July 11, 2010

In Explaining Rib Injuries, Ellsbury Contradicts Red Sox Medical Team

Small update with Mays snip from today's Globe.

In a 10-minute meeting with the media on Saturday afternoon, Jacoby Ellsbury insisted that all five of his rib fractures happened during the April 11 collision with Adrian Beltre -- including the fracture on the back of his rib cage that was not discovered until late May.

That is in direct contradiction with Red Sox team doctor Thomas Gill's June 11 statement that Ellsbury suffers a fifth rib fracture while making a diving catch in Philadelphia on May 22.

Ellsbury said that after the collision with Beltre in Kansas City, he specifically asked for MRI exams on both the front and back of his rib cage. He believed he was getting those exams, but only the front was MRIed, so the posterior rib fracture -- which has caused Ellsbury the most pain -- was not found until Dr. Lewis Yocum examined him in late May. Yocum also said that Ellsbury had a strained lat in his upper back and an inflamed nerve, which was the result of trying to compensate for the injury.

Last night, Peter Abraham reported that
a team source said that many of Ellsbury's comments today contradicted what he told the medical staff or simply weren't true.
In this morning's Globe, Robert Mays writes:
But a team source said Ellsbury did not complain of back pain in April or ask for an MRI on that area and was only cleared to start playing in May when he pronounced himself completely free of symptoms.

The Sox do not plan to get into a public dispute with Ellsbury and Boras over the course of treatment, the source said, fearing that only would serve to exacerbate what the source termed the player's unpopularity within the clubhouse.
Ellsbury said that he has been in "constant contact" with the Red Sox, with Terry Francona, and with team doctors while he has been working out in Arizona.
While I was out at API every single day, they would get a report of exactly what I did -- the weight, the time, every detail was submitted to them every single day.
This soap opera seems far from over -- and the media now will use this situation as a future "talking point" any time Ellsbury misses a game or two because of an injury or some discomfort.

Also: I thought the Globe's Peter Abraham took a few unnecessary shots at Ellsbury when he said that as soon as he "pulled out his notes today, I knew something was up". Abraham adds that Ellsbury "went on the offensive against the Red Sox medical staff".

This is a great example of how a player cannot win. If Ellsbury writes down some notes, he is "armed with talking points". But if he tries recapping the chronology of injuries, examinations, tests, various rehab starts, third opinions, etc. off the top of his head and made an inadvertent error or two, then the media will rip him for contradicting himself and being "unable to get his story straight".

18 comments:

thomas said...

As someone that read Abraham often when he was with the Yankees he has no problem attacking players and interjecting his opinion without any basis to back it up.

Wouldn't be so bad but except he has favorites and whipping boys.

Amy said...

I have this sick, sinking feeling that LBJ will not be with the team much longer. He seems to have been tarred and feathered as a disloyal and whiny player who will follow the path of Nomar and Manny off the team. I predict a trade for a pitcher to boost the bullpen in some way.

Bartman said...

"Ellsbury said that after the collision with Beltre in Kansas City, he specifically asked for MRI exams on both the front and back of his rib cage. He believed he was getting those exams, but only the front was MRIed,..."

Now in my 70s, I have learned that you have to be very specific when dealing with doctors. Coming back months or years later saying, "I'm sure I told you about those pains, doc!" does you little good.

L-girl said...

A journalist criticizing a player for keeping notes! Shameful.

I'm sure we're all thinking what Amy said. I hope it doesn't happen, but I won't be surprised if/when it does.

Awful.

mattymatty said...

I love the irony of an anonymous source on the Red Sox telling a newspaper that the team has no intention of getting into a public spat with Ellsbury, who, by the way, isn't liked very much by his teammates.

L-girl said...

Thanks (or not) to WEEI pregame, I just heard Steve Buckley trashing LBJ. I don't listen to sports radio or read mainstream sports media so I forget how vile this stuff is.

It was so totally disgusting. Supposedly Mike Cameron is showing up Ellsbury by saying "look at me, I have a sports hernia, I need surgery at the end of the season, but I'm still playing".

So all injuries are equal, and no matter what, players can play injured? So why don't Pedroia, Varitek and Martinez all do that?

Jacoby is "a little bit soft", he's "obviously" under the influence of his agent (Buckley finds it all very obvious), trash trash trash... then at the end, "he's a young kid and has a lot to learn".

