Yanks still facing heat over DL use

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Oh, to be Jayson Stark. To have unfettered discretion to reprint anonymous quotes from league officials without any repercussions. To use those anonymous quotes as a smoke screen for personal opinions about other teams.

Today’s Jayson Stark/anonymous column concerns questionable uses of the DL by certain teams throughout the Majors. It features “disgruntled American League execs” slamming the Yankees and Red Sox for their liberal uses of the DL.

“The day before he” — meaning Chien-Ming Wang — “went on the DL,” the said disgruntled American League exec told Stark, “he said, ‘I’m healthy. I want to start tomorrow.’ And the next day, he was placed on the disabled list. It’s a little strange, don’t you think?”

In response, Stark gets Brian Cashman on the record to explain the Yanks’ thoughts on Wang. The Yanks had A-Rod‘s hip doctor look at Wang, and that hip doctor determined that Wang’s hip was not up to snuff. “I don’t really care what anybody on the outside thinks,” Cashman said. “If I have a doctor who tells me a player has to do physical therapy and it could take him up to six weeks to do it, that’s not ‘convenient.’ The fact is, we need our No. 2 starter, but we need to get him right.”

Stark questions the Mets’ placing Oliver Perez on the DL with a knee issue and the Tigers’ decision to put Dontrelle Willis on the DL with psychological problems. In each case, the critique is the same: What exactly is wrong with these players that warrants a trip to the DL?

Stark ends his piece by asking some other anonymous officials if this is actually cheating. The answer appears to be a resounding not. “What the hell are the Yankees supposed to with a guy like Wang?” a GM said to Stark. “He’s 0-3 and giving up 15 [runs] a game. What are the Tigers supposed to do with Dontrelle? They know he can’t make the team, so what are you gonna do? They’ve got millions of dollars invested in the guy. So you put him on the DL, and if the commissioner’s office doesn’t like it, they can call you a no-good liar.”

Another General Manager echoed those sentiments. “I know they’re not all legit,” one GM said. “But I’ll be honest. I don’t find that to be hard-core cheating — because the player’s got to be willing to do it. If the player’s willing to go on there, it means the player knows he’s not right. Whether it’s physical, mental or mechanical, something’s wrong — and there’s no other way around the rules.”

All in all, this has been one long much ado about nothing. Chien-Ming Wang is not right. Oliver Perez is not right. Dontrelle Willis is not right. These players have to go somewhere, and they have been, at various point this season, disabled. When they are right and healthy, they will be activated. That’s the bottom line.

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  • Mattingly’s Love Child

    Jayson Stark has a long history of an anti-Yankee agenda, though this wasn’t as much of a smear job as some of his other work. At least he included 2 other teams with them in this gossip column. That’s really all this was, a gossip column about DL usage.

    I’ve found myself not reading anything Stark writes anymore. It makes for a much happier existence.

  • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    It’s amazing that this becomes a big issue only when the Yanks are involved. Teams have been pulling this sh*t for years, yet the Jayson Starks of the world kept their righteous indignation in check until now. Funny.

    And you know what? Accuse me of being a homer on this one, but I don’t think the Yankees can even be considered a bad offender in this area (relative to how other teams have done this stuff). Sure, CMW has been, technically, healthy enough to take the mound. Did he meet some sort of minimum health level? Sure, I guess so. But, in this particular case, CMW was coming off of a major injury that ended his prior season. Is it really so outrageous that a player working his way back from injury maybe should not have been back in MLB yet and might need some more rehabilitation time, and that such rehab time be achieved through use of the DL? I don’t think so.

    This is not the first time teams have used the DL in somewhat questionable circumstances and for somewhat questionable purposes, but nobody took notice or had a problem with it before now because it didn’t fit their agenda. Nobody wants to slam the Tigers or the Red Sox but the Yankees? Now that’s a nice, popular, page-view inducing target.

