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Jay Gibbons’ eye problems give Tony Gwynn Jr. starting job

Mar 29, 2011, 11:46 AM EDT

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Jay Gibbons will begin the season on the disabled list after new contact lenses failed to fix the ongoing vision problems he’s been having all spring, according to Tony Jackson of

Gibbons told Jackson that the new lenses improved his vision off the field, but failed to improve his eyesight at the plate because he “had no depth perception.”

He’s scheduled to visit another specialist, but is having trouble finding lenses that work due to “flattening of his cornea that is a normal result of … surgery he underwent last fall as a follow-up to the lasik procedure he had in 2004.”

Gibbons’ season-opening stint on the DL opens the door for Tony Gwynn Jr. to be the Dodgers’ primary left fielder, with Marcus Thames taking his place in the lineup versus left-handed pitching. It’s an interesting platoon partnership, because Gwynn is a great defender with a sub par bat and Thames is a horrible defender who can crush lefties.

  1. BC - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    If he had Lasik surgery, what the heck does he need contacts for? Sounds like his surgeon is a hack, or he was SERIOUSLY blind before the surgery….

    • kinggeorge96 - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:28 PM

      When I had my eyes done about 11 years ago, my doctor had told me that it would take about 6 months to a year for my eyes to “settle.” For those first 6 months, I could see EVERYTHING! If anyone knows what a bolwing pin looks like, there are usually 2 red stripes around the neck… I could see the outline of each line.. now I can see that there’s a red spot around the neck. My vision now is 20/25. Who the heck knows what it was when it was first done. The doctor told me I may need a touchup, after some time, not becuase the shape of the eye changes, but the muscle gets weaker. I use glasses to read the giude on my tivo, and drive at night. But since I couldn’t see my alarm clock before the surgery, I’m a happy camper.

      My point was, that although I can still see very well, 20/25 seems blurry to what my vision was the year following my surgery. Boy, did I drag that out!

      • kinggeorge96 - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        … A bowling pin… so much for my proof reading… At least I didn’t write blowing

    • Andrew - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      I’ve had the PRK procedure (similar to LASIK) and my doctor told me that I may still need glasses when I’m older because while the procedure fixed my eyesight, it doesn’t prevent the natural deterioration my eyes have. Just like with kinggeorge96, my eyesight was 20/15 after the procedure, but 3 years later, it’s regressed to something like 20/25 or 20/30. At night, it’s worse.

      If Gibbons needs contacts, they’re probably a weak prescription. He probably can see everything clearly, but the outlines of objects are slightly fuzzy (like for me) and it’s a distraction.

  2. b7p19 - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    What?! If you are going to start Little T anywhere why in the world would you not put him in center?

    • dodger88 - Mar 29, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      He will likely only start against right handers in a platoon situation and Mattingly doesn’t want to shift Kemp and/or Ethier from game to game. If Gwynn surprises and hits well enough to play everyday, then I could see a switch to Gwynn in CF, Kemp in RF and Either in LF. As Gwynn may prove unhittable and need to be replaced as the season progresses, best to keep Kemp and Either comfortable in their respective positions.

  3. cptnew1 - Mar 29, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    I’m pretty sure that the Dodgers can afford an opthamologist who is quite a bit more advanced than the people at the local Wal-Mart. If he is still having this much of a problem, there may be more of an underlying condition. Professional ball players require better eyesight than most of us, outside of air traffic controllers(they have to..right?), surgeons(hopefully) and snipers (imagine a sniper with no depth perception) for example.

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