A-Rod is going under the knife, but at least the Yankees have an idea of when to expect him back and what to expect during the season. Johan Santana is said to be fine, no longer needs an MRI, and Opening Day is again a possibility for him. Obviously, the news is much better on Santana than on A-Rod as of now. But as far as future medical news on both players is concerned, at this point, I'm more inclined to trust the Yankees than the Mets.
Whatever else you can say about A-Rod, he hasn't tried to blame the Yankees for not realizing that the hip irregularity they saw on an MRI last year was actually something more serious. And the Yankees haven't tried to blame A-Rod's steroid use for his injury. The two sides have worked together to come up with what seems like a good compromise - lesser surgery that gets A-Rod back by May and leaves him healthy enough to play well for the rest of the season, leaving the more serious surgery for the offseason.
Even if A-Rod does not come back as quickly as hoped, or is not as productive as expected once he does come back, fans and media are unlikely to blame A-Rod or the Yankees for misleading them, since no one can say for certain how the surgery will turn out.
As for the Mets, when Johan Santana's elbow troubles surfaced, player and coach had different stories. Then, after saying the Santana had to go to New York for an MRI, as if there were no MRI machines in Florida - one is even advertised at Tradition Field! - the Mets canceled the trip because they said it was no longer necessary.
But fans and media who had been burned last year when injuries to Ryan Church, Billy Wagner and even Angel Pagan were originally underreported, wondered if the trip was really canceled only because it was snowing in New York.
When the trend of underreporting injuries is combined with finger-pointing, it's easy to conclude that there's something to hide. And that someone is not telling the whole truth.
Fortunately, the finger-pointing has died down as the Santana elbow story is (we hope) dying down as well.
Maybe the Mets need to get one of their doctors in front of the media sooner when these situations come up. Getting the story from A-Rod's hip surgeon makes the story a lot more credible than if it came from, say, one of A-Rod's relatives, much less A-Rod himself. And the doctor is a lot less likely to point fingers.