  • JP

    Not to hijack the thread into PED’s, but these jerk writers were muhjaculating all over McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and all the rest of the homer guys in the ’90s, and then when the PEDs started making news, they turned on their heroes like a pack of wolves.

    Anti-Yankee sentiment will never go away. It’s been around since I’ve been watching baseball, you just learn to deal with it. What makes me sick is when “journalists” engage in it, and are never called on it, especially by their peers.

    The ESPN baseball crowd is a bunch of jerks.

    • hamburger helper

      I’m very happy to see the MLB Network in existence. Together with MLB Radio (Home Plate), hopefully it can help put ESPN in its rightful place as an afterthought as far as baseball coverage is concerned.

  • jsbrendog

    jayson stark……what the hell happened to you mang

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      he gets an oaktag for life!

      • Klemy

        I would like to see OAKTAG in all caps whenever it’s used now, for emphasis!

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Agreed.

  • A.D.

    “The day before he” — meaning Chien-Ming Wang — “went on the DL,” the said disgruntled American League exec told Stark, “he said, ‘I’m healthy. I want to start tomorrow.’ And the next day, he was placed on the disabled list. It’s a little strange, don’t you think?”

    A player saying he wants to play quantifies his health? So was A-Rod’s hip healthy in September last year, Johan’s knee? Schilling’s leg in ’04? BJ Upton most of last year?

    Just because a player can go out and play doesn’t mean their health nor that they shouldn’t be on the DL.

    • Corey

      schilling was fine,that was food coloring

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tADvb3yyhwM Slugger27

        Sherwin. Williams.

        • some call me…nick swisher

          color: red oaktag

          still dont have tix for tonight’s game, getting nervous :)

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      If I was Chein Ming Wang’s agent, I’d be telling him to always say he’s healthy pretty much at all times, even when he’s injured. You can admit to injury after the fact, once you’re pitching well again, but for negotiating purposes you want to do anything possible to contribute to a reputation as an injury-free bulldog who doesn’t make excuses* and always wants to take the hill. Players get lionized for “gutting it out” and “playing through pain”.

      It’s probably in the player’s best long-term interest to lie up front and force the team to take him out of the lineup than to admit injury and ask out of the lineup. Which is why, as Stark himself noted in the article when quoting Bobby Cox, PLAYERS OFTEN LIE ABOUT THE EXTENT OR PRESENCE OF THEIR INJURIES.

      ————————–

      * This is tied to the larger discussion we’re having about the thin difference between excuses and explanations. They’re virtually identical, but one is perceived as the crutch of the weak and one is perceived as the justification of the reasoned. Better for Wang to try to explain his injuries in the past tense than to use his injuries as an excuse in the present tense.

  • Yanks99

    Why does nobody bring up Daiske? Granted, I didn’t read the whole article but I did a search for his name and came up with nothing. He said he felt fine and wanted to pitch. That happened before CMW.

    • Mo’s ERA

      “Arm fatigue” that leads to 9 runs per inning is apparently very different from “weak hips” that leads to 9 runs per inning.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tADvb3yyhwM Slugger27

      Why does nobody bring up Daiske? Granted, I didn’t read the whole article but I did a search for his name and came up with nothing. He said he felt fine and wanted to pitch. That happened before CMW.

      because he plays for boston. where have u been the past decade???

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      That was my first thought when I read the article last night.

      Not a single peep about Boston. Dice K and Wang are on the DL for the same reason – suckiness. But at least Wang has a justifiable injury claim to tie his suckiness too, he was actually injured and actually placed on the actual DL last year, and his suckiness may in fact seriously be connected to that injury.

      What the hell is the matter with Matsuperipheralka?

  • hamburger helper

    I was listening to The Show yesterday on MLB Radio and Dibble was ripping into ESPN for this story, saying this has been going on for years and ESPN is lame for pulling it out now and making it sound like an original idea that they had. He and Jody also thought it was a non-issue and teams have the right to disable their players if they have serious problems hampering their performance, be they physical or mental. FWIW (not much), I agree with them.

