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Kuo's elbow sore again, and it has to be a concern

March 14, 2010 |  6:41 am
Checking up on your weekend web reading …

-- Is there really any such thing as a minor elbow problem when it comes to Hong-Chih Kuo?

This poor guy has been through four serious elbow operations. As Dylan Hernandez wrote earlier this spring, when he appeared to get healthy last year, then he came up with a bad case of Steve Blass Disease -- an inability to throw strikes.

Kuo has had more comebacks than Democrat Jerry Brown. He’s tenacious and tough and deserves better.

Yet, no matter how the Dodgers framed canceling his scheduled start in their final game in Taiwan because of elbow soreness, with Kuo, it’s has to be a concern. Ken Gurnick at dodgers.com reported that it was a precautionary move. Manager Joe Torre said it "was nothing major."

Well, you hope. Kuo wanted to pitch as a Dodger in his native Taiwan so badly that when his start was scratched he "almost cried."

The Dodgers are doing the smart thing, because you certainly don’t want an adrenalin-fueled Kuo overthrowing in Taiwan and tearing up his elbow again.

But anything to do with his elbow is nervous time. And with Visa Boy Ronald Belisario still missing, a team strength could easily turn into an area of concern.

-- While touching on Taiwan, Steve Henson writes at Yahoo Sports that the Dodgers' trip is an attempt by the government to restore baseball as the national pastime after its local professional league was rocked by a game-fixing scandal.

Henson said the scandal has led to 24 indictments, including nine professional players, and attendance has dropped as the country of 23 million has been rocked and left disillusioned over baseball.

-- After spending a day with Torre before the team flew to Taiwan, Jon Heyman of SI.com came away unconvinced that Torre will step down as manager after the 2011 season.

-- If you haven’t had a chance yet to read Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com wishing he could come back as Frank McCourt, it’s worth a read. Me, I’d be happy to be one of his sons and earn $300,000 for not working.

-- And on the opposition front  …

Scott Miller of CBSSports.com calls Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez "The Human Trade Rumor" and the best bargain in baseball ($4.5 million after slugging 40 home runs), and makes it sound like his days in San Diego are numbered.

The Diamondbacks figure to start the season with Brandon Webb on the disabled list, and Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic writes that the disappointment will be on the field and in the Diamondbacks' heads.

The Giants think they’ve undergone a role reversal with the Dodgers, writes Chris Haft at MLB.com, with their emphasis now on pitching.

-- Steve Dilbeck
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