As the sudden and tragic loss of Duaner Sanchez reminded us, every player is but a heartbeat away from a season-ending injury.
No one expected Jose - JoseJoseJose to suddenly dive into first and lose 2 weeks (not to mention an NL All-Star victory) to a spiked finger, Uncle Cliffy to pull into 3rd base as if it were a truck stop, "step in a hole" and practically snap his ankle off, or for Dookie to take (yet another) foul tip to the tomatoes. (OK that last one is totally expected, and not at all funny, so don't be letting loose any guffaws behind your glove - I'm talking to you Brad Chadford.)
In any event, yes, injuries are part of the game. So what's to do between now and the end of the season? We have 2 entire months to coast to the NL East crown - hopefully without losing any more key pieces of our team along the way.
It's going to be a challenge to Willie, to keep everyone fresh, to not allow key players to be injured in meaningless situations, and to keep the fans happy by not letting anyone get within 10 games of us from here on out. I wish him luck in the endeavor.
Maybe he should hand out Lastings Milledge Brand(tm) Elbow Protectors before the next game, forbid players from travelling anywhere except by Hummer Limo, and keep everyone in secure, undisclosed locations except when playing in actual games.
The reality is, this is what 14-game leads were meant for. To provide you with a cushion, in the event someone gets hurt, a team trailing you suddenly gets hot, or your #2 starter temporarily forgets how to pitch, hit or field.
Every team will be facing the same injury and performance-related problems as we have (cough Wagner cough), but let's face it. It would take a collapse of Giants/49ers-esque proportions for the Mets to fail to reach their primary goal of reaching the playoffs healthy, relaxed and psyched, so don't worry too much about the next 2 months. Just cross your fingers that no one else gets hurt. As for you, Dookie, if you're reading, cross your legs too.