There are conflicting reports as to how David Wright’s rib injury was handled, and they don’t make the team or the player look good.
General manager Sandy Alderson told reporters this morning at the Mets’ spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fl., that the team will not know the nature or severity of the injury sustained while playing with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic until Wright is examined by club physicians today in New York.
Wright was scratched from Thursday night’s game after taking batting practice. Alderson said he talked to Team USA officials around 6:40 p.m.
Alderson said there’s no timetable for Wright other than to say he’s expected back in Florida on Saturday. Unquestionably, he’s out of the WBC.
It is the accounts of how and when the Mets were notified that is a significant problem.
“It was yesterday we became aware of the problem,’’ Alderson said. “And when we became aware of it, we contacted Team USA immediately and had him reexamined. In addition to the medical track, on the administrative side we contacted other team officials. So he was examined. The determination was he would not play.’’
Yes, the Mets determined Wright would not play Thursday night, but indications are the Mets were aware of a problem earlier.
Wright was experiencing pain and soreness for a week and was receiving treatment by Team USA trainers, who are required to notify a player’s team immediately in case of injury. Alderson said the Mets did not know, but prior to batting practice on Thursday trainer Ray Ramirez called Wright to express his concern, so there appears to have been prior knowledge. It seems implausible Ramirez would call Wright without first talking to Alderson or manager Terry Collins.
Despite the discrepancy in when the Mets were notified, there is no doubt Wright misplayed this, much as he did when he played with lower back pain for a month in 2011 before an MRI revealed a stress fracture.
Alderson sounded as if he was giving Wright a pass despite him being in pain for a week.
“David is a guy that doesn’t overreact to things,’’ Alderson said. “He’s committed. When he makes commitments, he wants to execute on them, carry them out. I’m sure he felt a responsibility to Team USA.’’
Wright also has a commitment to the Mets, who could name him captain before the season starts. Since Wright clearly was in some kind of discomfort, he put Team USA ahead of the Mets, a team that just signed him to a contract of $138 million.
Wright’s first obligation is to the Mets. He informed Team USA trainers, but it is not certain he called Alderson or Collins. If he did, they were at fault for not bringing him home immediately.
The arrangement between the WBC and Major League Baseball is for a player’s team is to be immediately notified in case of injury and it has been reported by several media outlets this protocol was done.
Still, Wright played on. What gives?