According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, a person with knowledge of the situation said Beltran did not obtain advance written consent from the club to have the surgery, which was performed by his personal physician, Dr. Richard Steadman, in Colorado.
However, Carlos Beltran’s agent Scott Boras, disputed that account last night. He said the guarantee language in the slugger’s contract requires advance written permission only for “elective operations”.
“This was necessary surgery, necessary surgery to work,” Boras told The Associated Press.
Of course the Mets might try to claim that the operation was elective, but that claim would be trumped and completely invalidated if Beltran was in pain. Scary still is the fact that the Mets first reaction was one of recouping money and suing one of their own, rather than any genuine concern for the player’s health and well being. Very classy… After a reaction like that, I wouldn’t be surprised if Beltran demanded a trade.
In a conversation with fellow fans on Twitter, I said that the if anyone had a case, it was Beltran and not the Mets that had the best chance to win any legal action solely based on how the Mets mishandled the injury.
Boras said that Dr. Steadman spoke with Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek on Monday and again after Beltran was examined in Colorado on Tuesday, and that Steadman obtained Altchek’s consent for the surgery.
“Since the beginning of November, he was feeling discomfort and pain,” Boras said. “They found some fragments in there that had to be removed.”
Last night, Boras also said that he called the Mets on Monday to tell them Beltran was going to see Steadman and that they should keep in touch with Altchek.
“Dr. Steadman has represented to us that he spoke with the Mets’ physician and he received consent to go forward with the plan and the surgery,” Boras said. “Dr. Steadman has told us that his office contacted the Mets trainer and obtained the appropriate insurance forms and received approval for payment to go ahead with the surgery.”
The initial reaction from the Mets seemed like one of shock and surprise, but with these new revelations, the question now becomes, is this the same pattern of misinformation we saw last season from the Mets regarding player injury updates?
Is this just another case where the Mets were oblivious to the medical condition of one of their players, even in the case of a core player who needed surgery?
As I repeatedly said last night, the speculation from Sherman and others that the Mets are pursuing some sort of legal action is quite silly, and comes off as a smoke screen to mask the team’s own incompetence and the glaring fact that the players mistrust their medical team.
One last item of note. Dr. Steadman pioneered micro-surgery and is the foremost expert on micro-suregery in the world.