Friday, March 9, 2012

If You Can't Hit, Jorge Arangure Doesn't Care About Your Injuries

Oriole left fielder Nolan Reimold took a fastball to the face in the first inning of today's exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Rays and from all accounts, it was pretty nasty.

Three innings later, we learned that IF Ryan Flaherty, the club's Rule 5 pick, took a pitch in the shoulder via Roch Kubatko on Twitter. Jorge Arangure replied to that tweet:

Forget, for a moment, that his comment is kind of a cheap dig at the Orioles and, for their fans, kind of rubbing their faces in 14 straight seasons of losing. I'm making that leap butI suppose it's not fair to expect Mr. Arangure to understand the psyche of the modern Oriole fan. (But considering he spent years covering the O's for the Washington Post, maybe it is a fair expectation.)

But so close on the heels of a scary injury to Reimold, one that had him laid out for several minutes and taken directly to a local hospital, this comment seemed a bit callous, to say the least.

I retweeted his statement with comment which started a small back and forth:

That is indeed the cold, hard reality. But the timing of that comment really was poor. As you will see later, that timing may have been related to a misunderstanding but while Mr. Arangure may not "enjoy" seeing players get hurt, it doesn't seem to concern him much. At least if they're not any good.

And this is true. It was a reply to the Flaherty tweet from Roch Kubatko.

But he never said that he did not know that Reimold had been injured. Roch referenced it ever so obliquely with "And so it continues." in that initial tweet. I mentioned a player getting hit in the face, not the shoulder, and it did not seem to give him pause. And assuming that an injury is serious enough to keep a bad player out of a lineup, thus making his production easier to replace than a good one, it would seem the assumption is that the injury was bad enough to keep the player out of a lineup. As he says, a guy who gets hit in the shoulder is not a catastrophic event. Getting hit in the face with a fast ball typically is.

So I will take him at his word that he was referring the the Flaherty injury and that he was ignorant of the more serious Reimold injury, even if that seems a bit suspect.

But doesn't Ryan Flaherty deserve a bit of human sympathy anyway? If you prick him, does he not bleed? By all accounts, Flaherty was in visible pain when he was struck. If he was to miss any time, should it be trivialized just because he is much more likely to hit .220 than .320?  You would think that Mr. Arangure has spent enough time around ball players to be a little less flippant about injuries. But Ryan Flaherty going on the DL is not nearly the story that an Alex Rodriguez injury would be. And to many baseball writers, if it's not a big story, it's not worth being concerned about. On any level.

No comments: