One of my favorite bad movies is Road House where Patrick Swayze plays a bouncer brought in to clean up a particularly rough bar. There’s one scene where he’s on the phone with his pal, who asks him how things are going.
Pal: You having trouble?
Swayze: Oh, you know – nothing I’m not used to. But it’s amazing what you can get used to.
I was reminded of that scene when I was thinking about the injured Mets. After the horror of 2009 and a sequel that was nearly as bad in terms of injuries, it’s amazing what we are used to here in 2011. The Mets have six players on the DL and it doesn’t seem so bad. And not six scrubs. These guys have combined for 10 All-Star appearances. And none of those are coming from Ike Davis, who was the club’s top hitter when he hit the shelf.
The New York Post tracks every team’s disabled list and we can see that the Mets are not the worst off in terms of sheer bodies injured. The Rangers have 10 players and the Dodgers have eight. But the Dodgers have stars like Blake Hawksworth, Marcus Thames and Hector Gimenez out while the Rangers have stalwarts like Darren O’Day, Eric Hurley and Mason Tobin among their list.
To be fair, the Rangers are also missing their entire starting outfield, so I don’t want to totally dismiss their injuries. But the weak link on the Mets’ injured list is the guy they were counting on to be their eighth-inning reliever this year.
Hopefully, the three position players – Davis, Angel Pagan and David Wright – can come back and be contributors to the lineup sometime in June. And then Johan Santana comes back sometime in July. Because I would really like to see what this team could do at full strength.
Since starting the year 5-13, the Mets have gone 16-9 (.640) in their last 25 games. Yet this seems to have slipped by unnoticed by most people, even though a .640 pace over 162 games would mean 104 wins. The Mets, quite simply, are an afterthought.
But the Mets have a chance to take center stage with a strong showing this weekend against the Yankees. A three-game winning streak has the Yankees record at 23-19. However, the buzz around the Yankees so far has more to do with controversy than actually winning ball games.
A series win in the Bronx would add legitimacy to the Mets strong play and undoubtedly add to the Yankees’ soap opera. And most of all it gives a team bragging rights for the town.
After Brad Wesley, the bad guy, was shot in Road House, the guys who stood up to Wesley reminded him it was their town after all.
Now that would be something to get used to.