Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Ned Colletti's Fireable Offense: Dodgers Knew Of Jason Schmidt's Injury Before Signing
The Dodgers knew Jason Schmidt had a rotator cuff injury when they signed him to a contract worth a guaranteed $47 million, the club acknowledged in a court filing this week.So, the Dodgers knew about a pre-existing, possibly career-threatening injury to his rotator cuff (connected to his shoulder labrum!) and signed Schmidt to a high-dollar, multi-year deal. There was simply no way that, in 2006 when this deal was inked, the Dodgers didn't know that shoulder injuries are interrelated, especially between the labrum and rotator cuff, and further that even if they did, that any deal would have to involve risk management by reducing the dollars and years involved. I, for one, am highly inclined to agree with the insurer that the Dodgers have no case for recovery, should there be a preexisting condition clause in the contract.
The Dodgers filed suit against the company that insured Schmidt's contract, alleging failure to pay $9.27 million in claims. In the suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the Dodgers argue the torn labrum that required surgery and limited Schmidt to six games over two years was unrelated to the rotator cuff injury and thus covered by insurance.
"Before we sign anybody, they're run through a pretty strong physical," Dodgers General Manager Colletti said then. "If there was a red flag on any player, we wouldn't pursue him."
It is believed the Schmidt physical included an MRI examination that confirmed the rotator cuff injury. In the suit, the Dodgers claim such injuries are not uncommon and said they awarded him the contract based on his success with the Giants.
"Major league pitchers often experience such partial rotator cuff tears but nevertheless remain competitive and effective," the suit reads, "as Mr. Schmidt had demonstrated himself to be during the 2006 season immediately prior to joining the Dodgers.
"The Dodgers therefore did not find Mr. Schmidt's preexisting rotator cuff condition to exclude him from consideration as a team member."
And, yeah, fire Ned Colletti. It needs saying.