[Update: 10:12am] The misdiagnois is also being reported by WPRI in Rhode Island (via MLB Trade Rumors).

Eyewitness News spoke with Baldelli’s father Tuesday, and he says iIt turns out Baldelli actually has a condition known as channelopothy.

This is certainly great news for Rocco and his family. If Baldelli can make a full recovery as suggested in the story, it will be fun to watch a healthy Rocco play baseball again, even if it is with another organization.

Ken Bell of ABC6 out of Providence, Rhode Island is reporting that Rocco Baldelli’s condition had been misdiagnosed. Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, one of the top research hospitals in the country, are now saying the condition is channel-opathy.

The Baldelli family told me tonight that the Cleveland Clinic diagnosed his condition as channel-opathy, a non-progressive, highly treatable disease…channel-opathy is a disease involving dysfuntion of an ion channel. Channel-opathies are known to involve the ion channels for potassium, sodium, chlorida and calcium.

Bell also reports that the Baldelli family is saying the Red Sox have yet to contact Rocco who is a free agent.

Certainly the timing of the report is questionable with Baldelli as a free agent. But ABC6 is saying the report is coming from the Baldelli family, and ultimately we are not sure what Rocco stands to gain from fabricating a more favorable diagnosis. Any team that considers signing Baldelli will have their own doctors verify the report.

Drays Bay is calling the report “bunk” because they have never heard of the Cleveland Clinic, they don’t realize that misdiagnoses are actually common in rare conditions and because the original report is in all-caps, something news organizations used to use for short blurbs that were considered important or dramatic.

Family says doctors misdiagnosed Rocco Baldelli’s condition [ABC6]
Concerning The Misdiagnosed Rocco Rumors [Drays Bay]
Baldelli was misdiagnosed [WPRI]


  • Last night marked the beginning of Joe Maddon’s third annual “Thanks-mas” event. [MLB]
  • Matt Joyce was introduced to the media yesterday saying he wants to “raise some eyebrows” and show that he is ready to be an everyday starter at the big league level. [St. Pete Times]
  • Andrew Friedman is still hopeful to add an “impact bat” and feels a deal will get done before the end of January. [The Heater]
  • Scott Kazmir will be on the “Costas Now” on HBO tonight at 9:00 pm. He will join two members of the Phillies to discuss the World Series. So if you are into reliving painful experiences, let us know how he does. [Rays Report]
  • The Rays have spoken by phone with relief pitcher Joe Nelson, who was non-tendered by the Marlins. [The Heater]


  1. Ghost of Quinton McCracken says:

    funny. the second report isn't in caps. must be true.

  2. David G. says:

    some of the comments on DRB as ABSOLUTE TRASH. one guy added a bunch of LOLs to the story as an "edit". I would love to punch that fucker in the face.

  3. Anonymous says:

    in defense of DRays Bay, there was another false alarm a while ago about what Rocco actually had. I could see that making them hesitant.

  4. The Professor says:

    true. but in that case it was a miscommunication. She asked him about his work with the MDA, and he confirmed. She assumed that meant he had MD. She asked him about the new diagnosis and he went with it. I think he was confused by the question and tried to go with it.

    i just bring what IS being reported. there are plenty of trade and free agent rumors that turn out to be false. I can't sit around and wait to see if they are actually true or not. all I can do is judge the source. in this case it is TWO stations in Rhode Island that have been around for a long time.

  5. James says:

    well. if this is true, it is great to hear.

    i only hope it makes it more likely for him to re-sign with the Rays.

    if ever there was a case when a player felt a sense of obligation to an organization this would be it and hopefully he will pass up bigger dollars elsewhere.

  6. yahtzeeman says:

    Marc Topkin just quoted rocco saying there has been a new devolopment, not a misdiagnosis. "It's definitely an encouraging development,
    ''Baldelli said this morning from his Rhode Island home. "Knowing this is a treatable condition, I feel this is a very positive thing for me and my baseball career. With this less-severe diagnosis, I hope to be on the field on a much more regular basis.''

  7. Clayton says:

    FWIW, US News ranked the Cleveland Clinic as a top 3 hospital in the country.

    I hope that this thing is as treatable as its being made out to be and Rocco comes home.

