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Saturday, May 01, 2004

Hammy Specialists Blast Mets 

There is a lot of speculation out there regarding Jose Reyes' temperamental hamstring. Is Reyes dogging it? Are the Mets giving Reyes the proper care? Etc... If you have been living in a hole the last year and a half, here's a quick hamstring chronology:

5/03: Reyes injures his right hamstring, presumably his first hamstring injury, in a Triple A game. Reyes is shelved for about three weeks.

6/03: Reyes is called up to the big league club and only three weeks into his Major League career, he "tweaked" the right hamstring and sat out 5 games.

3/14/04: For the third time in 10 months Reyes injures the same right hamstring he first injured in May of 03 in Norfolk and reaggrivated only three weeks later in June when he was called up.

And don't forget about the pulled left quad and sprained ankle Reyes also suffered along with his hamstring problems.

After the third injury to the same hamstring you would think the Mets would do more than send him down to Port St. Lucie, apparently under minimal or no medical supervision, to "feel his way out" of it. Well, that's exactly what happened and not surprisingly Reyes has reagrivated his injury. The Mets finally ordered that Reyes undergo and MRI, which revealed the injury had not yet healed after seven weeks. This prompted Met officials to shut him down. No baseball activity until further notice. Too much too late. The hamstring specialist Reyes should have been sent to the moment he strained his hamstring in spring training, Mackie Shilstone, blasted the Mets when he told NY Times Lee Jenkins that if Reyes was sent to him immediately following his latest injury, he could have cured Reyes in only three to seven days. Shilstone, in not so subtle a fashion, stated that the Mets were putting immediate wins before Reyes' long term health when he said,

But in the heat of battle, teams are sometimes stuck on dealing with symptoms. . . I would have looked at the root of the problem and taken care of it. Until the Mets address this, it will be a nagging thing. Unless they get to the bottom of it, even if Reyes comes back, I'd say there's a 60 percent chance he'll get hurt again.

At this point the Mets can't even send Reyes to Shilstone, as he's currently booked training Roy Jones Jr. for a fight in mid May. But there are other experts out there, and they aren't shy in calling out the Mets either. Mack Newton, who the Mets are familiar with because he treated Vince Colemen's hamstring injuries when he played for the Mets, was in agreement with Shilstone,

You can't do this in-house. . . You have to look outside your organization and look at all the resources, or you're really not serious about being successful. You're not insuring your investment and that's stupid. If the people in-house knew what they were doing, how did it get to this point in the first place? It's not like this started the day before yesterday.

According to Jenkins, both Shilstone and Newton "hypothesize that there is scar tissue or an adhesion in the hamstring that will require deep-tissue massage." They also think Reyes will even have to learn how to run differently and, obviously, take better care of his legs.

The Mets should be ashamed of themselves for telling a 20 year old kid - "hey, it's up to you. Oh, and by the way, our offense sucks. But no pressure. Come back when you want. Did you see our record? You can go see the expert if you want but that will take a lot of time, but it's up to you." The scariest part of all this is Shiltone's prediction that Reyes has a 60% chance of reinjuring his hamstring if he is not treated properly. Since Reyes has a 100% chance of the Mets not giving him the properly guidance and treatment, we might want to up that prediction.
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