Injuries put Jays in a tough spot 

May, 14, 2007
05/14/07
7:44
PM ET
Two weeks ago, Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano were hurt, and the Yankees went through 10 starters in their first 30 games. They had, at one point, as many quality starts as Chris Capuano and it was Joe Torre's fault for overtaxing his bullpen and Brian Cashman's fault for honoring Pavano's contract and for the failure to sign Gil Meche and Hideki Okajima.

Just as, last August, Theo Epstein was skewered for the breakdown of the Red Sox. Or now Mike Flanagan, Jim Duquette and Sam Perlozzo find themselves second-guessed in Baltimore without Adam Loewen, Kris Benson and Jaret Wright. Cleveland's top five pitchers started 159 games in 2005 and they won more games than any team in the three division era that did not make the playoffs, then last April opened the season with C.C., Sabathia going down and by September they couldn't find .500.

J. P. Ricciardi sympathizes with his peers. "No one, not even the Yankees," says Ricciardi, "can replace certain vital players. It just can't be done." Just another reason to appreciate Oakland -- and Jack (Holy Grail) Cust -- being two games over .500 on May 14 with 11 players on the disabled list, including their supposed ace (Rich Harden).

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