Thursday, July 2, 2009

Banned!

Whew.

As those of you who follow me on twitter (@jazayerli) know, the Royals are PISSED OFF at me right now. Let’s just say you won’t hear anyone from the front office on my radio show anytime soon.

I confess to being surprised that after years of being critical of the Royals when criticism was warranted – which, as their win-loss record shows, is most of the time – my last post should have set them off like that. I must have overlooked the rules of decorum that go with evaluating the record of Supreme Court Justice Nick Swartz. Criticize a player, liken the manager’s intelligence with that of a farm animal, call for the GM’s head: these are all acceptable things. But suggest that the trainer might need to be upgraded after 19 years – well, that’s beyond the pale.

I empathize with the team’s frustration at the fact that I’m not present at the stadium to be held accountable for what I write. I’m as surprised as anyone that 13 years after I started writing professionally, and six years after I settled in Chicago with my family, I’ve suddenly become an established part of the Kansas City sports media scene. I’d be more than happy to show my face at the stadium regularly if it were at all practical – believe me, I have no intention of becoming the (Jay) Mariotti on the Missouri. (Fortunately, I’ve got a long way to go on that front. By now Mariotti – from the comfort of his home – would have accused Bob Dutton of being spineless for not asking the tough questions in the clubhouse.)

But just because I’m not at Kauffman Stadium is no reason to take your frustrations out on other people – in front of half the local media, no less. If you’ve got a problem with something I wrote, by all means, contact me – I’m not hard to get ahold of. I’m a big boy; I can handle it.

I was, in fact, planning to show my face at the ballpark in two weeks. We had been working behind the scenes for the past several weeks to put together a Baseball Prospectus night at Kauffman Stadium – an event that we have held with much success at a number of major league parks around the country. We even had the date tentatively set for July 17th, we were lining up guests from Kansas City and around the country, and I was just a few days away from announcing the details to all of you fine readers. Unfortunately, that event is now on indefinite hiatus. I guess the Royals have no interest in selling 100+ tickets to their Hall of Fame Suites at $80 a pop.

Having already cleared the weekend on my schedule, I’m still planning to come to town that weekend, so maybe I’ll get the chance to face the heat. Or maybe not: I was just informed last night that I’ve been blacklisted by the team. That’s right: I’ve been banned by the Royals! The way this team is playing, I’m not sure if the Royals are trying to punish me or reward me.

(EDITED FOR CLARIFICATION: Just to be clear here, since I think everyone's taking my words a little too literally: I don't think I've been "banned" in the sense that they're going to have security guards outside the stadium making sure that I don't buy a ticket. It does mean that the Royals have cut off any access I may have from the team for my radio show, and - this is critical - have intimated that any other radio show which has me on as a guest faces the same penalty.

I see this as the equivalent of having my media credentials taken away, except of course that I don't have media credentials, and the Royals have made it clear they don't give media credentials to bloggers.)

But enough about me. That’s one of the regrettable things about all this: that I’ve become part of the story, which is something I never wanted. The sad reality, though, is that there was no way to avoid becoming part of this story without reporting on the story in the first place. And I wouldn’t have been doing my job if I didn’t comment on an issue that was on the minds of Royals fans everywhere.

The post – and the Royals’ reaction to it – has earned me a ton of feedback from people who are much closer to the situation than I am. That feedback has been pretty unanimous: the training/medical staff, as a whole, is an embarrassment, and a significant detriment to the Royals when compared to that of other teams. There has been considerably less unanimity on the subject of Nick Swartz: some people feel he is the problem, some people feel he is merely the face of a much larger problem. No one, I should stress, feels he is part of the solution.

If there’s one thing I wish I had done differently with my last column, it’s that I wish I had taken out a shotgun instead of a laser-guided sniper rifle. It seemed to me – and still seems to me – that when 1) the medical care of your players has been substandard for close to two decades and 2) you’ve had the same trainer for those same two decades, that you ought to replace the trainer. But I was wrong when I said that “EVERY SINGLE person involved with baseball operations has been replaced in that span – why should Swartz be the exception?” It turns out that there is one other exception. I’m hesitant to even mention this, so here – I’ll just quote directly from the Royals’ website:

“Dr. Steve Joyce begins his 31st year as a Team Physician and 23rd as the Head Team Physician for the Royals. Dr. Joyce is an orthopedic surgeon at Dickson-Dively Midwest Orthopedic Clinic and Kansas City Orthopedic Institute, which was established in 1999. He was the President of the Major League Baseball Physicians Association in 1994 and 1995.”

Yeah, it’s probably best that I leave it at that.

Contrary to what the Royals might think, I don’t have a vendetta against Swartz. I don’t have an agenda here – unless you count “I want to see the Royals win” as an agenda. But sports is the ultimate results-based industry. In the short run, excuses are fine. In the long run, well, it doesn’t matter how good your reasons are for missing the playoffs year after year – all that matters is that you miss the playoffs year after year. If you’re not successful, you lose your job and someone else gets the opportunity to see if they can be successful. If they’re not, the wheel turns yet again. Such is life.

In the short run, maybe no one’s to blame for the fact that Coco Crisp tried to play through an injury that ultimately ended his season. In the long run, when there are stories like Coco Crisp’s year after year after 19 freaking years – someone needs to be held accountable. It is astonishing to me that not only do the Royals not see that, but that they would take offense at anyone who might dare to suggest that the same rules that apply to players and coaches and managers should also apply to trainers.

Look, if the Royals want me to concede that I’m not completely sure that Swartz is the problem: fine, I’ll happily concede that. Without access to medical records - which I will not and should not have access to - I can't be completely sure. Just as I wasn’t completely sure that Buddy Bell was a bad hire, or that Tony Pena couldn’t hit, or that spending $1.8 million on Horacio Ramirez was a waste of money.

But I am certain – as certain as I’ve been of anything related to the Royals since the day they traded Jermaine Dye for Neifi Perez – that THERE IS A PROBLEM. If the Royals don’t think that Swartz is the problem, then by all means, keep him – but figure out what the problem is.

If it means firing Swartz, then fire Swartz. If it means keeping Swartz but firing the rest of your training staff, or finding new team doctors, or conducting full-body MRIs of every player on a weekly basis – then do it. The only thing the Royals can’t do is deny reality. They can’t hide from the fact that, for a time period that stretches well into the last century, the team has lost way too many players to injuries that, if not preventable, were at least manageable.

There have been too many Crisps, too many Affeldts, too many Rosados, too many Jim Pittsleys. (Even more than Rosado, Pittsley – one of the best pitching prospects the team ever had before he hurt his elbow – was poorly-served by the team’s medical staff.) There’s just too much damn evidence. It’s time to fix the problem, but the Royals can’t fix the problem if they don’t identify the problem. And they can’t identify the problem if they won’t admit there’s a problem.

Or, hey, they can just circle the wagons and ban some blogger in Chicago for having the temerity to write on-the-record what everyone in the KC media has been saying off-the-record for years. (A blogger, mind you, who is notorious for being stupidly optimistic about the Royals. I mean, I wrote this less than two months ago.)

Better still, they can have the chutzpah to do that the day after Trey Hillman goes out of his way during his pre-game comments to complement “Nick and his crew” for the work they’ve been doing – and then THE VERY NEXT DAY announce that another everyday player who was allowed to play after being diagnosed with an injury is now out for the season. (By the way, gotta love this quote from Mike Aviles yesterday (emphasis mine): “It’s definitely disappointing,” Aviles said, “but I know something’s wrong there because it wasn’t getting any better. When I got a second opinion, that’s when we found the tear.)

It’s your choice, guys. Just know that the hallmark of good organizations is that they don’t shoot the messenger.

That’s what has upset me most about all this. Ever since Dayton Moore was hired, I have largely taken the position that the Royals – while not yet a good team – were a good organization. That is very much in question now. Good organizations don’t make excuses for injuries at the same time that they’re using those injuries as an excuse. Good organizations don’t whine about the media in one of the smallest and most accommodating media markets in the country. Good organizations realize that when they’ve won 15 of their last 48 games, they have more important things to worry about than what the media is saying. Good organizations don’t use Luis Hernandez as a pinch-hitter. And God Almighty, good organizations don’t treat one of their most valuable players the way the Royals treated Gil Meche yesterday.

You’re better than this, guys. Stop trying to match the arrogance and the secrecy of the Pioli family across the street. (Trust me: you can’t. No one can. It’s not possible.) Stop worrying about the criticism that you’re getting from people like me – what, are you guys going to ban Posnanski now too? – and start looking at your organization with a critical eye yourselves. The defining hallmark of good organizations is that they are more critical of themselves than any outsider would be. And God knows there’s an awful lot to be critical about.

