July 06, 2014

#Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is out of line on Jaime Garcia

So, Mozeliak is boo-hooing that oft-injured lefty starter Jaime Garcia didn't talk to him personally, although he did talk to Cardinals training staff, before deciding on thoracic outlet surgery. (It's a decision with which I disagree, given Garcia's shoulder history; I think he should accept reality and retire, if nothing else, but that's another story. Now, if the surgery helps him in the "real world," then, by all means, do it.)

Here's the key:
Issues clearly extend beyond Garcia’s shoulder to a rupture of trust. Mozeliak chafed at Garcia’s handling of the situation and seemed blindsided by disclosure of the condition and the decision for surgery. Garcia had questioned the club’s treatment of his shoulder as far back as two years ago.
Mo and his complaining seems to be a two-way issue on communication, as the story notes, and as commenters about it on NBC also note.

That said, per the P-D piece linked at top, the communications issue, on the team side, has involved more than just Mo:
Relationship between team and pitcher began to fray when Garcia sensed distrust from manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan upon his return from Tommy John surgery.

Garcia has long been described as immensely gifted but obsessively routine-oriented. Sensitive to organizational suggestions that he lacked toughness, Garcia attempted to pitch with shoulder discomfort in the 2012 division series against the Washington Nationals.
And also per the story, different opinions on medical and training care have involved other players:
Garcia’s situation was one of several that became a tug-of-war between longtime Cardinals medical supervisor Dr. George Paletta, the Cardinals training staff and team Injury & Performance Specialist Dr. Clayton Skaggs, a chiropractic who heads a Kirkwood institute that counts numerous former and current Cardinals players as clients. ...

The roiling medical rift appeared to resolve itself when the Cardinals announced this spring they were turning over all player care to Mercy Hospital, their official medical provider.
So, it's pretty complicated. More than Mo's telling us in a sound bit.

Speaking of, where have we heard communications issues with Mo and a pitcher before? (With manager Mike Matheny also possibly involved.)

Oh, less than a year ago, in a case which also involved the general public and fandom. 

As a Cards fan, I think Mo has very little room to complain, not just because of looking petty here, but because of how he (and a bit, Matheny) handled Shelby Miller in the postseason last year.

How long before we hear something like Miller’s current back problems were why nothing was said about why he was on the postseason roster but not actually pitching?

After Mo levels with We the Fans about what truly was up with Miller last fall, only  then does he have room to complain about Garcia in my book.

Beyond that? Re the P-D piece, which I recommend reading in full:

My No. 1 takeaway, on the “trust” issue, is to say this sheds hints of light, if not a lot, on Oscar Tavares and his ankle, and the team’s handling of it, last year.
My No. 2, as noted above, is wondering more of what we weren’t told about Shelby Miller last fall.
My No. 3 is, is this worse than MLB average? The communications and trust problems on medical issues? If it is, word will circulate to potential free agents, etc.

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