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J.J. Putz: the Mets never really gave me a physical

Feb 1, 2010, 11:12 AM EDT

Putz headshot.jpgJ.J. Putz throws another couple of logs on the fire burning under the Mets’ medical staff:

“When the trade went down last year, I never really had a physical with the Mets. I had the bone spur (in the right elbow). It was discovered the previous year in Seattle, and it never got checked out by any other doctors until I got to spring training, and the spring training physical is kind of a formality. It was bugging me all through April, and in May I got an injection.”

But wait, there’s more!  According to Putz, the Mets told him to hide the fact that he was hurt from the media:

“I knew that I wasn’t right. I wasn’t healthy. The toughest part was having to face the media and tell them that you feel fine, even though you know there’s something wrong and they don’t want you telling them that you’re banged up.”

You have to assume that if the Mets are telling their players to hide injuries from the media, that the Mets are not dealing with injuries in a straightforward matter internally either.  How much has this alleged lack of candor impacted Jose Reyes? Or Carlos Beltran? Or Johan Santana?

  1. JE - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    Craig, what in the quotes above indicate to you that the problem in this instance was the medical staff and not the front office?

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    He says he had a bone spur that was never checked out by doctors. Unless you presume that the front office tells the doctors what to specifically look at in any given physical, that’s a problem with the doctors.

  3. John Pileggi - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    Every day, another piece comes out which speaks to a disfunction in Mets’ management. I recall problems going back to the moment when Frank Cashen stepped down. There have been multiple GM’s and front office executives. Ownership is the common thread.

  4. JE - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Should not the front office have made the trade contingent on the results of a physical, Craig? Regarding the spring training check-up, do we know for certain that the medical staff failed to alert the execs?

  5. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    We can’t know what happened for sure here, JE, but Putz says that the doctors didn’t look at his bone spur at the time of the trade. The information about the spur would presumably be in the medical report that the Mariners exchanged with the Mets (standard practice), so as far as that goes, I think it’s fair — assuming Putz is being truthful here — to say that there was a failure on behalf of the staff.
    I’ll grant, however, that if the front office has a policy of having their medical staff ignore maladies that show up in a player’s previous medical reports, sure, it’s a front office problem.

  6. Kevin McDonald - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    Why are you so obsessed with the Mets?

  7. peteinfla - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    What difference does it make whether the front office or the medical staff are to blame, How could the front office make a trade for him knowing he had an arm problem, and how could the medical staff not check this out, BOTH before the trade is made, and during the preseason physical? The common theme in all of these decisons are the Wilpons. Either they have assembled one of the worst administrations in baseball history, or they override the opinions of this administration, or most likely both. And what about Putz’ statement that he was told to be quiet regarding his injury? Responsibilty starts and stops with the Wilpons. Boy does the head of this fish stink!

  8. Joey B - Feb 1, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    I’d say ‘wow’, but I am not even surprised. It was like when the previous administration traded for Vaughn. Was anyone surprised to see that he couldn’t run at all? When the NYM first traded for Putz, my immediate reaction was that he had to be hurt, or Seattle wouldn’t have traded him.
    Either Wilpon’s kid should be asking Minaya why Putz wasn’t checked out, or Minaya should be asking the team doctors why this wasn’t caught. Everyone can and will make mistakes, but this is a continuance of errors, just like the Knicks. And just like the Knicks, the highlight of the season for the league’s highest paid team should not be seeing how high a draft pick you’re getting.

  9. moreflagsmorefun - Feb 1, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Craig is a Braves fan.

  10. Traveling Man - Feb 1, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    I believe being a Mets fan such a loser organization,look at Beltran sums it up

  11. Traveling Man - Feb 1, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    This is the same loser organization that can’t sign Yorvit T. catcher, they claim they have no money left, where’s the money that they were going to use to get Molina or Pineiro,instead we get Josh Fogg and platooning catchers Santos and Blanco, yea this team going far its a disgrace, ticketholders don’t waste your money on this crap, J.Bay will be sorry he signed that contract, and will want to be traded mid season.

