2006 Reds / Reds - General

Majewskigate

I figure it’s about time this got its own thread. I’ve talked a lot about it in the comment thread, both here and over at Lancaster’s. So for now, I’ll just put up the latest facts, and assume we’re all caught up on the basics.

This afternoon, John Fay had a story that included this:

[Kremcheck] said Majewski’s medical records did not arrive in Cincinnati until Aug. 1, the day after the trade deadline.

“And even then, they weren’t complete,” Kremchek said.

The story no longer contains that quote, which I thought was relevant. Strange.

It does say this:

But the club clearly thinks it was wronged. Krivsky said he left a message for Washington general manager Jim Bowden Tuesday morning. He said he had not heard back as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Okay. Every story out of Cincinnati attributes Krivsky as saying he called Bowden, but hadn’t heard back. “I just wanted to have a conversation,” Krivsky said. Now things get interesting.

Mark Sheldon, the Reds mlb.com beat writer has the latest from Washington:

But according to Bowden, who was the Reds’ GM from 1992-2003, he had not heard from the Reds. He also said the Nationals were forthcoming with all medical information.

“We supply every documentation that’s ever asked on every single player,” Bowden told reporters late Tuesday afternoon in Washington. “I think that’s just a media report. I don’t think there’s any truth to it. The Reds certainly have not called us and they certainly would call us if there was an issue.

“We all know he’s thrown 11 times since the trade, and we all saw him throw 94 before the trade. So I don’t know where that comes from. Certainly we’ve not heard it from the Reds. We would hear from the Reds if there was a problem. They know there’s not a problem. They have all the documentation — doctor’s reports, training reports on any player in the transaction. If there’s a problem, they would call us. They wouldn’t go through the media.”

Later on Tuesday night, Bowden felt compelled to go a step further and issued a statement through the Nationals media relations office.

“It was disappointing to read Wayne Krivsky’s remarks this evening about the trade of Gary Majewski,” Bowden said. “I never received either a call or a message from Wayne, but when I read his comments this evening, I called him and reminded him that the Cincinnati Reds had received all of the medical information they requested, both before and after the trade. It is also worth remembering that Gary pitched for us right up to the trade and has continued doing so for the Reds up until now. I was pleased to learn this evening from media reports that there is in fact no injury to Gary.”

I actually think the current article (9:30 PM Pacific) is different from the one I read on my cell phone a couple hours ago. I think that one had even more “certainly the Reds would have called if they had a problem, and they haven’t” quotes from Bowden.

Regardless, it’s pretty clear that Bowden is essentially calling Krivsky a liar and a sore loser here. I don’t know either guy, but I find it very, very hard to give Jim Bowden the benefit of the doubt on this one. It sounds exactly like the kind of thing he would do, based on my 14 years of following his public and private life. Tonight, Marty Brennaman said that Bowden would lie about the time on a clock, just because it’s in his nature.

I can’t imagine this is the last chapter in this story.

28 thoughts on “Majewskigate

  1. I was pleased to learn this evening from media reports that there is in fact no injury to Gary

    I haven’t seen those media reports. But what I read from Kremcheck (who I think is an awful team doctor and tends to do things half-ass – I can point to about a dozen mistakes that he seems to have made) seemed to imply the MRI showed nothing wrong. Which may be the closest thing I have seen to there being no injury.

    Also I found it strange Doc Hollywood said he never tests guys before trades, he never talks to the other teams medical staff, and that an MRI done before the trade probably wouldn’t have changed the decision of the Reds. If those first two things are true and normal for baseball, I really don’t see why major league teams take that kind of risk.

  2. The Washington Post has basically the same info as the local papers. However they got Rob Manfred’s comments on the subject:
    However, Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive vice president, said the “general” policy on trades between teams is “caveat emptor” — buyer beware. Krivsky said he had not spoken with Manfred as of Tuesday evening.

