Orioles manager Buck Showalter gave an interview on WBAL Radio Friday night in which he addressed a range of topics concerning the Orioles off-season. Asked whether there was anything unusual about the manner in which other team doctors publicly addressed the Grant Balfour physical situation, he did not pull any punches:
Buck: "What word did you use? Unusual? I thought it was borderline unethical. How's that?" #orioles— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) January 10, 2014
After it became clear Balfour's agreement with the Orioles would be voided, Rays team physician Dr. Koco Eaton examined Balfour, though whether he was acting as the official Rays physician at the time is unclear. Eaton went so far as to say he thought it was a "no-brainer" for the Orioles to sign Balfour.
Who will ultimately be proven right about that is not yet known. All we can say is that the examination done by Eaton has not resulted in the Rays or any other team signing Balfour to date, though it's been about three weeks since his tentative agreement with the Orioles fell apart. There was no team willing to swoop in and sign Balfour as soon as he was jilted by the O's.
During the rest of the interview, Showalter related that he had called Manny Machado to ask how his recovery was coming along and took a moment to ask him about the photograph he took with Alex Rodriguez at a Jay-Z concert:
Manny told Buck that A-Rod walked over for 5-10 minutes and someone snapped photo, and suddenly people thought they were hanging out— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) January 10, 2014
I have to admit that I was a little nervous at the idea that the young Orioles star was palling around with a player who is facing significant discipline from Major League Baseball for alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. If it was just a brief, accidental meeting, that makes me feel better.
Amusingly, Manny had no idea how Showalter was aware he'd been to the concert. You see, Manny, there's this thing called Twitter...
Significantly for the fortunes of next year's Orioles, Machado reported to Showalter that his knee injury recovery was coming along well. How that will translate to how much time he'll miss isn't clear. It's safe to say he's on the previously estimated track of missing about three weeks of the regular season until we find out otherwise.
In other Orioles injury news, knee surgery for Wei-Yin Chen was not as "seamless" as Showalter would have liked, but that he is not concerned about Chen being ready for the start of the season.