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Twins Medical Misadventures- or Malpractice?

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#1 BigTrane

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 07:21 PM

End of semester is the busiest time of year for me, so I catch games & post here as I have time. Don't always catch everything, but try to stay informed as best I can. This, however, is an ongoing theme with the Twins that most around here are fully familiar with. Checking in on the latest game @ CBS, I ran across this fun little nugget:

"Twins slugger Josh Willingham is still experiencing soreness in his recovery from a broken left wrist, and is backing off from taking infield swings, Gardenhire said. Gardenhire also said OF Aaron Hicks is still feeling the effects from a concussion suffered Thursday night. ''I don't know how long it's going to be,'' Gardenhire said. ..."

http://www.cbssports...ame-losing-skid

Wha? The Hammer has a broken wrist... and is still taking swings? WTH? I'm sorry... that is absolutely news to me, the first I've heard of it. If his wrist is broken, why is he swinging at all? Anybody hear about this previously? Also, Gardy doesn't know when Hicks will be ok? Seems like par for the course...

Plenty of talk around the forum about roster mismanagement right now, and lots of good points being made there. My questions are:
  • How has the Medical staff complicated the use of the DL/roster spots?
  • What is the root of the problem with the staff's consistent inability to correctly diagnose injuries and accurately project recovery times?
  • Who is in charge- Dr. Nick Riviera?
  • What is going on?
  • Where's the fix?

Figured I'd start a thread and toss those questions out there... really frustrated here as I don't expect this issue to be resolved any time soon. :banghead:
Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 07:38 PM

I find layman commentary on medical decisions/diagnoses to be absolutely hilarious but not in a good way. That's all I will say.

#3 Beezer07

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 07:59 PM

My contribution to this thread? Don't call things "malpractice" when it involves one grown man making a conscious decision to swing a bat before his wrist is fully healed.

#4 Beezer07

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 08:00 PM

Sorry, one more contribution. Gardy isn't a doctor, and even the best doctor won't be able to tell us when Hicks will be back from his concussion. Corey Koskie never got back, it took Morneau forever. Other guys probably don't even need the full 7 days. Concussions are a serious thing and Hicks will be back when he's back.

#5 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 09:02 PM

I won't address the Willingham injury because I doubt there's anything fishy going on, but I will back you up BigTrane in general.

Let's take the Pelfrey situation at face value.

Scenario: Pelfrey's pitching horrible, so one day after another horrible start, he walks into Gardy's office. Pelf says, hey skip, I hurt my groin. Gardy says, don't worry buddy, we'll put you on the disabled list.

That's basically how it was reported. He could have skipped a start and tried to rehab it, or offered to pitch in the pen if it might reduce wear and tear. Instead, straight to the DL.

Major League teams liberally abuse DL privileges. Sometimes we get little to no information about a guy. That's what got Mauer in trouble. If the team can't or won't explain an injury then the fans should ask questions. Definitely, fans should also know when they are out of their element though and be good listeners too. I've never had a broken wrist and it must be a pain in the a$$ just going through life struggling with activities we normally take for granted. I read that Fuld broke his wrist once and it put him out several months. Glad to see Arcia coming around from his wrist injury in good time. That's all I got.

#6 pierre75275

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 09:24 PM

On Willingham, his wrist was a hairline fracture, his timetable was originally set at 3 weeks to be healed. Rumor has it he talked to Joe Mauer, bought a lot of milk but even with the extra calcium the bones haven't healed yet. Only way to find out is to take some swings and see where your at. This is hardly news, I am sure he will take a few swings in ten days or so to see if he feels better

#7 stringer bell

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 09:35 PM

I think it is far more complicated than player has X injury and this should automatically be the treatment. Depending on their situation, players will not be forthcoming about injuries. If they don't want to lose playing time, they may hide the injury and hope to play through it. If they are secure with their position, it might well be another story. The field staff wants to get their best players on the field. The front office wants to protect their investments, witness the long layoffs for Alex Meyer last year and Byron Buxton this year. All front offices use the disabled list differently depending on the player. If Brian Dozier and Pedro Florimon both had an injury that sidelined for 3-5 days, the team would gladly DL Florimon, but would sit Dozier because he's vital to the team. The Pelfrey DL assignment is the same thing--if Perkins had the same injury they'd roll for a few days without him, but they needed some place to stash big Pelf.