    “It’s generally the buyer’s responsibility to find out” about a player’s soundness, Manfred said. “The exception is if the buyer asks the right questions and is not told the truth.”
    Link
    As we know or at least have been told by Pokey Reese, Dimitri Young and Ron Oester, Bowden is a liar. But that’s a pretty tough thing to prove, especially if the Reds didn’t ask the right questions. And considering my person opinion on the Reds’ training staff’s inability to diagnose injuries accurately and quickly(see Griffey, Dempster, Wilson, Claussen, etc., not to mention the Kerry Wood work that Doc Hollywood did this year), I wouldn’t be surprised if they just didn’t ask the right questions.

  3. Bowden’s not fooling anyone with this “glad Majewski isn’t injured” nonsense. The guy is on the DL, Jim. Sometimes, that means he’s injured in some way. I forgot how stupid Bowden thinks everyone else is.

  4. This mess is going to need until the end of the season to work itself out because……

    If Majewski really IS simply overworked and ONLY needs rest to regain his pop and it really IS ONLY “inflammation”, then there’s not much to bitch about, and we’ll just have to wait a month or so to see if he can regain any of his past track record’s form. Shoot, best case scenario (other than being compensated in some way by the Nats and/or MLB), he might come back in September and be everything we hoped for, and this’ll all blow over.

    That is unless the rumors about the cortisone shot and Majic being told to cover it up ARE true. If so, Bowden’s already tarnished rep will be completely mud (if it’s not already there, that is).

  5. pinski, are you a medical professional? i’m curious because i’ve heard your opinion that Dr. K is a bad team doctor a lot, and i wonder why so many teams send there players to him if he’s so bad. Why does he have such a good rep in baseball and a bad rep with you? Maybe you’re a doctor and you know things baseball teams don’t?

    i hope this gets ugly, i’m all for that. If the reds can’t get compensation because MLB says asking “is he alright,” which works with every honest GM, wasn’t the right question (“you didn’t ask, did he get a shot on thursday at 8:30, so technically bowden didn’t lie”). , then i hope bowden suffers for it, and fans rally around their organization.

  6. To reiterate what I put on my own blog last night, Dr. Kremchek is a terrific surgeon, but seems to be a lousy diagnostician. In other words, I want someone else to check me out, but Dr. Tim to do the cutting.

  7. Latest report out of MLB says that the Reds will be getting two pairs of leather pants, and half a bottle of Jim Beam from Bowden’s desk drawer as compensation.

  8. I was curious to know if any of you were aware of the ramifications if “all the right questions were asked” and if Bowden was not forthcoming in his answers. I don’t remember this kind of situation before.

  9. I read somewhere about a trade between Milwaukee and the Yankees some years back with this issue… I believe Ricky Bones was part of the deal and was returned to his former team because another player (I think Dan Listach) was deemed to have been “damaged goods”

  10. CORRECTION: should have looked this up before my last post…it appears that the Brewers and Yankees made a trade that included Pat Listach going to the Yankees in exchange for Gerald Williams. Listach was deemed to have been “damaged goods” at the time, so was returned to Milwaukee. Ricky Bones was then sent to the Yankees as compensation.
    So… if I have this straight now… if this was used as precedent and Majewski is determined to have been “damaged goods”, then the Nationals would send another player to the Reds. Just completely guessing here, but I would think that MLB would compile a list of three or four players that the Reds could chose from if the two teams couldn’t work it out. Personally, I would rather have cash and the ‘Nats #1 draft pick in next years amateur draft. I have never really understood why draft picks aren’t involved in MLB trades more often anyway.

  11. No I am not a doctor. But I’ve been watching the Reds run injured pitchers out there for a while. Because I think that diagnosis and doing surgery after the fact go hand-in-hand I don’t think you can be a good doctor without doing both well or at least passable.
    Lets look at the Kerry Wood situation.
    In June Kerry Wood went on the DL because of shoulder stiffness. Doc Hollywood says its just part of the recovery process.Link
    In July, a MRI althogram was done – result? Turns out Kerry Wood had a rotator cuff tear that may have been there for a while.
    Link
    Or we could go back to the whole Griffey didn’t hurt his hamstring in his early days of the season. Where Griffey was clearly struggling but the team said there was nothing wrong. Until like 4 weeks later when they finally did an MRI and found the injury.

