"Jim Hendry issued a strong denial on all fronts to that report."
Always fun to start Spring Training in the pages of the Sun-Times. What's funnier (besides some behind the scenes stuff) is that people are making this much more than it is. If you read the original report, you'll notice that I give all sides of the story and disclaim it so heavily that I should have included a couple grains of salt with the column.
Simply put, I got a report from a solid source, one that's been accurate on this very subject previously, and mentioned it as well as putting in as much context as possible. I don't say that my favorite Cub is hurt; I say there's a report. Now, I know Jim got the information second-hand. Someone told him there was a report that Prior had shoulder problems and that's where he stopped listening, if they told him the rest.
Jim probably didn't get the message I left. It's hard to get through to him. I know my email to a Cubs front office staffer wasn't answered. I had hoped that I could get their side of the story right there. Instead of dealing with the media, the Cubs had to deal with denials and reactions. Jim has better things to do, I hope, but the Cubs are like several other teams -- they'd rather deal with a very few trusted media types than getting their side of the story out.
Action is always better than reaction. Fred Claire started in journalism and shifted to PR before moving to baseball operations. Theo Epstein started in PR. There's a lesson there.