Jeff Passan of Yahoo! reports that the Red Sox’ use of Toradol was contrary to state law and industry guidelines. Specifically: Passan quotes Curt Schilling — and, importantly, two other sources who are not Curt Schilling — who say that the Red Sox’ trainer routinely injected it into players despite state laws which prohibit sports trainers from doing do.
Toradol, in the news recently because of Jonathan Papelbon saying that the Phillies would not let him use it, is a legal anti-inflammatory. It’s more powerful, however, and has been linked to serious side effects. Many teams use it — many also via injections from athletic trainers — but it remains controversial.
Passan reports that the methods of Toradol injection on the Red Sox weren’t, if his sources are correct, in compliance with the law. Indeed, they sounded downright furtive:
Two other sources described the same scene as Schilling: Reinold and a player stashed away in a secluded area, away from the trainers’ room, with [Red Sox trainer Mike] Reinold jabbing a needle into a player’s buttocks before a game.
Major League Baseball investigated Reinold and the Red Sox and last year issued an edict forbidding trainers from injecting players with Toradol. Whether the state gets involved and investigates depends on whether someone files a complaint. Which seems unlikely, but who knows?
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.