MRIs for Everyone!

I'm sick of it and I have an easy solution - MRIs everyday for everyone for every body part.

Let me explain.  Roy Oswalt left last night's game after the second inning with a back injury.  After the game, he talked about his two degenerative discs and how the back pain he was experiencing was worse than what he had to deal with earlier in the year.  Nonetheless, he pitched through it because he doesn't "want to be labeled a quitter."  But now, having played through the pain and injury, it's entirely possible that he's made the injury worse (possibly career-ending worse), while hurting his team with his poor play in the process.

But Roy Oswalt isn't the problem here.  He's just one of an endless many.  Replace the story about Roy Oswalt with Chase Utley (though he would never talk as much over the course of a year as Oswalt said yesterday about his condition) or Jimmy Rollins or Shane Victorino or any ballplayer for that matter.  You'll get the same thing.  Baseball players who think they can play through their injury, who tell their manager or the bench coach or a journalist that they're fine, everyone is injured at some point during the season, and real ballplayers play through it.

So the problem isn't Roy Oswalt.  The problem is money, fame, macho masculinity, baseball culture, non-medical people feeling they have a clue about medicine, and maybe a stubborn franchise.  As to the last point, it sure seems like the Phillies as a team are reluctant to get real medical tests done, doesn't it?  I don't have any comparison studies, but we hear quite frequently the team saying they're not going to get a medical test done at first but then eventually succumbing to reality weeks later (after no medical progress or harm to the team on the field or both).

As a fan, I'm sick of reading about situations like this.  The team has to do something, because listening to the players about their own conditions is about as useful as asking a 5-year old to diagnose the situation.

Often times, a problem with complex and intractable reasons behind it does not have an easy solution.  But, I've got one here.  After every game, every player gets an MRI on every body part.  The team can invest the one-time cost of purchasing a machine (about $1M to $1.5M), employ someone full-time who is an expert at reading the results ($200K for the season?), and save itself a ton of money by protecting its investment in its players.  And, while they're at it, they can prevent lousy injured performances on the field by getting players treated before their injuries are so bad that they need season- or career-ending intervention.

Sure, this would take time after every game, but there are no medical risks to MRIs (other than to dialysis patients or those with pacemakers, probably none of the Phillies) and the benefit would far outweigh the change to the routine.

Do it now Ruben.  Quit dicking around with your investments - for their sake, for the team's sake, and for the fans' sake.

**For those who can't tell, this is not a serious suggestion, although the idea behind more and earlier testing while not trusting players' own assessments of their health is a very serious one.

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