  8. Robert Rittner says:

    Professor, that is an entirely unfair and misleading statement about DRays Bay reaction. Here is the initial posting:
    "I had the link and quote up originally but I decided to pull them. Until the team or Rocco confirm it I'm going to assume it's bunk. Reasons:

    1. Why is Rocco at the Cleveland clinic?

    2. Rocco's had a number of doctors attempting to figure out what's wrong with him, and they somehow missed this?

    3. Why is it in all caps?"
    As you see, there is no assertion that the story is bunk, only a caveat that the story has yet to be verified and the perfectly legitimate indications that it might not be true. I think we should always be skeptical of stories like this until they are verified and while you may not want to assume they are bunk, it is probably a lot smarter than assuming they are true.

    It is perfectly legitimate to point out that the 3 reasons for skepticism are flawed, but not to say they are assertions of certainty on that score.

    The next reference to the story being bunk are in the first comment as follows:
    Another point towards the "rumor is bunk"

    Channelopathy describes a group of diseases with similar traits (ion channel dysfunction), not one disease. And, there are huge differences in treatability, symptoms, etc. among the diseases, so until I hear a specific disease, I don’t buy this.

    Even though I hopehopehope its true because I love Rocco and wish nothing but the best of luck to him.

    "And you just don't get it, you keep it copacetic..."
    Again, the comment simply indicates strong skepticism, in this case with what is apparently some knowledge of the disease or condition. I cannot say whether that is real knowledge or not, but it does present some evidence that the story may be untrue or misleading. But the entire intent is not to declare the report bunk but to alert people that there are indications it might be while expressing the hope that it is true.

    Really, I think you should report these sorts of things more accurately and fairly. Apparently there are increasing indications it is a valid story, but that is simply an emerging development, and one we need to continue to treat skeptically until the evidence is overwhelming. After all, for months most people accepted the alternative diagnosis as authoritative, and there is no reason to think the original doctors were quacks, so this one, coming from the family apparently, requires even more scrutiny.

  9. The Professor says:

    all I was pointing out was that the station is a legitimate news source and there was no reason to doubt that they had actually spoken to the family (as reported), and the reasons given for doubting the story were easily explainable.

    the guy is a TV reporter who probably has very little writing background. the internet is a new medium to him (he is older). just because he wrote something in all-caps is no reason to doubt that it is any less true.

    and it would have taken drb about 2 seconds to figure out why Rocco was at the Cleveland Clinic.

  10. David G. says:


    i dont remember DRB waiting for other outlets to confirm stories anytime somebody says something about Jason Giambi or any of the free agents that they can't stop drooling over

  11. Robert Rittner says:

    "DRays Bay is calling the report "bunk" because they have never heard of the Cleveland Clinic, they don't realize that misdiagnoses are actually common in rare conditions and because the original report is in all-caps, something news organizations used to use for short blurbs that were considered important or dramatic."
    This is what you wrote. Not DRays Bay is questioning the validity of the report or DRays Bay is skeptical, but DRays Bay IS CALLING the report bunk...., which is exactly what they did not do.

    If your intention is solely to demonstrate that the report is likely valid and that DRays Bay was unduly skeptical, fine. That becomes a matter of judgment. But to begin by misstating their point, and in my view blatantly misstating it exactly because it is so easy to slide from "they are skeptical" to "they say", is simply wrong and disingenuous as I am certain you recognize the difference.

    As for whether DRays Bay is consistent in demanding verification of sources, I have no intention to review their history either to prove or disprove it. The point is entirely irrelevant here. They had sufficient reason for skepticism and expressed it, and there is nothing in anything the owners of that site said to suggest they are either hostile to Baldelli or being intentionally unfair.

  12. The Professor says:

    i dont see the confusion.

    "Until the team or Rocco confirm it I'm going to assume it's bunk."

    they ASSUMED it was bunk. they were saying that did not believe the story because of some ridiculous reasons.

    what is the problem? i am sorry if you think i should have used different wording to cater to everybody's delicate sensibilities. they wrote their post under the ASSUMPTION the report was not true, and what i wrote is an exact reflection of what they wrote.

  13. Robert Rittner says:

    There are no delicate sensibilities. There is a huge difference between "is calling the report bunk" and "assuming it is bunk UNTIL" further validation is received. There is no subtle difference here nor any refined sensibility or special sensitivity unless it is to honest and accurate statements. If the sensitivity is towards honest restatement of someone else's point, then I gladly plead guilty to that.

    We have been through this kind of discussion before, often with regard to local media, and I continue to insist that whether it is a blog or any other public outlet, it is incumbent on all of us to be aware that sloppy language is dangerous and not something to pass over lightly. The connotation of "DRays Bay called a report bunk" (as opposed to "DRays Bay assumes it is bunk until it gets more information") is that that site did not want to accept a good diagnosis for Rocco. It casts aspersions on the character of the people who write on that site, and that is not fair-it is worse than not fair in my view.

