Pinkeye Wins the Pool for First Mets Injury of 2010

A closer in quarantine

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    The Mets aren't wasting any time putting their new slogan to the test. Signs promoting Prevention & Recovery greeted the players when they arrived in Port St. Lucie this month and the first health scare of the new season is one that's going to put both halves under the microscope.

    Francisco Rodriguez has been sent to quarantine with a case of highly contagious pinkeye and won't be allowed to return until he's no longer a risk to his teammates. That sounds like a pretty decent approach to the recovery part of things, as is the fact that Jerry Manuel wouldn't even speculate about when K-Rod might be up and throwing again. After last year's spate of dishonest promises about return dates, the Mets are right to just let things run their course.

    So, recovery is going well, what about prevention? The news isn't quite so good on that front. It took a week for the medical staff to diagnose Rodriguez's pinkeye. In their defense, it was the rare ailment that the team didn't have anyone suffer from during the 2009 season.

    That said, a week? Really? What did you think it might have been? Rogue food coloring staining the cornea has been on the rise and the swine flu is still pretty hot these days, but it shouldn't take a week for doctors to come up with an answer to a problem that an elementary school nurse can diagnose in 45 seconds.

    That's also a week where the rest of the people around Rodriguez were at a greater risk of catching the pinkeye themselves. We assume that prevention includes copious amounts of hand sanitizer, but on the off chance that major leaguers aren't obsessive about germ control let's hope the Mets staff gets better at recognizing what's ailing the players.

    After all, we'd hate to see them lose the season to a nasty bout of the cooties.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.