The gods just keep punishing the Mets

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090804_castillo.jpgMore bad news for the New York Mets: David Wright will be going on the DL after being attacked by an angry house cat while on his way to the ballpark on Tuesday.

OK so I made that up, but the way things are going, would you be surprised?

It wasn’t Wright who was hurt on Tuesday, but Luis Castillo, who sprained his ankle while slipping on the dugout steps. You might assume that some clown (Omar Minaya?) dropped a banana peel for Castillo to stumble over, and you wouldn’t be that far off. It was actually a glove left innocently on the steps that he was trying to avoid when he fell.

OK so losing Castillo isn’t like losing Carlos Beltran. Or Carlos Delgado. Or Jose Reyes. (Want the whole list? Find it here. And beware, it’s lengthy.) But he is a starter – and a pretty decent one at that – who was hitting .377 with a .473 OBP over the last month.

So what exactly did the Mets do to anger the baseball gods? Is it Bill Buckner’s revenge? Is the new stadium cursed? Maybe it’s a nasty bit of karma for those putrid shirts J.J. Putz was allowed to design.

Either way, this is getting ridiculous. And I think it’s about time the ghosts of the game ease up on the Mets and their fans. But just in case they don’t, the team might want to consider wrapping Johan Santana in bubble wrap.

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On a side note, is it time to stop pitching to Albert Pujols when he comes to the plate with the bases loaded? After hitting a grand slam to beat the Mets on Tuesday, here’s his line this season with the bases juiced: 7-for-9, 5 HRs, 24 RBIs. Intentionally walk him every time and he’s 0-for-0 with 0 HRs and 9 RBIs. I mean this tongue in cheek. I realize Tuesday’s blast was in extra innings. I understand there’s no guarantee you get the next guy out. Just wanted to point out that Pujols is kinda sorta good. Newsflash, I know.

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Nationals do not activate Bryce Harper for Monday’s game

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The Nationals were expected to activate outfielder Bryce Harper from the 10-day disabled list in advance of Monday’s series opener in Philadelphia, but they did not because Harper woke up with flulike symptoms, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reports. It doesn’t have anything to do with the knee injury which sent him to the DL last month or the ensuing rehab, he adds.

Rain had fallen in Washington, D.C. on August 12 ahead of the Nationals’ game against the Giants. Harper attempted to beat out a ground out to first base but slipped on the wet first base bag and was later diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee.

Harper was in the midst of a great season prior to the injury, perhaps one that would have led to an NL MVP Award. When he comes back, he’ll do what he can to pad his .326/.419/.614 slash line along with 29 home runs, 87 RBI, and 92 runs scored in 472 plate appearances. The Nationals are just concerned with getting him back in the flow of things in time for the playoffs. They have seven games remaining in the regular season.

Chris Archer on joining Bruce Maxwell’s protest: “I don’t think it would be the best thing to do for me at this time.”

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Rays pitcher Chris Archer doesn’t see himself joining Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell‘s protest any time soon, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports. Archer said, “From the feedback that I’ve gotten from my teammates, I don’t think it would be the best thing to do for me, at this time. I agree with the message. I believe in equality.”

Archer continued, “I don’t want to offend anybody. No matter how you explain it or justify it, some people just can’t get past the military element of it and it’s not something I want to do, is ruffle my teammates’ feathers on my personal views that have nothing to do with baseball.”

Archer did express admiration for the way Maxwell handled his situation. The right-hander said, “The way he went about it was totally, I think, as respectful as possible, just letting everybody know that this doesn’t have anything to do with the military, first and foremost, noting that he has family members that are in the military. It’s a little bit tougher for baseball players to make that leap, but I think he was the right person to do it.”

Maxwell recently became the first baseball player to kneel as the national anthem was sung, a method of protest popularized by quarterback Colin Kaepernick. As Craig explained yesterday, baseball’s hierarchical culture has proven to be a strong deterrent for players to express their unpopular opinions. We can certainly see that in Archer’s justification. Archer was one of 62 African Americans on the Opening Day roster across 30 major league clubs (750 total players, 8.3%).