by West Coast Craig

E.R. – With the baseball season nearly upon us, it’s time to take a serious look at what has been ailing the Mets more than anything else…their medical staff. Everybody Loves Ray Ramirez has been around for five years, but nobody really knew his name before last season—which is just the way trainers and umps should like it—but last year would’ve make Dr. House look like Dr. Vinny Boombotz. You’ve probably seen this graph marking the days the team lost to injury…


It’s not pretty, and certainly Mets fans have to hold some guarded hope that simply regressing to the mean will translate to a relatively healthy season in 2010. “RayRam” is back, another vote of confidence from Omar Minaya, who seems to pass them out like pardons for fall guys on the last day in office. He must be hoping some of that karma regresses to the mean as well, and his good will with the staff will mean he’lll still have a job by October, because if Minaya could’ve scapegoated anyone for last year it was RayRam…not only did everyone who wore a Met uniform, even those in the stands, rip a hamstring at some point last summer, but there was the annoying habit of waffling on the will-he-or-won’t-he be sent to the DL, telling guys like Delgado that he could play through the pain only to have that pain get worse and ultimately end his season. RayRam often seemed flustered and confused…and now he has to deal with Kelvim Escobar? Thanks a lot, Omar!

Fortunately, while I’m not a Doctor, nor do I play one on the internet, I’m here to offer some referrals for when RayRam inevitably goes to that big whirlpool in the sky.

Dr. Oz: When the Mets start to play like aging housewives—and you know they will—perhaps Dr. Mehmet Oz is the guy they’ll listen to. He can tell them to take some Vitamin D, keep the germs off their purses, and to accept drug company marketing as medical consultation.


Dr. Nick Riviera: Seriously, the physical therapy and sports medicine program at Hollywood Upstairs Medical School is one of the best. I know, it surprised me too. Dr. Nick once tried an experimental procedure on a pitching prospect named Mr. McGregg, replacing his leg for an arm and an arm for a leg.

Dr. Zachary Smith: He’s lazy, dishonest, cowardly, and bumbling…people and robots just want to punch him in the face. Yes, at first glance he does seem like he’d fit right into the Mets organization, maybe even being a mere trainer isn’t enough for somebody with such middle-management potential, yet his proclivity for disaster would catch up with him by June. By then, in an effort to keep David Wright on the field, Smith’s idea to protect him in new armor of his own design will backfire horribly:

Dr. Demento: The trainer’s room will become a wacky place with horns and cowbells, where a player can get a knee taped and listen to song parodies. The assistant trainer’s job is Weird Al Yankovich’s to lose.


Dr. Bellows: The Mets may need to go with somebody a little more authoritative in the job, with a military background and a no-nonsense attitude. If 90% of the game is half mental, then Dr. Bellows should be able to get the players off the trainers’ tables on onto couches, then back onto the field. Of course, he’ll have a hard time explaining how it starts snowing in the training room, or how a giant tiger appears, or where Frankie Rodriguez’s elbow went when it blows out in mid-July.

Dr. Steve Brule: This is my leading candidate, because he advocates a preventative approach.

That’s all I’m coming up with for now. These may not be the most likely of candidates—I’m not sure if they’re even still alive in some cases—but none of them could do much worse then what RayRam dealt with last year.

Grote2DMax with Grotes’s Gripes, tomorrow… And if you can, forward the site to some people so we can start getting paid.

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About West Coast Craig 226 Articles
West Coast Craig reports from Hollywood with an endearingly laid back style. A happily married father of two little boys, WCC has an avocado tree in his yard, plays the hot corner in a "Valley" hardball league and always manages to take cool sports-related mini road-trips, often with his immediate clan. He hails from Oneonta, NY but has been "So very L.A." for twenty years, so his sports teams are the Yankees AND the Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the L.A. Lakers and the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques. WCC loves bacon-wrapped hotdogs and can touch his heel and his ear... with his hand.