Young righty Michael Pineda, who the Yankees traded for back in January, will undergo shoulder surgery next week for a labrum tear. He’ll be out for at least the next 12 months. When we heard about this huge setback for the young man (and the Yankees’ rotation), we asked him for his thoughts on the situation. The following is an open letter penned by the 23-year-old, addressed to his new team.
*Michael Pineda did not actually write this.
Dear New York Yankees,
I can’t tell you how sorry I am for all of this. I know this must be very hard for you, as it is for me. Thankfully, we both have large bundles of guaranteed cash to keep us company in the long evening hours when we wonder, “What if?”
Like, what if you hadn’t traded your top catching prospect, Jesus Montero, for me? Yeah, you held on to Montero for years and watched him grow into a fearsome hitter who was ready for the big-time, just to trade him away to Seattle. And yeah, now he bats clean-up for Seattle, with a batting average almost 50 points higher than your current catcher. But where’s the fun in having a baseball player who actually plays? There’s no drama! No excitement! And this is New York — you need drama. Not someone who’s going to go out and play for his team everyday.
Or, what if Andy Pettitte hadn’t come out of retirement this year? And you just had C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and, um — well, whoever else you’ve got pitching for you. The remains of Freddy Garcia? The ghost of Phil Hughes’ potential? I don’t know their names — I haven’t really been around much, to be honest. But yeah, at least you’ve got Andy, a guy who’s been out of the league for a few years and has to go stand trial against his former friend Roger Clemens soon. So, that should work out for you.
And yes, finally — what if I hadn’t gotten injured? I’d be out there pitching for you, no question. But instead, I have to get arthroscopic surgery (done by the Mets’ team doctor, for some reason) and rehab for 12 months, minimum. So, best case scenario, you’ll see me back on the mound after next season has already started. The doctor even said he was “cautiously optimistic” that I’ll be the same player you thought you were getting back in January!
My advice for you, Yankees? Forget about me. Pretend this never happened. Pretend that Jesus Montero moved to Seattle to start a grunge band, not that you traded him away for nothing. Pretend that you always thought a rotation predicated on Andy Pettitte’s return would work out. That way, when I come back — sorry, if I come back — it’ll be like a surprise birthday present. I’ll even come wrapped in a bow for you. Don’t mind that the bow looks an awful lot like gauze and tape. That’s all they had left at the gift shop.
Until 2013 — or 2014, latest!
*Again, not actually written by Pineda. Tough break for the kid, though.