By Lloyd Carroll
The Mets waited 48 hours after Terry Collins confirmed that he would not be returning as manager before announcing that most of the coaching staff were free to seek employment elsewhere; that pitching coach Dan Warthen would be reassigned to work in the organization (whatever that means); and that longtime head trainer Ray Ramirez was being dismissed.
My guess is that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson would have fired Warthen outright had it not been for his ace pitcher Noah Syndergaard voicing his support for his retention. Alderson probably figured that it was better to mollify Syndergaard and other pitchers on the staff who have had a close relationship with him.
Given the inordinate number of injuries the Mets have compiled over the last two years it was understandable that Mets fans would be screaming for Ray Ramirez’s scalp. The scuttlebutt was that Mets management would retain him since they didn’t view him as the culprit for a number of man-games lost to injury.
In fairness to Ramirez, retired Yankees trainer Gene Monahan spoke very highly of him at a recent Conair men’s grooming products media event. Sandy Alderson publicly agreed with Monahan’s assessment but he realized that retaining Ray might lead to a revolt among the team’s season ticket holders and concluded that it would be best to bring in a fresh face as the team’s trainer in 2018.
Last week Mets captain David Wright endured his second surgical procedure on his back within the last 18 months. Last month he underwent surgery to correct a shoulder malady. None of these medical procedures can correct the spinal stenosis that he will have for the rest of his life.
Wright still says that he has not given up on resuming his Mets career and his determination is admirable. While I hope that he proves naysayers like me wrong the reality is that he will turn 35 just before Christmas. Even with perfect health, it would be tough for any major leaguer at that age to be productive who hasn’t played in nearly two years.