62 comments:

Jason said...

I completely agree. The way they have responded to you, the way Hillman refuses to even acknowledge that the 132 pitches MIGHT be the cause of the dead arm, this all makes me highly concerned. This is the same as when they banned Fescoe and Moss after the press conference issue, THEY REFUSE TO SEE THEMSELVES AS THE CAUSE OF ANY OF THEIR PROBLEMS. I have been a season ticket holder for 6 years now. I have seen over 500 losses, and I think I may have had enough. If they are doing things correctly, and the results don't follow, that is one thing. But instead of analyzing and looking at the numbers and studies, they simply want to blindly attack those who oppose them. Thsi organization is still a joke, and I am very close to joining Rob Neyer in my feelings.

bankmeister said...

Unbelievable. I'd really like to know more about the blacklisting process. What if you purchase a ticket? Are the takers going to recognize your mug? Fantastic piece, as always

-al said...

At what point do Moore, Hillman, Swartz et. al become legally liable? You've done a pretty good job of laying out a pattern of negligence here, I'm thinking a good attorney could run with that.

devil_fingers said...

This sucks, Rany. As if there wasn't enough irony in Baseball Prospetus having an event at the K, the home of perhaps the least-sabermetrically aware front office in the leagues.

Don't worry, this is going to backfire in a big way.
I'm guessing all heck's gonna break loose on the intertubez over the next few hours... I wonder if "someone" over at ESPN.com will say something.

I'm just sorry that you had to hurt the organization like this. After all, Dayton Moore's doing a heckuva job.

Steve said...

Un-Frickin'-Believeable!!! I have LOVED the Royals from the time of their inception and am definitely a VERY loyal fan. Now I read that they are this narrow-minded and guarded about the inner-workings of the Organization. WTF?

Serious question... is it even legal for them to ban you from purchasing a ticket?

Ya know... when someone or some team gets THIS sensitive to a criticism... it really does make me wonder what else are they hiding?

And one more thought... I am bothered that many of the leaders in this Organization and even Clubhouse are "so-called" Christians or "Bible-Bashers". I was raised in a home by a Christian Minister and I KNOW how people are SUPPOSED to act... you know... NOT lying (see Trey about Soria)... and you know... turning the other cheek. lol I mean... seriously... GROW UP!!!

And no... I don't believe that being a Christian is meant to take away your competitive spirit either. Get on the field and TRY TO WIN!!! Can anyone... ANYONE... tell me what it means that the Royals are not under pressure to win as many games as possible as has been reported a couple of places? Aren't you ALWAYS supposed to do that?

Anyway, I am rambling... I hope you don't give up your fandom or your writing, Rany. I'm not going to!

Go Royals!!! C-ya, AusSteveW

ChaimMKeller said...

Blacklisting? That's classless. And with all the badness that's surrounded the Royals organization, one thing that they always still had going for them was that they were considered to have class.

I don't know exactly under whose authority you were blacklisted, but I sure hope that someone higher up very publicly rescinds it.

Anonymous said...

Rany,
When you hear the truth, sometimes it hurts. Sometimes you don't want it up in your face. I believe that is the reason that you have been banned, you told them some truth that they didn't want to hear because Swartz is a good old boy. It isn't right to shut out someone just because they speak their mind, whatever happened to free speech. Maybe they just don't want everyone else to know what they are finally starting to think. Thank you for having the GUTS to speak your mind, cause someone has too. I really think GMDM and Trey Hillman can lead this team to greatness, but it will be very difficult if they can't keep their players, especially the good ones (i.e. Mike Aviles and Coco Crisp) on the field. I know you won't give up on this team, I do wish the team wouldn't just kick you out of their circle. One day there will be a new flag over the K, I just hope it is in my life time.

Neifi Perez said...

Hey, it's cool, I'm banned too.

Max said...

What exactly do you mean by "banned"? You don't get media credentialing anymore? You can't purchase large ticket sales for BPro? Your face is at the ticket office with a sign that says "DO NOT SELL TICKETS TO THIS MAN!"????

Anythingneverything said...

Rany,

This is extremly upsetting to me. I'm fully in support of you. I've been a Royals fan all my life, but this lack of acceptance of freedom of speech by the Royals offends me as a person and citizen of this country. It's not about whether Nick Swartz should be fired or not. At this point, I could care less, because fundamental rights of the media come first, before fandom. In result, it pains me to say this but I am no longer a fan of the Royals until they issue you a public apology. As such, I will no longer provide any support to the Royals - whether it be monetary or emotionally.

