The Mets May Want Francisco Rodriguez to Move to an Undisclosed Location

Johan Santana's elbow the icing on a miserable cake

When Sunday afternoon's game with the Phillies ended with Jeff Francoeur hitting into an unassisted triple play, there were probably a few Mets fans who sighed and said, "Well, at least things can't get any worse than this." Those fans should stop tempting fate immediately. There's a piano swinging precariously on ropes somewhere over the head of Francisco Rodriguez right this minute, and any further attempt to put a smile on this Mets season will surely cause it to crush him like the hopes and dreams of those who root for the Amazins.

Johan Santana is having an MRI on his left elbow Tuesday instead of starting against the Marlins. The hope is that he has bone chips or bone spurs in the elbow, which is kind of like hoping that you drown instead of getting eaten by the sharks circling around you in the ocean after your boat sinks. Under that best case scenario, Santana would need to have his elbow cleaned out and could, concievably, keep pitching.

If you actually think the Mets should send their best pitcher, under contract for four more years, back out with so much as a hangnail in this miserably misbegotten excuse for a baseball season, however, you're a special kind of crazy. The kind of crazy that leads to juggling grenades on a high wire above 300 kindergarteners. Santana should be wrapped in bubble wrap and put away until next February.

Let Oliver Perez pitch every other day, bring back Livan Hernandez, sign the Naked Cowboy but, please spare Santana. By next year, the planets will have presumably re-aligned and the Mets have a chance to go three days without suffering a crippling injury, mental breakdown, executive embarrassment or falling victim to a Ponzi scheme.  

Oh, by the way, Francoeur also tore a ligament in his thumb during Sunday's game. It's in his non throwing hand, so he's going to try to keep playing, but it's just a matter of time before he tears the ligament in the other thumb or burns himself in the Citi Field shower or eats a bad clam. 

When Luis Castillo fell down the dugout stairs earlier this month, it brought to mind the "Final Destination" series of movies in which characters escape Death, only to be hunted down one by one in increasingly implausible manners because they were fated to die. It was a joke then, but after watching David Wright take a fastball to the face and hearing the news about Santana it's becoming easier and easier to believe in the metaphysical nature of what's happened to the Mets this season. 

Scoff if you will, but when the final week of the season plays out with a lineup full of guys named Sal from Bayside in the starting lineup you'll come around.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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