Did you know?: During a game that carried into the dusk hours, Clarkson once pitched a lemon to the plate to persuade the umpire, Jack Kerins to call the game due to darkness. Kerins called the lemon a strike, and when shown by Boston’s catcher that he had called a lemon a strike, Kerins finally called the game.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Saenz Health Scare

Tragedy strikes in New York, as a serious injury has claimed one of the Bombers brightest stars. In the second inning of last nights game against the Philadelphia Flame Throwers, SP Julio Saenz began to complain of odd feelings in his pitching arm and pain in his fingers. Precautionary tests were run at the stadium, the results of which caused alarm with Bombers officials. Saenz was rushed to a nearby hospital for further tests and kept overnight, but was released this morning.

Julio Saenz, the Bombers' 28-year-old star pitcher, is suffering from complications of a rare type of aneurysm in an artery in his right shoulder that most likely developed from the motion he used to deliver countless pitches during his career, according to a doctor familiar with his case.

Blood clots that formed in the aneurysm near the shoulder apparently broke off and blocked blood flow, causing tingling and pain in his fingers and making his ring finger turn white. Medication has apparently alleviated the potentially dangerous problem in Saenz's fingers. But the prime problem -- the aneurysm in his arm -- remains and will require surgery.

It is not clear if or when Saenz will be able to return to the team. But two other pitchers on minor league teams who developed similar aneurysms had the problem corrected surgically and one of them has resumed playing professional baseball.

Officials of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, where Saenz continued to be treated yesterday, have refused to discuss his case. The Bombers were unclear about the medical plans for Saenz, saying that additional opinions were being gathered from doctors.

An aneurysm is a ballooning of an artery that results when diseases or injury weaken the inner lining of the blood vessel. They can occur anywhere in the body. The most common type results from arteriosclerosis and occurs in the aorta, or main artery leading from the heart. Many aneurysms in the brain result from congenital weakening of the lining of an artery.

The type of aneurysm Saenz developed resulted from the mechanical stress of his pitching motion.

Although rare, this type is being recognized more commonly in such athletes as handball and volleyball players, kayak enthusiasts and a range of others who perform strenuous shoulder rotation movements.

“It was quite a scare for us last night, but thankfully the prognosis for Julio’s long term health is good after surgery. We’re unsure when or if he will return to baseball, but right now, his health is the top priority, of course.” said Max Schmidt, VP of Baseball Operations for the Bombers.

We here at the Clarkson Gazette wish a speedy recovery to Saenz.

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