    It is one thing if a person is simply a poor writer or slips up. It is quite another when the intention is clearly intentional to use such a misstatement as a form of attack on the target.

  14. The Professor says:

    if that is the case, then why aren't you over there questioning their use of the word "bunk"

    by your logic, shouldn't they have instead said, "we don't have enough information" or "we are hesitant to report this until..."

    they used the word "bunk" in reference to that report. they chose the negative word when writing about the report. i can only go on the language they use. their language clearly stated that they were writing under the assumption that they thought the report was false NOT that they were remaining in any way neutral.

  15. Robert Rittner says:

    No, because they are not misinterpreting anyone; they are simply stating an opinion. Perhaps I wouldn't have used such a strong word, and I agree it does suggest more than cautious skepticism, but it does not misrepresent. And in the full context of the initial statement and the follow-ups by the same author, the word bunk loses much of its extreme connotation.

    Your restatement of what they said is misrepresentation. As I said, we have discussed this before where in my view you misrepresented what someone else stated by taking it out of context or not including the modifications and conditions with which they hedge the bald statements and which alter the stark meaning you give to it.

    Although hardly of the same degree, in kind it is akin to the sleaze of super market tabloids which can defend their gross exaggerations and misrepresentations by an appeal to snippets of quotations or partially truthful statements or evasive language. I know you aspire to a higher level of discourse than that.

  16. Possum Avenger says:

    Sorry Bob but I have to agree with the professor on this one. The "reasons" given as to why to regard the story as suspicious are completely irrelevant and mostly non-sensical, particularly the reasons concerning the "cleveland clinic" and the "all-caps." If they didn't want to run the story before they had confirmation that's fine. Or if they didn't want to run the story because of previous 'incorrect' stories about Rocco's illness then this should have been stated.

  17. Surveyman82 says:

    All this debate over what a crappie fansite like DRB said and over a guy who is worst than Vinny "Cash-stealer" coming back to make amends for 3 1/2 seasons of injuries( all of which relate to tendon problems associated with steriod use which no one wants to talk about) or "Phantom illness"

    Why would we want to handcuff ourselves with a DH/RF who can't play everday?
    Trade Bradford and CC, bring in Milton Bradley. Open up the outfield with Joyce, Bradly, Upton, and Perz/Zoby.....

  18. The Professor says:


    if you don't want Rocco back because of his injury history, that is fine. there is still speculation as to how much of a recovery he can expect and how long it will take.

    but you can't then go and yell for Milton Bradley who has only played 100 games 3 times in 9 seasons.

  19. Anonymous says:

    "I had the link and quote up originally but I decided to pull them. Until the team or Rocco confirm it I'm going to assume it's bunk. Reasons:

    1. Why is Rocco at the Cleveland clinic?

    2. Rocco's had a number of doctors attempting to figure out what's wrong with him, and they somehow missed this?

    3. Why is it in all caps?"

    You said they took it off because "because they have never heard of the Cleveland Clinic". This is clearly false. Do you see that as a reason he did not post it? No, because it is not. The question is WHY was he at the Cleveland Clinic. The second reason was that Rocco had a number of Doctors look at him and suddenly one found what is wrong? This could be suspicious. You need to stop trying to cause beef with DRaysbay.

  20. The Professor says:

    if they had heard of the Cleveland Clinic, they would not have been asking "why" he was there.

    and just because a bunch of doctors didn't find something doesn't mean it is not feasible that they missed it. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.

    and I am not "causing beef". I am just pointing out that their reasoning is misguided. "Causing Beef" is accusing somebody of plagiarism without cause. that is the single worst "beef" you can ever toss at a writer. so if you have a problem, you should take it up with them.

  21. The Professor says:

    and I will repeat a comment from the other post:

    why doesn't anybody ever give me a hard time when i criticize a Red Sox blog or a Yankees blog?

    there is no pissing contest. if somebody writes something about the Rays that needs correcting, i will correct it.

    i do that with ALL sites not just drb. it just so happens that they write about the Rays more than other sites, so i comment on them more.

  22. David G. says:

    the only people i see causing beef around here are people like you anon. seriously, STFU. nobody cares. I have seen drb and those fucking goons over there cause more beef than a fucking cattle ranch.

    now can we please just talk about fucking baseball. fuck!

