In the latest medical dispute between Mets players and management, Jose Reyes, who was sent up from spring training for a thyroid check, told the world his thyroid was fine, while the Mets said it was overactive.
Later they all got together, and Reyes’ agent clarified, saying Reyes’ thyroid issue was “the most minimal case of hyperthyroidism possible.” “We’re all in agreement that he has elevated thyroid levels,” said team GM Omar Minaya.
The issue seems on its face merely semantic, and interesting only because the team doctors had earlier come into conflict with Carlos Beltran, who had knee surgery without the express consent of the docs, which reminded some people of other Mets players who had been allowed to blow out their arms and/or legs under their care, and suggested a communication problem, at least.
But there is a relationship, albeit tenuous, between the Reyes case and baseball’s chronic doping scandals.
As the Daily News reports this morning, some studies suggest that unusual thyroid performance could indicate use of the banned performance-enhancer HGH, and watchdogs are considering adopting it as a red flag.
Reyes’ name is all over that story, though he has not been accused of using, probably because he was questioned recently in relation to the Tony Galea case: In addition to offering “blood-spinning” therapy (a weird but apparently non-sinister practice which Reyes underwent), Galea is suspected of doping athletes. Maybe the Mets’ and Reyes’ story got garbled because each worried that people would make that connection, and hastily pre-spun it in their own ways.
Beltran was also grilled about Galea, and the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, who admitted using steroids (but not HGH) in his younger days, is expected to testify about Galea soon.
Update: Reyes’ agent told reporters today his client would be sidelined for up to eight weeks by his thyroid problem. As for Opening Day, “it doesn’t look good right now.” Omar Minaya was on the conference call, so there should be no messaging problems.