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The cowardice of Twitter users claims another

I had long found it interesting that the two individuals who had been considered the primary candidates for the vaunted title of St. Louis Cardinals “closer of the future” back in 2009 have been among Major League Baseball’s most prominent Twitter users – until now.

A trade to Cleveland took Chris Perez out of the Birds on the Bat and into an Indians uniform, but I continue to keep an eye on the right-hander. Outspoken and honest, the former University of Miami hurler often shared his song of the day and other thoughts via social media. Last year, he also raised the ire of some fans by wondering out loud why the Indians were not receiving more fan support.

Recently, despite the first-place Tribe winning 18 of 22 games, Perez has come under increasing criticism on Twitter. As with any closer, there have been a few bumps in the road, but overall, the two-time all-star is having another fine season.

Yet, personal attacks from some of the most aggressive Indians fans have driven Perez to delete his Twitter account, according to FOX Sports Ohio. Sadly, they probably do not understand it is their loss.

When Jason Motte first took to Twitter, I had a conversation with a Cardinals official about the inherent risks of a player at such a prominent position interacting so directly with fans. I envisioned a Perez-like situation occurring in St. Louis when the inevitable blown saves occur and the mob mentality takes over.

The official told me, “There is nothing to worry about. Jason can handle it.”

Maybe he can and maybe he cannot, but the point is, why should he have to?

In all fairness, Motte’s 2012 performance generally kept the waters calm. With the closer out for the remainder of this season, we should not expect any turbulence regarding him until at least 2014.

It is a shame we might anticipate it at all.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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68 Responses to “The cowardice of Twitter users claims another”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Well, they make a lot of money so it’s ok to attack them on Twitter.

    At least that’s the excuse I keep being given.

  2. blingboy says:

    Song of the day? Good grief.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Can’t baseball players be people, too?

      • blingboy says:

        You are a people, Brian. You should post your song of the day.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Sorry, bling. This is all about baseball. While I have many interests in my life, including music, I know the vast majority of the readers here do not care about any of that and that suits me just fine.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            Wigginton is not a people. If he gets a Twitter acccount, I will get one, in order to beg him to retire.

            • Nutlaw says:

              Jumbo, when you actually get mean, it cracks me up.

              • JumboShrimp says:

                I will make a serious point. Right now, the only place for Wigginton is the bench.
                Consider last night. Descalso gets a chance to play and goes 3 for 3. His single in the 3rd enabled the Cards to tie the game, after we spotted the enemy a run. This encourages our team and we went on to run up the score. Sometimes a small thing like an extra single by having Descalso in the lineup makes a big difference.
                Monday night we lost to RHP Marquis, with Wiggy. It is a disgrace to lose to a mediocrity like Jason Marquis, with Shelby pitching. I blame this on Matheny for insanely putting Wiggy in the lineup against a right-hander. Disgusting result.

                • JumboShrimp says:

                  The problem may be Matheny thinking he needs to get Wiggy untracked. If so, this is nuts. We need Old Wiggy in traction, sitting on the bench.
                  We need to get good talents like Descalso, Adams, and Shane Robinson more untracked by giving them Wiggy’s starts.
                  Wigginton can be an insurance policy and keep him parked on the bench, until a useful player gets hurt and we have to stick a body out there.

  3. blingboy says:

    Have any of you twittterers (or is it twitts?) heard anything about the roster move yet?

  4. blingboy says:

    By the way, Wacha is through 5 innings, no runs allowed.

    • blingboy says:

      Wacha put two on in the 6th and Freeman let them come in. His ERA is now 2.05. The Memphis pen went on to get pounded.

      Kip Wells started for Salt Lake (Angels), 6 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 6 BB, 2 K. He didn’t get the win, but dropped his ERA to 9.00. I would very much like to see Wells on the Angels’ roster. Go Kip.

