Former Mets trainer Ray Ramirez reacts to fan criticism over injuries

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Ray Ramirez wants you to know that the injuries were not his fault.

Ramirez, who served as the Mets’ head athletic trainer between 2004-17, emerged as a popular scapegoat for fans’ frustration. His notoriety among fans increased along with the number of injured players.

Over a decade after leaving the franchise, Ramirez has a message for the fanbase that ridiculed him.

“I know that the fans get frustrated, cause they want to see their stars healthy, playing, producing and to have the team win and succeed,” Ramirez said on Monday to The Post’s “Amazin’ But True” podcast. “But the trainer is doing everything in his power, everything in the staff’s power to get the players on the field as quickly as possible so that they can do what they do best.

“You’re just the guy running on the field, so the fans have that perception of the guy that’s carrying the player off the field as being the bad guy. You get used to it. You don’t like it, but you get used to it.”

In reality, Ramirez’s role as head athletic trainer encompassed far more than just aiding injured players off the field. Each day, he would wake up at 6 a.m. and leave his home in Sea Cliff, NY to meet players at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Once there, he would assist the players and hospital staffers with MRI exams, consultations and X-Rays before heading to Citi Field.

Once at the ballpark, Ramirez would meet with the rest of his medical staff, including strength and conditioning coaches, massage therapists, and mental skills coaches. The group debriefed not only the health of the team’s 25-man roster but the entire minor league system.

Ray Ramirez responds to criticism he received during his tenure with the Mets.
Ray Ramirez responds to criticism he received during his tenure with the Mets.

“There’s constant communication going on,” Ramirez said. “The role of the head trainer was to oversee all of that. So you’ve got a lot of fires to put out. So you don’t have time to worry about the fans or what the paper says or what Twitter says, or anything like that.”

As hard as Ramirez tried to shut out the noise and ignore the clamoring for him to lose his job, the boos, in particular, grew unavoidable. During introductions on Opening Day in 2015, the Citi Field faithful often greeted Ramirez with ire.

“A few friends would text me once in a while, ‘Hey, they’re talking smack to you,’” he said. “I’m like, ‘We got no control over that. They don’t really know.’ And when they don’t know, there’s nothing you can do about that.”

Ramirez no longer works baseball and is instead employed with the military in South Korea as a part of a preventive care program for F-16 pilots.

Still, his message to Mets fans is especially pertinent, considering the rash of injuries that the team has endured this season. Ramirez hopes fans treat the current training staff — led by head athletic trainer Brian Chicklo — differently than they treated him.

“Support your trainers and your medical staff as much as you do the team,” Ramirez said. “They work just as hard as the players to do as good a job as the players do. They take a lot of pride in it. They put a lot of hours in there. It’s a thankless job.”

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