There is one person, or perhaps a team of people, that do not get the attention that they deserve. If you haven’t guessed from the title, I’m referring to the Orioles’ team physicians. Currently, they are:
William Goldiner, MD – Head Team Doctor
Michael Jacobs, MD – Orthopedics
Derek Papp, MD – Orthopedics
Timothy Johnson, MD – Orthopedics
Kenneth Wasserman, MD - Dermatology
This is the team of doctors who are responsible, in part, for giving the okay on would-be Orioles, and as we’ve noticed they take their jobs seriously (though Wasserman probably just hands out sunscreen). How often do we see where teams have agreed to terms pending a physical, and we assume it’s a formality? Well, we’ve learned that in addition to pitching (let’s not dwell on this one), defense, and 3-run home runs, the physical is part of the Oriole-way (just go with me here).
Because of their exacting examinations the Orioles have been mostly successful at mitigating risk (Jair Jurrgens, Yovani Gallardo), or avoiding it all together (Grant Balfour, Aaron Sele, Jeromy Burnitz, and Xavier Hernandez) in free agency. They did whiff on Tsuyoshi Wada, who required TJ surgery only months after signing, but none of us are perfect.
Despite this record, the team has received an unearned reputation for being too strict with their physicals, which is often used as evidence of Peter Angelos' frugality. It seems to me, that that last bit is what is most important to folks who take a dim view to Orioles physical. But when you have limited funds (unlike some clubs), it’s important not to have much money sitting on the disabled list. They need to wring as much talent out of the 25 man roster as possible.
I would like to thank the team doctors for the work they do to help the Orioles field the best team possible.