Miffed by `lying,' O's Segui returns

Wrist diagnosis changed, he's 0-4 with 2 strikeouts

May 09, 2002|By Joe Christensen | Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

David Segui returned to the Orioles' starting lineup last night, but he was still at odds with the organization over how it has handled his latest injury.

Segui was diagnosed with a bruised tendon and damaged cartilage in his left wrist, and the team's medical staff decided he wouldn't make the injury worse by playing.

In the second year of a four-year, $28 million contract that makes him the team's highest-paid active player, Segui willingly accepted his place as the No. 3 hitter in the lineup. He even hit several hard line drives and would-be home runs during batting practice. But not before taking several more shots at the organization.

"This isn't a case of where I'm upset because maybe they misdiagnosed it," said Segui, who was 0-for-4 in the game with two strikeouts. "I'm upset with the lying. They tell me one thing, they tell you guys [media] another thing. ... This has gotten slightly ridiculous."

Segui remains upset with the Orioles' initial claim that his injury didn't look serious. That comment was made by Orioles vice president for baseball operations Syd Thrift in Sunday's editions of The Sun.

Segui said team doctors told him Saturday he had a torn tendon, and by Tuesday night, the club announced it as a bruise.

Thrift declined comment yesterday, except to say, "All I know is David Segui is a fierce competitor, a tremendous warrior. He really is. I really hope and pray he's fine. I know he wants to play. I'm for David Segui 100 percent. I just don't want him to do anything to hurt himself."

After being limited to 82 games last year because of injuries, Segui said he doesn't want a repeat of that saga. He felt surgery would have remedied a knee problem that wound up repeatedly forcing him in and out of the lineup.

Segui said this is another injury that could be with him all season.

"That's probably the reality," he said at 4 p.m., before turning his attention tongue-in-cheek toward the team's official diagnosis. "But at the pace I'm healing now, it could be better by 5:30 or 6."

Segui, like any player, has the right to a second opinion under the collective bargaining agreement, but it was unclear whether he would seek it. He said he told the club to send his magnetic resonance imaging results to another doctor but had no plans to visit someone else himself.

Orioles manager Mike Hargrove put Segui back in the lineup for the first time since Thursday.

"He said he wants to play," Hargrove said. "The doctor assured us that he can't hurt himself worse. We'll see how it goes. ... The last thing we want to have happen is for David Segui to be hurt or to hurt him more. Contrary to popular belief, we're all on the same side. We all have the same goal."

Segui, a switch-hitter who entered the night batting .298, took practice swings before the game both right- and left-handed. On Monday, he said the injury made it nearly impossible to hit right-handed, but he did it in his last at-bat last night, flying out weakly to right against left-hander Ricardo Rincon.

The injury originally occurred on April 26, when Segui slid headfirst into home plate and his left hand ended up twisted beneath the shin guard of Kansas City catcher Brent Mayne.

He had X-rays and a CT scan taken in Kansas City, then returned to the lineup for three games. On Saturday, he had a cortisone shot and the MRI exam. He also said he has been using painkillers.

Even Hargrove sounded weary Tuesday night when the tendon injury was announced as a bruise.

"I think saying it's a bruise is downplaying it a little bit," Hargrove said. "I think there's more to it than just a bruise. David Segui is one of our team leaders. David Segui has played with a lot of injuries, and to say it's just a bruise kind of paints him as a player that won't play, you know, unless he's 100 percent.

"And that's not the truth at all. David is as tough a player, as hard-nosed a player as I've ever been around. I've been around some good ones that play come hell or high water, and David fits that mold."

As for the possibility of making the injury worse, Segui said, "I don't worry about that. If it blows out, it blows out, [forget] it. That's the way I've always looked at injuries. Somebody will be there to fix it and put Humpty Dumpty back together again."

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