This is so nauseating. I despise these people who make a living trashing people infinitely more talented - and more useful - than they are.

redsock said...

I heard that Mockery was coming up with Buckley -- and Buckley is an automatic MUTE.

A poor man's CHB, he and Gerry Callahan both.

redsock said...

Could someone please fracture five of Buckley's ribs and then ask him to work out at the gym for three or four hours every day? Thx.

redsock said...

And this will now dog Ellsbury for however long his Red Sox career lasts (and perhaps his entire career). Certainly, Boston writers will *always* refer to it.

9casey said...

Why did Ellsbury have to comment? Why bring out the notes?

Why not just take the high road?

While he was in Arizone, his name was hardly mentioned in the media?

Why did he ( I can't blame a grown man's actions on his agent) choose to speak so much about the fuck up with the medical staff.

accudart said...

but what do you guys make of what Youk said? He felt strongly and I think he's earned his right to speak up on things like this.

redsock said...

Ray: Yook could be personally frustrated at Ellsbury or frustrated at the team's injuries. Or maybe the whole team is annoyed at him. I have no idea. He can say what he wants, sure. And he did cut off someone who was trying to get him to go further ("don't go down that road").

Maybe Yook needs to be slapped again, like Manny did when his O'Neillian tantrums were getting out of hand.

Why bring out the notes?

I'd say because his media appearance was a big deal and he wanted to make sure he got all his info straight. I saw no video so I have no idea how much he used them, but I imagine it would be like someone using note cards when addressing a big crowd.

While he was in Arizone, his name was hardly mentioned in the media?

I disagree with that. Wondering about his return has been a big topic. Mazz stirred up a bunch of shit with his "soft" column and god only knows what the radio guys are doing.

Why did he ( I can't blame a grown man's actions on his agent) choose to speak so much about the fuck up with the medical staff.

Because it's part of what happened and has a lot to do with why he has been out for so long. Whether he spoke "so much" about it or not, I do not know. I have not seen a transcript of the entire conference.

Tom DePlonty said...

One of the things that really pissed me off about the Massarotti "soft" piece was that it contains no reaction from Ellsbury, or any indication Massarotti tried to get one. It was nothing but a hit piece.

I think Ellsbury has been pretty restrained in defending himself, actually. And where he has to stand by anything he says, the team can trot out "anonymous sources" to take shots at him in the press at will. It's disgusting.

9casey said...

Tom DePlonty said...
One of the things that really pissed me off about the Massarotti "soft" piece was that it contains no reaction from Ellsbury, or any indication Massarotti tried to get one. It was nothing but a hit piece.





Massarotti is trying to get on ESPN, and he knows you have to be loud mouth with a bad attitude to get there.

L-girl said...

And this will now dog Ellsbury for however long his Red Sox career lasts (and perhaps his entire career).

That is the saddest part. When he's with another team, announcers will give him back-handed praise like, "He's dogged by stories that he's soft but we haven't seen any evidence of that, he seems like a very hard-working young man so far."

L-girl said...

Sorry for that duplicate comment (which I deleted). I thought I had posted my earlier comment in the gamethread, rather than here.

So tell me, anyone, why Ellsbury should take the high road but not Youkilis?

girlanachronism said...

I agree this whole thing with Ellsbury has been shameful. I don't understand why his injury is so much more suspect than others. A broken bone is a broken bone, and with the amount of twisting motions baseball players -- especially center fielders tracking down fly balls -- are expected to make to do their jobs, I find it incomprehensible why anyone doubts that this injury is truly serious.

This isn't like Nomar or Manny -- nobody saw the Achilles incident that prefaced Nomar's departure, or what happened to cause Manny's various knee / hamstring problems. Everyone saw Ellsbury's collision with Beltre. Everybody saw him land on his rib cage in that later game. Multiple physicians have diagnosed him with fractured ribs, an injury that can keep NFL players sidelined. What am I missing here?

girlanachronism said...

Is it not equally possible, if we're trading in conspiracy theories, that the team is using its media mouthpieces to trash Ellsbury the better to cover up for medical staff mistakes, a la Theo during his contract dispute? I'm not saying that's what happened. But why is that not an equally likely possibility based on the evidence being presented?