By the time of July it might not be his legs. It might be his oblique, or his elbow, or his wrists, or his feet, or his knees. The knees and feet are parts of the legs, but different from the part that hurting now. It could be anything, and nothing would be a surprise. Manny is old. They say old age starts at 27. Those scientists are just finding out what baseball fans have known for a long time. Manny is ancient!
No amount of good attitude can cure the physical ailments. It's not the mood that makes Manny a risk. It's the maladies. The lingering aches and strains the don't heal like they used to. Their is going to be a day when he pulls up lame around third base as he's trying to score from second on a single. There's already been the day when he hurts himself running down a ball to the outfield. He's going to need more days off then Martin, and it's going to be even harder to give them to him than it is to give them to Martin. How can you voluntarily give up his bat for even a game?
Disaster is always a moment away when Manny plays. Injury can strike at any time. The Dodgers are contenders with Manny, mediocrities without him. That's the setup, and don't dare argue with it. That's how the masses feel. Manny puts the capital D in Dodgers. That's the man they talk about, that's the man who makes our team relevant again. With him we're annointed masters of the NL West. When the injury comes it will be like old times again, when the Dodgers are just another team and the victories come hard. When. Why not "if"? Isn't 25 million enough to buy an "if" on the injury? But money don't buy love ... or health.
And yet ... a Manny injury needn't be inevitable. Yeah. He's rounding into shape now, that's all. Spring straightening. Oh dear. I'm mixed up, my writing and metaphors all tangled with my doubts. Let's just say it's either rounding or straightening, but not both, whichever metaphor is less likely to hurt him.
There will be a day when Manny comes up to the plate and hits a prodigious home run, and there isn't a thought anymore about his age or money or attitude or injuries or worries or contracts or deferred payments --- there will only be awe and delight in the moment. That's the antidote to worry.