Mack - Oh Captain, My Captain


Taken by John Ade

I had such plans for this weekend. It’s now 4:10am on Sunday morning. Daughter Mack brought over the two little ones for a couple of ‘cation days… swim in the pool, eat Mrs. Mack’s homemade meatballs with spaghetti, a family tradition that started with her father’s stuffed meatball that went into every pot of ‘gravy’ in Frankie’s Italian Restaurant, on Depot Road, in Huntington, Long Island. We finished off the night with homemade pistachio gilato that all leads up to another day of pool swimming, gong to the movies to see Tommorroland, and cheesebergers at ‘Cheeseburgrs, Cheeseburgers’, a local joint near the theatre. Cost of the weekend: priceless.

And then I made the stupid ass mistake of writing a memo to my chief writers about my neck problems, only to pick up the story on both David Wright’s setback in camp and Matt Harvey’s first outing since being told he’s going to only be pitching once a week.

I have been suffering from stenosis all my life and had to eventually give up every sport I played to my lower back problems. Think of it like calcium deposits growing inside your spinal canals, stuck to the side. The more that grow, the more narrow the space is left for the canals to operate and breathe in.

Most of us that had it tried all the conventional short term stop gaps that Wright is going through right now, I eventually would go and get shots directly into the areas between the canals effected, That worked until one bounced back and I found myself flat on my ass in the street outside a mall, waiting for an ambulance to pick me up.

My surgeron, Dr. Jeffrey Rueben, of The Spine Institute in Beaufort, South Carolina saved my life. He would keep telling me that I was not a candidate for surgery until I crawled into his office begging me for relief. He was right.
Dr. Rueben chose to do a radical procedure for those days. He took out five of my damaged discs and replaced them with titanium replacements all tied up in a neat new lower back cage.

The operation took five hours and they had me walking that night. They unhooked any temporary morphine they had me on, gave me a bottle of pills to help me wean off of them, and sent me home.

I have never felt lower back pain again,

Now, for the other side… I did try to get back to the sports activities I always enjoyed, My golf balls continued to hit in the ponds 140 out so nothing changed there. Hitting either softballs or baseballs became too much of challenge and turning a double play at third or charging a bunt for a bare handed throw to first base was an impossibility. Do I have to continue and describe house football, full court basketball, or skiing?

And this was just the lower back stenosis both David and I currently share.

What Sandy and Company need to do is gather around him the top (healthy) players he has left on this team… 1B Duda…IF Murphy…IF Flores…IF Campbell…C Plawecki… C Recker… C Monnell… OF Lagares…OF Granderson… OF Cuddyer… OF Ceccilliani…OF Mayberry…IF Tejada… SP Harvey… SP deGrom… SP Colon… SP Niese…SP Gee… SP Syndergaard… RP Familia… RP Torrez… RP ‘Cap’ Torrez… RP Goedelle… RP Robles…RP Leathersixh… SP Colon… RP Gilmartin

That’s 27 players

You also have scheduled to come back by the end of the month C Travis d’Arnaud, P Vic Black, and P Bobby Parnell.

Lastly, he needs to put the names of the players that have no way of being traded in the back pocket of his pants. Trust me, it’s a short list right now.

And then, he needs to go to work and prove to all of us that he can save this team from itself.


Thomas Brennan said...

They really have hit The skids.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

And I guess that is fine if we all can back to thinking that a .500 record is a good thing.

This could pan out but not until all are healed and not until July and August.

It's currently a very flawed team.

Mack Ade said...

They seem to actually spotting the other team the first three innings by basically not even taking the bats off their shoulders... what's with all this 'swing only on the third strike' stuff lately? Wasn't the team winning in April when they would swing at strikes regardless what pitch it was in a count?

Hobie said...

Haven't heard anything on the Herrera prognosis. I think getting Dilson back & moving Murph permanently to 3B improves the IF significantly (O & D).

I'm still convinced that if DW can return at all, LF is the best slot for him. Not counting on that or trade, though I'm sure that's on everybody's mind. (Would Murph for Rollins help? idk).

Oh, BTW, TJR is over .400 in LV (nobody will notice of course).

Mack Ade said...

Hobie -

I too have heard nothing about Herrera but it isn't his entire foot that was cut off,right.

That makes the next move Herrera to 2B, Flores still at SS and Murphy at 3B. You have to showcase players if you want to trade them.

The loss of d'Arnaud, Wright, and the poor pop out of Granderson and Cuddyer has cont this team the lion share of their loses.

