All Dodger Eggs in One Garciaparra

As certainly as St. Patrick's Day rolls around each March, the Injury Bug has nailed the Dodgers again in what has become a rite of spring. LaRoche's injury was much worse than supposed and will sideline him for two months.

The two Dodger third baseman who were hitting well and were in a wrestling match for the starting slot, Nomar Garciaparra and Andy LaRoche, were lost within minutes of each other Friday against the Cardinals.

The baseball gods pointed down (or as some think, up) at the two of them and gave the veteran Garciaparra a thumbs up and rookie LaRoche a thumbs down.

Garciaparra started the Cardinal game and homered on his first trip to the plate. On his second, he was hit on the right wrist, painfully close to a previous surgery.

LaRoche took over at third and was nailed on the thumb by an errant pickoff throw by catcher Danny Ardoin. So off the field he went to catch a ride with Nomar to get X-rays.

Garciaparra was diagnosed with but a bruise.

LaRoche suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in the thumb of his throwing hand and a chipped metacarpal bone. He will be flown to Los Angeles for surgery and will miss eight to 10 weeks.

Nomar was hitting .375 after banging his first home run in the game. Andy was hitting .350 and had an on-base percentage of .409 with one home run.

Garciaparra, after a brilliant 2006 season, had more three more errors (10) than home runs (7) in 2007 and knocked in only 59 runs. Many felt that it was more than just a bad season, wondering if something more than old age was wrong with him.

If there was something he wouldn't admit it, only saying, "I have an idea, maybe I'll talk about it one day."

Now he will get to prove -- or disprove -- that he is still able to perform in the manner of the 2006 comeback player of the year and once six-time all-star.

Or at least, stay healthy enough for LaRoche to heal and return to action.

Manager Joe Torre, apparently as fond of veterans as Grady Little was, had virtually given the job to Nomar.

The fans, for the most part, were cheering for he youngster who has demonstrated his talents in the minor leagues and who was having the first good spring training of his career. after battling a torn shoulder labrum and lower back spasms from a bulging disc.

If you believe that everything happens for a reason, you'll feel it all will work out for the best.

Tony Abreu or Ramon Martinez, who are in line to inherit the opening spot as infield backup might agree.

But Dodger fans, for good reason, haven't subscribed to that theory for some time.

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