Flushing, NY: This week, the New York Mets finally took a step in a hopeful direction, as ace pitcher Johan Santana was placed on the disabled list for the remainder of the baseball season due to an elbow injury. With Santana joining the ranks of injured veterans and stars, the Mets are merely a catcher away from being a major contender for this year’s hospital wiffle-ball league.
At the beginning of the Major League Baseball season, it seemed as if the New York Mets would steam-roll through their division and be World Series contenders. This, of course, would have put them out of any contention to take the hospital wiffle-ball league crown, which can only be made up of current injured players.
“We really didn’t think twice about the hospital league. Then, when Beltran, Reyes, and Delgado went down, it got us dreaming,” stated Mets manager Jerry Manuel. “Then came Putz, Cora, and Maine, and we knew we had a team to contend with.”
The hospital wiffle-ball league rules are as follows: major league teams create their wiffle-ball teams from their injured players. These injured players then play rounds of wiffle-ball games against each others’ teams. The rules are the same as stickball rules, to minimize movement for such players that are bed-ridden, in wheelchairs, or on IVs. However, unlike stickball, teams are generally made up of the same amount of players as a major league team due to a larger field size, and the incapacitation of the athletes.
By midway through the regular season, the Met’s hospital wiffle-ball team had aspirations for at least a hospital wiffle-ball playoff berth with lingering injuries to Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Delgado. “Right there we had half of an all-star infield. It was amazin!” stated John Maine.
Now, the Mets hospital team, nicknamed “The Medical Mets,” have the following line-up: Starting pitchers Johan Santana and John Maine; relieving pitchers J.J. Putz and Ferando Nieve; first baseman Carlos Delgado; short-stop Jose Reyes; third baseman David Wright; outfielder Carlos Beltran; and utility players Alex Cora and Ramon Martinez to fill in gaps. This sort of hospital wiffle-ball team hasn’t been on the field since the whole team of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox were injured during the World Series.
“Our main focus now is gaining a solid catcher for our hospital team,” stated Mets general manager Omar Minaya. “Sure, we’ve gotten some young, probably broken, legs from Triple-A to cover the outfield, but a catcher would need to be a solid team leader for when Johan isn’t on the mound, or whatever wiffle-ball pitchers stand on.”
There is speculation that Omar Minaya is debating a trade to the Detroit Tigers for catcher Matt Treanor, who is out for the season due to a hip injury.
Starting pitcher Oliver Perez stated his availability to pitch in the hospital wiffle-ball league, but was rejected by the Mets camp, and may be placed on the Mets’ hospital wiffle-ball Triple-A affiliate.