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Dustin Pedroia appears to sustain injury in second base collision

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Red Sox’ second baseman Dustin Pedroia limped off the field following a collision during the eighth inning of Friday’s 2-0 loss to the Orioles. He appeared to sustain some kind of leg injury after Baltimore’s Manny Machado made a late slide into second base and spiked Pedroia’s left calf with his cleats. While the Red Sox have yet to disclose any details about Pedroia’s condition, manager John Farrell told reporters that the infielder experienced some soreness following the play and was concerned that it might have re-injured his surgically repaired knee.

Both managers took issue with the play. Baltimore skipper Buck Showalter issued a challenge, arguing that Pedroia had stepped off the base, while Farrell believed that Machado had violated league rules by effectively preventing Pedroia from beginning to turn the double play. The tag was confirmed after review, although no double play was retroactively awarded to the Red Sox, nor was Machado ejected for an illegal slide.

There is, of course, a rule that prohibits takeout slides and is designed to avoid situations like this. It’s a four-pronged rule that requires runners to begin their slides before reaching the base, to stay in the vicinity of the base, to attempt to remain on the base after completing the slide, and to slide without going out of their way to intentionally make contact with the infielder. Machado failed to tick all four boxes on that checklist, and though the Providence Journal’s Brian MacPherson points out that the play looked more reckless than malicious, the ire it drew from Farrell and, later, third base coach Brian Butterfield was not without warrant.

Pedroia, for his part, did not appear upset with Machado’s tactics, whether intentional or not. Per MLB.com’s Jeff Seidel:

I don’t even know what the rule is,” he said. “I’ve turned the best double play in the major leagues for 11 years. I don’t need the (expletive) rule, let’s be honest. The rule is irrelevant. The rule is for people with bad footwork, and that’s it.

The Orioles are set for the second game of the series on Saturday at 7:05 PM EDT, when left-hander Jayson Aquino takes the mound against Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright. Needless to say, it’s shaping up to be a tense series.

Jeff Wilpon reminds Mets fans that insuring David Wright “is not cheap”

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It’s can’t be easy being a Mets fan. Your team plays in the biggest city in America and should, theoretically, have big payrolls and always be in contention. They aren’t, however, partially because of horrendous luck and ill-timed injuries, partially because of poor baseball decisions and partially because the team’s ownership got taken down by a Ponzi scheme that, one would think anyway, sophisticated businessmen would recognize as a Ponzi scheme. We’ll leave that go, though.

What Mets fans are left with are (a) occasional windows of contention, such as we saw in 2014-16; (b) times of frustrating austerity on the part of ownership when, one would hope anyway, some money would be spent; (c) an inordinate focus on tabloidy and scandalous nonsense which just always seems to surround the club; and (c) a lot of disappointment.

You can file this latest bit under any of or many of the above categories, but it is uniquely Mets.

Team president Jeff Wilpon spoke to the press this afternoon about team payroll. In talking about payroll, David Wright‘s salary was included despite the fact that he may never play again and despite the fact that insurance is picking up most of the tab. Wilpon’s comment:

I’m guessing every team has a line item, someplace, about the costs of insurance. They’re businesses after all, and all businesses have to deal with that. They do not talk about it as a barrier to spending more money on players to the press, however, as they likely know that fans want to be told a story of hope and baseball-driven decisions heading into a new season and do not want to hear about all of the reasons the club will not spend any money despite sitting in a huge market.

This doesn’t change a thing about what the Mets were going to do or not do, but it does have the added bonus of making Mets fans roll their eyes and ask themselves what they did to deserve these owners. And that, more than almost anything, is the essence of Mets fandom these days.