There are certain things that happen a dozen times a year to a dozen different teams, but there's just something about when they happen to the Mets that makes it seem like a definitive trait of the organization.
A current example can be found in starting pitcher Shaun Marcum, who was signed to soak up innings in the Mets rotation and is now the subject of "legitimate concerns" that he won't be ready to start the season. Marcum has been scratched from his final start of spring training because of a neck issue that flared up during a bullpen session on Monday.
Marcum also had a cortisone shot in his right shoulder last week to help deal with what the team called an impingement, although Marcum had a less threatening description of what he's experiencing. The point, though, is that the Mets rotation may be down a man before the boat has even hit the water.
What is it with our local baseball teams this spring? The Yankees will set up shop in the Bronx without Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson or Alex Rodriguez and the Mets aren't in any better shape.
David Wright and Daniel Murphy have both been battling intercostal strains, although Wright was able to play in minor league action on Tuesday. His status for Opening Day remains up in the air, as does Murphy's, and that's a bit scary given the rest of the Mets lineup.
Wright is the star of the show, obviously, and the most threatening bat in a lineup that would barely look like a Triple-A group without him. Murphy is the most consistent offensive player other than Wright, so it's going to be pretty barren on the lineup front should the two of them wind up on the shelf.
There's been nothing but pessimism in the short term about the Mets this offseason and the reasons are plenty justified, but the prospect of starting behind the eight-ball is one that promises to make for a very long stretch until Zack Wheeler and Travis d'Arnaud have arrived to (hopefully) bring visions of better days.
The start of the season is supposed to be the time of boundless hope. In both our baseball boroughs, injuries are making it hard to summon up that feeling.