The frustration just keeps building for Mets left fielder, Jason Bay. After slamming into the left field wall trying to catch a Jay Bruce fly ball, the outfielder had to be taken out of the game due to his second concussion in just about two years. When speaking about Bay’s health in a press conference yesterday, it was obvious that Terry Collins was concerned with his long-term health and the rest of his career.
“We’ve got to put ourselves in his shoes, and decide what we think is the best for the future. I’m certainly never going to tell Jason Bay or even suggest to Jason Bay what I think he should do, that’s not my job. My job is that when he decides to come back and play, that I get him in the lineup and I get him in a situation where he can get comfortable and he can succeed.”
This trip to the disabled list is Bay’s second stint of the year; he returned to the Mets lineup on June 8th against the Yankees after he fully healed from the fractured rib he suffered on April 24th. The concussion he suffered in July of 2010 kept Bay out of the lineup for the final two months of the season, and since he’s known as a notoriously slow healer, Collins is unsure as to when he can expect him to be back with the team, or if he will be back at all in 2012.
Collins attributes this injury to Jason because he only knows how to play one way, and that’s to play hard. There is no doubt trainers and team doctors told Jason to proceed with caution on the field, but that’s not how he plays the game, and not only can we all understand that, we should respect that. The fans booing him as he walked off the field was a despicable sight and made me disgusted to be a Mets fan. I understand that he hasn’t lived up to the expectation of his contract and while not performing well, has also not stayed healthy, but the fans have no right to boo a player that just ran into a wall to try and make a play for his team. Say what you want about Jason Bay, but the one thing that can’t be questioned about him is his heart and professionalism.
Bay is scheduled to see a doctor today in New York, after resting over the weekend. Although Collins said that he’s not fearful of Bay’s career being in jeopardy, he’s now 33 years old after suffering his second concussion. This is a point in a player’s life where he starts to put things in perspective, including what will happen after baseball. He will want to live a healthy life after he’s done playing the game and enjoy watching his three children grow up. The organization is confident that their left fielder is in good hands with the doctors they have available, so they will wait and see what the course of action is. However, it is clear that Bay will be out for a considerable amount of time. When asked if he would be lost for the year, Collins responded with, “anything’s possible.”
Get well, Jason. I would love nothing more than to see you come back completely healthy and go on an absolute tear for the remainder of your contract, effectively quieting your critics. That is being extremely optimistic, but the first step in the process is to get healthy, and that starts today. Luckily for the Mets, they have a surplus of outfielders to take his place, with a rotation between Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Andres Torres, and Scott Hairston looking likely.