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Will Carroll Interview

Will Carroll's report about possible shoulder problems for Mark Prior raised quite a hubbub around the Chicago area, perhaps approaching the level of a ruckus at one point.  Will was kind enough to answer every question I could think of on the topic.

MLBTradeRumors:  Why isn't Prior on the same course as the Cubs' healthy pitchers?  Can a December illness really set a pitcher back like this?

Will Carroll:  Good question and one I don't have a good answer to. Prior almost certainly was sick and almost certainly had some effect. We don't know how serious -- ER sick is a pretty broad range -- but given that Mark is a young, healthy, well-conditioned athlete, you'd think he could bounce back. Most pitchers don't do much in December anyway; there was an article, I think by Jayson Stark, that talked about a pitcher picking up the ball in early January.

Every pitcher's different. Back in 2003 when we were working on Saving The Pitcher, Mark was throwing in December, but if I recall correctly, Christian Ruzich (of Cub Reporter and the photographer for that session) said it was a long toss session.

MLBTR:  Has there been any interaction between you and Prior/Baker/Cubs front office since the big media blowup about his shoulder?  If so, how'd it go?

WC:  Yes, but it was a private conversation. Some were dismissive, some were angry, some just nodded and went on with life.

MLBTR:  Do you think the "weak and sick" look could be related to Prior's December illness?  [whoops, I asked this twice.]

WC:  Again, it's possible, but you'd think a young, healthy, well-conditioned athlete like Prior would bounce back more quickly. I'm not a stalker so I don't know exactly what Mark was doing, but we do know a couple things -- 1) there were no reports of anything this winter. That's normal, we don't hear a lot about lots of players. Prior's offseason was -- well, I don't know. He could have sat in his house, gone to Aruba, or spent the winter throwing in his back yard. The Cubs know, but we don't.

All that we *know* changed is that he didn't work with Tom House and I didn't even know that until he mentioned it during an interview Friday. 2) I know, for a fact, that a major Chicago writer agrees with me. In fact, he was the source for "sick and weak."

MLBTR:  The closest thing to a thumbs up from Prior that I've found in the media is him telling George Ofman his shoulder is OK and without discomfort.  Has Prior blatantly said to anyone that his shoulder and elbow are completely 100% healthy?

WC:  Not that I'm aware of.

MLBTR:  Based on this incident, the Achilles thing last year [whoops, two years ago], and tons of missed timetables would you agree that the Cubs have been less than forthright about pitching injuries?  Is this simply to withold injury info from other baseball teams a la Oakland, or do the Cubs have some other motivation?

WC:  That's correct, but this isn't something we can blame on the Cubs solely. You mentioned the A's, but it's every team. There's a grand total of one team that's always been open and honest about every single request I've made. I think that's mostly because that team isn't very good. The Cubs have done a very poor job of managing information, odd since they're owned by the very media company that provides a great deal of their coverage.

MLBTR:  Which members of the Chicago media contacted you about your report?  I know you've spoken on the Score and with Teddy Greenstein; anyone else?

WC:  Easier to say who didn't -- no one from the Sun-Times or ESPN 1000 contacted me.

MLBTR:  Has the majority of the Chicago media treated you well other than Paul Sullivan's shot?  You mentioned that you don't think there's any "ink vs. Internet" divide.

WC:  Yes. You know, it's funny -- I only spoke to Teddy Greenstein because a few years ago, the first time I was in the Cubs clubhouse, Teddy was nice to me. He pointed out who was a good interview, introduced me to a couple people, knew where the bathroom was. He misquoted me, but that's more my choice of wording than anything else. Heck, here's the email:

From Will to Teddy Greenstein, 2/22:  "Teddy -- I went back through my emails and realized why the Achilles stuff isn't on the site until after it was publicly announced: I  didn't run it. The source, at that time, was unknown to me. Sorry for the confusion; blame my failing memory."

As you can see there, I said I didn't run the information from the source because I didn't know how accurate the information was until proven true, not that I didn't know the source. It existed, it was accurate, and in fact, I'd think my reluctance to use it without proof of accuracy speaks pretty well to my standards.

Ink vs pixels? As false as stats vs scouts. I read all the reports - Kiley, Rogers, Greenstein, Miles, Muskat, DeLuca, the guy from Gary - on the internet.

MLBTR:  Has your source given you anything new on Prior since the injury report?  Has that source scooped anything besides Prior's Achilles issue from last year?  Can you give us anything about your source's relation to Prior and/or the Cubs?  (I had to try).

WC:  No. Yes (and it was two years ago). Nice try.

MLBTR:  There have been whispers of a need for TJ surgery in Prior's past, which were squelched.  Would you take the elbow inflammation and reduced control in recent years as warning signs for a future TJ?

WC:  Those rumors were pretty spurious, if I remember correctly. They came out of New York -- Larry Rocca -- and were shot down. The Cubs reacted to that by laughing it off. Reduced control? I don't see that in the stat line and given Mark's traumatic elbow injury last year, I think we could forgive him a little wildness in the second half.
 

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Comments

How do we know that email is accurate? Carroll's never been above pure BS.

MLBTradeRumors has hit an all time LOW. Making something out of nothing AGAIN. This site use to be a pretty decent source of information, but since things have slowed down on the trade and rumor wire, the site is DIGGING to find stories and CREATING mountains out of mole hills.

