Thursday, August 11, 2005

All Losses Are Not Created Equal

Life was going so swimmingly.

Even though the score was tied at one, there was reason to be optimistic the way Tom Glavine was pitching (and hitting). The Mets were right in the thick of the series and seemed poised to make a statement on the road.

Then it happened.

Pinch hitter David Ross sent a looping liner into right center in the bottom of the seventh. As usual, I pick the most in-opportune moment to be in the other room as I faintly hear Ted Robinson and Fran Healy sounding eerily like Herb Morrison, so I ran to see the aftermath. Sure enough, there's two thirds of the outfield squirming around on the right-center field grass.

Oh the humanity.

I remember a game on June 5th, 1987. Going into the game it was known as Dwight Gooden's first game back from his infamous drug rehabilitation. After the game, it will forever be known as the game with the most horrific collision I had ever seen. Left fielder Mookie Wilson and center fielder Lenny Dykstra went after a Sid Bream screamer to left center with the bases loaded. Wilson and Dykstra got to the ball full speed at the same time, and with Dykstra's mouth wide open, their faces collided with such ferocity that all you saw were arms and legs flying around like helicopter propellers. Even from my perch in right field I could see how scary that collision was. Amazingly, Mookie caught that ball.

This one was worse.

Thankfully, both Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron are conscious, and have use of all of their limbs after their heads collided at full speed as the both left their feet going after the ball.

And this just in: Cameron has fractures in both cheekbones, a broken nose, a slight concussion, and a cut lip. He has already been put on the disabled list according to ESPN. The fact that his concussion was only slight is a miracle. I'm surprised that both players don't have concusssions.

Concussions are no joke. Just ask athletes like Pat Lafontaine and Steve Young, who were forced to retire because of multiple concussions. Ask Eric Lindros, who should be in the midst of a hall of fame career with all of his talent, but multiple concussions have slowed him down. Obviously, Cameron plays a sport that isn't a contact sport to the extent of ice hockey or football. But what if Cameron slams his head on an outfield wall going after a fly ball? What if Cameron takes a knee to the head sliding into second? What if he gets beaned in the head? The bottom line for Cameron is this: once you get your first concussion, it's easier to get a second and a third one...and they get easier with each concussion you get, until you get put on the shelf for two months after tripping on your shoelaces. It's not an impossible road for Cameron to come back from, but it will be dicey.

***

I've always thought of Cliff Floyd as a baseball warrior, and today proved it. Floyd certainly didn't have to remain in the game after he was hit in the knee by an Akinori Otsuka pitch (and after the Mets lost two outfielders, it would have been nice to see a Met fastball plunk a Padre in the ribs that next half inning, but that's just me). But after losing two outfielders, there was no way Floyd was coming out. He deserves all the credit in the world for staying in the game and playing through some gut wrenching pain.

***

The end result was a 2-1 loss to San Diego, as Joe Randa (who else?) drove David Ross home with a single in the seventh two batters after the collision. The end result of this loss (Cammy on the shelf, and whatever effects Beltran and Floyd feel) will no doubt be felt for the rest of the season.

16 comments:

Joe said...

Not that I'm about to completely pack my bags on this season, but don't you get the feeling we will look back at this game at the end of the season and say this was the point that everything really slipped away? Don't get me wrong, maybe they call up Diaz and he goes on a monster tear and becomes the offense force that they need. I hope so! We've had some pretty tough losses this year that we keep bouncing back from, but after that collision, this one REALLY takes the wind out of the sails.

I just hope they can respond and get mentally into it after that.

My vote for the hate list is for Joe Randa to have the entire thing tomorrow, and then stay in the number 5 spot for the rest of the season. That cold bastard.

Metstradamus said...

Joe,

I feel the same way. As Cameron was carted away my first thought was "there goes the season."

And on Randa...it's like you were reading my mind.

metswalkoffs said...

Scariest collision I saw was Terry Blocker and Danny Heep in 1985...basically finished Blocker's tenure as a Met (and gave Terry Pendleton an inside-the park grand slam).

Metstradamus said...

I remember that! Wasn't that the second game of a double-header? I vaguely remember being there, and leaving early for some reason (which was probably unacceptable), and that play being the first play I saw as I came home. Yup, that was a bad one.

Mets Guy in Michigan said...

What a horible sight! Let's keep Cam in our prayers, be grateful that Beltran wasn't hurt worse and see what Diaz can do.

pj said...

there's no way akinori was throwing at Cliff.

