Simon situation presents classic sports conundrum

Alfredo SimonSportsBaseballNew York YankeesBuck ShowalterBaltimore Orioles

     Orioles right-hander Alfredo Simon had to leave Monday night's televised exhibition game against the Yankees with some tightness in his groin, which forced manager Buck Showalter into his bullpen earlier than expected and caused some consternation when it became apparent that Simon was trying to pitch through the problem.

    Simon has been bothered by groin soreness for a couple of weeks now, but he also knows that he must pitch and impress to make the major league staff, so it's no stretch to believe that he was going to go out there against the Yankees if he could drag himself to the mound.

    This is where baseball's tough-guy ethic runs headlong into Showalter's desire to know everything he can possibly know as soon as he can possibly know it. He would certainly rather have pitched someone else and given Simon more time go get healthy, but here's the rub. Old-school guys like Showalter also expect players to display the desire and toughness that may have led Simon to overextend himself.

    Simon is in a very uncertain position and he has pitched well enough to gain consideration for a couple of roles on the major league pitching staff. Can't blame him for pushing the envelope, because the clock is beginning to run out. 

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