Roch Kubatko asked Orioles manager Buck Showalter for his thoughts on other doctors weighing in on the Grant Balfour situation:
Showalter responded tonight and he didn't pull any punches.
"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.
The Ken Rosenthal's, Peter Gammon's, and Buster Olney's of the world don't own and operate teams, yet their insistence on quoting third party doctors and then saying, "Case closed. Orioles are stupid" is classic ignorance or arrogance, probably both.
"We liked the player. We still like the player," Showalter said of Balfour. "We just didn't like the two-year commitment compared to one year when you look at so many track record decisions made on guys. Every pitcher that you take in there is going to have some wear and tear on their elbow and shoulder and whatever. And (the physicians') educated decision was such. And I back them. I could rattle off a bunch, but they wouldn't want me to, of decisions they've helped us make that turned out very well.
"Some people just like to get their name in the paper. I guess it gets more people to come in their doctors office. I don't know. Or maybe they have a certain kinship or connection with the agent that represents that player. I don't know. But I can tell you that I took it personal. And I know the class that Dr. (John) Wilckens and them operate with that they will not get in that arena and not get on that level. And I'll leave it at that."
And I'll leave it at that as well after saying one more thing. Balfour still hasn't signed on anywhere. The national spin will probably be that he hasn't signed because the Orioles desecrated his good medical report. But it's really starting to look like the truth is rolling much farther from that and closer towards legitimate issues.
I wouldn't be shocked if Balfour eventually takes a one year deal with the Orioles. I think it is a complete long shot, but stranger things have happened.