    • A.D.

      Dibble gets some credit for that

    • jsbrendog

      nasty boy rob dibble. taking it to the streets. rock on

      • jsbrendog

        his costar on his radio show should be norm charlton. reunite the nasty boys from the big red mahcine!

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Yeah, they should reunite the Cincinnati Nasty Boys: Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton, and… and that other guy!

          (Seriously, it took me like a good 5 minutes of thinking to pull “Randy Myers” out of my cerebral cortex. The guy pitched here, in this city, for some damn good Mets teams and he’s still the most easily forgettable of the three.

          It’s like the Mets Generation K: Jason Isringhausen, Bill Pulsipher, and good old’ whats-his-name.)

          • Mattingly’s Love Child

            Paul Wilson?

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Correct.

              (It was rhetorical, though. )

              • jsbrendog

                the funny thing is out of all of them i feel pulsipher owuld be the least memorable as he did…what exactly? at least wilson put together a few league average yrs in cincinatti and izzy has been a serviceable closer for awhile now. didnt wilson also close for a bit at some point?

                and pulsipher, didnt he deliver pizzas?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Pulsipher: 46 starts, 327 IP, 83 ERA+
                  Wilson: 153 starts, 941 IP, 88 ERA+

                  Yup. Wilson was unquestionably the less sucky of the two. But, his name is boring and average. “Pulsipher” sticks in the brain. This is also why “Joba Chamberlain” probably gets pilloried for his fist pumping and “Fransisco Rodriguez” is ignored.

                  Oh, btw: Isringhausen: 907 IP, 117 ERA+

              • Mattingly’s Love Child

                Sorry, ran out of coffee in the house today….I’m not exactly having a sharp Friday…

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Sorry, ran out of coffee in the house today….I’m not exactly having a sharp Friday…

                  Maybe you should go on the DL.

                  http://www.instantrimshot.com

            • jsbrendog

              bullseye

  • Jake H

    Boston has been doing this for years. Teams do it all the time. It’s pretty pathetic that there is a story now. I guess he didn’t have anything else to write about.

  • MattG

    Does anyone know where to find the rules of DL usage? I don’t know what the official rules are. Being that it is called the ‘disabled list,’ you would think it has plenty of room for interpretation as opposed to the ‘physically unable to perform’ list.

    All of these players could play, but they needed to rehab their skills. I don’t see how that is automatically in violation of anything. Especially Wang, who just missed 4 months of a season. If this happened last September, the Yankees would’ve said, “He says he feels fine, but he did just miss 4 months,” and there would be no argument.

    I will always wonder what MSM would’ve said had the Yankees done what the Red Sox did with Shilling in ’04. That was a highly invasive surgery–it was bad for the long-term health of the player, and it was a bad precedent for the sport. Had it been a Yankees’ player, it probably would’ve been wildly panned as cheating.

    • thurdonpaul

      can you tell me what MSM stands for ?
      thank you

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

        Mainstream media.

        • thurdonpaul

          ty, ty

  • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

    I have found that certain people have an irrational hatred of the Yankees, and it makes them say the most idiotic things. To me, it feels like a drug. Something that makes otherwise rational people say irrational things.

    When a sports journalist runs with a ridiculous story like Wang being put on the DL, there are only two possibilities: The writer is suffering from Yankee Hatred Dementia (TM, I Remember Celerino Sanchez, 2009), or he/she is seeking to feed red meat to the Yankee Hatred Dementia masses.

    As an aside, love the quote from the GM: “What the hell are the Yankees supposed to with a guy like Wang?” Simple truth.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Here, Celerino, I’ve got all those cool diacritical marks and special characters at my fingertips, let me help you out.

