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Source: Kelvim Escobar may be seriously hurt

Feb 18, 2010, 12:28 PM EDT

UPDATEAdam Rubin of the Daily News tweets:

Johan Santana played catch with him all week and said Escobar having trouble gripping a baseball would be untrue.

Santana’s not a doctor of course and a playing catch grip is different than a pitching-at-full-speed grip, but this, at the very least, undercuts my earlier report.  Obviously I’ll update with anything new that comes out.

11:15 A.M: It was reported yesterday that Mets’ pitcher Kelvim Escobar is suffering from a sore shoulder and will be limited as spring training gets going down in Port St. Lucie.  It may be much more serious than that, however: a source tells me that
Escobar isn’t even able to grip a baseball right now, and there are
concerns that he’s seriously injured.

I called the Mets just now, and a team spokesman said
that they had no comment beyond what’s being reported in the papers
today. We’ll obviously update as soon as we hear something
further, but right now it seems that someone who knows someone with the Mets will have to do the confirming here, because they aren’t talking about it.

  1. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 18, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    Beyond saying that my source iss someone whom I trust and someone who would be in a position to know, I will not divulge who my source is. And just as I make clear in the post that my source’s information has not been confirmed as of now, there is no basis to adjudge the information my source gave me as erroneous either. Santana’s catch session with Escobar occurred a week ago. He could have hurt himself since then. It could be that he’s fine to play catch, but not OK to pitch. It may, in contrast, undercut my report. Time will tell. I think I’m pretty clear about all of this in the post.
    And in what way is this “negative,” and how does this reflect on Escobar’s reputation? An injury to an athlete is not a value judgment, especially in Escobar’s case. He has spent the past several years injured. Just yesterday the team said that he’s experiencing shoulder trouble. Today they would not comment on — which means that they would neither confirm nor deny — my report that his problems may be more extensive than was being reported yesterday. His health is an open and legitimate subject of discussion. Given the Mets’ recent issues with injured players, they are not entitled to some automatic benefit of the doubt on this.
    If the information I’m passing along turns out to be erroneous I will certainly and prominently update it. In the meantime, however, I am being as fair as I think one can possibly be short of simply sitting on information which the team might prefer not be reported.

  2. metlosopher - Feb 18, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    Craig,
    We are not asking you for the name of your source. Just where the source works. If he was on the Met medical staff, I would give your story alot more credibility than if the source was (lets say) a pencil pusher for a different club.
    I would trust Santana’s assessment that was made out in the open more than a disguised one with no identity. Santana is one of Escobar’s best friends. If there was something seriously wrong with Kelvim, I doubt Johan would stand in front of everyone and say he was Ok.
    Looking forward to more progress on this situation from you. Thanks.

  3. Joey B - Feb 18, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    “We are not asking you for the name of your source. Just where the source works. If he was on the Met medical staff, I would give your story alot more credibility than if the source was (lets say) a pencil pusher for a different club.”
    I don’t think that’s warranted. I think you need to decide the merit of Craig’s work on how often he is correct. If he is always wrong, would it matter if his source was Jeff Wilpon? If he is always right, would it matter if it was a security guard?
    In addition, if he says it is someone on the medical staff, then that source is probably finished. If you were on the medical staff, would you want Tony Bernazzard ripping his shirt off in the interrogation room?

  4. metlosopher - Feb 18, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    Escobar HAS had medical problems which he is trying to put behind him. If your report that he cannot grip a baseball is a fallacy and he is just experiencing typical shoulder soreness (similar to what Jurrgens has in Atlanta); of course you are damaging his reputation. He is now being looked upon by all Met fans a walking question mark that cannot be relied upon.
    Each one of us has a reputation that we each walk around with every day. A key part of our reputation is how reliable we are to our friends and employers. In the case of a ballplayer, it extends to the fans. If you are wrong and print a retraction, a fraction of the fans will see the retraction. The rest will look at Escobar as a guy we cannot rely on!
    I would rather had seen you state that numerous sources that you have spoken to have confirmed that….. vs. one source. Isn’t that what reporting is supposed to be about?

  5. Charles Gates - Feb 18, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    metlosopher: I’m with you to a point. All journalists should do their due dilligence before publishing something, whether it be in news print or in the blogosphere. But, based on the way Craig premised the post and his personal affirmation that his source isn’t some Joe Schmo, I’m willing to side with him on this one. It’s reputation you’re bringing into the circle, and Craig’s, in my perspective, is very good. Instead of asserting something as true before there’s enough to go on, if a story is shaky, he’ll state it as such. And, he’s the quickest to write, openly, “Hey everyone, I effed up that last one. I was wrong” when needed.
    My question to you, is how come I haven’t seen you post the same outrage at the stories regarding ‘real’ newspaper writers that accuse a player of using steroids without any proof? (If you have, and I don’t remember, I’m sorry). Certainly, you’d have to agree that these unsubstiantiated claims are more irresponsible, and a larger detriment to someone’s reputation, right?

  6. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 18, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    You don’t get my source’s employer. If I were to provide it my source would be compromised. You may choose to discount my report based my source being anonymous, but I have no duty to share his employer with you and an affirmative duty, based on my word, to keep his identity confidential.
    As said before, Santana’s assessment of Escobar’s health was based on seeing him and throwing with him a week ago. That has at the very least been superseded by yesterday’s sore shoulder, which has been confirmed by the team. And, I might add, that Santana being Escobar’s best friend does not make him an objective observer. Some may suggest it makes him quite the opposite.
    But no matter how all of that cuts, my report was that a source told me a certain piece of information. You know it is based on one source. You know it is an anonymous source. I have not attempted in any way to say that it’s anything more than that. I did not report it as a confirmed fact. If I had, your two-source demand may be more appropriate.
    I have passed on a rumor. I have sought, and failed to confirm it, mostly because though those who do know the truth — the Mets — have refused to comment. Finally, I have updated with all information that has come to light throughout the day.
    If that is not good enough for you, that is your decision.

  7. Old Gator - Feb 18, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    It arrives in surplus radio-controlled WWI torpedoes. I have to go down to the beach and pick it up, then turn the thing around and push it back in the water. I get a recycling credit on each subsequent order. It’s cushioned by big plastic bags full of dry chopped leaves that look like oregano. I appreciate the extra effort they go to to keep my tablets from fracturing. And you really ought to try my brownies some day.

  8. metlosopher - Feb 19, 2010 at 8:20 AM

    Craig,
    The Mets are wrong as well for not publicly addressing the situation. Maybe they are waiting for the doctors to give a proper diagnosis. I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt but their silence on this (and many other instances)is annoying as a fan.
    But in response to your comment, why would Santana lie about his friend’s ability to grip a baseball? What is in it for him? For the press, it is about getting eyeballs on the screen and selling papers. But for a star like Johan Santana, misleading the public has no rewards, so why do it?
    I appreciate your desire to keep your source confidential. That is your job! I guess your word that this is a credible will suffice for now. Thanks for answering my comments.

  9. metlosopher - Feb 19, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    According to Escobar himself, reports that he is unable to grip a baseball are untrue. The article was written by David Lennon who is the beat reporter for the Mets working for Newsday.
    http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/mets/on-the-mets-beat-1.812057/escobar-insists-he-ll-be-ready-for-opening-day-1.1770291
    David, I guess your source was wrong.

  10. Rodolfo Whitey - Mar 2, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    i enjoyed the post, you have a nice blog. – Legal Buds

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