MRI shows no ligament damage in Adam Wainwright’s elbow

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MLB.com beat reporter Jenifer Langosch has the update, which can be considered promising news for the Cardinals and their ace …

Adam Wainwright, who disclosed after his Tuesday night start that he has been battling tendinitis for the past few weeks, returned to St. Louis on Wednesday to have an MRI on his right elbow.

The exam showed that the soreness is not the result of damage to the ligament, which was already replaced when Wainwright underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011. Instead, the Cardinals are describing the issue as similar to that of tennis elbow, a condition that can be caused by overuse and overextension of the elbow.

Wainwright was given a cortisone injection to help with the elbow discomfort. He has not been scratched yet from his next scheduled start — Monday night against the Mets — because the Cardinals’ medical staff wants to see his right elbow responds to the cortisone. A decision will be made Friday or Saturday.

Wainwright, 32, owns a 2.15 ERA and 0.927 WHIP through 14 starts this season for St. Louis.

He threw a whopping 276 2/3 innings last year between the regular season and playoffs.

Red Sox owner: “spending money helps”

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The other day Rob Manfred said, as he and other owners have said often in the past, that there is no correlation between payroll and winning. He said that defensively, in response to criticism of the slow free agent market of the past two offseasons.

As we have noted in the past, Manfred is not being honest about that. While, yes, in any given year there can be wild variation between payroll and win total — the Giants stunk last year, the A’s won 97 games — common sense dictates otherwise. What’s more, a recent study has shown that there is a pretty strong correlation between winning and payroll over time. Yes, you can fluke into a big season with a low payroll — Deadspin compared it to a cold snap occurring during a time of climate change — but if you want that “sustained success” teams claim they want, the best way to ensure it is to spend more money over time.

If you know anything about baseball labor history, though, you know well that the Commissioner and the owners will continue to mischaracterize the dynamics of the business as it suits them. Mostly because — present lefty sportswriters notwithstanding — very few people push back on their narratives. Fans tend to parrot ownership’s line on this stuff and, more often than not, baseball media acts as stenographer for ownership as opposed to critic. That gives owners a far greater ability to shape the narrative about all of this than most institutions.

Which makes this all the more awkward. From David Schoenfield of ESPN:

In apparent contradiction to his own commissioner, Boston Red Sox owner John Henry said Monday that, while there is not a perfect correlation between a bigger payroll and winning, “spending more money helps.”

Which is right. The correlation is not perfect — teams can spend a lot of money on a bad team if given the chance and a low payroll team like the Rays can bullpen their way to 90 wins — but you’re way more likely to win year-in, year-out if you’re spending than if you go cheap all the time and hope for a miracle season.

Which is not to say that Henry is some labor activist owner. He and his fellow front office officials have a long history of backing the league office on just about everything that matters and will no doubt do so with labor matters in the runup to the next CBA negotiation. The owners tend not to have a solidarity problem.

But Henry does seem to draw the line at peddling baloney, which is a shockingly necessary thing when the league and the union’s relationship turns acrimonious.