Their actions fundamnetally offend my sense of right and wrong, and I will not sacrifice that for anyone, even the franchise that I have loved for so long.

Anonymous said...

Rany
I've been a Royals fan as long as you've been alive but I think I've finally reached my limit. Not only is this team NOT improving in any department but the future looks just as bleak as it did in 2005.

Guillen is making 12m/yr & giving us basically the same numbers Emil Brown did (for 5% of the price); the manager has no business in the major leagues; their shortstop doesn't find out about his injury until he gets a 2nd opinion, etc., etc.. and now they are banning bloggers for telling the truth!

Reminds me of the Iranian government.

I'm tired of being embarrassed. I think it's time for me to cut the cord with the Royals. Enough,

S.Wilson, Tulsa, OK.

Anonymous said...

Regrettably, you keep shooting and missing. Possibly if your blog uncovered the real culprits perhaps the result would be stunned silence instead of a ban. You have yet to explain how you hold a sloppily fat ankle wrapper accountable fo Royals injuries. Were you watching the night Bob Boone over extended Pitsley? Have you looked into Boone's in season conditioning program, or lack of one? Were you tuned in the night Chad Durbin was done in the 6th and pitched deep into the 8th a game after he threw 120+, never to pitch for the Royals again, etc. etc. What those sorts of real causes have to do with Nick Swartz I'd be interested to read.

rdbrown27 said...

This is outrageous. Does anyone have an e-mail address for Dayton Moore? I don't care if he won't read it I need to write a screed.

Anonymous said...

Wow....simply amazing. For a team this bad to have this kind of reaction to a fan/media member is astonishing in it's misplaced arrogance.

devil_fingers said...

@rdbrown27:

Sadly for you, as the last few years have taught us, it is highly unlikely that Dayton Moore even has a computer.

Mark LaFlamme said...

You explored an issue that's compltely worth exploring and raised valid points few others had thought of. Doing your job and doing it well, in other words. It's disappointing to see this side of the Royals organization.
Keep up the fine work, dude.

Stacy said...

Keep after them Rany. Somebody has to,if they keep this up they are going to ruin The Epic's arm too.

Anonymous said...

It's one thing to cheer for a team that loses year after year after year.

It's another to cheer for a team that blacklists/bans a blogger for writing a particularly insightful piece on the team.

I can do the former (and have for year); I'm not sure I can continue to the latter. Completely unconscienciable behavior.

AJ said...

Wow.

Consider today the day I've officially given up on Dayton Moore.

@teedubya said...

The Royals are a DISGRACE in nearly every facet of their organization.

I have been a fan since 1979 at age 6... and this team always hires shitty managers, their trainers suck, they overpay mediocre talent and let great talent walk.

Seriously, I went to 3 games this year... and WON'T be back.

They are a joke, year in - year out.

They should have been contracted along with the Expos.

Eff you, David Glass.
Eff you, Trey Hillman.
Eff you, Dayton Moore.
Eff you, Nick Swartz.
Eff you, Dr. Steven Joyce.
Eff you, Herk Robinson.
Eff you, David Glass, again.
Eff you, Dan Glass.
Eff you, any one else who sucks ass in the Royals organization.

Man, I miss E. Kauffman. A man with integrity and vision.

Eff this team.

Jeff said...

Total number of days players spent on the DL from 2002 to 2008

Kansas City - 6942 days
Houston - 3394 days

Seventh worse team during that time frame. They can admit and address other needs, but not this one.

Rany -- Let me know if you need any DL information wydiyd at hotmail dot com

tim.agnew said...

Hey Rany, I must say its unfortuneate to see you banned.

However I was inspired by your last post to go ahead and do a general comparison of the Royals, kind of a before and After picture of their injuries here: http://www.royalsreview.com/2009/7/2/935157/dr-nick-swartz-or-how-i-learned

Suffice to say, there is a HUGE change from a team that was in position to win 84 games and with some luck challenege the divison, to a team that even with some help from their injured players will be lucky to break 75 wins.

DornCounty said...

Thanks for bringing up what others have been saying off the record for years. Too bad someone in the Royals org has too much time on their hands. What does "banned" mean anyway? I hope you keep blogging and I hope this will only make you more passionate and post about other "off the record" things.

