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Thread: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    Wow, extensive piece in the St. Louis paper this morning mostly about Rolen and LaRussa - from an interview with LaRussa. (NB: It mentions Kremchek in the article too)

    La Russa: Now, itís personal
    By Joe Strauss
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    12/06/2007

    NASHVILLE ē The Cardinals depart Opryland this afternoon with Scott Rolen still their third baseman. If that represents a problem, it belongs only to Rolen, according to his manager.

    Speaking at length about a topic that has preoccupied the club this week, Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa on Wednesday laid responsibility for an ongoing impasse between him and the Gold Glove infielder squarely on Rolenís shoulders, insisting that the club should not craft a trade merely to placate Rolen.

    "Speaking for me ... thereís absolutely no intention to accommodate Scott," La Russa said. "I mean, thatís not how you run an organization. The idea is to accommodate the St. Louis Cardinals, our team, our responsibility to our players and to the competition. So, no, I donít want to accommodate Scott."

    La Russa and Rolen have not spoken at length since midway through last season. The manager sent a lengthy letter to Rolen shortly after the season but the correspondence was poorly received, leading to further erosion of a relationship that became strained in 2003 and has only deteriorated since.

    Shortly after La Russa accepted a two-year, $8.5 million extension, Rolen notified general manager John Mozeliak he would relinquish his no-trade leverage if the club would ship him to a contender. The Cardinals approached a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this week but talks stalled, causing Mozeliak to predict Rolenís return in 2008.

    La Russa noted the clubís failed effort to move Rolen, saying, "if that deal isnít one that helps us, (it) should not be made."

    La Russaís comments spiced a day in which the Cardinals discussed the availability of several free agent pitchers,
    including former AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon and Kris Benson. The club also retains interest in former Colorado Rockies pitcher Josh Fogg. Once loathe to add another health question to a staff with Chris Carpenter (elbow) and Mark Mulder (shoulder), the Cardinals now are trying to land a veteran to a short-term deal.

    Colon has suffered a torn rotator cuff and elbow irritation since winning the 2005 AL Cy Young Award. Benson required shoulder surgery before appearing last season for the Baltimore Orioles, who declined a option $7.5 million option on the righthander for next season.

    The Cardinals also have expressed interest in free agent center fielder Aaron Rowand. The Philadelphia Phillies no longer believe they have a chance to retain him.

    To prepare for todayís major-league draft, the Cardinals have considered releasing outfielder So Taguchi after six seasons. The Cardinals declined to assume Taguchiís option for next season but had the chance to go to arbitration with him. Taguchiís agent, Alan Nero, requested his clientís release earlier in the week.

    The Cardinals are also believed close to signing former Oakland Aís lefthanded reliever Ron Flores to a minor-league contract. Flores, 28, is the younger brother of Cardinals reliever Randy Flores. The younger Flores made 17 appearances last season for the Aís.

    The teamís activity in the Opryland lobby became secondary news to their managerís question-and-answer session, as Wednesday, La Russa publicly challenged Rolen during a interview that followed a managersí luncheon. La Russa described the matter as "very personal."

    "Itís very clear that heís unhappy. And Iím making it clear that I donít know why heís unhappy," La Russa said. "I can make a list of 50 respect points that this man has been given by our organization. Itís time for him to give back."

    Added La Russa: "Heís got a contract to play, and we need him to play. And heís going to be treated very honestly.

    "If he plays hard and he plays as well as he can, he plays. And if he doesnít, he can sit. If he doesnít like it, he can quit."

    Wednesdayís remarks seemingly ended any hope for a diplomatic resolution. La Russa believed that possibility vanished when Rolen requested a trade. Mozeliak attempted to broker an uneasy truce without success.

    Entering his 30th season as a major-league manager, La Russa said he has never deal with an issue that has baffled him so.
    "Iíve said I was mystified, which I am. Iíve been managing a long time. I canít remember ever being this bothered this much by any situation with any player," La Russa said.