  5. blingboy says:

    NBC Sprts guy Posnanski says the Angels are a “dreadful team that looks like it was built by a rotisserie baseball beginner who ran out at the last minute and bought three fantasy baseball magazines.”

  6. JumboShrimp says:

    Matheny wakes up and does something smart. Against an RHP, he uses Descalso, instead of Wigginton who generally cannot hit RHPs. Descalso has an enormous night: 1 walk, 1 single, 1 double, one grand slam. Lefty swingers can hit RHPs. We need to get Descalso at bats, because an inexperienced ML player will improve given more playing time, something that cannot be said of Old Wiggy. Descalso can also play SS and enable us not to overexpose Kozma. So when Freese is able to play again, Descalso should get more time at SS and at 2B, while Wiggy should do nothing more than pinch-hit against LHPs and smile.

  7. blingboy says:

    I took a quick look t the stats page on the Cards site and there are three position players among the regular starters who are above replacement level on both O and D.

    DWAR: Molina 0.2, Carpenter 0.8, Kozma 0.1
    OWAR: Molina 1.2, Carpenter 1.3, Kozma 0.4

    Who leads all Cards starters in OWAR? Matt Carpenter.
    Who leads all Cards starters in DWAR? Matt Carpenter.

    Lowest OWAR? Freese -0.3
    Lowest DWAR? Craig -0.9

    Also, all three starting outfielders have a negative DWAR.

    Highest WAR among pitchers? Wainwright, followed closely by Miller. Relievers? Mujica, then Rosenthal
    Lowest? Boggs then Kelly then Scrabble.

  8. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    “A team cannot compel a player to have surgery. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak has said this process will have the team look at how it conveys information to players about surgical options and what directions their choices could lead.”

    How many of you can read this??????????? How many of you know why DG felt compelled……or was compelled to add it. Since PALLETTA is doing the surgery……….what do you think that means? And yes the trip to Andrews again was necessary ………

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      DG was forced to rewrite the article omitting…obfuscating… the issues………. I like that…..

      to late for Garcia……….. he is finished…….he may continue pitching if he reinvents himself…… I wish him well………….

      • Brian Walton says:

        I wish you’d include links to articles you quote, WC. I did not look at either the before or after article in this case, but now I wish I had seen the initial version.

        • blingboy says:

          As I remember the original compared to the version up now, it is a significant back and fill. The imrression I had originally was that the team percieved a problem, or at least an issue, with Jaime’s decision last year. There is more emphasis now on how positive the results of Jaime’s decision seemed to be.

          After the ‘can’t compel’/comunicate better part, I’m pretty sure this is new, or a major re-write:

          “Mozeliak said, however, it would do no good to look back on Garcia’s decision to eschew surgery and he didn’t really think about the “what-ifs?”

          The target for Garcia’s return will be the 2014 season and Mozeliak said that pending Friday’s surgery, he was “very optimistic” that Garcia would be ready for spring training.

          Early this season, when Garcia was racking up wins (he finished with five), Mozeliak said he saw nothing askew. “He seemed to be making his pitches when I saw him,” Mozeliak said.

          That Garcia would need surgery isn’t surprising, said Mozeliak. “But seeing how well he pitched and then to find out the result. . . that’s definitely disappointing,” he said. ”

          • Brian Walton says:

            Thanks, bb. Most interesting, indeed.

            • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

              12:$3.25M, 13:$5.75M, 14:$7.75M, 15:$9.25M, 16:$11.5M club option ($0.5M buyout), 17:$12M club option ($0.5M buyout)

              Andrews isn’t the 4th opinion……..he is the insurance “expert” that signs off on the diagnoses for potential claims against a policy. At that meeting with Garcia and representative ……. apparently…. the insurer/s temporarily lost their minds……….. and allowed Jamie to try a rehab that Andrews then reluctantly gave….. Heyman is onto the story Brian as he is likely reading here……… It’s probably not in your best interests to pursue this…….. could set off the A-Bong…….. Carpenter is still viable at that point….Lohse is still dangling……..and Adam is in a rough negotiation ……. we know how all the issues turned out in hindsight …….. no one has really been hurt…..except Jamie and those dopey insurance guys….. and also, read up the protocols for invalidating a contract……..can’t compel??? give me a break…………..

