Thursday, March 11, 2010

Memo to Mets Fans and Bloggers: Calm Down About Reyes

To: Mets Fans and Bloggers
From: Fonzie Forever
Re: Reyes' Overactive Thyroid
Date: March 11, 2010


Guys - take a deep breath.

I realize we live in a day and age where there is a 24 hour news cycle, where news and quotes are streamed instantly to our PDA's and where those who yell the craziest things from their virtual rooftops get the most attention. But please. Relax.

Yes, we got some bad news about Jose Reyes and his thyroid condition. Yes, Metsblog is reporting that Peter Greenberg, Reyes' agent, says it will "likely take 2-8 weeks" his thyroid levels to stabilize. I'm with you guys in that this is a terrible, unexpected thing to happen so far as our chances this season are concerned.

However, I call shenanegans on the media frenzy which has surrounded the allegedly "conflicting" statements issues by Reyes and by the Mets. Most media outlets reacted to the seemingly incongruous statements by the two parties with almost unbridled glee. More bad news for the Mets? And it's injury related? And we can spin this as organizational dysfunction? Hooray!!

Metsmerized Online said: "It looks like this will become yet another media circus, as once again it appears that somewhere between the player, the doctors and the Mets there is a total breakdown in communication. In a span of three hours, both the Mets and Jose Reyes have issued statements regarding this alleged thyroid condition, and each version is a complete contradiction of the other."

Others piled on as well. John Harper of the Daily News published an article today entitled "Jose Reyes' thyroid denial just latest example of contradiction within New York Mets."[1]

Mike Vaccaro did the same for the Post.[2]

Even the great Joe Posnanski[3] had something to say about it: Just look at the Mets now. They are now arguing over Jose Reyes thyroid. That’s the big story at Mets camp these days. The Mets seem to believe — based on what they’re hearing from doctors — that Reyes has an overactive thyroid. Reyes seems to believe — based on what he’s hearing from doctors — that his thyroid is fine. Everybody is waiting for the results from the latest tests.

Instead of letting a gleeful media tell you what Reyes and the Mets said, why not read the statements and decide for youself? Here are the statements:
REYES: “The specialists who took care of me in New York have told me that I’m fine and that there’s nothing wrong with my thyroid… We just have to wait for the results of the additional test. The [doctors] found inflammation in my throat and no medicine to treat the thyroid or any other condition has been prescribed.”

MINAYA: "He has elevated thyroid levels. I talked to the doctor. We had a conversation with our doctor and (Reyes') representative. He has elevated thyroid levels. We are waiting for test results."

Sure, the statements appear to conflict upon first reading, but they do not necessarily. People reading those statements have no idea about context. In fact, Reyes' comment, as far as I can tell, was verbally delivered to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas, who then reported it to ESPN, who then published it. Rojas did not write the story.

We're dealing with several levels of hearsay, and it's a waste of time to try and speculate whether Reyes meant that his thyroid was "fine" or "not overactive" or "fine because any possible problem could be corrected."

In fact, Reyes appears to be correct in that no medicine is being prescribed to him. The current treatment plan, according to Metsblog, calls only for "rest, dietary changes, and refraining from athletic activity."

So before everyone goes ahead and says these are the same old Mets, and that the sky is falling, take a second. Not every single incident needs to be twisted until it is part of a larger narrative. Maybe it makes for a lot less interesting tabloid and blog articles - but you'll probably sleep better at night.[4]

[1] From the text of the article: "Although this one may prove to be relatively harmless, it still makes you wonder why it keeps happening to this franchise. Is there such a level of distrust, going back to the mistakes of last season, that players are looking out for their own interests without regard for those of management?

And if so, will that manifest itself in ways that affect performance?"

Talk about yards-after-the-catch -- he really ran with this one.

[2] Excerpt: "And there's no telling the kind of chaos that might now be enveloping the Mets as the laugh track for their latest medical sitcom is installed, tried out and unleashed on a weary public."

[3] In my humble opinion, he's the best in the business right now. It is a shame that he is as in love with the Royals as we are with the Mets.

[4] Want to criticize the Mets for making statements about Jose Reyes' personal health matters before talking to him? Sure. Go right ahead. I think that's poor form too. But this story isnt one-tenth as interesting as people are making it out to be.

On April 1st we may have Jose Reyes back on the field and this will be just some footnote nobody remembers.

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