It’s been a rough few days for the New York Mets. For those of you who haven’t been following, here’s a recap.
Friday: It was revealed that a former Mets’ clubhouse assistant and batboy plead guilty to to dozens of athletes during a ten-year period (1995-2005). Kirk Randomski was still a teenager when he became a Mets employee in 1985 and left the organization ten years later to start his new “business”. Umpbumper Sarah had more details in a previous post. While Randomski was no longer an employee of the Mets during the period in question, this obviously does not reflect well on the team. At this point, it is certainly unfair to start pointing fingers at specific players who called Shea home in the early nineties, but it does pose questions as to how Ramdomski became involved with the illegal substances in the first place. Besides, even if it were true that players within the organization were using steroids at the time, it apparently was not very effective.
Also on Friday, GM Omar Minaya announced that AAA prospect Lastings Milledge would be out four to six weeks with sprained ligaments in his right foot.
Saturday: Second baseman Jose Valentin left the game in the fourth inning with a knee injury. Valentin had been covering second base on a stolen base attempt an inning earlier when he felt something “pop” in his knee.
Sunday: Call it aging, call it bad luck. Whatever the reason, Orlando Hernandez flew back to New York early to undergo an MRI on his shoulder.
Monday: Both Valentin and El Duque hit the DL, and it doesn’t appear they’ll be back very soon. Valentin partially tore his ACL and Hernandez was diagnosed with bursitis in his pitching shoulder.
With El Duque on the shelf, the Mets call up a lost cause from their AAA affiliate in New Orleans, Mr. Chan Ho Park, who predictably got shelled. It was curious that the Mets called on Park to take Hernandez’s spot in the rotation, seeing as Jorge Sosa, Jason Vargas, and Phil Humber are also down in New Orleans. While it was true that Vargas and Humber had pitched a couple of days earlier and were thus unavailable, Jorge Sosa, who had been pitching well thus far (4-0, 1.13 ERA), could have possibly been held out from his scheduled start on Sunday once it seemed highly unlikely that El Duque would be ready to go. Sosa pitched anyway, thus leaving Park as the only real option. Snafu. Regardless, the fact that Jorge Sosa was probably their best option says something about the Mets’ pitching depth.
To cap it off, Moises Alou injures his right shoulder crashing into the outfield wall on Monday as well. He will undergo an MRI in the coming days.
All in all, the past four days have brought upon the Mets four injuries, a steroids inquiry (Randomski has agreed to cooperate with the federal investigation into steroid usage in sports), and possibly worst of all, a Chan Ho Park outing. While the Mets have the talent (i.e. resources) to play through these coming games without two starting position players and their #2 starting pitcher, the Braves (who are also dealing with an injury to Bob Wickman) will have an opportunity to increase their lead in the NL East.
And I’m spent.