                • blingboy says:

                  “Heyman goes on to write that Dr. James Andrews was amazed that Garcia was able to pitch anywhere near as well as he did, as the left-hander has a “30-40 percent tear” of the labrum in his left shoulder.”

                  Dr. Andrews wouldn’t be amazed if the tear got to be that extent AFTER Garcia was able to pitch well earlier this year. So the implication is that Garcia pitched with it, which amazes Dr. Andrews.

                  This is important because is means that Garcia had that level of damage when he made the decision not to have surgery. Given all the opinions that were obtained, both Garcia and the Cardinals would have been aware of the extent of the tear, and the possibility of him being able to rehab and pitch well would have been just as amazing then as it is now.

                  Put in that light, it would be understandable for the Cardinals (and any interested insurers) to consider Garcia’s decision to have been unreasonable in light of the medical facts.

                  While it may be true that a team cannot compel a player to have surgery, how the money is going to change hands, or not, could depend on whether the player makes reasonable decisions concerning treatment.

                  This could be what Mo was alluding to by “. . . look at how it conveys information to players about surgical options and what directions their choices could lead.”

                  • CariocaCardinal says:

                    I didn’t read it that way bling. No way one can conclude from Dr. Andrews’ statement
                    whether the 30%-40% was from last year or happened this year. In fact, if had previously
                    had a 30%-40% tear and then was in extreme pain, there really would have been no
                    need for any further opinions.

              • CariocaCardinal says:

                Oh, my! The dreaded A-Bong! Dont worry Westie, my observation is that Brian doesn’t normally chase fictional story lines.

          • crdswmn says:

            Garcia, the problem child.

            Sounds like an interesting plot line for “The Franchise”. If it hadn’t been cancelled, that is.

            • blingboy says:

              IIRC, somebody speculated that Garcia may have Linebrinked the Cards when he signed his contract. That is, not been 100% up front about possible physical issues.

              Even if so, I don’t attach any nefarious intent because I think one of the problems with Jaime all along is his reluctance to speak up and try to walk it off.

              But bean counters and insurance guys might look at it differently.

              • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                “Dr. James Andrews recommended the surgery, {{{confirming the original diagnosis}}}}} of a small tear in his labrum. He is said to have what was described as a “30-40″ percent tear, requiring surgery. ”

                BB…… can read….right……. that means that Andrews either was diagnosing with the previous 3……. or only confirming their diagnosis….as a consultant….. for the insurance guys……that means, from that point on, his testimony for a hearing would seriously favor the insurance guys…… DeWitt invalidating a multi million dollar “personal” policy???……… you know the answer to this….. He saved millions on the Wainwright deal with his ” surplus negotiating posture”…….. but that’s irrelevant…that is business……… the Garcia contract was somehow “insignificant” ??????????? ……… It isn’t even a smoking gun………. Garcia was exploited because they had already run the numbers…… Mo called it “several studies” in a mock humor I think………. Garcia is history, the victim ….. the statement “we need to be more clear about what a players options are ” was loaded…….. Andrews gave them options with the rehab………but that was for the insurance guys to understand what risks they were taking ….. they are the ones paying for the meeting….net profit 13 to 20 million for BD in the Wainwright contract……. only because of those stupid insurance guys…….. I take this down after a few minutes Brian….. I may be tempted to explain “how stupid”…………

                • blingboy says:

                  Westie, I was referring to a point in time before any doctors were consulted. When Garcia signed the contract. Not too long after he bagan to have obvious problems and not too long after that the doctors got involved, and the 30-40% tear was discovered. The issue being whether it got to that extent because Garcia didn’t say anything, and whether he didn’t because the contract was in the works or just because he doesn’t complain.