Jim said...

Rany,

I don't have time to go thru all the comments--but it looks like I agree with ~all of them. this is very sad for me--I don't know why exactly since I grew up in Montana, but I have always been a Royals fan (you have to like somebody and when you are in MT, you can pick whoever you want I guess). I suppose that I always will be, but if I could stop myself today, I would. For them to respond so emotionally shows that they have no alternative basis but fear... I could go on... but alas, what good would it do. My sympathy toward you--I think that you provide a service to the fans and the Royals and I think that I have become a much more (emotionally at least) invlolved fan since I found you and Rob's blog so many years ago...

Once again... SAD.

Max said...

" In the long run, when there are stories like Coco Crisp’s year after year after 19 freaking years –"

19 years? Heck, for all we know Dennis Leonard and Steve Busby had manageable injuries that with proper care, could have pitched longer. Maybe Sabes puts together a HOF career rather than sit on the DL for so long. We were successful back in those days, but maybe it was in spite of Dr. Joyce, rather than because of him.

Chris said...

After the crap they pulled w/ leaving Meche in yesterday I didn't believe it could get worse (how many times have I said that?) but this takes the cake. Talk about thin skinned! Of course, if you had been a national reporter there'd been no talk of a banning. Of course, no national reporter has a reason to come to KC cause AS USUAL we are irrelevant to baseball still.

Keep the faith, Rany! You're the best.

Randy Umstead said...

Rany,

I have been a Royals fan since before I could hardly walk. I tried to mimic Dennis Leonard's windup before I could walk, and needless to say would always fall over. I have endured one bumbling player, manager, and GM after another. I have written emails to baseball operations before, and at least Allard Baird would answer. He even CALLED little old me, a college student at the time, to speak with what he thought were good observations on my part.

I have tolerated Trey Hillman, even though I saw him slowly transforming into Tony Muser. I held optimism for Dayton Moore. Those days are over. When an organization not only squashes journalism, but attacks someone who has clearly been a loyal fan through thick and thin, it is an attack on EVERYONE one of us. As long as you are banned, the Royals will not receive another dollar from me, either through ticket sales, merchandise sales, or internet revenue. I will follow them to see if there are any consequences for their action. I'm even willing to hear their side of the story. But this is the absolute final straw for me, another lifelong fan.

I can tolerate stupidity on the field and in the front office. But if you're going to suck, at least suck in a professional manner :-)

Randy Umstead

Anonymous said...

I live in Lincoln NE. I'm going to the K sometime in August. Should I come see the M's sweep the Royals, the A's sweep to Royals or the Twins sweep the Royals? I'm thinking the A's sweep the Royals.

Rany said...

I'm also going to add what I've written below to the main text for clarification:

Just to be clear here, since I think everyone's taking my words a little too literally: I don't think I've been "banned" in the sense that they're going to have security guards outside the stadium making sure that I don't buy a ticket. It does mean that the Royals have cut off any access I may have from the team for my radio show, and - this is critical - have intimated that any other radio show which has me on as a guest faces the same penalty.

I see this as the equivalent of having my media credentials taken away, except of course that I don't have media credentials, and the Royals have made it clear they don't give media credentials to bloggers.

Andrew said...

Rany,
I'm glad someone like you finally had the guts to speak up and make the Royals take notice. Admittedly I don't know anything about athletic training or athletic injuries, but that is just a glimpse into what is wrong with this organization. Nobody affiliated with the Royals ever wants to admit that there is anything wrong with any aspect of the team. Stay strong Rany! Maybe if there were more people like you in the Kansas City media, the Royals wouldn't accept mediocrity year after year.

royalfan said...

Wow, this is quite surprising. My first thought is if they are this upset over the previous post to ban you then there is obviously some truth to it that they don't wish to have to publicly confront. This is a really sad development in my view.

Anonymous said...

Now we're stuck with Swartz for another 15 years. The Royals will never terminate him now, since it was suggested by the banned Rany.

JPM said...

I suppose if calling out publicly a member of the medical community appropriate and standard protocal for a member of the medical communtiy, what you did is just fine; however, as a someone who thinks that such comments go against every personal view I have developed in my life, your post was irresponsible and lacking in good, personal judgment.

Anonymous said...

Badge of honor.

Anonymous said...

