Hope this is ok…

 

I’m trying to figure out what caused the current curse that is clearly responsible for the rash of injuries that have decimated the Mets’ season.  To do so, I’m going to rehash our team’s history from 2005 through present, specifically with regard to injuries, luck (or lack thereof), and karma.

Following the end of the Met’s dreadful Steve Phillips/Art Howe era, Omar Minaya took over in 2005 to create ‘The New Mets,’ and pushed really hard to change the perception of the Mets as NYC’s second-banana baseball team.  To do so, Minaya signed Pedro and Beltran, unveiled the official breakout seasons of Reyes and Wright, and benefitted from the last productive years by Cliff Floyd and Mike Piazza, all under new manager Willie Randolph (‘a real winner’…aka a Yankee). 

With that momentum of legitimacy, Minaya went all-in in 2006, signing Delgado, Wagner, and Lo Duca.  And in 2006 the Mets were AWESOME.  They had the division wrapped up in June.  It was a truly magical time, when a talented and fun-to-watch team helped capture the hearts and minds of thousands of bandwagon fans.  The feeling was captured in song with this timeless anthem . 

 

But it was in the second half of 2006 when the symptoms of the current injury curse began.  It had the same freakish qualities of this year’s pandemic…Pedro slipped in the bathroom and injured his hip, knocking him out for the next calendar year, and Duaner Sanchez got in a freak taxi accident, prompting the Mets to trade (cheap and excellent) RF Xavier Nady to the Pirates for (head-case) Oliver Perez and replacement set-up man Roberto Hernandez.  They also picked up washed-up RF Shawn Green, who didn’t do anything but provide Steve ‘the Shmooze’ Somers the opportunity to speak in Yiddish more often on WFAN.  And of course, just as the playoffs were set to begin, Orlando Hernandez was knocked out of commission with a bum leg…because he was 72 (American) years old (only 34 in Cuban years).

So the Mets finished the rest of the season respectably, but a bunch of the pieces that caused them to be so dominant early on were gone.  The year’s final series, with the Cardinals, was epic and heartbreaking.  NO ONE imagined we could lose Game 7 after the Endy Chavez catch (which ranks among the most memorable epic sports moments that ultimately didn’t matter) and Beltran at the plate with bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th.  People seem to forget that our playoff rotation was Tom Glavine, rookie John Maine, and crazy Oliver Perez.  Imagine it had been Pedro, Glavine, and playoff assassin El Duque?  No question we would’ve beaten the Cardinals, and then the Tigers in the World Series. 

I don’t need to go into the details of the last two seasons’ collapses, but they have been travesties, and last year’s Ryan Church concussions + this year’s DL explosion have really been spooky.  If I were Johan Santana, David Wright, and K-Rod, I’d spend every off-field second in body armor a la ‘Project Grizzly.’

 

Looking back again to 2005, I think this curse can be attributed to Mike Cameron.  Remember in ’05 when Beltran and Mike Cameron, two natural center fielders sharing the same outfield, smashed faces at like 20 MPH and Beltran somehow walked away fine and Cameron had to get a new skull, with the Mets releasing him as soon as the season ended? 

Watch Here:  N.S.F. ANYWHERE

Well right now, Cameron’s having a great season for the somehow good Brewers, while nearly every Mets All-Star since that day is currently on the DL.  It’s a simple case of karmic payback. 

 

So how do we fix it?  Re-sign Mike Cameron and let him smash Beltran’s face?  Re-sign Kris Benson so Cameron can have a shot at Anna?   Who knows.  In the meantime, try to have a good Summer.  I’ll be waiting eagerly for football season to start.

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