Perhaps mindful of the excellent diagnosis provided to Jose Reyes, Mike DeJean and Victor Zambrano throughout 2004, the New York Mets have dissasociated themselves from the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases writes the New York Times’ Lee Jenkins.

The Mets were one of the first professional sports franchises to enter a long-term, multimillion-dollar agreement with a hospital in which the hospital paid for the right to have its doctors treat members of the team.

But after three years of the team’s relationship with the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, Mets officials said this week that they had cut short a seven-year deal, forfeiting slightly more than $2 million in anticipated revenue. Several professional teams have signed lucrative contracts with hospitals in recent years, and sports medicine experts said they believed this was the first time a team had walked away from such a pact.

The Mets are completing a new agreement with the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, which will pay the team a substantially smaller sum for the right to be affiliated with it. The Mets will also pay certain doctors for treatment, something they did not do with the Hospital for Joint Diseases. Representatives from the Hospital for Special Surgery and the Hospital for Joint Diseases declined requests for comment.

The move was precipitated by the Mets’ dissatisfaction with the care they received the past two years, a sentiment conveyed in conversations with coaches and front-office officials.

“Based on the information I got, not only on injuries, but on the time it took to get guys back, we had to evaluate the medical department,” Omar Minaya, the Mets’ new general manager, said last month. “Part of that re-evaluation process was the contract with N.Y.U. The whole medical area was evaluated.”