The New York Mets: My “Oblique” View

Jul 13

I’m a New York Mets fan, have been as long as I can remember. During good times and bad times I have stuck with this team. I’ve bit my tongue many times regarding some of the decisions this team has made, but this time I must let it out.
Recently Jose Reyes injured his right oblique muscle. The oblique muscles are part of the lateral abdominal wall and one of their actions is to rotate the trunk. There are two oblique muscles on each side of the abdomen, the internal and external oblique. My guess is that Reyes injured his right internal oblique, but unfortunately when teams report player injuries they don’t specify the exact nature of the injury, or the specific muscle(s) involved.
Almost two weeks ago the Mets rested Reyes because of this right oblique strain. When it happened my initial reaction was disappointment, but then I realized with the upcoming All-Star break, Reyes could rest the next couple a weeks, and hopefully be ready for the second half of the season. But on July 6th Reyes returned to the line-up, and it was announced that he will only hit from the right-side as a precaution to avoid re-aggravating his condition.
Unbelievable! Was this decision made by Reyes or the Mets medical staff? The oblique muscles play a key role in transferring the forces generated by the lower half of the body, to the upper body to create power. Regardless of whether or not he bats from the left or the right, the oblique muscles are such an important and dynamic part of the swing, that any twisting motion or deviation of Reyes’ swing other than his “pain-free zone” would or could aggravate his healing oblique. In addition, the oblique muscles play an important role in his throwing and fielding activities.
Then on July 10th Reyes was taken out of the line-up with an apparent re-aggravation of his right oblique after throwing out Troy Glaus on a ground-out play. I’m not a “Monday Morning Quarterback” or an “I told you so kind of a guy”, but I think most could have predicted this was going to happen. The New York Times quoted Jerry Manuel “I don’t know if anything can heal while you’re playing…but I don’t think we had any major setbacks because he did play.” I agree with Jerry about injuries not healing while you continue to play, but respectfully disagree with his thinking in the present and not two or three months ahead. Soft-tissue injuries do not heal within one week; generally injuries such as a strained oblique could take weeks to months to heal. Obviously the Mets don’t have that kind of time to wait, but a couple of weeks of rest would have given Reyes a jump-start on the healing process.
I’m a Jose Reyes fan; he is a core part of this team. He is an exciting player to watch and always seems to be the catalyst in Met victories. However his choice to play through pain to help the team will not help them in the long run. There are plenty of games left in this season, and having Reyes healthy in August and September will be crucial in getting the Mets into the post season. I truly hope that Jerry is right about this not being a “major setback”, I hate to see the Mets start losing players mid-season again.
Last but not least…LETS GO METS!

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