Mets curse in full effect?
As you may remember, I am a New York Mets fan. Given that I was born an hour and a half up the Taconic Parkway from the city in Poughkeepsie, this should not be a shocking thing.
I admit that I am also a Detroit Tigers fan, although not to the same extent. I have been to several games at Comerica Park with my family, which has led to me enjoying the Tigers for more than just the Justin Verlanders, the Miguel Cabreras and the like.
Neither team is anywhere near a playoff spot at this point as we get into the second half of the season and neither appear to be trending in a direction that would make me believe that they have the playoffs as a goal as we speak.
Many people believed for decades that the Chicago Cubs were cursed, whether it was Steve Bartman interference or any other issue here.
I would argue that we are all witness to a far truer curse, one on the New York Mets.
This weekend, the Mets put starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard on the DL with something that could only be described as a very “Mets” illness: hand, foot, and mouth disease.
For those who don’t know just what the heck hand, foot, and mouth disease is, it is an infection common in children, not adults. Naturally, it appears that he contracted it while teaching youth as part of a camp during the All-Star Break.
As I mentioned above, this feels very “Mets” like. For a team with such a promising set of relatively young arms in Matt Harvey, Syndergaard, Jacob DeGrom, Steven Matz and Zach Wheeler among their starters when the season began, it appeared that the Mets were finally over the growing pains of funky injuries that they had been suffering through over the past two seasons.
They started the season 11-1 and signs pointed to a team ready to take the next step.
Harvey fell apart quickly and soon found himself relegated to the bullpen, where he struggled even more (as if that was even possible), and he was driven out of town in a trade to the Cincinnati Reds for an oft-injured catcher in Devin Mesoraco.
The funny thing about that trade is the fact that since entering the Mets’ clubhouse, Mesoraco has been relatively healthy, perhaps the most healthy stretch of his career.
Since then, Jay Bruce, Yoenis Cespedes, Travis d’Arnauld, Todd Frazier, Juan Lagares and A.J. Ramos have all hit the DL for extended periods of time for everything from problematic heels (Cespedes) to Syndergaard’s current virus.
Just yesterday, another Met hit the DL for the season, albeit not necessarily one who would have had an impact on the major league roster.
Tim Tebow, yes, that Tim Tebow, the former Florida Gators football star and one-time starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos, is done for the season.
Tebow had been playing in Double-A Binghamton, and while his numbers weren’t earth-shattering at .273/.336/.399, they were good enough to earn him a spot in the Eastern League All-Star game. He appeared to be well on his way to making good on general manager Sandy Alderson’s suggestion that Tebow would play in the majors this season.
Tebow broke the hamate bone in his right hand, which is a carpal bone. I had to look up where the heck the hamate is located.
Oh, and the Mets went ahead this weekend and dealt closer Jeurys Famlia to the Oakland Athletics.
Does this start to sound familiar Tigers’ fans?
The Tigers have also seen their fair share of injuries and oddly-timed trades in the past couple of seasons.
As a fan of both teams, I am struggling to find reasons to watch baseball that isn’t being played locally, either by tweens and high school-aged kids or by my friends who are living out their baseball dreams in the Twilight League. Hey, at least locally, it’s fun baseball played by athletes who truly seem to enjoy the game they are playing.