Cardinals Overhauling Again?

Joel KochSenior Analyst ISeptember 14, 2008

It was October of 2007 when Walt Jocketty was fired. The Front Office overhaul began. The Cardinals then hired John Mozeliak as the General Manager. They fired several more "Jocketty guys" and hired "Bill DeWitt guys" to fill the slots.

DeWitt had what he wanted, finally. A GM he could trust by telling him what he wants and knowing he would do it. He had his own guys in place throughout the organization now.

Now, DeWitt needs to overhaul again.

The St. Louis Cardinals medical staff is a joke. I'm not talking the training staff, they know what they're doing. I mean the team doctors.

Let me give you some examples.

These are the same team doctors that told Chris Carpenter that he could rehab his torn elbow ligament and continue pitching. They told Rick Ankiel his abdominal strain would heal over time and he'd be good as new in two weeks.

Doctor George Paletta, the Cardinals main team doctor, told Alan Benes that his shoulder would hold up and he only needed to do a cleanup surgery. He also told Mark Mulder that he's great at shoulder surgeries and the recovery time is slow.

Well, let's see how all this went.

Carpenter had to have Tommy John surgery in July of 2007 because Dr. James Andrews, the Zeus of doctors, told him that he needed Tommy John surgery. You cannot pitch with a torn ligament in your pitching elbow.

Carpenter could have had the surgery in April of 2007, had the normal rehabilitation time (14 to 16 months), and could have came back at the exact same time in 2008.

Ankiel sat out for two straight weeks, pinch hitting to make his abdominal strain worse. He is now done for the year because he's going to have surgery. How do you repair a strained abdominal muscle?

Ankiel doesn't know. He's going under surgery to fix a sports hernia. Had Ankiel been properly diagnosed, he could have had the surgery right away and been back a week ago, fully healthy.

Benes' career ended with his shoulder issues. Paletta is suppose to be one of the nation's top shoulder specialist and he ruined Benes' shoulder.

The same can be said for Mark Mulder. Mulder needed a true reconstructive shoulder operation, like what Carpenter had gotten in 2002. Had he had that immediately in 2006, he could have been back at full strength at the start of 2008 and wouldn't be mulling retirement.

How Paletta and his doctor team are still the heads of the Cardinals medical staff is beyond me. These guys ruin athletes and tell the front office that their players are fine.

If DeWitt wants to make a serious run at his second World Series title as the owner of the Cardinals, he needs to overhaul his medical staff. Fire them all and hire real doctors to take over.

A candidate, in my mind, for the head of the medical staff would be none other than Zeus himself: Dr. James Andrews. If he'd be willing to leave his practice and become the Cardinals medical staff head, the Cardinals would be in solid shape.