The Trainer from Hell
It’s the same song year after year, the New York Mets lead the league in players on the Disabled List. Yet, for the last 13 years Ray Ramirez has remained their head athletic trainer, despite a history of puzzling and sometimes dangerous moves. The latest came Thursday when he gave Yoenis Cespedes the green light to play against the Atlanta Braves. However, video later emerged of Cespedes struggling with his hamstring batting practice.
This has seemingly been a practice of the Mets since Ramirez has been their trainer. They know somebody is hurt and the wish it’s not a bad injury, in some cases it is not. However, as with the case of Cespedes the Mets cut themselves short while playing denial on the injury front. Last weekend Yoenis Cespedes missed the entire Washington Nationals series at Citi Field, the biggest series in the early part of the season. Not only did they not have Cespdes in the lineup they played with a short bench hoping Yoenis Cespdes would heal. The Mets have done things like this countless times and had it result in a key player suffering a long term injury. This year teams have the option of using the ten-day disabled list, which makes this even more mind boggling.
At the same time the Mets knew that Noah Syndergaard was not feeling well, and bumped him from Wednesday to Thursday, after announcing they would skip Robert Gsellman. The Mets came out with the bold-faced lie, they never officially announced Thor would pitch in the series opener, despite needing their ace to be the stopper. Gsellman went out and was terrible in the first inning like he was not prepared to pitch. The very next day, they were forced to come clean and admit that Noah Syndergaard was hurt, and Matt Harvey would get the start. Now lying to the fans is one thing, but knowing Syndergaard was hurt they never told Harvey, and he was unprepared to pitch Thursday afternoon, working out on Wednesday, because he was preparing to pitch Friday. This is how injuries happen this how careers are ruined this is a prime example in two games how beyond incompetent Ray Ramirez, and the Mets medical staff is and makes you wonder do the coaches give a damn about the players’ health?
This has been a troubling trend ever since Ray Ramirez became the Mets trainer in 2004. In 2008, the Mets allowed Ryan Church on the team flight after suffering a serious concussion on a slide into second base. The concussion would put Church in a fog for the rest of the season and was never quite the same player again. Many doctors have said that flying after a concussion is dangerous citing the altitude and pressurized brain damage suffered by NBA star Maurice Stokes on a short flight in 1958. Stokes of the Cincinnati Royals hit his head on the floor in a playoff game against the Detroit Pistons, and suffered a seizure on the flight, and spent the remainder of his life without the ability to speak or walk.
This is without taking into account the Mets seem to lead the league in injuries every year. Sometimes injuries can not be avoided but the injuries the Mets get seem to last longer and be more infuriating. Think back to Ike Davis when he was injured on a popup in May 2011 and suffered a “minor” ankle injury that led to him missing the rest of the season. A year earlier the Mets got mad when Carlos Beltran got knee surgery on his own, as the team doctors said he could play through the injury, but upon visiting the Colorado Rockies team doctors it was determined he risked permanent damage. The number of cases where the Mets ignored warning signs since Ray Ramirez has been their lead trainer is quite disturbing to say the least.
Maybe its bad luck, but since the Ray Ramirez has been with the Mets it’s been one injury after another, is it not worth changing this trend. I mean to me it as if Dr. Nick from Springfield is in charge of all medical decision. It could not be worse. The Mets need to get a whole new training staff and while they are at it find new doctors. I don’t know about you but after seeing Mets not comeback after surgery I want to stay away as far away from the Hospital for Special Surgery as humanly possible. Come to think of it have you ever seen Dr. Nick and Ray Ramirez in the same place at the same time?
Frank Fleming is the creator of the sportsecyclopedia.com