Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Baldelli Conundrum, Day 2

So, twenty-four hours after my last post comes this out of Tampa:

Rays right fielder Rocco Baldelli is going on the disabled list for an indefinite period due to an abnormality that has kept him in a constant stage of fatigue.

Baldelli addressed a room full of reporters shortly before Wednesday afternoon's game between the Rays and the Yankees at Progress Energy Park, and the 26-year-old outfielder said he had some type of "metabolic, and/or mitochondrial abnormalities."

If you haven't read my previous post, I hope you still will. In the absence of what's been revelead today as a rare or at least elusive diagnosis, I thought Tampa's looming decision over whether or not to pick up the 2009 option of a talented but injury-prone player was an interesting case study that might tell us a good deal about franchise decision-making. Today, no such study is necessary:

Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters the Rays will stick by Baldelli to the best of their abilities to help him out in whatever way they can. He also said Baldelli's condition will likely lead to the Rays not picking up the outfielder's option for the 2009 season.

Let's hope this is not the end of the road for Rocco. I know that he'll get another chance somewhere - talent always does. What we don't know yet and may not for some time is whether his body is up for the challenge.


David Martin said...

Man, that's terrible news. Brings to mind the story of Hillsboro's Ben Petrick who was a catcher in the Rockie's system. After a good minor league career and a solid beginnings to a MLB career, his production dropped off and he was eventually diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Let's hope a similar fate doesn't await Rocco.

As noted, Rocco sure has the talent, he just can't stay healthy. And when terms like "metabolic, and/or mitochondrial abnormalities" are thrown about, it can't be a good sign.

Here's an article on Petrick - worth a read.

Michael said...

It always makes me feel a little silly when a story like this comes out. For years, baseball fans have heard "Rocco Baldelli" and thought, "talented guy...can't stay on the field, though...another Pete Reiser/Trot Nixon type."

Now, with news like this, it's suddenly a real world big time scary thing. I hope Rocco either beats it or can find his way into scouting or something.

It reminds me of the Steve Blass piece that Roger Angell wrote years ago-if he can't play again, I hope somebody can get some of that information out of him so that we can read about it-How do you approach Santana? What's the hardest park to hit in?

All that kind of stuff would be great to hear about.