Wait... Did I miss it? Who and how was this communicated??? Toby cook call 810? Royals press release??? Angry email?

Maddog said...

To me it doesn't matter if they banned you from eating dip n' dots at Royals games or from urinating between the hours of 9am and 5pm. It's a petty, ridiculous, and shameful action taken by a franchise that has a surprisingly thin-skin (funny, you wouldn't know it by how long and how often the rest of MLB has laughed at them over the past decade). No team is ever completely above criticism but at least a winner sometimes gets the benefit of the doubt. I assume most Royals fans can't remember what a winner even looks like. I've contacted the team directly to express my disappointment and embarrassment at their childish actions.

Anonymous said...

I have banned the Royals from my TV whenever TPJ is in the line-up.

JPG said...

JPM, not sure why Rany can't question someone in the medical field? Doctors like anyone are subject to having their actions questioned. I don't know if Nick Schwartz is the problem, but if the Royals have never thought to look into it, have an outsider evaluate their training staff, then their is no harm in a blogger or media member questioning him. Trainer for a professional sports team is a high profile position, if he doesn't have the stomach for being questioned, he's in the wrong line of work. The number of players that have had season ending injuries for the Royals this year just begs for being questioned. I'm not a lifelong Royals fan, so I'm not sure how bad its been historically, but this year seems like they've mismanaged every guys health they possibly could have.

Long-winded post to make one point, no one is above being questioned, not even doctors.

ChaimMKeller said...

Rany, your "clarification" does not change the fact that this was a classless, anti-democratic act by the Royals organization.

Bob McWilliams said...

I was totally stunned to read of the idiotic, mean-spirited, defensive to the point of near paranoia reaction of the Royals to the well-reasoned arguments you raised about the team's treatment of medical issues over the years.

I am now waiting to see if the local radio media back you up, by having you on their show and daring the Royals to cut off access to virtually all local radio. Whichever local radio talk show has you on first automatically becomes my favorite one.

JPM said...

JPG, Since Rany himself is in the medical field, as I said, I think his very public comments go against what is right. I think it's bad judgment, I think it's improper, and I think it's similar to another dermatologist or doctor publicly criticizing Rany's professional methods and practices.

I understand he is trying to balance his true profession with his other interests, but in this case, I think Rany erred in judgment. It is fine to question (and it needs to be done) a doctor's, or in this case trainer's practices, but I don't think it's ok to do it publicly.

rdbrown27 said...

haha.. ya.. PLEASE think of the poor DOCTORS! Who will think of the doctors????

Give me a break. I am quite certain doctors make enough money to be publicly questioned and criticized, even by each other. That is pure idiocy to demand deference just because... what ? What are you afraid of? This isn't a matter of national security. Get over yourself.

rdbrown27 said...

Oh and by the way.. in this specific case you are even more wrong. Royals fans pay both the trainer and doctor's salaries for the work they do for the Royals. Therefore any Royals fan has every right to publicly question, criticize, mock, applaud, celebrate, etc. etc. etc. them for that work.

JPM said...

rdbrown...get over yourself. It was a legitimate point to make. I am sure Rany wouldn't be please to be called out publicly by another doctor who questioned his practices.

He is completely entitled to the opinion, but I disagree with him using this forum to make it.

"Royals fans pay both the trainer and doctor's salaries for the work they do for the Royals."

And this comment is just laughable. I bet you are the guy that screams and yells at high school coaches. Heck, we pay their salary, too, so I am entitled! Nonsense!

rdbrown27 said...

He might not be pleased but that in no way makes it some kind of ethical breach.

And no, I can actually see the difference quite clearly between a high school and a professional sports team.

This doctor willingly put himself up to public scrutiny by accepting the position with a major league baseball team. Period.

skeptic said...

In 2006 Dayton Moore called the RSTN television truck to tell them to never again show injuries being treated in the dugout.

Later that year John Buck and Runelvys Hernandez had a brief skirmish in the dugout that was shown only on the visitor's tv feed, even though RSTN had the same video.

Dayton Moore appears to be thin-skinned about any criticism outside the field of play.

JPM said...

First, it's the trainer, not the doctor.

Second, saying he puts himself out there because he accepted a position with a major league team is completely different than declaring "Royals fans pay both the trainer and doctor's salaries...."

rdbrown27 said...

This is a tired argument but I'll just say that it absolutely is true that the fans pay their salary. Or are you going to argue that without fan interest any professional sport would even exist let alone generate the revenue that is used for their paychecks?

