Last night, Jose Reyes took a swing in the second inning and re-aggravated his oblique muscle. He has been listed as day-day if you can believe that. He admits that he was never 100% since Puerto Rico. He will not resume baseball activities until he is ”pain free”. Couldn’t we have avoided this?
This is the last news the Mets needed and might very well put a nail in the 2010 season.
All we heard from the Mets these past two months is a the word run. “one good run and we can get back in this thing” I heard this from Jerry Manuel and well as David Wright-in so many words. But hey, we are literally one good run from really getting back in this thing-right? Let’s say the Mets rattled of wins in the next 10 to 12 games, they might very well get back in the Wild Card race. I not drinking the Kool Aid am I? Ok maybe a sip or two but I’m a Mets fan, we depend and live on the fantasy dream.
But last night might have ended that fantasy dream. With Reyes out, the Mets have lost not only that Spark plug in the dugout but a key component in the Offense, as meek as that has been. But now wait a moment, has Reyes been the same since he hurt himself in Puerto Rico? Has Reyes completely returned to form since he first hurt himself? Things are starting to make sense here. I get it now, no wonder where part of the Offense went! Reyes has been nursing this the whole time! He’s never been 100% and now he’s out. Well, there goes your run, there goes your playoff hunt, there goes the Season yet again. Why did this happen?
I believe that this all could’ve been avoided if the Mets took into account not just the injury to Reyes but the impact it would have on the team if he were injured for an extensive period of time. But then again, why didn’t they learn this from last year after they tried to bring back Reyes after a Calf injury. What went wrong this time?
So in reality it’s not injury prevention nor injury recover but injury impact-and this is what the Mets must consider when Jose Reyes or any other player gets hurt. This and the fact that they just repeated the same mistake they made last year. That mistake might be the one factor that gets who ever made that decision fired.
How did the Mets come to this again? See, I think the problem is two fold. One, they think the player can play through the injury and two they actually believe the player when he tells him he could play through the injury.
That must change when it comes down to Jose Reyes and it must be the Mets who must mature in this. An injury must be assessed to how it affects the future of the athlete as well as the impact it might have on the team. This is not brain surgery, it simple is learning when an athlete is thinking and when there not and let’s face it, a lot of players simply don’t think-especially when it comes down to their own injuries. Perhaps they think they can heal faster and better than the rest of us, they are, of course, dead wrong.
But some of them do and let me explain by using Tiger Woods (the golf player not the player). Yesterday Tiger shot a 65 and is currently in the hunt to win another golf tournament. Let’s say today on the 5th hole he hurts himself. There are two questions he immediately asks himself, 1- can I still play and 2- can I still play and win. If he can answer both questions with a yes, we see him on the 6th hole limping around(remember his knee injury), if not he heads for the Clubhouse and orders a Bloody Mary. The one thing that Tiger realizes is that there are other tournaments to win and that if he plays hurt, there is a possibility that he could not only not win the tournament he is in but also take himself out of future ones because of injury. He has to be smart and think about the future and how his injury can affect that.
The Case of Reyes is not a unique one at all, as a matter of fact, Shane Victorino had the same injury and after a stint on the DL, has returned to the field. The problem with Reyes is simple, he played when he knew he was hurt and not only hurt himself more, but also hurt the team as well- is he to blame? Yes and No. Yes because he insisted on trying to play and no because he always wants to play. There’s nothing wrong with always wanting to play but when your hurt you must consider the consequences if you play poorly. Athletes by nature always want to play. It is the job of the coach to either listen to him or not. So You know who’s the blame? Anyone who listened to Jose and insisted on resting a couple of days. Whether that was Omar or Jerry or anyone else for that matter, they forgot how important Reyes is and mortgaged the future, or in our case, September.
When Reyes hurt himself way back before the All-Star, he should have been put on the DL. In all essence, Jose got hurt at the perfect time-about 14 days before the All-Star Break. If he had been put on the DL, Reyes would have gotten about a good 20 days off and possibly recovered. In a Perfect World this all would have happened right? But instead the Mets or whoever decided this, made Reyes rest about 5 games and attempted to play again, and what did they discover….. he still couldn’t play! So Reyes missed the All-Star Game and a couple of games following and declared himself healthy( or at least someone did and he began playing games again….secretly hurt)
The Perfect Storm to start the downfall of the Season for now you have an injured Reyes playing with a recovering Beltran hitting Clean-up and Castillo who couldn’t hit even when he was healthy and thus the Offensive woes began and the Mets began the Great Sink to the bottom of the Division.
The Mets must learn when to listen to players and when to ignore them. Reyes never should have been allowed to play after he hurt himself the first time. He’s a human( as I wrote when he first hurt himself) and cannot heal in 5 days-despite what he says.
Now I know that Reyes has a history here of being hurt and also, at one point, being called “soft” for not trying to play through injuries. But here is my question to him, if he knew he was hurt so bad why continue when everyone saw how poor his performance was? Jose knew he was hurt and should have trusted his instincts, but the problem here might be that his instincts are tainted because of what happened last year and the criticism that he received for not playing.
He wasn’t thinking and nobody around him was either.
So after last night, all the critics who said Reyes was “soft” have to keep their mouths shut. Ha Ha, Reyes might be thinking, call me soft now after I’ve been playing all this time hurt. But now that the critics have been silenced so have the Mets. Now that Reyes may not play until next year and honestly why should they take a chance on him playing games if he’s hurt, the Mets will surly suffer another meaningless September without him.