Hero One Day, Hobbled The Next. Thanks, WBC

Reason 1,003 why the WBC is a real piss taker: the Mets' finest young infield talent with an IQ over 12 (thereby disqualifying a certain shortstop who shall remain nameless) not only fouls a pitch off his foot in the first inning thereby bruising his big toe and cracking the nail on it, but visibly limps back to his position at third base at the end of the inning.

Now, if you're a Mets manager lording over a meaningless Spring Training exhibition game in a steady downpour, undoubtedly, for safety's sake alone and considering the MEANINGLESSNESS of the an international exhibition game, you would undoubtedly, immediately remove David Wright from the game and stick some other flunky out there to take his place like Potato Head Tatis or in the case of the USA, Brian McCann, even if he is a reserve catcher because I dunno, not only is it only the WBC but the bloody game is for seeding purposes only, USA have already qualified for the next round...

But apparently if you're the USA manager, or in the instant case a former Mets manager who perhaps isn't interested in some other Met team making it to the World Series and stealing the distinction and honour of being the last Mets manager to lead the Mets to a World Championship, you leave Wright out there.

You don't even bother with the simple concern of sending a trainer out to look at him and make sure he isn't running around on, like a broken foot because Wright is like that, giddy with the excitement of being a professional baseball player and he's going to say he's ok and go out there and play even if he's got a double compound fracture of his leg, innit?

I mean Davey boy, a few days ago you cared so little about this stupid tournament you skipped the first inning or two of a game to go chicken dancing at your stepson's wedding for crissakes. Now you're going to leave Wright hanging out there with half a foot in the pouring rain? You could've put a crash test dummy out there to play third base, the Venezuelans rang up 6 runs in the 2nd inning alone, did it really matter?

And not just for one inning, mind. You leave him in there the entire bloody game in the rain, on a mucky pitch and with the game already over for all intents and purposes, by the 2nd inning. For fuck's sake, if you can throw Jeremy Guthrie out there as you're starting pitcher surely you're not taking winning the game seriously anyway, are you now? What do you need a qualified third baseman for?

We're supposed to be grateful or "relieved" that Wright's toe isn't broken. Grateful or relieved that the idiocy of a manager playing an obviously injured player for the purposes of a meaningless international exhibition game in the pouring rain didn't cause some sort of permanent injury...yet.

Before getting the X-Ray results, Wright acknowledged that he wondered if he had broken his toe. If Wright had done the same thing in spring training, he said that he probably would have left the game. But, if Wright had done it during the regular season, he said that he would have continued playing.

And if he'd done it in the World Series he'd have continued playing as well. Bully for him. Problem is, IT'S A MEANINGLESS INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION GAME (yeah, yeah, barking dog, we get it already...)

I dunno. I dunno how it is that Jerry Manuel hasn't burst a cerebral aneurysm yet watching the growing possibility of the season going down in flames before it even officially begins. One can only imagine he is being silently apoplectic.

You know, they called it "celebrating" but when you look at this picture closely and you consider that two of the three guys who are jumping up and down and all over David Wright are members of hated rivals perhaps Derek Jeter and Shane Victorino were using the cover of a faux celebration to try and injure David...


And hang on, kids - if you thought playing Wright in a meaningless game in the pouring rain with what could have been a broken toe was crazy, how about this mufungo manager for Venezuela, this chimp named Luis Sojo whose sole purpose in this "classic" appears to be to burn out the Mets' new star closer before the end of March, sticking K-Rod out there for an inning of "closing" work in the 9th with a four run lead??!

That's three saves in five days. That's 21 more pitches he won't have in his arm come September. Actually, it also means he has thrown 63 pitches across 3 2/3 innings since last Saturday. Why not just make him Venezuela's starting pitcher for their next game, Luis, pinche idiota!


Ok, well if you erase this cataclysmic cock up from your mind and focus on happy thoughts, you will see that at least one of Omar's wild guesses appears to be panning out.

Livan Hernandez, understandable a source of mild ridicule when first inked, is looking, (relatively speaking in this landscape of starting pitching carcasses at any rate,) a little like he could stick in the rotation. Against the Braves yesterday he allowed five hits and one run in five innings, struck out three and did not walk a batter.

Of course with Ollie Perez getting a month's worth of work in one meaningless international exhibition game for Mexico which we can only assume will lead to early fatigue or injury this season, with Big Pelf reduced to getting excited about a decent performance against the Class AAA Washington Nationals without injuring his leg further and with John Maine still dodgy this Spring after shaving a bone spur in the back of his right shoulder, Livan is basically one twitchy Johan elbow from becoming the de facto ace of the staff.


You know what's funny? That the Nats can afford the $2 million price tag of a top notch lefty set-up guy like Joe Beimel but the Mets, with Pedro Feliciano being the only lefty in the entire bloody bullpen, can't. Or say they can't. Or won't.

And why should they indeed! What use does the Mets bullpen have for a lefty who was 5-1 with a 2.02 ERA in 71 appearances for the Dodgers last year?

I know! They're saving up their zlotys to Shawn Hill as yet another palooka fifth starter candidate.



katherine said...

I think you're missing the point. Has it not occurred to you that the WBC tournament might be BETTER than the regular season? This might be the only enjoyment you get from baseball all year? Did you notice the last two seasons were more pain than pleasure? Wasn't it you, Jaap, who scheduled in advance a "World Series trip" to NY in October?

Maybe the final round of the WBC will be the only championship games Mets play in this year. And now you are missing out on the fun of it by being such a curmudgeon!

Jaap said...

As far as I'm concerned Katherine, whilst I recognise your enthusiasm for the WBC, this is a Mickey Mouse enterprise that has to date, primarily resulting in dodgy managerial decisions about the use of Mets players which could jeopardise the Mets season before it even begins.

Yes, the Mets have been very disappointing the last two seasons but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy those seasons (bar the last two Septembers, of course) nor does it mean I would prefer some surrogate success via a team with a few Mets players winning the WBC.

When I watch the WBC I find it difficult not to compare it to the World Cup (football/soccer) which, unlike the WBC, is a full blown, exciting tournament the entire world (bar perhaps America) sates itself with for a month's time and in which ALL of the best players not only play in, but relish the opportunity to play in.

The WBC will not be the enjoyment I get from baseball all year - this isn't the Mets, it's a handful of Mets (disproportionately represented compared to other MLB teams, I would hasten to add).

As far as I'm concerned, the WBC is something to be tolerated and something to watch with the hope that the Mets come out of it unscathed, an unnecessary and dangerous exercise at the onset of an otherwise promising season ahead.

So I'm afraid we will have to agree to disagree. I hope some day they will schedule the WBC in a more realistic time slot, say after the season is over, as they do with the World Cup, and I do think some day the WBC will be worth watching. I just don't think we're quite there yet, sorry.