Drew said...

I am outraged by this. It is one thing to blacklist an author who plublishes/post an unfounded or distasteful/inappropriate article. But to blacklist a person that has used evidence in a well thought out manner that provides a credible argument is outrageous. It is decisions like this that provide the answer to my proverbial question "why can't the Royals provide a winner"...GIGO I suppose.

Anonymous said...

So, being a fucker and criticizing the team at every opportunity didn't sit well with them. I can't believe it! It's almost like continually berating one particular organization over and over wouldn't sit well with that particular organization. What a shocker!

gbewing said...

Everyone on this blog needs to write the Royals and hold them accountable- this city has enabled them long enough-time for some accountability

Mr. MET said...

If you think the ROYALS Medical Staff is bad. You should look into the NY METS med Staff.

Chris said...

Mr. Met, I'm sure that either the Mets medical staff taught the Royals staff or vice-versa.

Now, can I complain about our hitting coach Kevin Seitzer or is THAT allowed?

AxDxMx said...

You can complain about Seitzer, but I don't see the point. The team clearly hasn't bought into what he is selling.

Matt said...

What an absolute joke. Rany, I've spoken via email with you in the past; I operate the Royalboard (http://www.royalboard.com) and this has sent me over the edge. This organization is an absolute joke.

Adam said...

What JPM says is the textbook code of the good ol' boy network.

If something Rany said is invalid, then refute it instead of trying to put forth some BS code of "ethics" where doctors protect their bad colleagues.

JohnnyV13 said...

Rany's comment is exactly the kind of thing that would cause a sports agent to steer his players anywhere else but Kansas City. I think that's why Royals management reacted so strongly to his post.

Rany being a doctor has lent credibility to his opinion, and it has seemed to resonate with Royal fans on the internet. Joe Posnanski has also recently blogged on the issue. Of course, these rumors aren't exactly new: the Bill James sabermetric crowd has long cited the Royals as a team that burns up young arms. Rany just cited recent examples in such a common sense way, that fans like us (and perhaps search engine-using players and agents) can clearly see the lunacy.

I mean, if you were a guy with a 10 million a year earning capacity, would you sign with a team that doesn't protect your body? I think that's public reputation that could do real damage to the Royals. Punishing the messenger, however, is a poor substitute for addressing the problem.

sw said...

@skeptic, wow that's insane that the Royals don't want injuries treated in the dugout to be shown on TV. It's one thing to think there is no problem, it's another to shut down any communication that may even hint that there is a problem. Who knew Dayton Moore was the head of the Kansas City thought police? I'm glad that Rany has shared his experience to get so many people to chime in with similar stories that show how Gestapo-like the Royals management really is. They are clearly too busy being paranoid to do things like assemble a team that can either a) hit or b) field, let alone both.

Anonymous said...

JohnnyV

"Rany being a doctor has lent credibility to his opinion,"

Let's not get carried away. Rany is a dermatologist, not a general practioner or a specialist. Now if the Royals have skin problems, you are on to something.

Anonymous said...

A couple words about the Royals medical staff at D&D. I can say from personal experience that they are excellent physicians, and that Dr. Joyce has incredible surgical skills. The trainer is paid by the Royals. Team doctors are typically not paid any substantial salary by the team, and they are not subject to any pressure from the team. In fact they usually pay ungodly malpractice insurance premiums for covering pro athletes. Being a team physician is seen as an advertising expense to get you more patients from the general public.

Second opinions are a standard in baseball and there is only a handful of orthopedists in the country who do almost all of the final evaluations and surgeries on most pro baseball players (Jimmy Andrews, Lewis Yocum, Frank Jobe, etc.). You'll see their names over & over again in any news story on a player surgery. The player agents usually insist that any high-dollar player go to one of these docs.

The Royals' problem really seems to be more the day to day management of nagging chronic problems. It's a conditioning and prevention issue, which falls on the training staff.

Anonymous said...

Lest we not forget Tony Pena being asked to finish a game with a broken hand.

boboyoung said...

It needs to be stressed again and again that this is a conversation Rany and Rob had on the old site a number of years ago.

The good blogger isn't exactly breaking new ground here, and this didn't exactly come out of the blue.

The people in the KC media who are criticizing Rany based strictly on the events of the 2009 season are the ones who ought to be banned.