Last night, I was so angry at the Minnesota Twins and the continued incompetence of their medical staff that, instead of watching and writing about baseball, I decided to actually sit down with my wife and watch three episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (and live-tweet the whole experience). This is what the Twins have reduced me to: watching Wesley Crusher, the worst teenager in the history of teenagers, inexplicably wooing the older, hotter, more competent, and far cooler Ashley Judd, who must have had body image issues or something to be slumming so hard. And despite winning her affections in face of his spazzing and general annoyance at everyone else on board, Wesley never closes the deal with her. What a knob.
Anyway, if you missed the news yesterday, Carl Pavano announced that his shoulder problems (originally called a strain) had been misdiagnosed for three months. He has a bone bruise and apparently was making it worse through his rehab, so he’s shut down for the rest of 2012 and may be finished as a Minnesota Twin. Meanwhile, as we mentioned two days ago, Denard Span has not played since August 12, when he hurt his shoulder diving for a ball, but remains on the active roster. Yesterday, the Twins tried to get him to undergo a second MRI, but his claustrophobia prevented him from getting into the machine.
Look, I’m not a doctor. I don’t pretend that I have the medical expertise to second guess the Twins’ medical staff in individual cases. But there is a pattern of misdiagnoses, late diagnoses, long absences with no DL stint (or delayed trips to the DL), ineffective rehabilitation, injury re-aggravation, and returns from the DL long before a player is ready. It’s beyond clear that, even if the Twins’ medical staff isn’t hurting the club, they’re incapable of helping it either. It is not an asset, and every indication seems to be that it’s a serious detriment to the literal well-being of the franchise.
This problem first poked its head up in 2010. It worsened and reached its apex last year. It was supposedly fixed during the offseason. But the same thing has played out all of 2012 as well, from Scott Baker’s elbow to Justin Morneau’s wrist, to Trevor Plouffe’s thumb, to Carl Pavano and Denard Span’s shoulders without any public accountability (except for Pavano, who said that he’s willing to take the blame for his own misdiagnosis). And even now, nobody connected to the team seems to have any answers as to why things are going wrong.
But look, here’s what I learned from watching the crew of the Starship Enterprise last night. If there’s a problem with the warp core, and nobody can figure out what the problem is, you don’t keep using the same flawed warp core that’s prone to exploding and killing everyone in Engineering. You can get a new one.