Eric Chavez has been told by his doctors that he has a herniated disk in his back and if he hurts it again, that's it for his career. Man, that's gotta suck.
It's the saddest moment any athlete can experience, actually—being told that your body is broken, un-fixable and that the thing you used to love to do to make a living is over. Well, it's not completely over for him yet. Chavez is the on the DL right now (his fourth trip in three years) and plans to rejoin the team soon, but he threw out his back standing up from a chair, so how much time could he really have left? Doctors have told him the disk could give at any time, requiring him to have spinal fusion surgery, and no one comes back from that.
"This last [diagnosis] is a little bit of a punch in the gut for everyone," team general manager Billy Beane said, according to the report. "Especially for Eric, because he's worked so hard and dealt with so many issues."
If this were a movie, we know what happens next. (Someone takes a metal pipe to the back, then Mel Gibson and Danny Glover avenge his death.) Instead, he'll probably play through pain off and on for a couple more months, hope he doesn't have to be carried off the field on a stretcher, and then quietly retire this winter. Not the way anyone wants to go out, but then when does anyone ever get that?
In other career-threatening news, Rickie Weeks will miss the rest of 2009 and Carlos Delgado is out "indefinitely" with a hip injury similar to one Alex Rodriguez dealt with earlier this year. And that's (mostly) why they get paid the big bucks.