Sunday, May 07, 2006

Nothing ever goes as planned.....

..does it?
When Victor Zambrano sprinted off the mound yesterday, I sort of knew it was his elbow. A torn tendon or ligament is quite obvious to the one who has just suffered from it. And the torn tendon will sideline Victor Zambrano until the 2007 is well underway was already partially torn this season and Zambrano was pitching with it. The age old expression that a player's particular injury is "barking" has endured several generations it seems. And Zambrano's elbow had been barking for sometime, with only a chosen few in the Mets' clubhouse knowing.
These kind of things have happened for many, many years. A player wants to compete badly and even pain or the danger of career threatening circumstances will get in the way of this drive. Teammates know this need to compete and will protect the secret while providing a knowing broker to confide in. Any person who would blow the whistle on such pain-trainers, coaches alike-are kept out of the loop of the secret.
So what's done is done and here we are, with two of the five starters who left Florida now sidelined. Today the Mets send Jose Lima to the mound, a clear sentimental choice from many corners. His competitive nature and clubhouse presence will be extremely useful intangibles on this club which is playing very well. And they will play well behind him. This will be his 232nd major league start. Expect to see more of them in a Mets uniform.
There are four formative months before September comes around. Leads of 5 games over Philadelphia and 9 over Atlanta are extremely helpful here at the end of the first week of May. But with the Mets having to go into the second string of starters now in the back end of the rotation, the dominace may begin to subside somewhat. And the starting staff will have to swim on its own for awhile. A trade is always a possibility, but the price now is way, way too high to obtain a quality big league starter. It will get smaller as the deadline approaches. For the time being solutions will have to come from within.


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