Black Sox Beat Writer
Chicago Sports Online
Black Sox star first baseman Mark Simpson has suffered a setback in his recovery from torn ankle ligaments that will end his season.
Team officials put out a statement saying that Simpson experienced “quite a bit of pain” during a workout, and that subsequent examination showed he had torn the ligaments again. He is expected to undergo surgery early next week in Huntsville, AL.
Simpson’s season ends with a slash line of .275/.396/.527 with 21 homers and 54 RBIs. He had compiled 2.2 WAR.
“This is a disappointing end to the season for Mark and for his teammates, who had come to rely on his dynamic play in the field and at the plate,” said Asst. GM Bill McGuffin in a prepared statement. “We look forward to Mark’s full recovery and to welcoming him to Spring Training with open arms.”
Team officials were curiously reluctant to discuss Simpson’s setback outside of McGuffin’s canned remarks.
That may be because there have been whispers around the league that his new injury wasn’t suffered during an organized team workout, but somewhere else.
Black Sox Trainer Wakie Mellouk, whose job security may be at risk following a string of injuries to Sox players this season, would say only that Simpson was hurt “during a workout.”
He was asked if the workout was sanctioned and under team supervision.
“No comment,” Mellouk said.
Were you present when Simpson reinjured himself?
Why will the surgery take place in Huntsville, instead of Chicago?
Attempts to reach General Manager Vic Caleca were unsuccessful on Saturday.
Simpson, who was en route to Huntsville for his surgery, also could not be reached.
And so, questions about the setback and its circumstances continue to swirl. All that’s known for sure is that Chicago will play the rest of its season without, arguably, its best player - and that's a loss both for the team and its fans.