Davidoff: Meddlesome Owners Led To Much of Mets Injury Handling Issues

The Mets recently revamped their training staff, bumping Brian Chicklo up to head trainer and bringing in Jim Cavallini in the capacity of Director of Performance and Sports Science, a newly created position.

However, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post published a column Saturday in which he reveals that sources told him many injuries in recent years have stemmed from Jeff Wilpon’s desire to micromanage on medical matters.

“Conversations with 10 people possessing first-hand knowledge of the Mets’ baseball operations produced the picture of an ultra-intense environment, created by Mets ownership, in which the daily pressure to win, not only the games but the daily media coverage, has compromised the decision-making process and, hence, led to poor moves on multiple fronts. On the medical front, that has made the Mets the butt of many an industry joke,” Davidoff wrote.

According to ManGamesLost.com, Mets players have lost a combined 6,910 games due to injury since 2010, placing them No. 6 overall out of 30 MLB teams.

Going back to Wilpon, he brings up the team forcing players such as Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Ryan Church and, as recent as this past year, Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes into playing when they weren’t 100 percent healthy.

“Several sources attribute the Mets’ faulty decision-making behavior to various factors,” he wrote. “One is the organization feeling the heat of competing with the major leagues’ titans, the Yankees, for attention in the market with a payroll a fraction of the size and consequently less roster depth.

“Another is an environment where CEO Fred Wilpon and COO Jeff Wilpon both are prone to micromanagement, with Fred Wilpon more likely to assert himself in on-the-field decisions and Jeff Wilpon more involved in medical matters — such as working on media releases about injuries — clouding the chain of command.”

The Mets introduced Cavallini as well as Mike Barwis on SNY’s Hot Stove program earlier this week and have a new and improved coaching staff which they hope will help mitigate injury.

However, if what the sources told Davidoff are correct, then it won’t matter who is doing what in their respective capacity, because the problem stems from the top.

I urge you to read Davidoff’s full column, which can be found here.

This is the third time since 2010 that the Mets have made organization wide changes to how they handle and prevent injuries.

After historic injuries in 2009, Jeff Wilpon unveiled their Prevention and Recovery program which was intended to raise awareness. Shields and badges were placed throughout the Port St. Lucie complex.

When asked what Prevention and Recovery means for players, David Wright said at the time, “I don’t know. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on differently than in years past.”

A few years later, the Wilpons struck up a friendship with weight trainer Mike Barwis. They all hailed from the same alma mater, and it was intended to prevent injuries due to intense weight training. Initially, players were requested to travel to Michigan for a four week program in the middle of winter. The program has evolved over time and in 2015, a complete facility was constructed in Port St. Lucie.

About Rob Piersall 1104 Articles
Rob Piersall is a fourth-year student at SUNY New Paltz, studying journalism with a minor in communications. He is also the managing editor for his school's newspaper, The Oracle. A Mets fan since the age of six in 2001, Rob is senior editor here at MMO. His favorite thing is reporting breaking Mets news and transactions as well as writing columns. He is also ready to see what Mickey Callaway brings to the table in 2018. LGM! Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobPiersall.