Thursday, January 14, 2010

Let's Not Blow Things Out Of Proportion

  • In context, the Carlos Beltran surgery isn't that big of a deal:

Amid the onslaught still bombarding the entire Mets organization from the front office to the medical staff, it's ignored that the reality of the situation is only seen as being so horrific because it's the Mets and due to what happened last year.

Most of the criticism of the organization is coming from those that are invested in the Mets struggles----Yankees and Phillies fans----or those that are looking for ways to tear into the club based on their own agendas. Those agendas could include anything from not having the imagination or mental acuity to find things to write and talk about during the lull of January; because they dislike the way Omar Minaya runs the club; or they're simply mean-spirited with no basis in fact.

Taking the situation as it is without looking at this latest medical mishap as part of a greater calamity reveals that the Beltran surgery is not that big of a deal.

Given the way the "Injury Expert" on Twitter came out with his cryptic: "Big news pending for mets. Doesn't sound good," it's natural that the whole thing turned into a frenzy. Without anything further coming from anyone for the better part of an hour, the rumor mill started cranking.

Beltran had microfracture surgery and is out for the year.

The club knew nothing about the surgery.

Mets forced Beltran to play through the initial injury in 2009.

It went on and on.

The Mets and their fans, sensitive to the criticism; battered by the inferences of ineptitude and the reality of the series of ludicrous injuries to every one of their stars in 2009, were bombarded with laughter and ridicule.

When the real news finally came out (and is still coming out as we speak), it's turned out to be something that isn't all that bad if it's taken as it should----as one incident rather than part of a whole series of disasters.

The surgery was done to clean out an arthritic area of Beltran's Story----the same knee that cost him half the season in 2009. Beltran, having returned late in the season and resumed preparations for 2010 in the Fall and Winter, began having pain again.

The Mets were not on-board with him having surgery, but it's not as if he went to Dr. Nick Riviera ("Hi, everybody!!!) from The Simpsons to get the surgery done with a rusty screwdriver and rubber mallet. Dr. Richard Steadman is a pioneer in this type of surgery and the injury issues that have hampered Beltran.

After the widespread panic that multiplied like an internet-exacerbated strain of a virus, the actual facts were a relief to any person with some shred of human decency <insert your Philadelphia fan, fact-based joke here>.

Out for 12 weeks? Possibly back by mid-April? At worst, May? Is this bad news? To me, this is great news considering the very real prospect of Beltran being out for the entire season was floating around for over an hour led by irresponsible word-of-mouth.

As for the criticism of the Mets and their medical staff, there are reasons to cast a jaundiced eye on the way things have gone down in the past two years from Ryan Church's concussions onward; but this is the same training/medical staff that catered to one of the healthiest teams in baseball from 2006-2008. Because they had a series of nightmarish/freakish injuries in 2009 is no reason to treat the entire staff and front office as if they're a callous and cold-blooded crew of incompetents that have no concern whatsoever for the welfare of their players. Such an idea is so nonsensical if for no other reason than it would behove them to have their players healthy and on the field for team/financial purposes.

Is this a continuing trend of hellish lightning bolts? Or is it one instance that should be taken for what it is rather than as a portion from a greater smorgasbord of torment? Angel Pagan can handle the position on a short-term basis. Despite his penchant for rockhead maneuvers in the field and on the bases, he can hit, run and play the outfield; the Mets will survive without Beltran for a month. In fact, Pagan looked great for stretches last year with a quick bat and surprising pop.

Given how for an hour and due to the self-serving dropping of bombshells and rumor mongering, everyone thought Beltran was out for the year and such turned to not be the case, this is great news; and if it helps Beltran play at or close to his best, will anyone even remember this? Of course not.

This is all piling on of the Mets for the sake of comedy and convenience.

And it's enough already.

  • Viewer Mail 1.14.2010:

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE revenue sharing:

If I were a big market team having to fork over millions to small market teams in revenue sharing, I'd want to see where my money was going. Nothing wrong with that. I feel the same way about the government's bailout money!

I don't see why it's an issue if the team receiving the money is successful in what they're doing; and I don't believe that the bigger market teams should have a say in what the lower-level clubs are doing with the revenue sharing money. Are they supposed to dictate to the Marlins which players they're supposed to keep or trade? I'm waiting for an explanation as to how that works; and if the Marlins do start spending more lavishly, then how good are they going to be? The rest of the league is going to regret stirring up this hornet's nest.

Gabriel (Capo) writes RE the Marlins:

Interesting opinion on Rose. As for the Marlins, maybe there's an agreement on how the money it's supposed to be spent and the Marlins are violating it because they're very smart. Other than that, it's an invasion. Revenue sharing gives the club the right to spend it wherever they like to improve their club, as big market teams can do. If the Marlins feel healthy finances are going to help them to win because they have the players covered, then leave them alone.

The only thing I can come up with on this issue is that there's an in-writing agreement as to how the money is spent. Perhaps it's sort of like government grants that revert back to the government if they're not spent by a certain date; rather than give it back, the beneficiary of said grants just spends it on something----doesn't matter what. To me, that's worse than then using the money to pay down a debt or even buy a nice coat.

Jeff (Underboss) at Red State Blue State writes RE the Marins:

I'll have to read over that NYT article, because I'm shocked that the league would scold a team like the Marlins for being savvy and competitive. Since their inception, I have always enjoyed watching the Marlins clubs because they're frequently young, fresh and exciting -- a bunch of young fellas intent on establishing themselves as real deal Major Leaguers.

So, given all that... why don't they have any fans? If I were the Marlins front office, I'd take that extra money and go do some marketing, to get butts in the stadium. I'm always saddened by the "crowd" shots in Miami. You know, the ones with no crowd.

Part of the lack of appeal of the team in Florida is that there's almost always a threat of rain in Florida; maybe people don't want to sit though a 3-hour game and a 1 1/2-hour rain delay every night. Florida is also a notorious football town. The combination of the NFL and NCAA reduces baseball to something they'll pay attention to when the team is contending or actually in the playoffs. Aside from that, they don't even bother. There's always something else to do in Miami.

Mike at The Brooklyn Trolley Blogger responds similarly to Jeff's comment:

They don't show up to games out there because one, it's too hot and two, the chances of rain are good, and three, not much outside of the Dolphins and U.Miami really moves them. The Panthers are drawing from transplanted NYers. I'm there too often, there's a lot of apathy for their baseball team in SoFlo.

I was surprised that they never tried to move the franchise through all the years of failed attempts to get a new ballpark. We'll see what happens when the new stadium is up.

  • My Podcast appearance:

I was again a guest of Sal Cartusciello on his excellently run site SportsFanBuzz yesterday. We discussed Mark McGwire, the Hall of Fame voting and the moves and non-moves from this winter. You can listen on the SportsFanBuzz site.

And here's the direct link----The Prince on SportsFanBuzz.

In the appearance, I'm my normal shy and reserved self.




Jeff said...

The podcast was great. I like listening to it at work. Go there, Prince!

As for the Mets... this all blew by me unawares. I'm glad I know about it now, and for your sake, that it ain't that bad. Queens might sink if the Mets have another injury infected season.

Anonymous said...

Today is my lucky day :)
Apple is giving review copies of iPad to 100 lucky person. Go to and apply for it.