Maybe this time they are getting it right.
Better late than never, but the Mets say they are now shutting down Jose Reyes until he’s able to swing pain free from both sides of the plate. The decision came as the outcome of last night’s pre-game circus that first had Reyes in the lineup, and then scratched with the news he’ll be put on the shelf.
The ringmaster of the circus, of course, is Jerry Manuel, who has irresponsibly bungled this from the outset.
“I assumed that he was ready to play,’’ Manuel said. “I put him in the lineup, and then (trainer Ray Ramirez) came to me and said there is still a bit of discomfort, even though he feels much improved and I took him out of the lineup.’’
Assumed? You know what happens when you assume. It is simply hard to believe Manuel would write in Reyes’ name without first seeing how he was feeling. Then again, considering how Manuel has handled this from the beginning, maybe not so much.
Reyes was injured, June 30, while taking batting practice in Puerto Rico. The Mets shut him down for a few days, and then being the Mets, acquiesced to Reyes’ desire of wanting to play and pushed the envelope despite the looming All-Star break.
A case of the inmate running the asylum.
Part of me respects Reyes’ desire to play and help the team; another part questions his irresponsible judgment because he knows how important he is to the Mets. He should have listened to his body and understood from past experience he’s not to be rushed.
Of course, the medical staff gets blame because they cleared Reyes in the first place to bat from the right side. If Reyes felt discomfort, or pain, they should have simply told Manuel he wasn’t ready to play.
Of course, the lion’s share of the responsibility is on Manuel’s shoulders because he writes the lineup card. It ultimately falls on him. He should know his player wasn’t able to play because of his limitations. Still, he let him play instead of recommending the disabled list.
Then there is general manager Omar Minaya, who should have been more forceful instead of allowing the waffling.
Had Reyes been DL’d from the outset, he would have been eligible to be activated last night. Instead, the Mets allowed him to play, and as late as Saturday so if they DL him now the clock starts then.
Reyes decided he wasn’t ready last night only after discussing his injury with Boston’ David Ortiz at the All-Star Game. What does it say that Reyes would be more truthful about his injury with another player than his own medical staff and manager?
After last season, the Mets vowed there would be a different climate surrounding the handling of injuries. Clearly, there is more work to do.