  23. Robert Rittner says:

    Possum Avenger, I have no problem with criticizing the post, nor do I argue that the reasoning was good. (Although I admit up front that my own initial reaction was skepticism.) My objection is to misrepresenting what was said, phrasing the criticism in such a way that it attacks the site for something it did not say or intend.

    You want to quarrel with the term "bunk", fine. I would sympathize with that criticism, although even that I think would be ignoring the rest of the discussion there where that term was modified, as well as the developing acceptance of the initial report.

    You want to argue that the 3 reasons initially given for skepticism were not legitimate, fine again. I had a similar response as DRays Bay but also recognize the arguments that each "reason" is flawed. But I do think that would be a fruitful discussion.

    But to begin by stating that DRays Bay labeled the reports as bunk is simply stating something that was untrue, both in terms of the statement itself and even more clearly when taken in context. That is dishonest and appears provocative for no reason but to smear the site. Whether or not that was the intention, it is the clear implication of such a misstatement. Arguments that they do it too or that one is more sensitive to misrepresentations of one site more than another are meaningless. (And as the Professor can attest, I have criticized in similar cases regarding other people, albeit not of other team sites.)

    As far as talking baseball, or the "other site" causing a beef, the person who wrote that may be frustrated by this conversation, but labeling the contributors of the site as goons is not responsive to the issue raised here, and it is perfectly legitimate to address the way this site interprets (or misinterprets) what another site says. Part of any baseball discussion is the legitimacy of the references and reliability of the comments on those references.

  24. Surveyman82 says:

    Good point.

    But who has more upside Rocco or Milton. Who can you stick in the 4th or 5th spot and expect to drive in RBI's and hit 25+ homers. Bradely. Outside of Pena we don't have a true power hitter. Yea Longo found his stroke before Putz pegged him in the wrist, but can you really expect Longo to be a 30hr/100RBI guy. I hope he does but don't want to rely on only Longo and Pena being a long ball threat.
    As much as our Merlot Joe thinks we are a National leagues style small ball team, we're not;we suck at situational hitting, can't bunt or run the bases well. For crying out loud a punch n'Judy hitter like Bartlett can't even keep from wrapping his hand around the bat.And don't get me going of C.C. because someone with his speed coming out of the leftside box should be able to bunt for half his total hits.
    Unfortunately, we need to add an Earl Weever type aspect to the offense"The 3 run homer in the 7th". Having the DH spot as a revolving door for bench players/and utility guys like Aybar/Zoby is a waste. Bradely, Giambi or Burell would all fit that role. How scary would a lineup like this be:

    the Fat Catcher

  25. The Professor says:

    absolutely. i am sorry. I was just saying be careful with what you wish for.

    but i agree. the fan in me that wants to win would 100% rather have Bradley. I think the DH would do wonders for him (although i thought the same about Floyd).

    but it is hard to deny the emotional attachment to Rocco. that small part of keeps saying "yeah, but if Rocco was 100% he would be putting up Milton Bradley numbers". Obviously that is very much wishful thinking.

    but if it were up to me, i would take Bradley. i just hope we can get 120 games out of him if he does come here.

  26. Robert Rittner says:

    First, Maddon does not want a small ball approach. He does like to vary the offense, but he is not stupid, which he would have to be to try to turn this team into a bunt and hit and run type offense.

    Second, most projections have Longoria hitting more than 30 home runs next year, so yes, I think it reasonable to expect him to remain a significant power hitter.

    Third, while he has not done so yet, there are indications that Upton can be a consistent 20-30 home run bat, and possibly more than that. Joyce too has a decent chance to be a 20+ home run bat.

    Fourth, while I would love the Rays to sign Bradley, and agree he would be a major upgrade at DH, he comes with even more warning signs than any of the above mentioned players. He has never played a full season, even last year missing better than 22% of the team's games. In fact, in his 9 year career he has reached 100 games just 3 times, the last time in 2004 before last season. No matter how talented, if he is not on the field, he does not help the offense.

    And finally, before crowning Bradley as a power hitter, check his record. He reached a high of 22 homers last year. Prior to that, his home run totals were: 2, 1, 9, 10, 19, 13, 14 and 13. That 19 total came in his most injury free year (141 games, 516 ABs in 2004) when his final line was .267/.362/.424.

    Lest you think he has shown all kinds of double power that will become home runs, last year's 32 was his second highest total, with 34 in 2003 as his best season for doubles. Otherwise, he has hit 8, 17, 18, 24, 14, 14 & 9.

