Orioles manager Buck Showalter not happy with a pair of physicians
Last evening, Baltimore Orioles skipper Buck Showalter made an appearance on WBAL’s “Hot Stove Baseball”. A number of subjects were discussed as Buck went in-depth on some of the players on the Orioles roster, talked about expectations and addressed the rumbles of the O’s window closing. Give it a listen.
Around the 7:40 mark, Showalter was questioned on his take from a pair of physicians, Dr. Koko Eaton of the Tampa Bay Rays and Dr. Timothy Kremchek of the Cincinnati Reds, that had voiced their surprise regarding the results of the physical given to almost Orioles closer Grant Balfour. This discussion – or shall I say, Showalter voicing his displeasure over the matter – lasted about two and a half minutes. Here’s how MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko transcribed part of this:
“How did you phrase it? ‘Unusual?’ ” he asked. “I think it’s borderline unethical. How’s that?
“I don’t think it’s any of their business. I know our doctors. I know how good they are. I know the painstaking things they go through. Nobody talks about all the things they get right. We go through physicals on J.J. Hardy. We go through physicals on Chris Davis. We go through physicals on all these guys. They’ve made great decisions, not just for us but for our fan base. To have someone weigh in on it from afar and wonder if there’s some ulterior motive there, that does bother me.
“I guess you could throw out that there’s a certain kinship or union of doctors, but we have a lot of things at our disposal that they don’t have. It bothered me to have someone weighing in and casting doubt on something that not only our doctors, but a lot of doctors, weighed in on.”
The disdain in Showalter’s voice was apparent, and I realize that he will back his team docs. He should. Of note is that Showalter states the Orioles’ team physicians have made many good decisions which “turned out very well”.
Are we to assume that Eaton and Kremchek will fire back? Doubtful.
Since the Orioles have not signed a closer, I would normally say there’s a chance Balfour could still end up in Baltimore. Shortly after the info of Balfour’s troubled exam hit the interwebs, Balfour voiced his pleasure with the results. (from Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle):
“I called Dan Duquette and told him, “I’ve played in this league for 10 years, I deserve to be treated with respect and you did not treat me with respect. Two well-respected physicians said I am completely healthy – because I am healthy. I’m a fighter and a winner and I would have given you your best chance to win.
“I was looking forward to pitching for the Orioles and helping them to go to the World Series, where they haven’t been for 30 years,” Balfour continued. “I wanted to help them as a team.”
Meanwhile, Balfour remains unsigned, but Showalter cites the O’s are still interested in Balfour and “like the player”.