Daffy Doc Guillen

Well, now. That’s the way to heal the wounded.

Daffy Doc Guillen, explaining the finer points of delicate orthopedics . . .

It’s time for this organization to move on and be tough on the players. We’re not going to go through, ‘OK, let’s wait for another month. It might be better.’ It never happens. Agents and doctors and different opinions make guys take a different way. Now it’s time for the Marlins to take our way. I don’t care about opinions. That’s the way we’re going to do it from now on . . . I expect everybody here to be healthy for spring training and ready to go, because if not, they’re going to be surprised . . . Guys play bad, have surgery, rehab, and I’m the one who is going to get fired. We paid them a lot of money for them to play for us. They’ve got to respond to us—to the Marlins.

Thus speaks Oswaldo Jose Guillen Barrios, M.D., whose hobby is managing the Miami Marlins. Apparently, Dr. Guillen has exchanged international political science for orthopedics.

It would appear Daffy Doc is a little impatient with some of his patients. Patients such as Logan Morrison, outfielder and first baseman, limited to a measly 93 games thanks to knee trouble that will send him toward the operating theater next week.

Dr. Guillen’s impatience extends further to Emilio Bonifacio, utility player, on the disabled list with a knee sprain since last week and likely to miss the rest of the season. And, to Juan Carlos Oviedo, relief pitcher, disabled since July with an elbow sprain.

Apparently, it’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario about which the good doctor seems a trifle indifferent. He will no longer tolerate his players waiting what he considers unconscionably long periods before taking “the organisation’s” advice to have surgery sooner. But let such players go under the knife post haste, and does he plan to rant about how tough today’s players aren’t compared to the good old days when he toughed it out?

Those good old days include 1992. Surely Dr. Guillen remembers 1992. He was a mere intern, then, on call at shortstop for the Chicago White Sox, at least until he collided with Tim Raines on an infield play and suffered a knee injury that took him out for the entire rest of the season. It also compromised a lot of the two abilities that most made him able to play major league baseball: his baserunning (once he got on base in the first place), and his defence; he’d never again be half the player he had been before the collision.

His manager at the time was Gene Lamont, who’d just taken the job from Jeff Torborg, after Torborg left for a very ill-fated tour of duty managing the New York Mets. Lamont lasted in the White Sox job through early 1995. His execution had nothing to do with any White Sox injuries. But Lamont was surely around the game long enough to know what could happen by way of premature returns.

It’d be tempting to urge Dr. Guillen, “Physician, heal thyself.” Except that Daffy Doc’s specialty isn’t oral surgery.

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