    I do think Bradley would upgrade the offense, but there is an awful lot of unreasoning faith in him that is unsupported by anything he has done so far.

  27. Surveyman82 says:

    Still good points about Bradley, he is as injury prone as Rocco.

    Longo will be a great offensive player, but historically third basemen don't put up 30+ hrs. Longo's best asset is his glovework and range. His bat does have some pop. But as much success in the hr department he had last year, there were plunty of games where his bat was silent, had bad AB's(not drawing counts and getting fooled by average pitchers) and worst off unable to drive in guys in scoring position(a team wide problem). With whats available in DH department who else can fill the role as well as Bradley? Giambi and Griffey would be ok, but we don't need another left handed bat in a line with too many to begin with.

  28. DirtbagFan says:

    The endless droning in regard to semantics is enough to make even the most faithful reader roll his/her eyes...

    I've said it before RR, just because you consistantly post lengthy diatribes doesn't make your point any more valid...

    I pray to God that you're not an educator because I pity the poor children who have to listen to the worthless tedium that you ceaselessly bring to the table.

    Does the phrase "stick in the mud" ring any bells...

    Good God, man!!!

  29. Robert Rittner says:

    "Longo will be a great offensive player, but historically third basemen don't put up 30+ hrs."
    I do not understand what this has to do with Longoria. Why should the history of third base homer hitters relate to a particular one unless, as with catchers, you can see some causal link between the position and hitting?

    Actually, you would be right were you talking about the period before the 1950s when 3B was considered primarily a defensive position. But increasingly it has been considered an offensive position.

    And in any case, what you say is demonstrably untrue. Just considering current third basemen, the following have had at least one 30 home run year:
    Lowell (in Florida, a tough hitters park)
    A-Rod (5 straight since moving to 3B)
    Rolen (3 times)
    Beltre (6 times; 5 in a row)
    David Wright (twice already, also in a
    pitchers park)
    Chipper Jones (6 times)
    Aramis Ramirez (4 times)
    Glaus (5 times)

    That does not count the many others who have consistently hit 20-30. Nor does it note that some have hit 40+ (Glaus has done that 4 times) and even 50+) Nor does it mention that many of these 30+ HR hitters usually hit 25+ when they did not reach 30.

    And on top of that, it ignores the fact that 2 of the greatest home run hitters were third basemen (Mathews and Schmidt) or that in an extreme pitchers era Ron Santo hit 30+ four times.

  30. Surveyman82 says:

    Your list only includes people in the Steroed era. Betre has been nothing but a bum since he left the Dodgers. And as far as Schmidt goes, yea he is a HOF shouldn't he be the exception from the norm. My Baseball watching started in the late 80's and 90's with the Chris Sabo's and Todd Zeiles, thats were I take my perspective of what a 3b looks like, which also explains my likeness of Bartlet as a pure SS(80's defensive specialist, with no bat).

    Anyways, with dramatic degrease in offense the last three years, I don't want to pencil in 30+ homers from any infielder, except 1B. The worst thing for Longo to do is get bulked, loose his range, hopefully he hits in the modest 25-30 homerun range, sandwiched between Pena, and whoever is going to be our DH.

  31. Robert Rittner says:

    I will not get into a conversation with you about the reckless habit of attributing home run hitting prowess to the steroid era. Even if there were a link, a dubious proposition at best, not one of the players I mention has ever been associated with steroid use, and in David Wright's case, his achievements have come after the tightening of surveillance.

    As for you image of what a third baseman looks like, the fact that you recall primarily a particular era in no way validates your generalization about third baseman. The fact is that there have often been power hitting third baseman and that they have become increasingly prevalent over the years.

    In any case, apparently you missed Matt Williams from the era you mention or from an earlier, and pitchers era, hitters such as Bob Horner and Jim Ray Hart, all of whom hit 30+ home runs more than once. (And Zeile actually did it once also, and in LA, a tough hitters park).

    You are simply arguing from some sort of impressionistic perspective with no reference to the facts of the case. Of course Longoria may level off, but he has all the earmarks of a developing power hitter, and the fact that he plays third base is irrelevant to whether or not he fulfills that promise.

  32. DirtbagFan says:

    I have to agree with RR here.

    With the possible exception of Cather, there is no correlation between position and the ability to hit for power or to hit HR's.

    There are broad generalizations that apply in some instances, but as RR has already shown- not even the broad strokes cover the logic that third basemen typically aren't HR hitters.


Leave a Comment