It's that time of year: the time when people look back on the year that was, realize what complete fuck-ups they are, and make some half-hearted list of things they suck at which they could potentially suck less simply through a concerted effort at self-delusion.
But, okay, let's not be too cynical. Though rare, sometimes people actually follow through on their new year's resolutions. That's just what former Oakland Athletic Eric Chavez is hoping for as he vows to "be less injured" in the upcoming season.
Chavez added that he hopes to "spend less time on the DL" while "keeping healthy". He plans to accomplish this feat by "not getting bit by the injury bug", and mentioned that he's been spending the offseason "decreasing [his] proneness".
Despite Chavez's optimism, the free agent is having trouble landing a major league contract. In an effort to catch teams' attention, he's proposing some unique and creative contract incentives, such as bonuses based on "number of days with three or fewer injuries", "number of _CLs torn" and "percentage of body not covered by remedial dressing".
Chavez got into 33 games with the A's last year, and manager Bob Geren discussed the optimal strategy for keeping him on the field. "Well, first of all, you can't play Eric in the field. Every ground ball is an opportunity for him to break a hip. So he DHs. And, well, to be honest with you, every time he swings a bat I can hear his ribs grinding against each other. It's only a matter of time before someone pulls the string on a nice change and he breaks a couple."
When asked what there is left for Chavez to do given his inability to hit or field, Geren runs through the options, clearly becoming more and more disconsolate. "Well, he can't pinch-run - he'll break his jaw on the slide. He can't be the bullpen catcher - we've tried that before, and he's gotten appendicitis every time. And I'll be damned if he didn't have to be rushed to the hospital in critical condition from hypothermia when we tried to get him analyzing scouting reports."
But Chavez is not discouraged. He remains convinced that he can stay healthy over the course of a full season. When asked how he can believe this in the face of such overwhelming contradictory evidence, Chavez points to an unlikely source of hope: The Simpsons. "Remember when Mr. Burns had every disease known to man, plus a few more, but they were all in perfect balance, and he was indestructible?" Chavez recalls wistfully. "I mean, I've battled through so much in my career, I think I must be getting to that point. Indestructible..." he mutters, wandering off into the night.