Don’t Shoot The Messenger: Concern Should Be About Medical Staff, Not Rubin

An article by posted on January 18, 2012

Anthony Rieber of Newsday spoke to Ike Davis yesterday who said that he does not blame the medical staff for the treatment of a bone bruise in his ankle despite the setback that occurred after the team opted to put the ankle in a boot that restricted circulation in his foot and ankle and prevented healing.

“I wasn’t really angry because I didn’t know what was going on. I think that MRIs sometimes are misleading — now that I’ve had 55 of them, I’ve learned a little bit about MRIs. It’s so person-to-person how your bone reacts or how you heal. One guy might heal in two weeks. I took five, six months.”

“What I’ve learned from talking to doctors is they didn’t have an idea when it would heal. It wasn’t like a clear-cut ‘He broke his bone.’ It was like, ‘We’ll see.’ Because that’s all they could really do. I knew that it would heal eventually and if I had to get surgery to have a chance to play, I would have to do surgery. I think we made the right decisions, everybody, and the doctors were great at the end and not wanting me to do the surgery, too.”

Rieber also quoted Sandy Alderson who did not take issue with the medical staff’s treatment of Davis saying, “Our medical people kept us informed every step of the way. The treatment was correct and the recovery was just longer than we expected. We look for Ike to have an outstanding 2012.”

Soon after Rieber released his column, ESPN’s Adam Rubin unleashed a volley of tweets that chronicled a pattern of negligence and misdiagnoses on the part of the Mets medical staff. He didn’t pull any punches…

Sandy Alderson is quoted in Newsday re: Ike Davis as saying: “The treatment was correct and the recovery was just longer than we expected.” Except for the fact diagnosis of cartilage damage originally was missed and a boot Ike then wore constricted circulation and stalled healing. Sandy Alderson really is a straight shooter, generally, but that’s too much spin. One person begged me not to write Ike may have fracture as 2nd test approached. Turned out cartilage damage, not fracture, was missed.

Ike aside, historically most of Mets medical issues involve disregarding medical advice of team doctors and telling players to be tougher.

  • Doctors advised J.J. Putz to have bone chips removed from elbow, which would’ve cost 6 weeks. Mets said shoot him w/ cortisone. He tore UCL.
  • Ryan Church says to Brian Schneider, ‘Your knee looks swollen. Go see trainer.’ Schneider to Church: ‘They don’t want to hear it.’
  • Thanks for reminding me about Ryan Church flying from Atlanta to Colorado with concussion. He said he felt like boater bobbing on Bering Sea.
  • Mets exec calling Billy Wagner a wimp for complaining of elbow discomfort during sim game in Pittsburgh. Wagner needed Tommy John surgery.
  • Still haven’t figured out rocket scientist behind having Jose Reyes bat righty vs. RHP after oblique injury. Injury lingered whole 2nd half.
  • They announced Johan had pec strain and let him throw bullpen at Wrigley Field before diagnosing torn anterior capsule.
  • Early in Reyes career, Mets wanted him tougher. They had Art Howe tell him “spit on it” to injury. Had undiagnosed fibula break.
  • As I mentioned, the new front office is far more cautious. People mostly go on DL when prudent. Ike was just a screw-up.

I was surprised he didn’t mention the Beltran knee surgery fiasco in 2010.

If nothing else, it does make me wonder if the actual players get concerned about stuff like this and if that’s why Beltran, Reyes, Davis and Wright all sought out non-Mets doctors to confirm the diagnosis from the team’s medical staff.in the last 12-15 months.

Rubin is getting a lot of flack for tweeting what he did which was merely report what he knew in reaction to the Ike Davis news.

False outrage on a slow news day? Possibly.

Most of this was common knowledge and to pretend the way the Mets handled player injuries was anything but atrocious is very naive. Many Mets fans hate bad news even when it’s true and it’s always much easier to just shoot the messenger I guess.

Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog, spoke to Sports Illustrated’s injury expert Will Carroll today:

Matthew Cerrone: So, basically, according to your rating system, the Mets were worse than most teams over the last few years when it comes to losing impact talent to injury?

Will Carroll: Yes, but a LARGE portion of that was the one bad year.

Matthew Cerrone: Lastly, it sounds like from your responses that you also think they are worse than most teams in managing the information and public perception of those injuries?

Will Carroll: Yes, again I think their perception is far worse. The way the Davis injury was (and is) being handled is probably the best (worst) example of this.

Like I said, sometimes the truth hurts especially when it’s bad news about the team you love. But this outrage pointed at Rubin is ridiculous, point it at the Mets medical staff where it belongs.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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