The Mets Are Up to Their Old Tricks

What's a year without a few strange Mets injuries?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Wright and Davis are keeping the Mets tradition alive.

    Monday marks the start of spring training for the Mets and they aren't wasting any time making you think that this season is going to feel a lot like the last few.

    Over the weekend, we learned that David Wright will miss the first few exhibition games with a rib cage injury. No one seems to think that the injury is particularly serious, which would make this more a case of better safe than sorry if it wasn't for the Mets' sorry history when it comes to such situations.

    There's really no need to run through all of the instances when a seemingly minor injury wound up robbing the Mets of a key player, which is why we'll just skip ahead to Ike Davis and the possibility that he has Valley Fever, a respiratory ailment that cost outfielder Conor Jackson most of the 2009 season.

    So far, Davis is testing negative and experiencing no symptoms although that doesn't seem to have much impact on the way doctors are approaching his treatment. Not that there's any medication to treat the problem, mind you, but we're here to talk baseball as opposed to infections of the lungs.

    While neither of these ailments look like they will have much impact on the team in the short term, they do provide an unhappy reminder of just how thin the Mets are this season.

    If everything breaks right for them, there's not much chance they can avoid a losing season but if they were to lose Davis or Wright for an extended period of time then we're looking at 100 losses and a truly miserable summer.

    There are happier ways to start the exhibition season, in other words. For the other 29 teams in baseball, spring training is a time of unrestrained hope but the Mets haven't been free to think that way in quite some time.

    There could be some good news by the end of the day, though. Shortly before the start of the game, Judge Jed Rakoff is expected to make a decision about whether or not the clawback suit related to the Wilpons' investments with Bernie Madoff can move forward to trial.

    He'll also rule on the request by the trustee for Madoff victims that $83 million be awarded to him before any trial gets underway. The trial ruling is important, although tempered by the fact that the losing side will almost certainly appeal, but handing over money would make for quite the dark cloud hanging overhead when the Mets take the field.

    Or maybe things will feel a little lighter -- as light as a ruling guaranteeing a Wilpon-led future can feel -- with a ruling that goes the Mets' way. That would provide a little of that hope that things are getting better experienced by the rest of baseball. 

    And, right now, a little hope can go a long way.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.