This season is seriously dragging. The lost weekend in Atlanta did nothing except make me long for the return of Daniel Murphy – on defense.
The quickness, the agility, the intuition, the hands, the smarts.
Plus, he hits.
Murphy is due back from injury soon, the Mets say, and David Wright, who knows, but the parade of infield horrors in Atlanta only served to blot out some of the rallies and pitching of nearly half the season.
So much suffering for so many fans. Bad teams. Mediocre teams. Day after day.
Maybe it’s a sign of bad spring weather, or too much time on my hands, but I have been enjoying the Mets for nearly two months, pretty much ignoring the Yankees and all the other baseball on the other channels. Just the daily soap opera of one team.
But now it is getting very old. Eric Campbell watched a runner score before throwing to first. He looked the runner home! Dilson Herrera and Wilmer Flores failed to cover second on a steal. And Ruben Tejada regressed again.
In case you missed it, here were the absolute highlights of the past weekend, as emphasized by the Mets’ broadcasters, and who can blame them.
Friday: After the ominous sight of Jeurys Familia clutching his hamstring, the Mets said it was only muscle soreness.
Saturday: After the contact at home plate, Travis d’Arnaud’s elbow was not shattered, merely hyperextended.
Sunday: In the fifth inning, Wilmer Flores hit a single. This meant the Mets would not be no-hit again.
This was the good news. Monday’s good news is that the Mets are off. I can watch the United States in the Women’s World Cup in peace.
Maybe Daniel Murphy, now known as Leather, will be back soon. At least he is intense.
Welcome to World Cup 2022, the most absurd thing that the routinely absurd world of sports has ever produced.
Those extreme descriptions were what virtually the entire world, save for those who had walked off with bags of cash from Qatar, called the awarding of soccer’s greatest event to the incredibly tiny, incredibly wealthy country back in 2010.
Twelve years ago, many were convinced this event couldn’t possibly happen: staging the world’s biggest sporting event in a country the size of Connecticut, one with zero soccer culture and even less soccer infrastructure? The tournament couldn’t possibly take place in 120-degree heat, and FIFA, the governing body of soccer, most certainly wouldn’t upend football leagues around the world to change the traditional summer schedule, could it?
And, for God’s sake, what about the beer?
Those were just the logistical concerns. The moral concerns are far more distressing. FIFA, so busy paying lip service to equality, couldn’t possibly expect the world to embrace a country where you could go to prison for being gay, where women’s rights are severely curtailed and female victims of sexual assault could go to prison, charged with engaging in extramarital sex. And all those questions came before the global realization that the World Cup was being built on the backs of migrant labor: modern-day slaves held in Qatar with virtually no rights, low wages and no ability to leave. Migrants make up 90% of Qatar’s stated population of 3 million. The country’s native-born equal about 300,000, or roughly the size of Anaheim.
---Ann Killion, columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle.