕs game had Darvish or Harrison pitched. They couldnÕt have done much worse than Tanner Scheppers, the fellow who was called on to throw the first game. Scheppers normally pitches only one inning, and he pitched one good inning against the Phillies. He was pretty much toast after the first, and the Rangers went on to lose, 14-10.

       But even if DarvishÕs neck had been feeling OK, he might have had some other problem. He could have tripped on a gum wrapper on his way to the mound and suffered soreness in his big toe. Or he might have felt a twinge of pain in his back. Or his hair might have been out of place.

       Who knows with these guys?

       Now, I know that what I do for a living isnÕt as important as what a professional baseball pitcher does. Yu Darvish gets paid more for not working a single day than I make in a year — or three.

       But IÕm nothing if not a warrior. My neck and my back may hurt and I may feel twinges of pain in areas that I didnÕt know could hurt, but I get up every morning, strap on my gear and head out the door.

       IÕm wondering, though. Can somebody get me on the disabled list? Fifteen days off would do me a world of good right about now.


       David Lewis is editor and publisher of The Post-Signal. He welcomes comments at