WILL CORREA MAKE HIS PITCH-IN COURT?

SPORTS Texas Rangers pitcher EDWIN CORREA’S attorney, Mike Gallagher of Houston, alleges that the Puerto Rican right-hander’s big-league career was ruined because team physician DR. MIKE MYCOSKIE failed to diagnose a fracture in Correa’s shoulder, Correa spent the ’89 season toiling in the minors.

What’s interesting about the case is this: in order to collect any substantial damages, Correa must prove that the injury deprived him of a long and prosperous tenure in the major leagues. That’s an iffy proposition, considering that pitchers are strange and delicate creatures, with a career expectancy ranking down there with crop dusters and flying trapeze artists.

As he makes his pitch for big damages, Correa’s stats won’t be much help. He had a 12-14 rookie season in 1986-not bad for a 20-year-old, but hardly a guarantee of a spot in the Hall of Fame-and he’s sputtered since then.

If the case goes to court, who might Dr. Mycoskie call in his defense? Bill James, author of the bewildering Baseball Abstract? Veteran umpires? Perhaps he’ll summon Oakland A’s superstar Rickey Henderson as an expert witness. Hen-derson, then with the New York Yankees, got pretty hacked after Correa pitched a shutout against his team. He described the rookie’s stuff as “horse bleep.”

Imagine the legal furor if Henderson were subpoenaed to define that time-honored baseball term. Then the jury could be sequestered in a sports bar to be fed soggy nachos and beer until it reaches a (burp) verdict. Gallagher figures it will be at least 18 months before that event could take place.

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