Monday, June 9, 2008


Ryan Church ran into the knee of Yunel Escobar as the Atlanta Braves shortstop leapt over him to complete a game-ending double play on May 2o. Church briefly lost consciousness and slid face first along the infield dirt past second base. He suffered a concussion, his second of the season, and had to be helped off the field afterwards.

The Mets did not put him on the disabled list.

He has been intermittently suffering from spells of dizziness and fatigue ever since then, nearly three weeks after the collision. He's been out of the lineup since Friday night, the symptoms refusing to abate for more than a few days at a time. Church is flying back to New York to be examined again, now that his symptoms are apparently beginning to get worse.

The Mets still have not put him on the disabled list.

"We can only go by how he feels," New York manager Willie Randolph was quoted saying over the weekend. "We considered the DL but decided to wait. No one knows a lot about it."

Now I'm used to Willie being clueless when it comes to the game of baseball, but a simple trip to Web MD should've taught him all he needs to know about Church's medical situation. From the article: "It is not always easy to know if someone has a concussion. Not everyone who has a concussion passes out. A person who might have a concussion should immediately stop any kind of activity or sport (emphasis mine). Becoming active again before the brain returns to normal functioning increases the person's risk of having a more serious brain injury ... Occasionally a person who has a more serious concussion develops new symptoms over time and feels worse than he or she did before the injury. This is called post-concussive syndrome."

It is a goddamn travesty that Ryan Church wasn't put on the disabled list immediately after his head ricocheted off the knee of an adult male attempting to leap over him. It is a testament to the incompetence of this team's medical staff for not insisting such precautions take place and an indictment of the entire front office for not realizing a man's longterm health is more important than two weeks of baseball games in May.

In a lost season that has been marred by the spotty play of injury-prone veterans and overpriced mediocrities, the handling of Ryan Church after his injury has been the single stupidest thing the Mets have done all season. This is worse than Randolph's incomeptent managerial machinations, last week's lily-livered draft strategy and Omar Minaya's roster construction shenanigans combined.

Tim got on my case this weekend for not updating as much lately. But it's hard to sit down every day and write something about an organization that makes me sick to my stomach from just about every conceivable angle. Wins and losses are no longer the issue for me; I am disturbed and disappointed by nearly every single aspect of the way this organization is run.

1 comment:

Brian said...

It's criminal as well as sinful, and the Mets organization could be guilty of criminal negligence.

It's also obvious why they're doing it. Omar and Willie know that their jobs are on the line; they know that their team is already weak offensively with Church, and that with Tatis taking his place, they cease to be weak and become impotent, and incapable of winning games at any respectable pace.

Omar and Willie are plainly risking Church's long term health to cling to their jobs.

I've always held Omar in disdain. He seems all along to have been a wholly unintelligent, yet smooth-talking glib slickster who gets by on his bon-homie schtick with which he can sucker his patsy, into thinking that he's not in way over his head.

This Church situation puts things in an altogether different plateau. Rather than being a mere slickster, it gives me an image of Omar as a hardened con-artist, going from mark to mark taking each sucker for everything he's got. If Church suffers seriously because of this, I'd be disposed to hope Omar rots in Hell.