I would never think that this would be the topic at hand on August 4th in Mets-Ville, but I guess with the 2016 Mets if there is one thing we have learned is that you can not assume anything about this baseball team or about the way any injury is handled. Yoenis Cespedes quad injury sustained on July 7th should have been the end of his golfing season, not the end of the Mets season.
As a former collegiate athlete, an often injured one at that, a current coach, and person with formidable kinesthesiology and physiology training, I can attest without question that a quad strain could and most likely would be exacerbated by extended periods of golf. In addition, having played behind Cespedes, Dan Warthen, and Tyler Clippard last October at Deepdale Country Club on Long Island, I can also vouch for the violent nature of his swing as well as extreme amounts of hip torque present in his mechanics. I can also vouch for the high water plaid pants that Tyler Clippard wore, but that is a topic for a different day.
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The anatomy of a golf swing is complex and it can be broken down into many different stages, much like a baseball swing. In all parts of the swing, the Quadriceps, or quads, play a significant role. A lot of potential energy is converted to kinetic energy in the core of the body. With a strain such as Cespedes’, that never truly healed, the injury can “grab” or “twinge” on every and any swing.
The thing that makes a golf swing significantly different than a baseball swing, is that it is not as repeatable. The reason being, the players feet are rarely on flat, even ground. Rolling hills, bunkers, and obstacles on a course make the stance vary based on what the shot calls for. This makes golf even more detrimental to such an injury, because it could call for a player to distribute the weight differently on their legs.
Like in baseball, Cespedes has a violent golf swing. His follow through is extreme and he ‘muscles’ the ball routinely. This type of prolonged activity, usually last 3-4 hours at a country club, would never not be frowned upon by any medical professional (besides the Mets doctors, of course). Furthermore, an injury such as this one would necessitate about 90 minutes of ‘treatment’ or rehab on a daily basis. Treatment would include ultrasound, electric stimulation, massage, and stretching. To be effective, massage and stretching can never really be performed until the pain in the effected area has subsided. The pain ending shows a decrease in inflammation in the area, signaling it is time to begin rehabilitation of the muscle. It seems as though Cespedes never truly reached a stage like that, quite possibly because of a refusal to rest the area.
Between 3-4 hours of golfing, a three hour baseball game, driving, treatment, and sleep, was his injury ever even really given the opportunity to heal?
Sandy Alderson has said he will address the media today regarding the Cespedes injury and the golf situation. If he at all tries to deflect the fact that participating in a daily round of golf does not put Cespedes’ quad injury at risk or delay his return to 100% health, he would be incorrect. The question is, does he know that he is? If he does not, he is getting bad intel from his medical staff. If he does, he is lying to the fans and media essentially protecting his player that is getting paid to perform a service and has neglected to do so responsibly. Either way, it speaks to a poorly run organization and a disconnect between the multiple facets of front office, medical staff, and on field talent.
Essentially, should we expect anything else at this point?