August 21, 2010

When Will Media Call Pedroia "Soft"?

Does anyone have links to these Globe and Herald stories:
Pussy Pedey Opts For Bench
Another "Soft Sock" Would Rather Sit
Or maybe an mp3 of talk radio hosts boasting that if they were able to come to work after stubbing their toe in the kitchen, then Pedroia can play a few hours of baseball?

I'd really appreciate it.
Example
While the front office stated that Dustin Pedroia would return to the lineup only if his broken foot was completely healed and he was pain-free, it seems that plan was disregarded and FY was perhaps rushed back into the lineup.

The Red Sox need his bat sooner rather than later if they are going to make a serious push for the playoffs, but risking further damage (and possibly the end of his career) is a short-sighted move. And it's a move that contradicts what Theo Epstein often says about having a player take the necessary time to heal rather than coming back too soon, playing ineffectively and getting hurt again. Like Pedroia did. Like Jacoby Ellsbury did. Like Mike Cameron did. Like Jacoby Ellsbury did (again). Pedroia was no doubt chomping at the bit to return, but the Sox have a responsibility to soberly assess the situation, both for 2010 and beyond.

In late July, Dr. Yocum warned Pedroia that he should let the injury fully heal before playing -- and Pedroia seemed to understand:
He kind of told me I can't play unless I feel no pain, which isn't good. ... I thought I could play, that if I feel hurt, you can just play through it. You really can't do that with this injury. ... That bone will break off, then they would have to put pins in it. It would be a disaster.
Joe McDonald from ESPNBoston reports that Pedroia told the team he was pain-free while rehabbing and then he had only traditional x-rays -- not a CT scan -- before being cleared to play. After experiencing soreness and pain after playing two games, a CT scan was taken -- and, as Terry Francona noted "there's some healing to go".

It sure seems like Pedroia was not being honest when he said he had no pain and the team erred by not being as close to 100% sure that his foot was properly healed.

If the Red Sox had experienced half of the injuries it has gone through this season, we'd be shaking our heads at the absurdity of it all. What has actually happened is a shitshow of historical proportions. I thought the stampede to the DL in August 2006 would never be topped. Silly me.

And getting back to the media's reporting on Pedroia and Ellsbury, both young players had bone fractures, both returned ahead of schedule, both experienced additional pain or re-injury, and both returned to the DL. Yet the media presentation of their experiences could not be more different: we are told one is a malingering whiner allegedly hated by his teammates while the other is the very personification of a gritty gamer.

23 comments:

tim said...

yeah but he fouled a ball off hit foot, you know. that seriously impedes your ability to do the basic fundamentals, hit, run, play the field.

all ellsbury did was break a few measly ribs - what do you use ribs for in baseball anyway? nothing, exactly. ribs are for eating, not breaking. he should've played through it because his arms and legs were fine.

***

i seriously question if there is some sort of thought process where a rib injury isn't considered bad. even though it impedes mobility way more than a limb bone break, and takes longer to heal, especially considering it can't be casted.

johngoldfine said...

The situation with FY/LBJ is analogous to the one where people prefer a narrative line and their impressions to actual facts or useful statistics about performance.

I understand that the newspapers--in order to try to pretend to still sell a few papers--have to create tales of heroes and villains. But I'm surprised the GM and front office would be following those stories and eating their seed corn by possibly sacrificing a young player's career based on incomplete medical procedures and the need to win a few games in August. It's not as if they are having trouble selling seats at the ballpark....

Why would they NOT have asked for a CT scan?

L-girl said...

i seriously question if there is some sort of thought process where a rib injury isn't considered bad. even though it impedes mobility way more than a limb bone break, and takes longer to heal, especially considering it can't be casted.

And that thought process somehow concludes that since a rib injury isn't really bad, Ellsburyreally doesn't want to play. Even though his future worth depends entirely on his success or failure in the present - and even though his style of play, what he has to offer, requires him to be in top shape. How can you get to that point with broken, cracked or bruised ribs?

The situation with FY/LBJ is analogous to the one where people prefer a narrative line and their impressions to actual facts or useful statistics about performance.

It's exactly that.

But I'm surprised the GM and front office would be following those stories and eating their seed corn by possibly sacrificing a young player's career based on incomplete medical procedures and the need to win a few games in August.

You're assuing the FO is following the media. I'm assuming the FO is leading the media - suggesting and planting those stories because they plan to let LBJ go.

johngoldfine said...

You're assuing the FO is following the media. I'm assuming the FO is leading the media - suggesting and planting those stories because they plan to let LBJ go.

But after they've done convincing the world that he's a fragile, lazy, spoiled, whiny, useless, dogging-it, anti-social POS, what do they expect to get for such spoiled goods?

Amy said...

Yeah, I have the same question as JohnGF. How does the FO gain if they devalue LBJ? They won't get much for him or they will be stuck with a player they have antagonized. If they wanted to let him go, wouldn't they simply trade him without maligning him? And why DO they want to let him go? What is their motivation?

I am not suggesting that it is not the FO leading the media. I just don't get why they are doing it.