    La Russa polled his clubhouse during the seasonís final two weeks to gauge support for his return. Rolen was the only dissenter, the manager said. Rolen, who has three years remaining on a contract extension signed in September 2002, has not publicly discussed the matter since leaving the club in September following shoulder surgery. However, Rolen has made clear to associates his frustration with La Russaís handling of several matters, including his ongoing shoulder issues and what he perceives as double standards within the clubhouse.

    La Russa said he does not know first-hand of any issue other than the handling of Rolenís damaged shoulder in 2005, when the Cardinals attempted to have the player rehabilitate from injury and arthroscopic surgery. When Rolenís recovery stalled, a Cincinnati orthopedist offered a more serious second opinion. Dr. Tim Kremchek, the Cincinnati Redsí medical supervisor, performed reconstructive surgery on the shoulder after Rolenís agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, threatened legal action in order to gain the clubís consent. Rolen prohibited a Cardinals team doctor from assisting during the procedure.

    Kremchek also performed a clean-up procedure on the shoulder this Sept. 11.

    "I know he had that first surgery by that Cincinnati doctor. Now suppose our guy had done it and he had to go back for a second surgery?" La Russa said. "Scott hasnít been critical of the Cincinnati doctor. He just went in and did it, like nothing. If our guy had had to go back for a second surgery, based on his comments about the way it was handled, (the doctor) would have been crucified."

    La Russa insists the Cardinals are a much better team with a healthy Rolen in the lineup because of support he provides No. 3 hitter Albert Pujols. However, Wednesdayís comments would seem to further complicate any further co-existence.

    La Russa laid responsibility for making the situation work on Rolen.

    "Based on what Iíve seen somewhere, I think (Rolen is) strong-minded enough that I donít see his opinion changing on a personal basis. And itís gotten to the point where I donít care," La Russa said.

    La Russa suggested that Rolenís status as a player and as a teammate has "slipped," an assertion he also made in his letter to the player, according to a source familiar with it. "He can play mad every day if he wants to. Thatís OK," La Russa said.
    That possibility may increase, as Mozeliak admitted difficulty stoking the marketplace.

    The Cardinals have approached several teams about Rolen but been frustrated in their attempts to acquire multiple players for him. The Brewers apparently drew the line at pitcher Chris Capuano. The Los Angeles Dodgers have an interest but were described by one team official Wednesday as "background noise."
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  3. #2
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    I've had shoulder surgery from Dr. Kremchek, and based on my experiences, I think he tells everyone he can that he/she needs surgery. I don't know if he does it so he can get more money, claim he performed surgery on a celebrity, or if he just likes having celebrities around his office, but I'm very critical of Dr. Kremchek. Part of my hatred comes from the surgery being a disaster, but I digress . . .

  4. #3
    I thought you'd be bigger OldXOhio's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    Rolen needs to grow up
    Originally Posted by nate
    Chapman can be downright pornographic at times.

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    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    I've had shoulder surgery from Dr. Kremchek, and based on my experiences, I think he tells everyone he can that he/she needs surgery. I don't know if he does it so he can get more money, claim he performed surgery on a celebrity, or if he just likes having celebrities around his office, but I'm very critical of Dr. Kremchek. Part of my hatred comes from the surgery being a disaster, but I digress . . .
    I didn't have shoulder surgery from him, but I did from another doctor, who was then part of the team of physicians that the Bengals used. The thing I understand now is that there is a real difference in perspective between a doctor who spend his time putting guys into shape to play professional sports and a doctor who works with non-athletes. My shoulder can now withstand a hit from a 250 pound linebacker, but what I sacrificed was range of motion. Additionally, the procedure done was fairly radical, when there were other alternatives that may have not made the joint so bomb proof, but which would have kept the range of motion and would not have led to some of the stiffness that I now have.

