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Mike Berardino interview....

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Muckdog
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Mike Berardino does an hour on Hank Goldberg's WQAM radio show on Thursdays down here. Most of yesterday's hour was filled up by callers (and Hank) asking him about the article he wrote last week about Burnett's bone spurs being hidden from him. Several callers were angry with him for writing the article and risking a team breakdown over something that hasn't been proved. Mike calmly reminded the callers that it wasn't he who brought up this story, it was AJ Burnett himself. And then when his source gave him this information, it's his job to try and get to the truth of it. AJ's agent also had heard these same rumors from more than one person in baseball.

I've got to say that I have a lot of respect for Mike Berardino. His articles are great and he's very well-informed. He is very objective on the Marlins and gives them credit when it's due. He does not seem to me to "have it in" for this front office. But in this case he has a "Marlins source" who has told him that AJ's bone spurs were hidden from him for at least a year, plain and simple. Also the Marlins team physician, Dr. Kanell, had no idea about them.

Berardino asked Torborg whether he would have used him so much last year if he knew about bone spurs, and Torborg said he NEVER would have let him run up those kinds of pitch counts. Doctor Kanell responded to the media that there was never anything hidden, but that doesn't mean he wasn't hidden from it also.

While I initially couldn't believe this because it just didn't seem to make sense that a front office would endanger their own player's health, I have to admit I'm very suspicious now. I don't want to overreact, but if you got a chance to hear him talk about the whole story, it's pretty scary. Obviously no one knows who this "source" is, but Berardino believes he is credible and takes him very seriously. Burnett has since backed off a little bit, probably due to being told to "back off" and since the team is paying for his rehab.

This is likely one of those stories that we'll never learn the real truth about, unless the source goes public. If it's true however, this front office should be banned from baseball and AJ ought to sue them for millions. End of story. Until it's proven it's just another ugly rumor, true or not, about this ownership.
 

Malman

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I heard Bernardino yesterday as well. I too respect him and enjoy his work immensely. My question is in regards to the reliability of the source. Who is to say this isn't someone who has an axe to grind with Sampson or Loria. Or is looking to save face? I am very skeptical of Arnsberg and others. Perhaps someone is trying to deflect criticism by pointing blame in another direction. Weren't there rumors of Samson trying to fire Arnsberg in Spring Training?

It baffles me as to why the Marlins would hide the info. Why in the world would they pitch him in September? Why didn't anything show up when Burnett visited Andrews in Alabama on multiple occassions? There is definately more to this story - it just doesn't make sense the way it is laid out right now.

I hope Bernardino ultimately gets to the bottom of it all. In the meantime, I am giving the Marlins management the benefit of the doubt on this one.
 

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Well I agree with you on that point, I couldn't understand what their reason for hiding it would be either.

I think Berardino mentioned on the show, one possibility is that they could hide the bone spur problem if they wanted to try & trade him before this season started. This would also help explain why they would bring him back to pitch a few games in September to show he's healthy again when there was really no reason to do so. (the team was far back in the standings and had no reason to rush him back)

And if you're trading a guy like AJ Burnett there's no telling what value you could get for him, ESPECIALLY if there's no questions about bone spurs...
(we all saw how nervous the Reds got from rumors about health problems with Brad Penny....)

I guess it's one possibility anyway, but I didn't hear Burnett's name tossed around in any trade rumors before the season.
 

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