How to Ruin A Star's Career

Todd YCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 12:  Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets is safe at second base against the Atlanta Braves on May 12, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Braves 4-3 in ten innings.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

From the NY Post:

"Beltran said yesterday the bone bruise on his knee has not improved but he has begun hitting, throwing and running in a pool to strengthen the leg and try to get back on the field."

And from the NY Daily News:

“It’s going to be hard for me to wait until I’m 100 percent… Maybe that doesn’t happen this year.  After rest and the offseason, maybe it’ll be 100 percent next year.  If I feel like I’m 80 percent and able to go, I’m going to play because I don’t know if 100 percent is going to be there this year.  I might have to learn to play at 80 percent.”


Is anyone else stunned?  Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are by far the keys to the success of the Mets franchise for the next few seasons (and beyond).  But, with the Mets 10.5 games back in the divisional race and in EIGHTH place in the wild card, the Mets are risking serious, long term injuries to both players to rush them back.

I understand the player getting frustrated and pushing themselves to come back, but where are the cool heads in management who put the brakes on?

Even if the Mets were TIED for the division, I wouldn't risk Reyes' long term health to rush him back.  If he comes back and ends up tearing the hamstring, he will need surgery to repair it.  The consequences are severe:

"The average time from injury to surgery was five weeks, with the range (one to 14 weeks) reflecting the tendency for delayed diagnosis. A return to full activity was achieved at an average of 25 weeks (the range was 18 to 65 weeks)."

That's right - best case is a full six months return time; worst case is 14 months!  So for what Baseball Prospectus puts at a 3% chance of making the playoffs, the Mets are putting next season in jeopardy, not to mention the career of a player who has Hall of Fame ability and is only 25 years old.  And what do the Mets get for this amazing roll of the dice?  A speedster that can't run.  A shortstop that can't make quick cuts.  A dynamic hitter with pop who can't drive off his back leg.  Sound good?  I didn't think so.  The whole thought is beyond stupid.

But that's not all!  Now we have Beltran in the same boat.  He acknowledges that his knee has gotten no better, which seems to suggest that he will need to have microfracture surgery to repair it at some point.  If he continues to play on it, it is doubtful he will make it worse, but what he is doing is postponing the surgery to the point where he won't be ready for the start of next season.  And what are the Mets getting for that?  A CF who can't bend his knee well enough to run full speed. 


The Mets have risen (or dropped) to new levels of stupidity this season with the front office antics of Omar Minaya and Tony Bernazard, but their handling of injuries has the potential to affect the team long after people forget about their bizarre behavior.