Yeah. Did you get the memo?
You may have noticed a slight difference in some of the injury coverage not only here at MLB.com but in general this spring. Whereas in the past, you could always expect a quote from head athletic trainer Barry Weinberg on the day a player got hurt, this year that’s not the case.
There’s a reason for that. As laid out nicely and succinctly by Will Carroll a couple of months ago, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has a provision that limits the information flow to media about player injuries. Each club will designate a representative to present information. In the Cardinals’ case, it will be the media relations office — so we got a news release on David Eckstein’s injury the day it was revealed, but Barry was not made available.
On Saturdays, we’ll be getting regular updates from the head team physician, Dr. George Paletta — as was the case yesterday, when the Doc briefed us on nine different players. It remains to be seen exactly how all of this will shake down in terms of coverage, but it’s definitely a new way of doing things. Hopefully the coverage will not suffer; that will certainly be the goal.
There is some gray area, by the way, because medical reports and diagnoses are not the only valuable information when it comes to a player’s injury. What you typically really want to know is, how does this affect the player from a baseball perspective? And so the questions of what the injured player is allowed to do in practices or workouts, whether he’s game-ready, things like that, can and will still be answered by the manager or the pitching coach or other staff members. And of course the player can say whatever he wants, so that can be helpful in some cases.
Just something to be aware of and watch for as we go through this season and the remainder of the new CBA.
(currently playing on the iPod: Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam)