On The Mark

I toyed with the idea of not even acknowledging the Mark Prior story in this space, mostly because it's being covered so much in so many places.

Then Will Carroll addressed it not once, but twice, over at Baseball Prospectus, and Dr. Joe Hecht ("Cubster") of The Cub Reporter offered a marvelous analysis of Carroll's analysis, and then Carroll blasted Hecht in TCR's Comments section, after which he sort of apologized to Hecht in TCR's Comments section.

Then Thursday night, Carroll went on WGN Radio's Sports Central with David Kaplan and repeated what he had written for Baseball Prospectus in the first place, that Prior's injury absolutely, positively had to be the result of overuse and couldn't possibly have had anything to do with that violent collision between Prior and Marcus Giles in 2003 and any suggestion to the contrary, even if it was coming from a practicing physician (which Dr. Hecht is and Carroll is not), is "absolute bunk."

What a gas!

Anyway, I wanted to briefly cite two other takes on the Prior situation. The first, also originating at BP, comes from Kevin Goldstein, who does a bang-up job covering the Minor Leagues and budding prospects. Goldstein writes that the discovery of significant structural damage in Prior's shoulder should humble all of the Chicago sports radio and print outlets which, for two years, have been implying that Prior was simply "a wuss." He goes on:

Mark Prior has been trying to pitch for what looks like two-plus years with the kind of damage in his shoulder that would have you or I thinking about worker’s compensation even though our jobs probably require little more than sitting in from of a computer much of the day. You own him an apology, and if he comes back in the way Dr. Andrews believes he can, many Cubs fans don’t deserve to reap the benefits.

Last, I'll point you to this piece by the Tribune's Paul Sullivan, who leaves no doubt about his feelings regarding the entire, anatomically and emotionally complicated story.

(Prior) might never pitch again for the Cubs, and that's a shame. But if that's the case, few close observers will shed many tears. His churlish attitude toward the media, his obvious disdain for Cubs management and his often condescending demeanor made it hard to sympathize with him.


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