The Week That Was: Mets Fans Shouldn’t Worry About Their Catching

     Too many Mets fans and media types reacted like Chicken Little announcing that the sky is falling when both of the team’s catchers, Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, were placed on the disabled list within a day of each other last week.

    The injury to d’Arnaud is far more serious as he’ll be lost for the rest of the season as he recovers from ligament surgery on his right arm. Plawecki’s injury, a hairline fracture on his left hand, only requires a soft hand brace as opposed to a heavy cast, and he should be back by around Mother’s Day.

     Ironically a lot of the Mets fans who went into panic mode last week have long been critical of general manger Sandy Alderson for staying with the catching tandem since neither one has really lived up to the expectations management had for them. Of course after last year’s injury-plagued season it’s understandable that the Flushing faithful are a bit skittish and see the injuries on consecutive days to the Mets catchers as an omen.

     I’m here to tell everyone to take a deep breath and relax. The Mets, to their credit, scheduled an MRI for Plawecki and did not just rely on the x-ray that came up negative that was taken in Miami after he was hit by pitch thrown by the Marlins’ Tayron Guerrero. Sandy Alderson has able replacements with catching prospect Tomas Nido (the very knowledgeable Felipe Alou has raved to me about him) and former Nationals backstop Jose Lobaton.

     I feel badly for Travis d’Arnaud, who as SNY Mets play-by-play voice Gary Cohen pointed out on Friday, has been on the disabled list at least once in each of the past five seasons, and now faces career-threatening Tommy John surgery.

     I asked d’Arnaud on Friday if he thought that the injury was the result of accumulated wear and tear on his arm. “No, it just happened when I threw a ball back to the pitcher and felt pain,” he replied. One of the major criticisms levied at d’Arnaud has been his poor throwing. My gut feeling is that he was having a ligament issues for years and that the toss that he made in a bullpen session last week was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

     Brandon Nimmo was sent down to the Mets’ AAA farm team, the Las Vegas 51s last Wednesday who were in Albuquerque taking on the Isotopes, a Rockies affiliate. Nimmo played for the 51s on Thursday and was told after the game by manager Tony De Francesco that he was returning to the Mets.

     Brandon took Queens-based JetBlue’s redeye from Albuquerque to JFK and landed early Friday morning. “I didn’t know that such an off-hour flight would be so crowded!” he said.

      It’s safe to say that he was the happiest passenger on that flight.

     Mike Piazza had a little fun on Twitter with the Mets’ catching situation. He thanked fans who asked him to end his retirement but said that he had faith in the current team.

     The New York Liberty selected University of Connecticut guard Kia Nurse in the first round of Thursday’s WNBA Draft. The Liberty will be playing most of their home games this year in White Plains’ tiny Westchester County Center which is a big comedown from “the world’s most famous arena,” Madison Square Garden. Nurse was diplomatic when I asked her about what appears to be a giant step backwards for both the Liberty and the WNBA. “Playing in the Garden is always an honor but I look forward to playing for the Liberty in Westchester.”

     Kia Nurse will be reunited with her former UConn teammate Kiah Stokes. Now if they could only convince the Kia Motor Company to become a Liberty sponsor then perhaps they wouldn’t be evicted from the Garden.

     Kia Nurse’s dad, Richard Nurse, was a wide receiver in the Canadian Football League, while her brother, Darnell plays for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.

     NBA star Dwyane Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union who stars in BET’s “Being Mary Jane,” had a special on cable’s HGTV last Thursday night, “All-Star Flip,” in which the couple buys a dilapidated house; repairs it; and then resells it with the profits going to a charity.

    Velocity, the network devoted to all things relating to cars, will be rebranded as the Motor Trend Network this fall.

      Red-hot comic/actor Kevin Hart will be teaming up with arguably the originator or reality television, Mark Burnett, this summer as he’ll be hosting a summer obstacle course competition series on CBS titled “TKO: Total Knock Out.” It will be interesting to see how it will differ from NBC’s established obstacle course competition, “American Gladiator.”

    Tracy Morgan’s new TBS comedy series, “The Last OG,” is an interesting mix of laughs and poignant observations that hits the mark on many topics but particularly the gentrification of Brooklyn in the 21st century.

     It would seem almost impossible for anyone to come up with new information or footage on the king of rock & roll  but HBO’s new documentary, “Elvis Presley: The Searcher,” that premiered Saturday, manages to do just that. There is rarely seen film of Elvis at home in Graceland and we learn that he was an opera fan.

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