  12. Denver - Feb 1, 2010 at 5:51 PM

    Could we get back to baseball sooner than later? This medical log is dull and killing interest. Really, who cares? Just play the games and judge the new season. If we lose again, change is good and dead certain to happen.

  13. Joe - Feb 1, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    The new and improved Mets {as Omar says} is looking to be the next bottom dwelling team with no fan base. The Mets are trying to go the way of the Pittsburgh Pirates and make the money off the league and top teams and forget to place a team on the field. But Omar did sign Bay you say, good move {nope}. Bay signed for average of $16.5 million a year and he has bad legs which equals no fielding or running the bases. If you look at Holliday he signed for an average of $17.14 a year {thats less than $1 million a year more than Bay}. Holliday has good legs, plays above average in the field, has speed on bases. Both have power but Citifield kills that for both players. Now the Biggest point; if the Mets wanted to trade the signed player in 2 years who would be easier to trade?????? It really would have been better for the mets to sign two other players for around 8 to 9 million each for field positions.

  14. Jim - Feb 1, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    I’ve heard that Jose Reyes has a coke problem and that’s the real reason why he’s been out for as long as he has.

  15. Eli - Feb 1, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    He said “I never really had a physical with the Mets”. No physical = no medical staff involved.
    However, he is blaming the media. “The toughest part was having to face the media and tell them(the media) that you feel fine, even though you know there’s something wrong and they(the media) don’t want you telling them(the media) that you’re banged up.”
    It’s true. Whenever players says they aren’t 100% or that injuries are the reason they are playing poorly, you(the media) lambastes them(the players).

  16. marty - Feb 1, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    No one seems to have been listening to me, but for quite some time I have placed the blame on the Met’s injuries on Ray Ramirez and his training staff.
    Management is willing to spend tens of millions of dollars on Star Power, but then leave the training and conditioning to a crew that hardly knows one part of the body from another. Ask yourself these two questions. Why did so many key players suffer serious conditioning injuries the past two years, and who should be responsible and held accountable?
    Most of the injuries were of the soft tissue variety, not fractures. The former occur when there has been a lack of proper training and conditioning. End of story. I’d look to the training staff, led by Ray Ramirez. And of course, he is back to try his luck again.

  17. Mac - Feb 2, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    If the bone spur was known about a year before when he was in Seattle why wasnt it made public during the time he was being traded…or was it. Seems to me that the player has some responsibility here as well. I dont see how it would benefit the Mets to pursue and sign this guy without knowing the full extent of any injury he had. Isnt it possible the player is making some excuses for not performing very well.

  18. Benny Blanco - Feb 2, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    AS screwed up as the Mets front office and medical staff has been recently, no one finds it difficult to believe that they would trade for an injured player?
    Sounds like Putz is making excuses. If a player knows he isnt right, he does somethinh about it. Not going out and pitching in pain.

  19. Mark C - Feb 2, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    Remember the Mets offered more money to Bengie Molina than the Giants did. Bengie Molina probably re-signed with the Giants because the Mets organization is so dysfunctional.

  20. Joey B - Feb 2, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    “AS screwed up as the Mets front office and medical staff has been recently, no one finds it difficult to believe that they would trade for an injured player?”
    They did trade for an injured player, right?
    He was injured a couple of times in 2008, then had surgery in 2009, so it is not a leap of faith to beleive he was already injured when the Mets traded for him.

  21. T - Feb 3, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Actually Molina stated that it wasn’t worth putting his family through a move for a million dollars unless he was guaranteed a 2nd year.

  22. t - Feb 3, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Why would Putz play in the WBC if he was hurt or in pain? Either he is not too bright or he was covering it up in order to cash in.

  23. Traveling Man - Feb 3, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Who cares about Putz medical report, bottom line is the Mets did nothing to better there club especially on the pitching end.It’s going to be a long season and they will have their share of injuries, i would just rebuild for the future, Fogg and Tatis are not cutting it.

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