Here’s an interesting twist in the Grant Balfour saga. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Balfour failed his physical due to issues with his wrist and knee, not his shoulder.
Source: The red flags that came up about Grant Balfour’s physical state were about his wrist and knee, and not about his shoulder.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 13, 2014
Back when the deal began falling apart on December 19, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported that Balfour’s right shoulder was the area of concern. He had surgery for a torn rotator cuff in September of 2005, but hasn’t had any problems since.
Acrdng to sources, issue w Balfour concerns right shoulder. Had surgery for rotator cuff/labrum tear in Sept 2005. No shoulder probs since
— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) December 20, 2013
The Birds took an array of abuse both locally and nationally for backing out of the contract. Many wondered if Balfour would file a grievance with the Major League Baseball Players Association. Rays physician Dr. Koko Eaton and Reds medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek questioned the Orioles decision based on the physical and answered numerous questions about Balfour’s shoulder.
Balfour happens to be married to Kremchek’s former personal assistant.
“How did you phrase it? ‘Unusual?’” he asked. “I think it’s borderline unethical. How’s that?
One has to wonder if Showalter’s comments led to more investigation on the issue. One also has to wonder where Showalter’s former ESPN colleague received said information.
So much wondering.
Balfour remains on the free agent market after telling reporters he had several teams interested in his services back when the deal with the O’s unravelled.
Should the Orioles end up being right about this issue and it turns out to not be some giant conspiracy involving the owner not wanting to sign the player, there’s going to be a lot of apologizing to do.
Image Credit: Keith Allison