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Tigers Great: Nathan’s “Dead Arm” is an Excuse

When Joe Nathan signed a two-year, $20 million to close games for the Detroit Tigers, the team was pretty sure they had found their closer.

Unfortunately, the 39-year-old hasn’t lived up to expectations and earlier this week went public with what he thinks the problem is.  Dead arm.

Joe Nathan says he has a ‘dead arm” going on right now, and that he’s still “fine-tuning things” but it “hasn’t hurt (#Tigers) too much”

— Mad Dog Sports Radio (@MadDogRadio) April 9, 2014

Now, I’m no doctor, so I really can’t comment on what a “dead arm” is.  That said, neither is former Tigers great Denny McLain.  However, the two-time Cy Young winner has spent infinitely more time on the mound than I have and thinks Nathan’s statement is a bunch of baloney.

“What the hell is a dead arm? Can you tell me please?” McLain asked in a radio interview Thursday.  “Get a shot of cortisone, put a little dirt on it, Joe, kick yourself in the  ass and get out there. I am tired of excuses. Everybody’s got an excuse in this  game today. Get dressed, go play. They’re paying you tens of millions of dollars  to play the game and you want to come up with a dead arm?”

And if Nathan’s ailment continues?

“Let’s step up, let’s be a man, let’s retire from the game because our arm is tired and let’s find another guy who can pitch, if your arm is dead,” McLain continued.  “That’d be the right thing to do, wouldn’t it? Just walk away from the game,  leave $30 million on the table and go home? Wouldn’t that be the right thing to  do if you can’t help us?”