Last season, two of the Mets' few bright spots were the willingness of Alex Cora and Jeff Francoeur to play with torn thumb ligaments. Cora continued to play until he tore the ligament in his other thumb and finally had to shut it down. Francoeur tore a ligament in his thumb last August while making a diving catch during the infamous Philly game that ended when he lined into an unassisted triple play, but remained in the lineup the rest of the season.
Now Francisco Rodriguez appears to have pitched Saturday with a torn ligament in his thumb, since the Mets are saying he injured his thumb in Wednesday's altercation.
Cora and Francoeur were hailed as respected team leaders last year and well into this season. But they suffered their injuries on the field, not in the family lounge.
Now Cora is gone, Francoeur's Met days appear numbered, and the team is probably going to try to void K-Rod's contract.
It was only a couple of months ago that the Mets were ten games over .500 and the team was praised for having the best chemistry in years. It's simply not true that the last few years have been uninterrupted misery. This team still has a lot of potential.
But that potential will only be realized through a renewed emphasis on the farm system, not on quick-fix free agents.
No revisionist thinking on K-Rod - everybody wanted him and when the Mets were able to get him at a much lower price than expected, Omar Minaya was praised. Carlos Beltran was also a good signing - after his first year, he has been a star when healthy. And where would the Mets be without Johan Santana?
But Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez were controversial contracts from the start, and many were skeptical of the Jason Bay signing as well. With the latest K-Rod developments, the Mets may have a lot of dead money on their hands. At least Beltran is showing signs that he may still have something left.
The most significant development today could well be that the Mets signed Matt Harvey, their first-round pick. They were willing to spend on a top Scott Boras client. But there are rumblings that the Mets may be underspending in the rest of the draft.
Harvey's deal was reportedly for $2.5M. Even if the Mets are able to void K-Rod's contract, they could be better off putting that money back into the farm system, rather than seeking the next quick fix in the free agent market.