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Orioles' Dan Duquette, Buck Showalter Doing Injury Tango

August 25, 2014

Baltimore had been braced for the worst after seeing third baseman Manny Machado collapse in a heap at home plate Aug. 11. News broke Aug. 22 in Chicago Machado will have reconstructive surgery on his right knee

By now, Baltimore's baseball followers have become accustomed to the weird injury tango Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter use in an effort to hide the severity of injuries to the media.

Orioles 2014: Dan Duquette with media (Aug. 23 at Wrigley Field)
Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette talks with members of the media about Manny Machado's injury before the Orioles' Aug. 23 game at Wrigley Field.

It's hard to believe the doctors employed by Orioles owner Peter Angelos are in any way inept. They certainly don't seem to have been off base on relief pitcher Grant Balfour, who they chose not to sign during the offseason due to injury concerns. But during the past 11 months, they have twice proclaimed Machado would be able to recover from a severe knee injury, only to have him get a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache that surgery would indeed be necessary.

Then there was the episode surrounding catcher Matt Wieters' elbow injury in late July. Wieters visited noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews and underwent the routine protocol of getting a plasma-enriched platelet shot to potentially to avoid surgery. Of course, 2-3 weeks later, Wieters was lost for the season to Tommy John surgery.

In reading, the baseball Web site serving as sort of an industry gossip column, I saw one writer put forth the notion the Orioles are upset at the way Machado's latest misfortune was leaked, because it might take away any leverage the club would have in acquiring a third baseman if the other team knew of the severity of the injury.

That's actually pretty laughable. Can you imagine how that call would go? 

Duquette hypothetically calls the Houston Astros to pick up third baseman Matt Dominguez. "Hey, Jeff Luhnow, this is Dan Duquette of the Orioles. I wanted to see if you'd have any interest in moving Matt Dominguez?"

"Hey Dan, geez we really hadn't thought of dealing him. I guess the Machado injury is pretty bad?"

In this scenario, Duquette would reply, "Oh, no, Machado can get through this without surgery. We are just checking in on Dominguez." 

Duquette would cup his hand over the phone and whisper to Orioles director of player personnel John Stockstill, "I think he is buying it. ..."

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