By Jason Keidel
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New York City is a package deal, equal parts glory and gory. We saw the latter lately, when fans cheered an injury to Jason Bay, the biggest bust since Ollie Perez.
At the risk of sounding like a savage…so what? Sure, it’s somewhat ugly and clearly callous to literally cheer a man while he’s down, but all the surrounding melodrama from the media is quite gratuitous. First, it presupposes that every Mets fan cheered, which clearly didn’t happen. Two, it assumes that the inelegant response actually contributed to Bay’s injury, which clearly didn’t happen.
“He plays hard every game!”
“He’s a class act!”
That’s nice. Now win.
The greatest virtue is production, which means Bay’s public persona is quite offensive. Indeed, how many of you work in an environment where the best workers get preferential treatment. Those who show up, on time, every day, get certain privileges that the lazy or unproductive employee doesn’t. And those who call in sick are fired. This is news? Of course you’re more concerned when David Wright gets dinged than when Jason Bay bangs his head against the wall.
And since when did an ill-timed jeer jar the senses of the Big Apple? When did we become too delicate for an R-Rated rant at a player who has been historically bad for nearly three years? Indeed, one could argue that Bay’s play has been equally insulting and injurious.
I’ve loved the last few days, listening to fans call WFAN, aghast at the idea that we’d boo Bay right after he crashed his noggin on an outfield wall. Every caller was appalled, which reveals an untruth. If everyone was so appalled then who did the cheering?
It reminds you of the two million people who told Wilt Chamberlain that they were at the game when he scored 100 points, while in fact there were just a freckling of fans at the game.
Any reasonable person wants Bay to be okay. You just don’t want him well enough to play again which raises the question we’re trying to answer…
Is Jason Bay the worst signing in Metropolitans history? The aforementioned Perez is the gold standard, even worse than Mo Vaugn and Baerga and Bonilla. Beyond his performance Perez ratified his place in the inverted pantheon when he refused to attend a team trip to visit our wounded soldiers in Washington. It was the PR cherry on top of a wretched career in New York. But at least he won 15 games before he signed the swollen contract Omar Minaya offered. Perez got $36 million on spec, and eventually the Mets were so eager to purge Perez that they paid him to stay away from the team.
But since Bay isn’t a cancer in the clubhouse or share Perez’s penchant for hitting the buffet, we afford him some sympathy, which is proper. But forgive fans who are offended that Bay inhales $15 million per season while hitting .259, 245, and .187 each year since signing that bloated contract with the Metropolitans. Has Bay, the classiest of men in a kid’s game, offered a refund?
Feel free to email me: Keidel.Jason@gmail.com