O's Corner - The Segui Fallacy

I have two pet peeves that are (not necessarily coincidentally) coming together right about now. <br><br> First: the Baltimore Orioles can never just come out and admit a player is hurt. They just can't do it. They can never just put a player on the DL, and call somebody else up like every other team does.

Nope, they have to go through this big charade first: the denial, the misunderstanding, the anger, the spin doctoring, the controversy in the papers, The conflicting medical opinions, The wasting of time, and the losing of games while the team struggles shorthanded. 

Forgive me for being skeptical of their judgments. But remember some of the Orioles' famous medical pronouncements of past times?

"We can't sign Aaron Sele. His shoulder is liable to blow
any minute." 

"Matt Riley just slept wrong." 

"There's nothing wrong with Erickson's elbow--he needs to pitch his way out of this." 

"David Segui is day-to-day." 

"Luis Rivera just has a little tendonitis, but he's throwing. He'll be fine." 

"Brady Anderson is tough. He doesn't need to go on the DL."

"Albert Belle will be better by spring." 

"Mike Bordick is just resting his shoulder." 

"David Segui is day-to-day." 

"Hentgen has a case of tired arm." 

"Chris Richard shouldn't have said anything to the media. He's not really hurt." 

"David Segui is day-to-day. " 

Can we just avoid the embarrassment this time, put Segui on the DL, and call up a warm body to take his place? You just know that sooner or later, they're going to have to admit Segui's hurt. They'll finally give some lame-ass cover up story to the press and Segui will again wind up missing half the season.

My second peeve is this fascination with Segui himself and this stupid notion that "when he's in the Orioles win, when he's out the Orioles don't." It sounds like something an old instructor would use to illustrate a logical fallacy.

"B followed A. Therefore, A caused B." It's just wrong. 

I for one refuse to believe that this man, who to date has hit a grand total of 11 home runs in a Baltimore Oriole
uniform, is that important. After all, this is a guy who, over the last 10 years, has averaged 12.7 home runs and
59.9 RBI per year. Do you know how many times, in his 12-year career, that David Segui has managed to play 145 games in a season? Once.

Last year, the Orioles were basically a .500 team during the first half, and a .300 team during the second half. During the first half, when Segui was both in and out of the lineup, the Orioles played decent (39-42) ball. But then in the second half, when Segui was pretty much out, the team went 24-56. Oriole watchers including manager Mike Hargrove, employing the Segui Fallacy, point to the that fact and say: "See? Segui wasn't there, and the team went down the pipes."

Yeah? Don't look now, but a couple of other things happened along the way...

Chris Richard was lost for the year in August.

Jason Johnson didn't win a game after August 6th.

Jose Mercedes was routinely clobbered, his ERA zoomed up into the stratosphere, and he wound up losing 17 games.

Manager Mike Hargrove kept putting Brady Anderson and Brook Fordyce in his lineup, even though they were batting .190.

Melvin Mora batted just .197 in July and August combined, and then was lost for the season in September.

Jay Gibbons was lost for the season.

Mike Bordick was lost for the season.

Brian Roberts, called on to replace Bordick, batted .192 in August and September.

Josh Towers won 5 games in June, but only 2 thereafter, and his post All-Star break ERA was 6.45.

Sidney Ponson went on the disabled list with a bad arm and an ERA of almost 5.

Jerry Hairston Jr., who was batting .274 at the All-Star break, tired and hit just .190 the second half.

Cal Ripken was even worse, batting .151 after August and finishing with a horrible .276 OBP for the year.

Alan Mills came back from injury to put together a 9.64 ERA in 15 games.

They had no closer.

Uh...hello? I think there was a lot more to it than David Segui. That said, this guy's propensity for injury is unbelievable. I cannot think of another player, now or ever, as injury-prone as he is. It borders on the ridiculous. Think about what this guy's job really is. He walks out to first base. He snags a few tosses with his giant glove several times per game. He fields the occasional grounder. He walks back to the dugout. Then he walks to the plate. He takes a swing or two, four at-bats per game. He jogs toward first. He is rarely required to run hard.

Compare this to what real players are asked to do, in baseball and in other sports. This guy is supposed to be a professional athlete worth 7 million dollars a year? The Orioles, knowing that Segui performing even THIS candy-assed job is highly likely to injure himself, tried to cut his duties by half, limiting him to the DH role. 

And he STILL hurts himself! Not just once, but repeatedly. Knee...hamstring...other knee...hand...wrist. I saw him in a spring game against the Mets take a relaxed cut, hit a soft grounder to the second baseman, jog easily down to first, peel off to the right...and then he missed a couple of weeks. 

This guy is unbelievable. It's obvious he cannot be counted upon. It's time the Orioles stopped regarding him as one of their regulars, and moved in a different direction. He's just too fragile. If he can't be traded, then let him DL his way through this year, and then give him the Brady Anderson gold watch sendoff this winter.


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