I am officially done with this site till next off-season. The owner and writers should be ashamed for being part of the media propaganda wheel that so many people get mislead by on a regular basis.

I thought the site was better than this, but I was apparently wrong.

I'm pretty impressed you got Will Carroll.

Yeah, that's about it. Nice follow-up, good get on the story.

Completely unrelated : RM, does Manny look a bit slimmed down to you?

I'm pretty impressed you got Will Carroll.

Yeah, that's about it. Nice follow-up, good get on the story.

Completely unrelated : RM, does Manny look a bit slimmed down to you?

Jess: I can guarantee you that the email is accurate. Will even included the previous email in the chain that was from Greenstein, but it didn't really pertain to the topic so I left it out.

Matt: I'm happy to see you go and would prefer it if you never came back. Of COURSE I'm digging to find stories when it's slow - that's a good thing. I am trying to find interesting information and Carroll's opinion on this certainly qualifies.

Next time you see a post that is so horrible that you feel compelled to write a diatribe, please just skip over it instead.

Guy, I'll delete the second post for ya...haven't seen a lot of Manny video quite yet unfortunately.

The thing I don't understand about any of this is that if Prior is injured and might need shoulder or elbow surgery, why would the CUbs try to push him to keep pitching instead of getting hiim the surgery or whatever he needs to fix the problem? that's the part I don't get. It gives the Cubs very little incentive to have Prior try to pitch with a potentially major injury.

JMan,

Were you awake last year when the Cubs un-necessarily let Kerry Wood pitch out of the bullpen for a month, when the team was already dead and buried?

Hey, nice interview with Carroll. I heard something that made a ton of sense yesterday from Rotheschild yesterday, and that was because of Priors injury history during spring training, they wanted to start him off slow. OK, everyone already knows that, but it makes sooo much sense to do. When people like Carroll go out and make claims about someone that are not true, it totaly discredits everything that he says from then on.

A few years back people questioned whether Mark Prior was on steroids. His response was "Look at me. I am 185 pounds. Do I look like I take steroids." He then goes and injures his heel. To note, generally one who takes steroids ends up putting extra pressure on the heel - too much weight mass/muscle mass for the leg to handle. His December sickness could be him recovering from not taking steroids.

In addition, Manny Ramirez, like a lot of other players, does look skinnier. I know testing started last year for every player. We might just be seeing the results of the testing. Likewise, many of the guys got suspended for use of supplements. With Manny being in the Dominican Republic, he might have feared taking any supplements. Or he could have been working harder to get skinnier to get some speed and help in the OF, or he could have just been lazy this offseason and lost all his muscle.

This interview is garbage.

Last year Rothschild SAID they were going to, no matter what, ease Prior in differently so they could avoid the trouble of the past two seasons. That his body needed to ease into the season differently than others, just like Bob Welch's (who had some pretty darn good years).

SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? HOW IS THIS PIECE OF INFORMATION, FREE TO EVERYONE, BEING DISREGARDED?

THEY SAID IT LAST YEAR. PRIOR GOES SLOW NEXT YEAR. THEY'RE DOING IT. AND BLEEPING IDIOTS LIKE WILL CARROLL JUST SO HAPPEN TO FORGET IT.

Garbage.

THANKS FOR SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT IN A POLITE MANNER. WE ARE ALL IN YOUR DEBT.

Great Post RM. I'm glad you are actually trying to post cool info.

And for all of the haters out there about this topic...did you forget this is a RUMOR site. so even IF carroll is not entirely true, this is a RUMOR site, enjoy the cool info RM posts.

Everyone whining about this post needs to stfu

I did see Prior throw in December of '03, and it was only long toss. It was at a pitching camp, and the general expectation was that he would be pitching, but when he arrived he simply said that he would not be.

Hey Rock,

I was awake for that. Thanks for reminding me. The problem is that they acknowledged at that time that he needed surgery but just weren't smart enough to have him get the surgery as soon as possible. In the Prior case they haven't admitted anything. So instead of losing him for one season, you really think they want him being mediocre to potentially terrible for teh CUbs for a month or two until his shoulder/elbow completely gives out? Sorry, I know the Cubs aren't the brightest organization but I don't think they are this dense.

Bob you are a freaking idiot if you think Prior was/is on steriods.

Actually Bob I think you're right. Prior's achilles injury MUST BE because he was on steriods. Nevermind the fact that Prior threw 211.1 innings in his first full year in the major leagues. And nevermind the fact that he averaged 113.4 pitches per start that year. It MUST have been the steriods.

And Prior's winter illness has GOT TO be the result of recovering from steriods. Nevermind the fact that he got sick in December... in the middle of winter, right about the time a respiratory infection might occur.

You're right Bob. Must be the steriods... Idiot.

I never said it had to be the steroids. I was trying to throw a rumor out there on a rumor website. No in actuality, I wanted to point out how absurd steroid allegations are today. (If you noticed, I did quote Mark Prior and his 185 pound quote). People believed Brett Boone, Sammy Sosa, and any other player who had increased power could take steroids, but Mark Prior could not? I am going with the idea that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Boone wasn't proven to have taken them. Sosa wasn't either. So, I will remain with the idea that Mark Prior got sick in December, and that the result was not steroids. (But if Ryan Franklin took steroids - look at his build, and other pitchers have been proven to take them - we cannot one hundred percent deduce that Mark Prior did not.)

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