Yankees Set The Bar High With Injuries While Mets Don’t Have A Bar

James Kaprielian Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
James Kaprielian Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Yankees fans, the die-hard kind, can look across the Whitestone Bridge with glee at the latest Mets debacle surrounding their handling of injuries. But it’s a sad day for all of baseball when mismanagement at the top causes a pennant race to fall apart before one even began.

The Yankees set the bar high before allowing an injured player to begin to play again. They do this with pain and suffering themselves because while knowing that patience is the better part of valor, it didn’t help the team on the field that just finished an entire month of the season minus 25 percent of their regular lineup. But, they do it anyway.

If Brian Cashman were to ask Gary Sanchez if he’s “ready to go, tonight,” he would get a resounding yes as an answer. And that’s because these athletes are a special breed of racehorses who live and breathe a spirit of competition that none of us can imagine. They’re always ready to go.

Did Didi Gregorius need ten games in Tampa before he rejoined the Yankees? Apparently not because he already has seven hits and four RBI in only four games since returning, and is batting .368. But the Yankees made sure he had that rehab time, and they did without. Again, team doctors and Cashman made the call.

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Similarly, Noah Syndergaard has his reasons why he refused an MRI over the weekend that might have revealed a potential for serious injury. But one of those reasons is that, at this stage of his life, he wants the ball and nothing more than to stand on a pitching mound throwing 99 mph fastballs to major league hitters. He lives for that.

The General Manager of the New York Mets, Sandy Alderson, made a big show of falling on the sword yesterday when it was revealed that Syndergaard would miss a minimum of two months of the season, telling ESPN:

"“It was my decision for Noah to pitch with input with [a] variety of different sources,” Alderson said Monday. “The MRI was not dismissed out of hand, and we had to evaluate the situation. … From the overall standpoint, it is not to say things couldn’t have been done differently. From my standpoint, I made the decision.”"

Brian, wake up. You’re the man, man. Did you think for a minute that your pitching coach, Dan Warthen, or Terry Collins, or the batboy was in line to make this decision? Bottom line, Alderson listened to his player, a player who has the nickname Thor for a reason, before he listened to his team doctors who, most assuredly, would have erred on the side of caution in not allowing Syndergaard to even take his warmups.

This is not Monday morning quarterbacking, especially when you realize that the only healthy member of last year’s starting pitching staff no longer works for the Mets. In fact, Bartolo Colon, the ageless wonder, is the only Mets pitcher to have reached the 200 innings plateau since the current group was assembled.

Yankees Aren’t Perfect, But Neither Are They Bumbling

The Yankees are not above reproach either. But the difference between the teams is that the Mets have cancer in their organization when it comes to injuries, while the Yankees break a leg once in a while, and have one glaring recent mistake in James Karpielian.

Much like Syndergaard, Karpielian was yelling for the ball during Spring Training, and the Yankees gave it to him. Now, Karpielian is lost for the season, and his entire career could be in jeopardy depending on how he rebounds from surgery.

But of one thing, you can be sure. The Yankees will not make the same mistake the Mets made with Zach Wheeler, who re-injured himself causing the loss of an additional year with the same injury.

And maybe, instead of talking to ESPN, Alderson should take the 30-minute drive to the Bronx and sit down with Cashman for a walk-through and a peak at the Yankees “Playbook” for handling injuries.

Because for all his years in baseball, it’s apparent that Alderson has yet to master this skills set. And as a fan of both the Yankees and baseball, it hurts to say that.