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Report: MLB to investigate leak of Shohei Ohtani’s medical information

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Earlier this week  Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that Shohei Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20.

All of the teams who bid on Ohtani had access to this information beforehand. The Angels signed him despite this information, as they believe the issue to be a minor one which will not impact his ability to pitch.

End of story? Nope. Because the leak of that information has displeased the powers that be:

It’s hard to imagine that Ohtani’s people would’ve leaked that for any reason and the incentive for Japanese officials to do so seems nil. Heck, there isn’t much of an incentive for anyone to leak it, though one can envision a scenario in which someone with one of the teams who lost out on Ohtani offering it up as sour grapes. Or, perhaps, to calm a fan base upset that their team did not get the two-way star.

No matter who did it, it’s understandable for MLB to be angry about it. For one thing, it caused the Angels to have to play defense from a PR perspective and spend time beating back the reports and stories which, understandably, spun out of the leak. More significantly, player health information, while often made public by clubs, is not an open book for everyone to see. The have privacy rights with respect to their medical information just like you and I do. When we hear about an injury, it’s because the player and the club agree that it’s information that can be made public, either because they approved it on a case-by-case basis, or because it’s run-of-the-mill stuff released in the course of baseball operations and covered by a players’ contract and/or the CBA.

In any event, this should be very interesting to watch unfold. Assuming there is anything that ultimately unfolds.

Cincinnati Reds fire Bryan Price

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The Cincinnati Reds have fired manager Bryan Price. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Jim Riggleman. The team also fired pitching coach Mack Jenkins. The club also added Louisville manager Pat Kelly to the staff as the new bench coach and Double-A pitching coach Danny Darwin as the new big league pitching coach.

It was only a matter of time for Price, whose Reds have begun the season 3-15. This was Price’s fifth season at the helm and the Reds never won more than 76 games in any of his previous seasons, doing so in his first year, in 2014. They won 68 games in both 2016 and 2017 and 64 games in 2015. While that’s far more attributable to the Reds talent level than anything Price ever did or did not do, at some point the manager will take the fall for a team that makes no progress.

Price’s tenure will likely be considered largely forgettable in the view of history, but he did have a pretty memorable moment as Reds manager in April of 2015, when he went on a profanity-laced tirade at the media because they reported the availability or lack thereof of certain players for an upcoming game. Which is part of the media’s job, even if Price didn’t fully grok that at the time. The tirade itself was pretty epic, though, with then Cincinnati Enquirer reporter C. Trent Rosecrans reporting that “there were 77 uses of the “F” word or a variant and 11 uses of a vulgar term for feces (two bovine, one equine).” 

Taking over will be Jim Riggleman, who last managed in the big leagues with the Washington Nationals, resigning in June of 2011 because he was unhappy that he did not get a contract extension. It was a weird episode, the sort of which a lot of guys couldn’t have come back from, perhaps being considered quitters. Riggleman took a job managing the Reds’ Double-A team, however, then moved on to Triple-A and then the Reds’ big league coaching staff. There’s something to be said for persistence. And for being a big league lifer.

Anyway, Price’s exit is not likely to change the Reds’ course too much in 2018. But, as it is so often said in baseball, sometimes you gotta make a change all the same.