2 reasons:

1. you would have to be an inhuman bastard to bean the third starting outfielder when the other two were just carted off the field (and I don't think he is)

2. the mets were only down 1 run, so that puts the winning run on first with David Wright coming up. He's just the kid who knocked in 6 runs against them the day before.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Mets can rally around this and use it as fuel to play the rest of the season with a chip on their shoulder. I think this was already a pretty tight night group to begin with, but as an optomist i hope this and diaz gives 'em some spark as opposed to somberly dragging through the last two months.

Shari said...

Actually before this collison the worst thing I ever saw was when Pittsburgh catcher Ed Ott slid into Fleix Millian at 2nd base, Felix said something to Ott, and Ott picked him up and body slammed him over 2nd base on live TV. I haven't been this horrified since then until I saw the Cameron/Beltran collision.
I was too young to remember the Stork and Don Hahn.

Metstradamus said...

P.J.

Believe it or not, I don't think Otsuka was throwing at Floyd either.

But I do think it would have been nice to throw at someone...it would have served two purposes:

1. You protect Cliff Floyd
2. You metaphorically pick yourself off the deck and dust yourself off after the horrid collision.

The Mets have been waaaaaaay too passive since, well, since the Clemens incident. I don't necessarily think that Piazza was wrong in not charging Clemens after the bat incident, but in general, the Mets have shown an aversion to protect their hitters. In 2001 or 2002, the Rockies threw at Timo Perez twice and Jay Payton once in 24 hours before the Mets did anything about it. That was sickening...and it doesn't matter to me if Timo was the least popular Met in the room, he's still one of yours, and you protect him. Braden Looper hitting J.D. Closser in 2004, on the other hand, was a spectacular show of unity.

It's too bad the Mets don't see the Padres again this season.

Shari, what year was that Ed Ott play? Ott vs. Millan sounds like a bulldog tossing around a lizard. It sounds like it was between 75-78, which is just out of my memory range.

pj said...

Metsra-D,

I agree that the Mets pitchers don't stick up for their players enough. Roy Oswalt should be walking with a limp. You can't throw at the Pods in this case b/c

1. it was an accident and you don't give payback for a mistake

2. what if the Padres charge the mound? can you imagine all the emotion and rage that could come out of the Mets players? What happens if D-Wright goes mental and
a. gets suspended
b. gets hurt
c. kills someone with a trident

I think Willie had enough of the beanball wars while he was with the Uptown Skanks. Pedro isn't hitting anybody anymore and I think it is b/c he's been told not to.

Metstradamus said...

PJ,

I just read that Bochy swore up and down that it was an accident and Willie Randolph trusts him on that.

And if David kills someone with a trident, I hope he uses the good sense not to use the batting practice trident, which we all know is corked...you know, for the fans.

If Wright uses a legal trident to kill someone, then Selig goes lenient on his suspension. If the trident is corked, then you're talking a 20 game ban...and the Mets don't need that.

(P.S. Anyone who uses an "Anchorman" reference gets points in my book. Good job, PJ.)

Shari said...

Hi Metsradamus- I believe that incident occured in 1977-it ended his career.
He ended up playing a few years in Japan and that was it.

Metstradamus said...

Thanks Shari! Even though my first game was 1976 (and I do remember it was Tom Seaver pitching against the Reds), my first real memories of baseball didn't occur until 1979...going to nine games at Shea (the Mets went, you guessed it: 0-9), celebrating after the Mets won the last three games of the season to NOT lose 100 games (it was actually the last six, but I remember listening to those last three games on the radio...were they in St. Louis?) and '79 was the first World Series I ever really sat down and watched...which in retrospect is a relief. If it was 1978, I may have swore off baseball forever.

Shari said...

Hi Metradamus- I'm not that far ahead of you-my first game was a sunday doubleheader (remember those?) in June of 1977. I got Nino Espinosa's autograph on the bill of my cap which I still have.
My grandfather and father walked right up to the ticket window theday of the game and got field level seats right on the 3rd base line. There were onlt 1,000 people in attendance that day.
I remember being completely horrified by the Ott-Millian thing.

I just heard on the FAN that Cameron will need surgery and Beltran has a concusion and a slight facial fracture.

Metstradamus said...

I just heard the same thing on ESPN on Cammy and Beltran. There's no flippin way that either one could have escaped that without a concussion. Just awful.

pj said...

p.s.

is it really that much of an imposition to throw four intentional balls that you would risk having Cliff Floyd beat the shyte out of you?

Only Oswalt is that dumb!