There is a new way of doing things in Queens. The Mets have been telling anyone that will listen that, when it comes to injuries, this is the case. But for reasons passing understanding, it's not getting through to some.
When the Mets hired Jim Cavallini (pictured, with team nutritionist Maureen Stoecklein) to oversee the team's medical operations, they began to change their organizational culture of health from reactionary treatment to prevention. As we've heard about this spring, that includes gauging hydration levels, nutrition, and most importantly, being both exceedingly cautious with minor tweaks and strains, and forthcoming with injury updates to the media.
That's why the Saturday drop of injury updates -- Juan Lagares with a tight hamstring, Dom Smith with a tweaked quad, Tim Tebow with a rolled ankle, and Jay Bruce with mild plantar fasciitis-- shouldn't have come as a shock.
But it did.
This is so freaking absurd it's almost funny. They've played like 3 innings https://t.co/pBKWeBOKgs— Jerry Recco (@JerryRecco) February 25, 2018
Newsday's David Lennon also seemed to trot out the same doomsday attitude in the wake the Saturday report, then tweeted on Tuesday morning this ominously ellipsis-filled tweet about Yoenis Céspedes.
Look, I get it. For the better part of the last decade, the Mets and injuries have been a running joke. The Mets talked all about "prevention and recovery" after the 2009 season, only to see that laughably blow up in their faces. So why bother believing anything will be different now?
Frankly, because they've shown so far this spring that they're not going to be stupid about it.
So far, the Mets have shown that they're not going to downplay injuries. Through the press, they're going to clearly communicate each player's situation to their fan base. And most importantly, they're not going to push veterans onto the field to play through pain in February, no matter how minor that pain may be.
Changing a culture requires a commitment to the plan, even when the tabloids are ready to make you the butt of every LOLMets joke. That's what they're doing, and it's refreshing.
So stop freaking out about tweak or strain the Mets issue an advisory about. No team will get through an MLB season without some kind of injury, but the key is to limit the team's volatility. The Mets are taking steps to do just that, and it's about damn time.
Photo credits:Howard Simmons | New York Daily News
Alejandra Villa | Newsday