Just when you thought we were past the Grant Balfour story, Orioles manager Buck Showalter stirred the pot a little more. Appearing on Thursday night’s “Hot Stove Baseball” on WBAL, Showalter was asked about Rays physician Dr. Koko Eaton and Reds medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek questioning the results of the O’s physical.
MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko transcribed the quotes below:
“How did you phrase it? ‘Unusual?’” he asked. “I think it’s borderline unethical. How’s that?
“I don’t think it’s any of their business. I know our doctors. I know how good they are. I know the painstaking things they go through. Nobody talks about all the things they get right. We go through physicals on J.J. Hardy. We go through physicals on Chris Davis. We go through physicals on all these guys. They’ve made great decisions, not just for us but for our fan base. To have someone weigh in on it from afar and wonder if there’s some ulterior motive there, that does bother me.
“I guess you could throw out that there’s a certain kinship or union of doctors, but we have a lot of things at our disposal that they don’t have. It bothered me to have someone weighing in and casting doubt on something that not only our doctors, but a lot of doctors, weighed in on.”
It’s worth noting that Balfour has a personal relationship with the aforementioned Dr. Kremchek as his wife, Angie, was previously employed as Kremchek’s personal assistant. That’s not to say that the information Kremchek and Eaton passed on about Balfour is inaccurate.
However, it is peculiar that Balfour remains on the market after telling reporters that several teams were interested in his services after the Orioles deal fell apart. Did the O’s damage his value? Or is health a legitimate concern for the 36 year old closer?