No matter how grim things are looking for the Toronto Blue Jays these days, they could always be worse. All you have to do is take a look at the New York Mets and see that even the second highest payroll in baseball doesn’t always necessarily buy you a playoff spot.
The other day I was having a conversation with one of my coworkers who is a huge Mets fan, and he was telling me how Johan Santana is the latest in a long line of Metropolitans who have spent time on the DL this year. We looked into it and there have been 20 Mets in total on the disabled list in 2009, which includes six of their Opening Day starters and four of their starting pitchers.
The best explanation I’ve seen in the Mets blogosphere is that the 2009 Mets season is basically a baseball version of Final Destination which is seeking out each and every player and will eventually suck them all into the disabled list no matter what they do to try to avoid it.
So how does this relate to the Toronto Blue Jays?
Despite having a non-stop parade of injuries, the New York Mets are only ten games below five hundred. The Blue Jays have had just two of their position players suffer injuries this year (Michael Barrett and Edwin Encarnacion) yet the Mets and the Blue Jays have the exact same number of wins.
If I had to pick one poster boy for everything that has gone wrong with the Blue Jays this season, undoubtedly it would be Vernon Wells. Unless a miracle happens, Wells won’t even match his totals in home runs and RBI’s from last year (20 HR, 73 RBI) where he actually spent 51 games on the disabled list. Vernon Wells is on pace to hit only 17 home runs this year even though he’s remained healthy and will probably start somewhere in the neighbourhood of 150 games.
Aside from injuries to the starting pitchers, the Blue Jays lineup has stayed relatively healthy through 2009. Even when the starters have been sent to the DL, the replacements have either lived up to or surpassed expectations.
All of these are great positives for the Blue Jays, but the fact remains that they only have the same amount of wins as the most injury-riddled team in the MLB. As a fan, which would you rather suffer through – having your team decimated by injuries, or slowly watch your team tumble downward into the abyss of disappointment?
The Mets might have a larger payroll and the Blue Jays might have a tougher schedule, but the unfortunate truth is that the New York Mets have a light at the end of the tunnel which is much brighter than the Blue Jays.