While Shea Stadium may not have been the most kept-up facility in sports, ever since the New York Mets moved to Citi Field in 2009 they have been plagued by a serious infestation. It’s the kind of thing that strikes without warning and manifests itself in the same number of varieties Forrest Gump would find in his chocolate box. Of course I am talking about the dreaded Injury Bug, which has been ravenously hungry in Queens for the better part of four years.
2009 saw the team move from their home of 40+ years to a brand new and (very) spacious backyard. Maybe it was the weight of those Dominos’ Pizza-style sleeve patches; maybe their bodies even completely rejected those awful uniform additions. Whatever it was, 20 different Mets landed on the DL at some point in Citi Field’s inaugural season, including Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Carlos Delgado, who would never recover from his blown-out hip. The camel’s back was broken early, and the Mets only won 70 games that year.
In 2010 the Mets were in contention until about halfway through the season, when attitudes went south and so did players’ health. John Maine never recovered from his case of dead arm. Oliver Perez hurt he knee and apparently his brain as well. Jason Bay missed the last couple months with a concussion. But the cherry on top of this dismal sundae came in August when Francisco Rodriguez assaulted his girlfriend’s father, tore a ligament in his thumb while doing so, and missed the rest of the season. New York finished with a 79-83 record that felt a lot worse than it looked on paper.
2011 saw a new manager and general manager…neither of whom brought any extra ibuprofen. Johan Santana missed the whole season rehabbing his shoulder. Ike Davis was lost in May on a freak popup collision that snowballed into a series of misdiagnoses that even Weird Al from the “Like a Surgeon” video would cringe at. David Wright broke his back in April, tried to play through it, and eventually missed two months. Jose Reyes spent two stints on the DL. Terry Collins was able to keep the Jenga tower up for a while, but the block that brought the whole thing down came out in August when Reyes and Daniel Murphy suffered injuries on the same afternoon. Despite all the ills, the Mets still managed a 77-85 record and a sense of optimism for 2012…if the team could stay healthy. That’s a rather big “if.”
Here we are just over 30 games into 2012 and already the team’s had a year’s worth of injuries to deal with: Andres Torres, Jason Bay, Mike Pelfrey, and now Ruben Tejada and Josh Thole on consecutive days earlier this week. It appears once again Citi Field is host to this pesky Bug for (quite literally) All Seasons.
If someone could turn Dent-Be-Gone into something baseball players could use, the first bottle alone would be worth D.J. Carrasco and a player to be named later.
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