It looked early like there was enough here, but there isn't.

Hobie... you are really reaching when you bring up Rivera.

ZachBoyer said...

What I don't understand, just in the short-term, why aren't they putting their best defensive team on the field? I.e., If Tejada & Flores are both going to be on the field, why not put Tejada at SS? And then I'd probably put Murph at 3rd and Flores at 2nd, but that's almost interchangable. Can someone explain this?

Mack Ade said...

Zach -

what beat reporters are saying is if the Mets move Flores off of SS, it will screw with his head, sink him into a deep depression, and you will find him sucking his thumb behind the Shea Bridge,,,, or something like that

Thomas Brennan said...

Hi Mack I rushed off before. Mets were making it sound like Wright just needed a little more time for it to calm down. You'd know more than all of us about stenosis (Doc told me I have it too, but it is minor, at least so far), but with all the time Wright has missed, hard to bepieve it is minor. LJ Mazzilli must be kicking himself now - off his 2014, he might have been positioned to get a shot.

Reynolds is sputtering, all the way down to .277, so unless one believes a player goes hot and cold and he is due to get hot, he is not the answer right now.

Very sad about Wright. Likely will never be the same, even if he plays.

Hobie said...


I don't think we lose anything exchanging Soup for TJ until Dilson returns and moving Murph to 3B.

And I agree with Zach. Reuben is the best SS on the team & Murph probably the best 3B right now. If Reuben is going to play regulatly it should be at SS with Wilmer at 2B & Murph at 3B. Insert TJR at 2B and Wilmer back at SS if you want more BIP.

My 2 cents.

ZachBoyer said...


That's hilarious. But that could actually serve as a huge weight off his shoulders? Never met Flores. So I don't know.

But more than hilarious, it's also infuriating because then they're not doing everything in their power to win the next game—which should always be the main goal.

Charles said...

The loss of Wright hurts so badly because players like Grandy and Cuddyer aren't anywhere near their prime numbers anymore. They are borderline ML Starters at this point and only Duda strikes any fear into opposing teams.

Pawlecki is showing he isn't on Darno's level right now and that doesn't mean he won't be eventually. It's just that for a win now team, they need the guy that hits consistently and that's Travis.

I honestly don't know what Sandy should do. I see Thor and his ceiling, along with guys like Harvey and deGrom, and say there's no way I'm trading Thor. Matz is going to be deadly as well and that quartet may win them a world series at some point. But.....they need to score 4 runs a game to do it and that looks impossible at this point.

Especially if they can't spend any money to bring in the big time free agents that other big league teams routinely acquire to strengthen their lineup.

Look, I like building from within. But if the pitching gets there before the offense, you can't just wait around for it to catch up. Because you end up wasting the best years of those pitcher's careers playing .500 ball instead of them possibly becoming legends in the postseason.

They tried it the conservative way and it's not working. Now they need to ante up and gets some offense and quickly.

Mack Ade said...

Charles -

This team... right now... could easily go 2-18 in their next 20 games.

This is when you learn what you have.

BTW, what ever happened to Tovar?

bob gregory said...

The team has been "learning what they have" for the past 5 years.
The team is in the exact position many Alderson critics feared.
There just seems to be poor insight governing this team.
And now yet another year, which was supposed to be "the year" has been torpedoed.

I don't think Flores will be the only one "suckling his thumb beneath the Shea bridge". He will be squeezing himself between many of the few die-hard Met fans that have waited for one too many "Next Years".
Purposeful or not. This organization certainly has the knack for taking all of the joy from being a fan.

London Mets said...

Apparently Dillon Gee has been sent back from Pittsburgh to AA to do one more start there and the Mets will be operating on a five man rotation. It's very strange, either there is a pitchers' revolt or something is going on in trade-land. Or else Sandy has lost the plot.

Lagares and Duda are sitting with pulled muscles. Hell, the Mets might as well forfeit the game.

I'm also sick and tired of this management - they approach everything so conservatively. They've been doing the same thing fir 5 years now, signing aging has-beens and not daring to take risks on Cubans, Koreans, youngsters that could help the team. Madoff is no excuse, they rely far too much on "proven" (i.e. over the hill) players. The only way a small-market team wins is by taking risks, and doing it smarter than the others. For less than the current budget, the mets could have had a team of Cubans, Antillians, Koreans, (and American) position players on the field that could actually hit, and field.

I am sick of watching this team hit endless ground balls. Sick of watching Collins manage like the old man he is.

The Mets need a youth movement - in management.

Mack's Mets © 2012