Josh Willingham has a hairline fracture in a small bone in his wrist. He's been out a while now and pain will probably be the guide when he's ready to play. The team said that he might be able to be back in two weeks, but that was extremely optimistic.

#8 Badsmerf

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:31 PM

On Willingham, his wrist was a hairline fracture, his timetable was originally set at 3 weeks to be healed. Rumor has it he talked to Joe Mauer, bought a lot of milk but even with the extra calcium the bones haven't healed yet. Only way to find out is to take some swings and see where your at. This is hardly news, I am sure he will take a few swings in ten days or so to see if he feels better

Milk is a pretty poor choice for calcium. Just in case anyone cares.
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#9 notoriousgod71

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:43 PM

How about waiting several days before placing Arcia on the DL and here it is a month later and he's not back yet? We've seen that song and dance plenty the past few years.

#10 cmathewson

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 05:51 AM

I find layman commentary on medical decisions/diagnoses to be absolutely hilarious but not in a good way. That's all I will say.


I find layman's commentary on baseball players hilarious, in a good way. I think sports criticism is every bit as difficult as medicine. Somehow it's acceptable for ameteurs to comment on the value of players but not their health. Why? Because the medical field is seen as the domain of trained experts.

Thing is, a trained expert can have exactly the same medical opinion of a player as a layman. They can do identical research and draw from the same sources. Unless the doctor actually reviewed the diagnostic imgrery and spent time with the player, his opinions are no more valid than a layman's.

It is not domain expertise that matters, because anyone with a browser can do the research. It's understanding the particular case. Because every case is slightly different, it is folly to judge how it was handled on an individual case. Doctors will say the same thing, which is why their studies deal in large samples of diagnoses across hundreds of clinics and hospitals, and diverse patient sets.

What kinds of medical histories follow this form? Well, if a team has a published view on a medical practice, such as "surgery is a last resort," we can see how that worked out over a long period of time. In the Twins case, it hasn't worked out well at all. That conclusion is as valid for a layman as it is for a doctor.

The other thing we can comment on is how players are treated by the medical staff. If the staff routinely dismisses the claims of players, we can call that practice into question. For instance, I found it interesting that it took Dave Peumer 10 minutes to get to Aaron Hicks while Hicks was writhing in agony. He didn't run out there. He strolled. That says something.
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#11 oldguy10

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 06:02 AM

Historically there has been much criticism of how the franchise handles its players over the years, I am sure you can find stories about it on the Strib site as well as other places. Is it justified? How do the Twin stack up in this area as compared to other franchises?

#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 06:29 AM

I find layman's commentary on baseball players hilarious, in a good way. I think sports criticism is every bit as difficult as medicine. Somehow it's acceptable for ameteurs to comment on the value of players but not their health. Why? Because the medical field is seen as the domain of trained experts.

Thing is, a trained expert can have exactly the same medical opinion of a player as a layman. They can do identical research and draw from the same sources. Unless the doctor actually reviewed the diagnostic imgrery and spent time with the player, his opinions are no more valid than a layman's.


This is absurd. I work on complicated machines all day. My job is pretty difficult at times. Yet the machines I work on are so incredibly simple compared to the human body that I wouldn't even dare make a comparison between the two.

Medical professionals spend a decade training for the right to work on and diagnose the human body. If you think that you have the right to criticize these highly trained people just because you have access to a browser and once watched 15 minutes of Scrubs, have at it but don't expect anyone rational to take you seriously or show you much respect for it. The hubris it requires to think you can diagnose and criticize a professional in what might be the most difficult job in the world just because you use the internet is awesome.

And the comparison to baseball is silly. We have thousands of statistical models for baseball and access to thousands of data points for every player. We get to watch the players and we see every moment of their professional on-field career.

Yet you draw the comparison between that and diagnosing medical treatments when we have no training and don't even get to read the medical reports?

Absurd.

#13 ChiTownTwinsFan

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 07:03 AM

This thread is now closed. If you want to have a medical discussion you are welcome to start a new thread leading off with correct information and without 'accusing' the Twins of malpractice. This is leading no where good, and I mean that in a bad way.