Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg lost six pounds in two days, and blamed it on a hamburger he ate this past weekend at the Mets’ Citi Field. Now he has a corroborator, and it’s someone from the home team.
Mets first baseman Lucas Duda had to be hospitalized on Friday because of an upset stomach and told Danny Knobler of ESPN New York that he believes the cause was an under-cooked burger at that same Shake Shack, which draws long lines to the center field concourse every game and is often praised for its high-quality food.
A Mets official told Knobler that an investigation is underway. And here’s a statement from Shake Shack senior marketing manager Greg Waters:
“The first we heard of this situation was about an hour ago via Twitter. “We’re attempting to get in touch with Ryne Sandberg to learn more. At this point we have no further knowledge of the situation, and there have been no other related reports whatsoever. Food safety is of paramount importance to us, and we’re connecting with our management team at the Citi Field Shake Shack now to discuss further and find out more.”
To be fair: If this were a common, major issue, the place probably wouldn’t get such great reviews.
All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.
The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.
It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.
It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.
Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