By Rich Coutinho
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You would have to be heartless not to feel bad for Jason Bay, because once again he has suffered a concussion hitting an outfield wall.
The nightmare continues for Bay, who must be feeling like he is living his own personal “Groundhog Day.” He was once again hurt trying to make an aggressive defensive play, which is the only way he knows how to play the game.
“I have never seen anything like this”, said Mets manager Terry Collins,”and what really hurts is that you won’t find a better person than Jason Bay. He works hard and is very popular in that clubhouse, and just when he seems to be healthy, this happens.”
It is pretty amazing that anything that could seemingly go wrong does go wrong for Jason Bay. I know Mets fans are not happy with his lack of production, but we are talking about a man’s health here, and a second concussion is a dangerous place for any human being to reside.
But it’s especially risky for a professional athlete.
“He is so respected in this clubhouse”, said Scott Hairston, “and that play symbolizes what Jason is all about. He was trying to keep runs off the board and dove for a ball because he hustles every single minute. It is almost incomprehensible that he is hurt again, but I can assure you that every guy in this locker room is deeply concerned for him.”
Mets fans have never gotten what they expected from Jason Bay, but they should realize that he is at least equally disappointed about that. He has never ducked a question about his ineffectiveness and has tried everything imaginable to straighten himself out. In my opinion, this second concussion is a warning sign that neither the Mets nor Bay should ignore. We are learning more about concussions every day, and the last thing that anybody wants is a person suffering a more permanent condition later in life because the necessary steps were not taken to treat a second concussion.
In the short-term, the quartet of Lucas Duda, Andres Torres, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Hairston will share the outfield duties in some sort of platoon. The Mets are expected to have Justin Turner here Saturday in anticipation of a player move as Bay is likely headed for the disabled list.
In the long-term, my feeling is that we won’t see Jason Bay for some time, and despite what his detractors might say, that saddens me. He may be a flawed ballplayer who has lost some bat speed, but he deserves better. He has tried exceedingly hard, and I know that in a results business that doesn’t mean a lot to most people. It does, however, mean a lot to me.
Another horrible break for Jason Bay. Offer your thoughts and comments on his latest injury in the section below…