You Lost

This is several days late, but everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we?

“You lost,” is something my friends and I will say to mock each other’s misfortunes and/or shortcomings.

It’s like:

You tripped and spilled your beer. “You lost.”

Nobody likes your shitty girlfriend. “You lost!”

You’re stuck in traffic. The doctor will see you now…two hours later. The restaurant screwed up your order. And so on. You understand how this works. So when you find out your superstar shortstop will miss up to eight weeks with a thyroid problem?

New York Mets, you lost.

Consider that Reyes played in only 36 games last season and came to training camp in excellent shape and bear in mind that the Mets 2010 motto is Prevention & Recovery season, yet Beltran and Reyes will miss Opening Day, this all days after it was reported that Jose could be back in Port St. Lucie within days.

YOU LOST.

Worse yet is the cascading effect of this injury: the team will either be forced to start the service time/option year clock on 20-year old Ruben Tejada or start Alex Cora, potentially allowing his insane two million dollar option to vest for 2011. The latter will again force Luis Castillo to (not) cover more ground up the middle, exploiting his complete inability to range left.  Most infuriating is that Omar Minaya refused to upgrade the team’s middle infield depth in an off-season when Felipe Lopez, fresh off four WAR in 2009, signed for less than Cora’s salary two weeks ago.

Mets, you really lost.

And we lost too. Mets fans will be denied the privilege of watching one of the most exciting players in baseball do his thing. What was supposed to be a new beginning will, instead, feel a lot like 2009, Game 163. Even if you’re a fan of the vigilante sort, rooting for failure to catalyze sweeping organizational changes, you’re not exempt. Massive injuries were used as an excuse last season, obscuring hideous roster construction and poor personnel decisions. Beltran and Reyes missing perhaps as many as the first six weeks of the season, reverts the team to mid-2009 form, potentially providing Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel another stay of execution.

Nobody wins here — well, except for Mike Francesa, who was able to flex his omniscience when some HIPAA-law violating doctor scooped him on Reyes’s condition last Wednesday. Oh, and maybe Phillies mongo Larry Anderson — he finally got his wish. Sorta.

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