The media, on the other hand, has the motivation that it sells papers or radio/TV time because people always like controversy. Like rubbernecking on the highway.

MacLeodCartoons said...

Interesting stuff. But I actually think that pretty soon the Beantown media will decide that it'll sell more papers to criticize FY, so we'll see the 'he selfishly faked being fully fit' stories. Hence my cartoon this morning.

L-girl said...

But after they've done convincing the world that he's a fragile, lazy, spoiled, whiny, useless, dogging-it, anti-social POS, what do they expect to get for such spoiled goods?

Many teams would be very happy to have him. I think the show is mainly for the fans, to be uncomplaining and even happy to see him go.

For reasons unknown to me, the Red Sox seem unable to get rid of players with anything resembling dignity and class. There always has to be drama, and always at the players' expense. It has happened so many times that it cannot be a coincidence.

redsock said...

How does the FO gain if they devalue LBJ? They won't get much for him or they will be stuck with a player they have antagonized.

The front offices of other teams are not as dumb and gullible as the average fan.

If they wanted to let him go, wouldn't they simply trade him without maligning him?

Looking at the last few decades (at least), that does not seem to be the "Boston way".

And why DO they want to let him go? What is their motivation?

While Ellsbury is a good player, the Sox may think he is over-valued and could bring back a nice package of talent. They may think they have OF prospects that can do what Ellsbury does (maybe not steal 70+ bases, but produce runs), and there may be free agents they have their eye on for 2012.

And they seem to be trying to sour the fan base on him so they won't be so mad when he is traded. Just an opinion, but we've seen it before.

L-girl said...

They won't get much for him

Why do people assume that? LBJ will be worth a lot, with or without drama.

If they wanted to let him go, wouldn't they simply trade him without maligning him?

Do the Red Sox do that? To me it's a clear pattern that we've seen so many times.

L-girl said...

But I actually think that pretty soon the Beantown media will decide that it'll sell more papers to criticize FY, so we'll see the 'he selfishly faked being fully fit' stories.

I don't think so. I think FY is teflon for a long time to come. Like Trot Nixon and several other examples, he's been placed in the category of "gritty tough guy" who can do no wrong.

redsock said...

Looking at how the Red Sox media/FO treat star/popular players who are either going to be traded or become FA versus so-so players in the same positions would be an interesting project.

johngoldfine said...

Like Trot Nixon and several other examples, he's been placed in the category of "gritty tough guy" who can do no wrong.

One of the most interesting sections of 'Moneyball' was the description of how scouts would get into their heads that someone was a "good-looking young ballplayer" (Johnny Pesky loved that phrase when he was broadcasting), and no amount of subsequent indifferent performance would shake them out of their trancelike insistence on the fellow's good-lookingness.

(I always assumed a repressed homosexual subtext but that's neither here nor there.) Laura's point is the same as in 'Moneyball.' In this world, Bill James to the contrary notwithstanding, reputation trumps performance, appearance trumps reality.

I guess I'm already mourning the passing of LBJ....

johngoldfine said...

All this soft and hard business. Talk about Bill James having lived in vain. Freud anyone?

redsock said...

You hear that often in broadcasts today. Someone "just looks like a ball player".

What does that even mean? I'll bet the guy saying it could not explain it very well either.

If he simply "looks" like a ball player, then you are not judging him on hitting or pitching or running or fielding. You are judging his talent based on his body type and whether you happen to think that type is well-suited to playing baseball at a high level.

MAN, that is fucked up!

What do they mean? I suppose they mean he looks athletic and isn't too short and, yes, is probably handsome.

Amy said...

Although there clearly are examples like Manny and Nomar, I guess I am less aware of a pattern of the FO badmouthing a player before trading or not signing him as a free agent. I don't recall them bad mouthing Damon, for example, at least not until he asked for too much money. Who else did they do that to?

Hope the rain ends before your party tonight.

redsock said...

I would put Pedro in that category.

redsock said...

Hope the rain ends before your party tonight.

It is a very light drizzle now, but still not something you'd really want to sit out in. (If we have enough parties, we're gonna hit rain on one of them.)

Amy said...

Yeah, I was thinking Pedro also, though they never were all that effective in that effort. Who could hate Pedro?

redsock said...

He was a diva! He made his own rules! OMG!!1!11!

Michael Holloway said...

Nice conversation. Really enjoyed it, JohnFG's takes especially. Nicely put.

Michael Holloway said...

Just found this that you've probably already seen - as he threads here - but a perfect fit for the thread.

MacLeod Cartoon:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_2AYANb0P9Fs/TG_uFSMOTcI/AAAAAAAAB3g/ow_8uc773lc/s400/boston+media.jpg

Amy said...

Perfect, Michael!

L-girl said...

Just found this that you've probably already seen - as he threads here - but a perfect fit for the thread.

Scrolling up on the very same thread:

MacLeodCartoons said...

Interesting stuff. But I actually think that pretty soon the Beantown media will decide that it'll sell more papers to criticize FY, so we'll see the 'he selfishly faked being fully fit' stories. Hence my cartoon this morning.