Curtis Granderson is out 10 weeks with a fractured forearm. Phil Hughes has a bulging disc in his back keeping him out two weeks. Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter are both gingerly returning from injuries that ended their 2012 seasons. Alex Rodriguez had to fix a busted hip (but we're not sure about his fractured ego and his whimpering soul).
In short: The New York Yankees aren't in tip-top shape these days.
Then came Tuesday's news: That Kevin Youkilis, the new Yankee third baseman and forever Red Sock, was scratched from a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies because of a tight left oblique.
Youk said he was fine and could have played. But the Yankees are using their delicate gloves in hopes that their aging, beat-up players don't keep dropping like extras on "The Walking Dead."
Youkilis, 33, told reporters on Tuesday:
"I'm fine. I could have played today and been perfectly fine but they were like, 'We're going to sit you out, it's Feb. 27.' "
Sure. And Yankees manager Joe Girardi gave a perfectly reasonable explanation too:
"I don't think it's anything serious but we're being really cautious because you can be right now. He won't play today and we'll probably re-evaluate him after a couple of days."
It's February. Don't risk anything. Fine.
But the Yankees should also be mindful to boycott Rock--Paper-Scissors games in the locker room to avoid broken fingers. They shouldn't let anyone whistle in the direction of Robinson Cano, in case the breeze should make him trip and strain a quad.
Luck, you would think, has to get better for baseball's most storied franchise sometime soon. Unless, well, something else is afoot here. Something from the spirits, something a bit more revenge-y? Hmmm.
Youkilis injured. This voodoo doll is working. SWITCH YOUR STANCE BACK.
— Batting Stance Guy (@BattingStanceG) February 26, 2013
Could it be? A reverse Curse? The Curse of Kevin Youkilis?!?