The Mets have been devastated by injuries this season and many players are missed, no question, but the emphasis these days seems to be too much on getting by on playing .500 baseball until the injured stars have recovered from their injuries.
This attitude starts with Jerry Manuel, who has made it clear that he seems content to just be treading water at or about five games over .500 until they return.
Manuel's approach seems to be unrealistic as there is no clear timetable set for the returns of Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes, the two players being missed the most by everyone.
It is a long and grueling season and having guys go on the DL replacing guys coming off is par for the course.
Gary Sheffield and Carlos Beltran are both enduring knee pain and are being evaluated for their ability to play every day. If they cannot, the DL would be the next stop for them as well, this would really hurt the Mets and their chances of catching the Phillies.
By putting the players who are on the DL above those who are battling every game is to me a bit insulting and the Mets are not going to be a cohesive unit in that "holding the fort until the big guys return" mode.
Manuel's message does not send positive reinforcement to the guys on the field who are playing each day, injured themselves, or just plain banged up and exhausted.
Honestly, it really is starting to turn me off on this team and some of its fan base.
The burden of leading this battered and frustrated bunch is falling on David Wright, who does not seem to be feeling that great himself with obvious leg pain these days—but he will not publicly complain.
Wright is out there playing each day, even though he has been streaky during his at bats, he has been the one constant in the lineup.
He has only sat one game so far this season at Manuel's insistence, and has stepped up as clubhouse leader, doing his best to motivate his teammates to win the games no matter who is able to play on any given day.
Wright's message to his his teammates has been that injuries are a part of the game and it is not about being frustrated with the injuries, but going out there and doing their best to win the game at hand.
Everyone knows that injuries are a part of the game and they all have to deal with them, but the decision has to be made whether the level of play will suffer due to the pain and injury.
I know that I have been critical of Carlos Beltran, fairly and at times unfairly, but at this point, I do not consider him a leader, so please indulge me on a brief rant.
He is an incredible player, no doubt about it, and he does play injured. I am not questioning that fact at all. But what I do question is whether he is truly motivated to help this team each day.
I do recognize that both Saturday and Sunday he did manage a two out hit in the bottom of the ninth inning and was stranded when David Wright made the last out in both cases.
In all honesty, the only game it mattered a great deal was Saturday as Wright represented the tying run and went down swinging, but at least he did go down swinging not looking, even though the end result is the same.
I am not calling Beltran soft or anything like that, as I do not know him personally and cannot make that kind of statement.
Beltran does suffer through pain and injuries just like everyone else, but what I don't like is that he makes it public knowledge too often.
The "suffer in silence" does not seem to be his theme, which is fine, but a leader must put his teammates before himself and Beltran, in my opinion, does not convey that message.
Now that I have finished my rant, thank you very much, it's time to move on to supporting the guys who are taking the field every day and are working hard at giving their best every day.
The Mets have missed Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes more than they have missed some of their other players because they are considered to be core leaders.
David Wright and Carlos Beltran have more pressure on them now more than ever with the absences of Delgado and Reyes.
Many players are being given opportunities to play every day at unfamiliar positions and they are doing their best and do not need to be booed or ridiculed for making mistakes, physical or mental.
Mistakes and errors are frustrating, but a part of the game, they are only human, not robots that fans can program.
If Carlos Beltran does need to go on the DL for his knee, which I hope is not the case, the full burden will be on Wright to keep this team afloat until Delgado and Reyes return—if they return at all.
Please support Wright and the others who are battling on the field every day and try to find the positives in what they are doing, win or lose.