Following Nick Johnson's surgery on his broken right femur, the Nationals released a statement from team orthopedist Ben Shaffer. Dr. Shaffer, who performed the surgery, said:
I was about to say . . . well, I was about to say, "He'll be ready by spring training. That's not so bad." But then I remembered that I've never broken my femur. Come to think of it, I never want to.
Stay strong, inanimate
carbon titanium rod.
I was just perusing Johnson's season-end statistics, and I noticed something a bit curious. I was about to say it was ironic, but it's not ironic. (I don't even think.) Maybe it's fitting, but I hardly think any consequence of a fractured femur could be considered "fitting." Whatever it is, it it what it is:
Johnson suffered this catastrophic, season-ending injury after---and I mean right after, directly after---recording his five hundredth at-bat of the season. Traditionally, 500 at-bats is the benchmark of a "full season," and until now Johnson had never reached this standard. Thus, Johnson had the reputation of a fragile player. Now, Johnson draws a lot of walks---110 this season, a career high---but not many people actually look at walk totals. Over 125 years of professional ball later, most still look at at-bats, not plate appearances; I suppose that choice was made long ago. At any rate, Johnson can now say he's had a 500-at-bat campaign. No one can ever say he hasn't stuck around for a "full season."
Somehow, I doubt he'll find that much of a consolation. But it's true.