Bock’s Score: Don’t Bet On The Mets

Now that the Supreme Court has given the green light to sports betting in America, customers are lining up to make wagers. Bettors love tips so here’s one for you.

Do not bet on the New York Mets.

Bet on the weather. Bet on what color tie the president will wear. Bet on anything else. Just don’t bet on the New York Mets. Not to win, anyway. Gamblers like sure things. The only thing that is sure about the Mets is anguish.

The Mets started the season firing on all cylinders with an 11-1 record. They laughed up their sleeves when the crosstown Yankees and their loaded lineup started at 9-9. Then, in the blink of an eye, the Yankees began clicking and shot to the top of the American League East standings while the Mets made a U-turn and went south. Deep south.

Tony Paige, a New York sports talk radio host, described it this way. “The Yankees are cooking on all four burners of the stove. The Mets can’t find a pot.’’

After a dreadful 2017 full of injuries, the Mets decided to clean out their medical staff last winter. This did not prevent a drum roll of injuries, some bordering on the bizarre.

Center fielder Juan Lagares is out for the season after banging his big toe into the wall on a catch. Slugger Yeonis Cespedes, who missed half of last season with leg injuries, pulled up with a hip flexor. After several weeks on the sidelines, he began a rehab but had to leave his first game back because of a tight quad.

Then there were the pitchers. Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz missed starts after injuring their fingers on successive days. Not normal pitcher’s injuries like elbows or shoulders. No. These are the Mets. They hurt their fingers. Anthony Swarzak, signed as a free agent to help the bullpen, hurt his oblique in the first week of the season and missed two months. Closer Jeurys Familia is on the disabled list with shoulder soreness, A.J. Ramos is there, too. Same problem.

And then there are the catchers. Travis d’Arnaud went down with Tommy John surgery. His backup, Kevin Plawecki, was hit by a pitch, suffered a broken hand and was out for six weeks, leaving the team with backstops picked off the scrap heap..

Somewhere fired trainer Ray Ramirez must be laughing.

Jacob deGrom, ace of the staff, sent shivers through the organization when he hurt his shoulder during an at-bat. He got hurt not pitching, but swinging a bat. Thankfully, it was only a temporary setback. He returned to the rotation quickly and has been punished by his offense. In his last 10 starts, his ERA is 0.87 but the team is 2-8 because they have trouble scoring runs. It got so bad that Todd Frazier felt obliged to apologize after deGrom lost his last start 2-0. Frazier, by the way, missed three weeks with a hamstring injury.

At the end of May, the Mets were in a freefall, losing seven of nine. Manager Mickey Calloway, whose team made the Little League mistake of batting out of order in an earlier game, announced that the team had reached rock bottom. Then they lost 11 of the next 12.

Does anybody have a spare pot?

About the Author

Hal Bock

Hal Bock is a contributor with NY Sports Day. He has covered sports for 40 years at The Associated Press including 30 World Series, 30 Super Bowls and 11 Olympics. He is the author of 14 books including most recently The Last Chicago Cubs Dynasty and Banned Baseball's Blacklist of All-Stars and Also-Rans. He has written scores of magazine articles and served as Journalist In Residence at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus where he also served on the selection committee for the George Polk Awards.

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