    But here's the point- I was a 20 year old kid who played a lot of sports at the time. The doctors gave me what I thought I wanted and what I was really asking for (which is why I went to a sports med bone cutter)- a shoulder that would let me keep diving into the ground at shortstop. Had I been wise enough to take the advice of another doctor who wanted to immobilize the joint for six weeks then go with therapy, I may not have the problems I do now. Lastly, the shoulder is a very, very tricky joint to fix. I consider myself lucky that I can lift my hand over my head and swing a golf club after what I did to it in the first place.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  6. #5
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    I didn't have shoulder surgery from him, but I did from another doctor, who was then part of the team of physicians that the Bengals used. The thing I understand now is that there is a real difference in perspective between a doctor who spend his time putting guys into shape to play professional sports and a doctor who works with non-athletes. My shoulder can now withstand a hit from a 250 pound linebacker, but what I sacrificed was range of motion. Additionally, the procedure done was fairly radical, when there were other alternatives that may have not made the joint so bomb proof, but which would have kept the range of motion and would not have led to some of the stiffness that I now have.

    But here's the point- I was a 20 year old kid who played a lot of sports at the time. The doctors gave me what I thought I wanted and what I was really asking for (which is why I went to a sports med bone cutter)- a shoulder that would let me keep diving into the ground at shortstop. Had I been wise enough to take the advice of another doctor who wanted to immobilize the joint for six weeks then go with therapy, I may not have the problems I do now. Lastly, the shoulder is a very, very tricky joint to fix. I consider myself lucky that I can lift my hand over my head and swing a golf club after what I did to it in the first place.
    It sounds like we had the same surgery. Seven years later, my range of motion is extremely limited. The thing is, I was a pitcher, and range of motion is extremely important. I went through ten weeks of physical therapy, and for the first nine weeks, I was told that I was very far ahead of schedule, but in the last week, they told me I was very far behind schedule. It made no sense.

    But the thing that made me the most angry was when I was meeting with Dr. Kremchek for the first time, he repeatedly dislocated and relocated my shoulder, which was extremely painful and unnecessary, just so he could show off how bad my tear was to the other people in the office. When he was finished, he asked me, "So how do you feel? Pretty ****ty, huh?" I just couldn't believe the gall he had.

    Then, after the surgery, he was like, "Your shoulder was in worse shape than any I've ever seen. I've done surgeries on 80-year-old men, and none of them have looked nearly that bad. What the hell have you been doing?"

    Well, gee, Doc . . . My arm had popped out of socket twice before I met you, and then you pushed it out of its socket a dozen times--maybe you had something to do with it?

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    It sounds like we had the same surgery. Seven years later, my range of motion is extremely limited. The thing is, I was a pitcher, and range of motion is extremely important. I went through ten weeks of physical therapy, and for the first nine weeks, I was told that I was very far ahead of schedule, but in the last week, they told me I was very far behind schedule. It made no sense.

    But the thing that made me the most angry was when I was meeting with Dr. Kremchek for the first time, he repeatedly dislocated and relocated my shoulder, which was extremely painful and unnecessary, just so he could show off how bad my tear was to the other people in the office. When he was finished, he asked me, "So how do you feel? Pretty ****ty, huh?" I just couldn't believe the gall he had.

    Then, after the surgery, he was like, "Your shoulder was in worse shape than any I've ever seen. I've done surgeries on 80-year-old men, and none of them have looked nearly that bad. What the hell have you been doing?"

    Well, gee, Doc . . . My arm had popped out of socket twice before I met you, and then you pushed it out of its socket a dozen times--maybe you had something to do with it?
    I can think of a nice spot that you should have kicked him when he popped your shoulder out of socket the second time. "So how do you feel, Doc? Pretty crappy, huh?" Kremchek has always rubbed me the wrong way.
    Last edited by RANDY IN INDY; 12-06-2007 at 08:17 AM.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
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    The Mad Monk Jaycint's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    I couldn't help but chuckle at this:

    "If he plays hard and he plays as well as he can, he plays. And if he doesn’t, he can sit. If he doesn’t like it, he can quit."
    As much as I am not a fan of LaRussa I think Rolen rubs me even more the wrong way. Just strikes me as a really arrogant person. Nice to see him get verbally pimp slapped.

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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    Quote Originally Posted by OldXOhio View Post
    Rolen needs to grow up
    I agree. Larussa certainly threw gown the gauntlet. Time for Rolen to sac up and be a professional.

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    Member RedsFan75's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    First Philly and now St. Louis, Hmmm.... Different managers, Different teams, different cities.... Geee, you wonder why all these guys are out to get poor Scottie!

    (now where's that tongue in cheek smilie)
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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    I'm guessing that the Redbirds are so desperate for pitching that they send the seemingly cancerous Rolen for a mid rotation guy.
    ďIn the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.Ē - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    Rolen doesn't get along with Larussa and Bowa? Hmmm........
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
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    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    It sounds like we had the same surgery. Seven years later, my range of motion is extremely limited. The thing is, I was a pitcher, and range of motion is extremely important. I went through ten weeks of physical therapy, and for the first nine weeks, I was told that I was very far ahead of schedule, but in the last week, they told me I was very far behind schedule. It made no sense.

    But the thing that made me the most angry was when I was meeting with Dr. Kremchek for the first time, he repeatedly dislocated and relocated my shoulder, which was extremely painful and unnecessary, just so he could show off how bad my tear was to the other people in the office. When he was finished, he asked me, "So how do you feel? Pretty ****ty, huh?" I just couldn't believe the gall he had.

    Then, after the surgery, he was like, "Your shoulder was in worse shape than any I've ever seen. I've done surgeries on 80-year-old men, and none of them have looked nearly that bad. What the hell have you been doing?"

    Well, gee, Doc . . . My arm had popped out of socket twice before I met you, and then you pushed it out of its socket a dozen times--maybe you had something to do with it?
    Not surprising. There is another well respected bone doc in town who works with UC and Bengals and who is also a royal jerk. My mom was a nurse for forty years and she knew a lot of orthopedic surgeons, including the one I'm referring to above. She once said they don't work on patients; they work on joints. Sounds like your experience is a perfect example of that.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  14. #13
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    Well, gee, Doc . . . My arm had popped out of socket twice before I met you, and then you pushed it out of its socket a dozen times--maybe you had something to do with it?
    That's unreal, isn't it? My story isn't near as bad, but I had a torn ACL in college. They splinted it, and then told me to come back about a week later for "therapy". Had to be there at 7:30 AM.
    Well, the "therapy" consisted of me sitting in an examining room from 7:30 am to 6 pm... Every once in a while, a doctor would bring in a bunch of med students, and he would twist around my knee (painful) to show the students how bad it was.
    I love it how they had the gall to ask me to schedule another appointment as I was leaving.. I was dumb to sit there all day and miss classes, but I was young and naive, I guess. I assumed something benefiical was going to be done..
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

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    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    I've had shoulder surgery from Dr. Kremchek, and based on my experiences, I think he tells everyone he can that he/she needs surgery. I don't know if he does it so he can get more money, claim he performed surgery on a celebrity, or if he just likes having celebrities around his office, but I'm very critical of Dr. Kremchek. Part of my hatred comes from the surgery being a disaster, but I digress . . .
    The orthopedic surgeon I'm seeing for my knee used to work for the St Louis area pro teams (Cardinals, Blues, Rams). He told me Kremcheck isn't very popular amongst his peers. He said he's known as a shameless self-promoter. I asked him if he's considered the best at what he does though and he said not by a long shot.

  16. #15
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ugly in St. Louis

    LaRussa's reaction to Rolen's injury reminds me of the way the Reds approached Gary Nolan's injuries, which they thought was more in his head then his body, it caused some very bad clubhouse moments too.


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