Year after year it seems that Mets players get hurt more than any other team in baseball. The lack of communication within the organization’s training staff and front office has been atrocious in recent years. The Mets either downplay an injury and the player ends up day to day, wasting their roster spot or they misdiagnose the player and they end up aggravating the injury even further. The biggest question that the organization and Mets fans have is, Why does this keep happening to us?
Players in recent years have been working out in the off season, bulking up their muscles. The off season trainer, Mike Barwis was hired in October of 2014 so players could workout at his facility and train with him. As a result several players have come out of Barwis facility in better shape. Other Mets players have worked out on their own by doing dead lifts and heavy squatting. I’ve talked to several trainers that have told me without proper lifting and stretching, players can injure themselves more frequently.
Listen I’m not saying that weight lifting is causing the injuries but I think that over lifting has caused stress on players muscles. It’s a combination of weight lifting and lack of stretching that could have played a factor into the injuries occurring. We will never know for sure.
People say that athletes can never do too much, they are wrong. Athletes are working themselves into injuries. Hear me out on this one. Weight lifting has made baseball players unbalanced.A majority of baseball players weight train however some are over training and that can damage player performance and increase the potential for injury. For instance, injuries have occurred to Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz, all in which weight train. Headlines this off season wrote, “Noah Syndergaard added 17 pounds of muscle this offseason, Now he’s stronger than ever.” As if his stuff wasn’t electric enough he decided to reach for the stars but he ended up on the 60 day disabled list.
Yoenis Cespedes has even weight trained over the off season, working on his lower half by doing squats and dead lifts. Squats and dead lifts are explosive workouts that require substantial recovery time and if performed during the season can decrease quickness out of the batters box due to soreness of the legs. There is a video of Cespedes doing 900 pound bear squats in December. 900 pounds of unnecessary muscle strain. As a result he has had hamstring and quad issues.
Prior to the obsession with weight lifting in baseball, players with stardom such as Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez never lifted anything that was insanely heavy. They might have did light weight lifting but they never strained their muscles. “I was a legs guy,” Seaver told reporters last month. “That’s where I got my power from. The only weight lifting I ever did was these light hand weights which a college teammate of mine from USC, Jerry Merz, introduced me to. I did ‘em almost my whole career. Never increased the weight. They were good for my back muscles, forearms and balance.” “In the old days, nobody lifted weights over 8 pounds,” recalled
So why aren’t Mets pitchers taking advice from the old timers who thrived in their careers? Well it starts with the training staff that prepares them for the season. The training staff must see something beneficial to them weight lifting. Weight lifting has helped players get into better shape for spring training but it’s not keeping them on the field for 162 games. Something needs to be done. The implementation of a balanced weight-training program that works on all parts of the body instead of just one muscle group can effectively prevent these reoccurring injuries.
In college I was advised by my athletic trainers to use circuit training to stay in shape and avoid injuries. Circuit training should also be implemented into the Mets workouts. Circuit training is a form of body conditioning or resistance training using high-intensity aerobics with low weights but more reps in a set. It targets strength building and muscular endurance.
The Mets training staff is another reason why this team is plagued with injuries. Ray Ramirez, the Mets trainer, as all Mets fans know by now has been an employee of the team since 1983. He has been the head trainer since 2004. It almost seems impossible for a team to have so many injuries happen to them but the Mets seem to out do their selves every single season. In 2009, a season full of potential just like this years came crashing down when Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, J.J. Putz, John Maine, and Johan Santana all went down with season ending injuries. When is someone going to be held accountable for the injuries? This is an on going issue that has been the keystone to the Mets woes dating back to 2007.
During the Mets broadcast last night Ron Darling stated expressed his frustration that every Mets fan is feeling: “(The trainers) get them in a room with some of the old trainers and people who took care of baseball players and how to keep them healthy and get them in a room and try to tap into their knowledge on how you train baseball players, not weight lifters, not six pac wearers. Baseball players…. they’re doing a disservice to their million dollar athletes that they’re paying. It’s a joke to watch this happen each and every night.”
Maybe its bad luck, but since the Ray Ramirez has been with the Mets it’s been one injury after another, it’s time for change. remember when the Washington Nationals had that injury plagued year in 2015 and we went on to win the NL East? Do you know what they did that off season? They fired their training staff and hired new ones. Key players on the Nationals had missed a total of 3,813 games due to injuries from 2010-2015, that was ranked 12th in the majors in that span. Now they are ranked one of the best training staffs with very few injuries to players because they fired their old training staff.
If the Mets want to turn around the foundation that they set for their players it starts with the training staff. Change has been long overdue. Mets fans are sick and tired of Ray Ramirez walking onto the field every other day because someone new gets hurt. It’s time to bring in a new face that can try and keep these players on the field everyday.