    As for whether he is a good surgeon, I don’t know. He trained with Job for 6 months or so and that definitely puts him on the cutting edge.

  12. all i’m saying is that if you’re getting all your information from the papers, then you probably know about 20% of what really took place in confidential medical exams. If you’re willing to say that someone is a terrible doctor based on that level of information, so be it.

    Personally i think that’s pretty presumptous, especially since you have no comparison doctor. Do you kow of another team doctor out there who has a better track record by the measures you’re making up?

  13. I agree with Al – not about Pinski being presumptuous or whatever – but that our opinion of Kremchek is colored by what he can, and what he and the team choose to say. I feel like he’s made a lot of mistakes, but that’s mostly because 90% of the time, you only get a half-the-story statement that serves the team’s interests. I imagine that Kremchek is severely limited in what information he gives out. (Like Bowden?), Kremcek probably tells the truth about what he does say, but doesn’t tell us everything.

  14. Its all circumnstantial – but there’s lots of it.
    Why do the Reds continually have players that aren’t hurt but really are. How many times has Kent Mercker been on the DL consecutively this year? How do you not do an MRI on Griffey’s leg or Kerry Wood’s arm?
    Maybe I don’t have all the facts, but there certainly is a reason he is called Doc Hollywood. I’m personally tired of hearing that players have injuries and yet the Doc says they can still pitch. That’s why we are paying Paul Wilson $4 million to pitch in AAA. Doc said he’s seen worse arms that still work. I truly find that situation hard to believe.

    Sure you want to know about another awful doc – the Angels doctor. According to reports he diagnosed their young first baseman with mono at the beginning of the season after spring training. They didn’t treat it and let him play ball for the next two months – resulting in a lost season and two months of a 1b batting under the mendoza line.

    From everything one reads, it continually sounds like baseball has no clue how to keep most players healthy or diagnose injuries. From players refusing to admit they are hurt – Majewski and Liriano, to players being told that the pain is just part of the rehabbing process – Wood.

  15. Not on topic, but Mr. Paul Wilson better be on the post-season roster.

    … because he can then be removed for anyone on the team in Sept., if I understand the rules correctly. In other words, the Reds can get around the Sept 1 playoff roster cutoff. With Narron still sorting out the bullpen options, they’ll need the extra time.

  16. no, i didn’t want to hear about another bad doctor, that just proves my point. I wanted a comparison to a doctor who looked better in the media than Krechek. What you posted just makes it look like this is a systemic thing, throughout all of baseball and all doctors, and that there’s no reason to single Kremchek out.

    It’s the same up hear in Boston, fans don’t get to know exactly what’s going on with team injuries, and there’s probably a reason for that.

    Take Claussen. now we find out that he knew all a long that surgery was a distinct possibility, but even beat reporters were surprised to hear that he was gone for the season. Clearly the reds wanted it quiet.

  17. anybody around that lives in the cincy area? what’s the chances it gets rained out i’ll be P.O.’d if i drive 2 hours and get to a postponed game

  18. Here’s what I have come to realize about pitchers and their injuries.
    1. Pitchers only tell the team they are hurt when their significant other makes. That means that the team tends to not really have a clue when a player is injured in the first place.
    2. The first option is almost always rest it for 15 days and see what happens. So I didn’t find it surprising that Claussen had surgery or that they knew it was coming. What I did find was that the reporters found it surprising.

  19. BTW, Todd Hollansworth has been picked up by the Reds from the Indians for a player to be named later and cash. To make room for him, Claussen has been put on the 60-day DL.

  20. If there’s anyone who thinks that Jim Bowden is a man of integrity, I’m sure not aware of them.
    Oester, Brennaman, Reese et al, and now Krivsky wouldn’t walk across the street to p**s on Bowden if he was on fire.

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