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The Eric Chavez Era ... Ending In Limbo

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"The C-6 is connected to the: C-7! The C-7 is connected to the: Shoulder! The shoulder is connected to the: Back and Spine! The Spine is connected to the: Ability to drive a baseball!"

Are bulging disks in neck vertebrae C-6 and C-7 the final stat in a decade of "5 years glory, 5 years gory" for Eric Chavez? The A's and Chavez are being fully non-committal, with Steve Sayles saying there is "no timetable for Chavez' return" (I would say the same thing about my dead grandmother), Mark Ellis saying "Chavy will be all right. Give him a couple of weeks," and the ever-blunt Chavez being fully cryptic about his chances of flailing at another pitch in the major leagues.

Let me make it easy:

Chavez is now recovering from injuries to 3 major parts of the human body's skeletal structure: Neck, shoulder, and spine. Whether it was due to the bulging disks or not, Chavy managed to produce a hitting line so far this season of .234/.276/.333.

Even if his neck feels better in a couple weeks or a couple months, for him to return would mean he was rusty and hadn't faced major league pitching for a couple weeks or a couple months. Hardly a recipe for jumping your OPS .200 points, which is what Chavez would have to do just to be "ok" as a DH.

It's over, guys. It's. Over.

I'm not just saying that because I want the A's to put the best lineup on the field they can, and only now -- sans albatross -- are the A's finally doing this. I'm saying it because Eric Chavez is far more than an athlete: He is a quality human being who is only 33 years old, and it's time for him to stop crippling his body, or further jeapordizing his post-baseball health, just to try to fail as the A's DH one more time.

Chavez may want to help the team with one more clutch hit, and Justin Duchscherer may want to get back on the mound, but the reality is that cortisone is really bad for you, surgery and treatment really traumatic. Short-term gain for long-term cost? No. This is one time that what's best for the team is also best for the person. Go gently into that good night, and let us remember you as the pet we loved so much we couldn't bear to put them down -- and the pet we loved so much, we did what we had to do when it was time.