      The writer is suffering from Yankee Hatred Dementia®™.
      Yankee Hatred Dementia is a registered trademark of I Remember Celerino Sanchez, copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

        That is just so awesome, I am choked up. Too choked up to say more than … thanks.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Any rewriting, retyping, respeaking or other use of the phrase “Yankee Hatred Dementia” without the prior expressed, written consent of I Remember Celerino Sanchez is strictly prohibited. Other restrictions may apply.

          • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

            If only I can get Ken Singleton to read it.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Maybe you can ask his wife if he’ll do it as a favor.

              http://mrssingy.mlblogs.com/

              (Note: Ken Singleton’s wife’s blog is a proud member of the YES Network® Blogging Network©).

              • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

                Holy crap! I had no idea Mrs. Singie had a blog.

      • Babe’s Ghost

        YHD… I love it.

        The next step is to set up a website to raise money for it. Who should be our first poster boy?

        • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

          In light of this thread, it would have to be Stark.

  • Jake K.

    Yawn. What a non-story.

  • Simon B.

    I think it’s probably a little bit of both. The Yankees probably knew Wang wasn’t strong enough coming back from the lisfranc, but they decided to move along anyway. When he tanked, they realized this just wasn’t going to work.

    I don’t really think of this as some nefarious scheme to abuse the DL. Maybe it’s a little questionable, but Wang definitely wasn’t right physically and needed time on the DL.

    The same could be said for Perez. He wasn’t quite right physically; they tried, he failed, so they get him back in shape on the DL.

    Is there really any veil on Willis? They came right out and said it was mental, and not physical. If the league allows a DL trip for anxiety, then they’re playing by the rules.

  • Jim

    - Wang is coming of a season ending injury from last year.
    – D Willis was on the DL almost all of 2008
    – Oli Perez? I got nothing really…

    DICE K ?????????? Where is he on the list of players specifically discussed.

    Wang was one of the main pitchers he discussed in the article, though not bashing him too bad. BUT NO MENTION OF DICE K or the RED SOX. He is the #1 shady DL stint guy the last TWO years with “Arm Fatigue”. Yeah, he aint pitching well, so , ummm, yeah his arm has some fatigue so he’s going down? What the F is up with Leaving him off the list, yet along not at the top of the article.

    STARK IS A PATHETIC SPORTS WRITER

  • JP

    Why can’t teams just send players to the minors, for rehab, without using the disabled list? I’ve heard about “options,” is there a limited number of times you can send a player to the minor leagues?

    • JP

      Answer to my own question, sort of:

      http://www.insidethemajors.com/?p=451

      So you can only send players to the minors for 3 seasons, basically, sometimes 4. Sounds like a players union contract thingie. I guess it makes sense…does it?

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Wang is out of options. An “option” is used when a player on the 40-man roster is sent to the minors. Once an option is used one year, the team can freely send that same player between the majors and minors as many times as it pleases (i.e. only one option can be burned per year, the term “option” really refers to the season, not the particular transaction).

      http://www.insidethemajors.com/?p=451
      (or see wikipedia or the actual MLB rules, which are available online)

      • Bo

        Because if you send a guy down there and he still stinks you would never bring said player back up again. And no player would sign up for that.

  • Klemy

    Yeah, the Dice-K non-mention sheds a lot of light on Stark’s intent IMO. Either way, it’s a dumb story because everybody knows teams use the DL in this manor and that it’s happened for a long, long time. Almost any GM who cries foul on this is a hypocrite.

  • Bo

    Every team uses the DL to get players with issues time to fix their issues. If anyone saw Wang pitch this yr and walked away saying he was himself they are morons.

  • Brendo

    Wang is coming off MAJOR surgery. How fake could this really be? Now someone want to tell me what “injury” Dice K or Perez or Willis have?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Major injury, yes. But Wang did not undergo surgery for his Lisfranc injury.

  • http://language godfather

    call the fucker the inactive list and play ball; the game is on the field…suits, sources, scribes, scouts are all asspains

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