Monday, August 26, 2013

The Endless Malaise

Without sounding too defeatist, a rather mundane Monday afternoon in the office turned completely morose at around 3:15pm when Evan Roberts on WFAN made an announcement about Matt Harvey going for an MRI. Almost immediately thereafter, Mike Francesa called in to WFAN to report that Harvey had an elbow injury and started throwing around words like "Tear," "UCL," "Surgery" and "Press Conference." A combination of words that served to ruin every Mets fan's day.

Ultimately, the Alderson/Collins/Harvey Press Conference didn't shed much light on just how severe Harvey's elbow injury is, but the funereal attitude all three men seemed to take didn't inspire much in the way of confidence that we'd see Harvey back on the mound anytime soon.

The game going on right now seems sort of secondary to this news, even with Zack Wheeler, who was supposed to be Harvey's partner in crime as the Mets returned to prominence, on the mound. I suppose I'm still trying to wrap my head around this whole thing, so if this seems a bit disjointed, I apologize. The prevailing thought I keep having is something to the effect of "Why the hell does this shit keep happening to us?"

It's a bad attitude to have, and injuries can crop up for any team at any time without any sort of warning. You can protect and baby young pitchers all you want and sometimes that major elbow injury always seems to happen. It's not just the Mets that these sort of things happen to. You could read a laundry list of great pitchers who were coddled and still ended up hurt, from Stephen Strasburg, to Adam Wainwright, to Josh Johnson and so on.

The reason I, and probably 95% of all Mets fans keep thinking about this always happening to the Mets is because we've lived through the past 5 years. We've seen the horror of continual injuries to key players, and misdiagnoses, and lack of communication, and with Matt Harvey now the latest to take the fall, that feeling is beginning to come to a head. When is enough enough?! Being a Mets fan hasn't exactly been a joyride these past 5 years. Do I have to rattle off the names? Remember Carlos Delgado? Jose Reyes? Carlos Beltran? Johan Santana? Shit, Ryan Church wasn't even that good and he got snowballed as bad as anyone. Even David Wright hasn't been immune. In the blink of an eye, the Mets went from one inning away from the World Series to a comic laughingstock of epic proportion. And now, just as it appeared the team was right on the precipice of returning to respectability, this happens. What. The. Fuck.

The hope now is that Harvey, who has already shown an incredible work ethic and desire to be the best, can use this to his advantage as he rehabilitates. The fear is that he turns into another Bill Pulsipher and we're left holding our jocks again. I'm sorry I had to be the one to say that, but I can't have been the only one who thought it. I have to keep reminding myself that whatever this injury is, it's not anyone's particular fault. The Mets took as much care of Matt Harvey and his arm as you could possibly expect them to. These injuries just happen sometimes, whether you guard against it or not. And as bad as it seems, it's not going to end Harvey's career. It will delay it, but not end it.
This injury is going to throw a real shitburger into the optimism for 2014, but considering the boatload of young, talented arms the Mets have stockpiled, maybe someone else will have the opportunity to step up and prove themselves. The fact is that, yes, while 2014 was supposed to be The Year that the worm was going to turn for the Mets, it probably wasn't going to end in a World Series Championship unless the team caught lightning in a bottle and the planets aligned. Yes, it was possible. Yes, it was also unlikely. Yes, 2015 might have been a better bet. But this injury, if it's as bad as everyone fears (and it probably is), certainly means 2014 isn't going to be that magical year for the Mets and we won't see Harvey back again until 2015. You know, assuming that Cortisone Shot Ramirez or any of his Jerry Lewis Lookalike assistants don't cajole him into delaying a necessary operation for too long.

I don't know. I'd like to close with some kind of silver lining, but I don't know if I can come up with one right now. Can anyone?

No comments: