Shut Down

David PhilpAnalyst IJanuary 31, 2008

The MRI came back. Scar tissue. I don't have bone chips, tortilla chips or the t.v. show CHiPs floating around my arm like the ship in Fantastic Voyage. No need for another surgery and no reason to believe I can't come back sometime in April, possibly early-May.


The team physician, my good Dr. McGee, said for now I have to shut down all "baseball activities." He meant don't throw a ball, but he made it sound like I couldn't talk about baseball, write about baseball or coach a Little League team, not that I'd be a good coach or that I'd even have the time or patience to coach a Little League team, but I'd still like the option to try.

Here's tomorrow's NY Post headline:


Not gonna happen, but go ahead and sell your papers. I read all my articles online—for free.

Yesterday's take by the various media outlets on my health and meeting with GM Alvin Kirby and Manager Rick Churches was interesting. Some quoted my blog. Others just quoted Kirby and/or Churches, who denied what took place actually took place. A few places referenced us both and realized we're in a "he said/he said/she said" situation (Rick is cringing as he reads this, wondering who the "she" is). Here's where we stand:

* Alvin Kirby and Rick Churches met with me and told me, for health reasons, I should either retire or expect to spend the year on the disabled list.   

* I told them there was no need, I'd just been to the doctor and was on progress to pitch all year.

* They told me a second opinion—a doctor I never saw and still don't know the identity of—said my arm is in such a state that my career is over, barring a miracle.

* My arm did, in fact, have a setback that day. But I should, according to the team doctor, be able to start throwing again in a week to ten days.

Nobody is quoting this phantom "second doctor" and Alvin and Rick aren't even bringing up that part of the conversation. They're saying there is no second doctor. They're saying, basically, that I'm lying.

No matter. You'll see my official grievance against the team filed today by my super agent, Jack Perry. Our wonderful team owner, Mrs. Joan Delaney, left a message at my house apologizing for any confusion, even though she had previously talked to Jack and, following what is now/was then the party line, said she didn't expect me back this season.

This has all come out of the blue. For some reason, the team is suddenly (or they planned this all along) low on funding and wants insurance to cover my salary. Or they truly don't think I'll be able to pitch, and pitch well, this season and don't want to subsidize a long and pointless rehabilitation program. Or they just want me out. Conspiracy theories fly like fleas on poop.

The columnists I'm reading are saying the same thing as me. ESPN just treats it like a sideshow. Meanwhile, Pepsi called Jack and is considering pulling the ad we just filmed and yanking away my endorsement deal. Why? Because they don't want to pay millions to someone who won't be playing in 2008. My grievance against the team will take on much greater weight should Pepsi pull out because of the actions of two men who don't appear to like me.

Here's the deal for you all to see. I'll use bullet points, because I feel bullets have been shot at my head (none self-inflicted, for once):

    * I will pitch in 2008
    * The team will not get any insurance money...
    * ...because I will pitch in 2008
    * I will participate in spring training
    * I will probably start the season in extended spring training in Florida or with a minor league affiliate. A warm one.

That's it. Don't believe everything you read (note how this can hurt me since I'm not talking to anyone, just writing). Just believe the source, me, when I say I will pitch this season. Betting is illegal in baseball, but if I were a gambler, I'd put my money on me. The payout will be huge.

Anyone going to guess on tomorrow's Daily News headline?


Just want you to be aware of the source of their story before they report it.