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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Imagine if Mets had Yankee-style injuries

A pitcher pitches an inning with a broken elbow. Another pitcher suffers a gruesome injury jumping on a trampoline. A third pitcher, traded for the team's top prospect, goes on the DL. Sounds like the Mets. But it's the Yankees.

The Mets have a well-deserved reputation for screwing up medical matters, but the Yankees have had their own woes lately.  The difference is that nobody is saying "Same old Yankees." Not yet, anyway.

On  Saturday, Cesar Cabral, who was on track to win a job in the Yankees bullpen, pitched an inning with a broken elbow. Now he's on the 60-day DL.

In 2009, Jon Niese appeared to injure his hamstring making a play at first. The crack Met medical team decided to let him try a practice pitch. I still cringe at the sight of Niese crumpling to the ground, now with a completely torn hamstring. 

If Cabral had been a Met, we probably would have had photoshopped pictures of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail on the mound in a Met uniform while Met trainers agree with him that the loss of his arms and legs is "just a flesh wound."

After missing most of last season, former Met phenom Ike Davis has seen his comeback complicated by something called Valley Fever. The general reaction? Only the Mets could have a player come down with a disease most people have never heard of.

After missing most of last season, former Yankee phenom Joba Chamberlain has seen his comeback complicated by an injury caused by jumping on a trampoline. The general reaction? What a good dad!

When the Mets traded top prospect Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, they were accused of negligence in failing to realize that Zambrano had a damaged arm.

When the Yankees traded top prospect Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda, manager Joe Girardi described it as "great news" when an MRI showed only shoulder tendinitis.

When reporters noted that Phil Hughes was also diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis last year, and he missed three months and finished the season with a 5.79 ERA, here was Girardi's response:

"They both got tendinitis, but I wouldn't necessarily say they're similar [injuries]," Girardi said. "There's a lot of parts to that shoulder."

Girardi's rationalizing about Pineda's injury reminds me of how some people said that Johan Santana would make it back faster than Chien-Ming Wang and others who had the same injury because all injuries are different.

Of course, all injuries are different. Pineda might miss much less time than Hughes.

Or he might miss more time.

It's way too early to judge the Pineda-Montero trade. And unlike the Kazmir debacle, this trade looked like a good deal for the New York team, or at least a fair deal, depending on how upset one was to see Montero go.
 
But it's fair to say that the trade could look better as of now. And it's fair to say that Mets are no longer alone when it comes to medical misadventures.

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