By Taryn “the Coop” Cooper
I guess most Mets fans aren’t hockey fans. I’m pretty nonplussed by the Mets losses lately, though to be honest, I may be singing a different tune if the Rangers didn’t beat the Capitals Saturday night. But I digress.
I know that losing two-of-three against the Marlins is never fun. Especially in the event that two of the games were winnable, AND the Mets were actually winning late in both the games. These are the types of losses you unfortunately just need to shake off and move to the next series.
Yet, I’m not angry about the bullpen. I’m not pissed off that Ike Davis made a lackadaisical move that caused a run to score in Friday’s game. I’m not even cheesed off that the normally very clutch Daniel Murphy seemed to ground out or do something non productive with the bases loaded.
I do have some misdirected anger at my favorite Mets, Jonathon Niese. See, it was obvious that he was lumbering through the game, and yet he still managed to keep the team in it by not allowing the Marlins to score on his watch. It was just the bullpen that did that. On one hand, there was no sense in keeping him in there if he wasn’t feeling after 99 pitches…on the other hand, the bullpen should have done its job and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.
But if I may interject with the following thought…
Jonathon Niese is a professional athlete, a pitcher who is scheduled to be out there every five games. Some pitchers are effective, and Niese is of that variety. Yet, one of my biggest concerns is that Niese cannot stay healthy. The good news is, his health is not necessarily pitching related. The bad news is, it’s almost ALWAYS conditioning.
I’m sorry, but if you’re a professional athlete, isn’t it your JOB to stay in shape? I get that some athletes are more fragile than others (see: Alou, Moises), but Niese could be a tad healthier if he incorporates better health habits.
What I mean are: electrolytes.
I mean, who the hell is paying the Mets training staff? Isn’t it their job to make sure their athletes are getting the proper hydration and nutrition? These guys have access to more health information than ever,and still this stuff happens.
Not to say that Niese hasn’t been healthy. It seems down the stretch his legs get blown out or just overall exhaustion. We could blame his youth and just say that his body hasn’t caught up to his level of play yet, and I could buy it.
But you know what happened? When I was watching (or following on Twitter) the game yesterday, we all agreed on one thing: Jon looked tired. Jon looked sluggish. Miami is not known for its temperate climate (though the Marlins do have a retractable dome now). It could take some getting used to. Then we hear later that not only does Ike Davis and Tim Teufel have the flu, the Mets clubhouse is now a breeding ground of viral activity, and Niese himself was suffering from the dreaded “Flu-like symptoms.”
I get that we’re human and we all are prone to it. But haven’t these guys heard of a FLU SHOT? I get one every year. But you know what, shit happens and I’m willing to chalk it to “whatevs.” A few years ago, remember Carlos Beltran and John Maine were patients zero and one in a flu-ridden clubhouse…2009, I think.
Okay. But I still have some misdirected aggression to Niese. Why? Because this shit has happened before. Look, when you have the flu, you have symptoms, tell your coach (which I think he did, but he wants to play, he wants to play) or HYDRATE. It’s simple. You need to replenish your lost fluids.
When I was in Texas last year following the team, I happened to catch a Niese start. It was HOT in Texas, I mean the heat was something I never experienced in my life. I told people when you go, think about how much water you think you’ll need and double it. My husband even had a situation where he nearly passed out from the heat.
Niese was taken out of the game, though he was effective and he was doing okay, because of heat exhaustion. I wrote it off thinking, maybe there’s just NO WAY you can possibly prepare yourself for the death heat of deep in the heart of Texas. I keep myself hydrated, and I’m no athlete…and I had a hard time doing it.
Miami? Where you regularly visit? Electrolytes, Jon. It’s very easy. Take better care of your hydration needs, and perhaps you won’t overextend yourself at the end of the year.