                  Issues arising after he began having obvious trouble and doctors became involved is a seperate thing, IMO.

                  • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                    All irrelevant……….. the “Physical” for a contract like that is an all day affair……each “interested party” has their own “representative” conducting…… Yes, they duplicate procedures if they have separate contract or policy concerns ………. They do everything…..complete blood workups etc, etc…… all of their risks are assessed from that …… which includes all medical records from past experiences ……
                    Garcia’s personal prerogatives don’t exist……….. from any point they can shut him down pending a hearing ……… without pay….. Cardinals did it to their lefty that walked away…… you don’t have to walk away to get suspended………. those things are rarely done because they don’t reflect well for anyone….
                    It was not in their interest to hinder Jamie’s fear of a possible career ending surgery……. in fact they exploited it ………… because they have a magical secret ………

                    An aside…………. he rehabbed nicely……with that surgery…..and that rehab…..he could have been rolling back in by August in good shape …….. possibly ……….. now? Especially with George P advising………. who knows ………. he is un- trade-able ………its in there best interest just to pay him and collect for 2 more years against there other investments…….

                    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:


                      For general manager John Mozeliak and the Cardinals, the news that lefthander Jaime Garcia’s season has ended is about what is ahead and not what’s behind.

                      He said it does no good to replay last season’s decision by Garcia not to have shoulder surgery.

                      Garcia met with Andrews after the season and was given a strengthening program that allowed him to return for spring training and pitch without pain until earlier this month.

                      Now they have Hummel working it………… notice the special isolated “paragraph” sentence……. and of course an after the season meeting, “just to get a rehab program” from the local country doctor. I believe we are seeing a crisis……is now the time? ………..still to early……?

              • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                “Garcia, who was found to have a torn labrum and rotator cuff last season, too, had declined surgery then but elected to have it this season, having received a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., which corresponded to that of Dr. George Paletta, the Cardinals’ chief orthopedist, who performed the surgery.”

                They have Hummel on it now……….in damage control…… these are simple false statements and half truths.

          • CariocaCardinal says:

            Who was the last pitcher to come back from major shoulder surgery and be 100% in 9 months. Mo and Westie tokin from the same A-Bong?

            • JumboShrimp says:

              Here is what must have happened…..
              Jaime covers up a sore shoulder and Mo signs him to a big deal…..Then Jaime reveals his shoulder hurts. Mo thinks, this makes me look bad. Lets put him on the DL for a while and bring him back this season. You dont want to be caught signing an injured player to a long term contract.
              The Cards and Jaime wanted to wait until a new year, before doing the surgery. It was only a question of when to do the surgery, not if.
              They got some good innings out of him this year, which was surprising. Then he gets the operation, and we shall see if Garcia can help in 2014/15.
              Its was a PR exercise. Mo is a smoothie.

              • CariocaCardinal says:

                If Jamie gets surgery at the end of 2012, he might be useful by mid 2014. With surgery mid 2013, my guess is that 2014 is lost. having him back sooner would be better PR in the long run. Not criticiing the decision just pointing out that PR was not a logical reason for it.

                • JumboShrimp says:

                  You are thinking in logical terms, but this may not be the ones that matter for Mo. Mo may just want to put more time between awarding Jamie a big contract and his operation, by prolonging Garcia’s pitching into 2013.
                  This does not matter to Garcia, since he gets paid, whether on the DL or not. He can wait until 2013.
                  For 2014, the Cards can use Garcia as a reliever and ease him back. Lyons or Gast can start in his stead.

  9. Bw52 says:

    Salas to the DL. There`s the roster move for Lyons

  10. blingboy says:

    Shoulder, ahem. I guess being confused qualifies for the DL?

    Memphis probably doesn’t need anymore ineffective relievers.

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