CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: ATLANTA, GAâ€”Though itâ€™s far too early too panic over the Metsâ€™ rocky start, you can never be to careful when it comes to recognizing and preventing the maladies that affect so many ball clubs over the course of the season. It was with this in mind that we went on a fact-finding mission to the CDC to get the lowdown on what to watch out for with the Mets this year and how to combat it. Here are just a few things to guard against in Flushing this summer.
â€¢ Delgouto: This debilitating condition has been known to strike veteran first basemen, particularly those named Carlos. Symptoms: Irritability, lead feet, and inability to catch up to slow ground balls through the infield. Treatment: Diving and getting oneâ€™s uniform dirty usually seems to do the trick.
â€¢ Lower â€œcâ€ Cholera: Also known as â€œdragbuntsy,â€ this illness affects those who are already afflicted with a lack of focus in the batterâ€™s box. Symptoms: Multiple fake bunt attempts, inability to tell balls from strikes, multiple groundball outs. Treatment: Extra batting practice, keeping oneâ€™s head in the game, prolonged time on the bench. In severe cases, quarantine is suggested.
â€¢ Wright Terrors: This New York-based hot corner disease strikes the central nervous system in high-pressure situations. Though not as hideous as the Bronx strain, A-Rot, the Wright Terrors can decimate the brightest of young players. Symptoms: Stranded base runners, occasional choking, overall failure in clutch situations. Treatment: Relaxed breathing, smart at-bats, going to the opposite field. If symptoms persist, some fan booing is recommended.
â€¢ Omarlaria: This disease afflicts General Managers who have been bitten by a Flushing-based insect known as the Metsquito. Symptoms: Mid-season panic, flop sweat, ill-advised trades for shoddy veterans. Treatment: High doses of common sense from trusted associates, ownership intervention. Worst cases may require termination.
â€¢ Bacterial Mainengitis: A byproduct of shoulder injuries, this condition usually strikes once-promising right-handed pitchers. Symptoms: Control problems, bloated era, shaken confidence. Treatment: Patience, the Washington Nationals, prayer.
â€¢ Beltrance Syndrome: A close cousin to narcolepsy, this disorder occasionally occurs in high-priced outfielders. Symptoms: Glassy eyes, frozen stance, and bat resting on shoulder in key situations. Treatment: Extreme aggression training. (Like the kind of stuff Mr. Burns used to turn Santaâ€™s Little Helper into a vicious attack dog.)
â€¢ Ollieoporosis: Scientists are still unsure whether this is a physical or mental illness. Because of its unpredictability, itâ€™s been tough to diagnose. Symptoms: Wildly erratic pitching performances, bases on balls, playing down to your competition, more bases on balls, general twitchiness, yet more bases on balls. Treatment: At this time, electroshock therapy seems to be the best available option.
The bad news is, these may not be the only diseases the Mets have to contend with this season. The good news is, the team seems to be free and clear of some of the ailments of years past such as Moises Aloupus, Bobby Bo-la Virus, and Duanerrhea. On another positive note, at least they donâ€™t have to contend with the Malignant Melkynomas and various Wang-related issues that the Yankees do. See you next week. In the meantime, hereâ€™s wishing everyone a clean bill of health.