What Evan Longoria is Thinking

By Robbie Knopf

They need me.

These guys are incredible. They just win games with their pitching and whatever offense they can get. But it’s not enough. These guys are 14-14, a .500 team since I left. They’ve had electrifying offense games and some games where the offense has disappeared. The pitching has often needed to be great and give them some credit- they have been so often. But one moderately bad inning, even one bad pitch has made the difference far too often. 

It’s like a domino effect. I go down and all of a sudden everyone follows. You have Desmond Jennings, Jeff Keppinger, Jeff Niemann, all the bench guys who could have stepped up. We’re signing guys out of nowhere. The Rich Thompsons of the world are great stories, but starting on our ballclub? Drew Sutton has been fine defensively at third, but after a hot start he hasn’t given us anything offensively. And what about the defense? Why are we making so many errors? I had that crazy 3 error game and then I went down and we’ve seen way too much of that since. Maybe it’s just all the pressure is on. The offense has been sporadic. One run could make the difference. We have some nice defensive guys, but they just have failed to execute too often. 

Isn’t this all my fault? Why can’t I stay healthy anymore? We have as talented a group of guys as we’ve ever had right now. We can’t let this season slip away. We’re tied for first in the AL East right now. But you look in this division and everyone has promise. The Yankees and Red Sox are established threats. No matter how bad they’re playing now they will be in it till the very end. The Blue Jays have been a little inconsistent but they’ve shown their flashes. Maybe the Orioles are collapsing, having lost 5 in a row entering their series with us, but they were incredible until then. If I can just get in the lineup and contribute like I know I can, we have the ability to win this division. We haven’t done anything in the playoffs since 2008. Who knows how a championship could affect this ballclub, the fans, the ownership? This could be the year. But the longer these injuries persist, the closer we are to letting that slip away. There are two wild cards this year, but if you’re a wild card, there’s the new one game playoff. Anything happen. One bad start and you’re done. No one wants to be backed into that position. 

Am I injury prone now? I hope not. A couple of freak injuries, but this is ridiculous. I can’t stand sitting here doing nothing. It’s not just physical anymore, it’s psychological. This team needs me. I need this. I can’t stand this feeling of disconnection. It’s draining me every day. I wake up every morning ready to play and then realize that there’s nothing I can do but watch. They say I’ll be back in late June, maybe early July. I can’t take this anymore. But let me tell you this. I’m going to come back and I’m going to play so well that everyone is going to forget that I was gone. I’m going to take this team on my back and take this team as high as it can go.