When a mild mannered sort like David Wright suggests the Mets have mishandled Jose Reyes’ physical well-being (again), you can safely assume ardent GM candidate Howard Megdal takes an even dimmer view of advice supplied by the graduates of Hollywood Upstairs Medical College Amazins team doctors. “When it comes to the way the Mets treat Jose Reyes, I feel like a cross between William Holden in Network and that guy who used to tell us to get up out of our chairs and shout ‘Let’s Go Mets’ back at Shea Stadium” writes SNY’s Megdal, no doubt aware he’s referring to the late Peter Finch from the same film.
In Reyes, the Mets have a fearless competitor who desperately wants to get back out on the field. How much does he want it? At the bizarre request of the team, Reyes rehabbed last season to come back for the season’s final weekend — while whispers that he wasn’t really that injured emanated — and made an injury worse in the process.
One can be certain Reyes was even more determined to play through an injury this season after playing in just 36 games last year, and facing the kind of baseless accusations that drove Reyes to the point of tears.
But Reyes isn’t the one who should be making decisions that affect the long-term health, physical or otherwise, of the Mets. So to hear Jerry Manuel insist that the reason Reyes played is that he wanted to play is painful to hear as a Mets fan.
And that no one above Manuel did anything to stop this charade is astounding.
One can compare the handling of this to Robinson Cano, whose “back injury” kept him from participating in the Home Run Derby because the Yankees didn’t want him to participate. Cano was upset, because like Reyes, he is a competitor. A player doesn’t reach the Major Leagues by not wanting to be out there all the time. It is to be admired. But it does not have to be the way an organization makes decisions about using a player.
But the reason why this is so frustrating is that the Mets don’t need to dig deep in history to find out how this turns out. They don’t even need to use another player as an example.
This is exactly what happened with the Mets and Reyes last year.