Jacob DeGrom’s injury puts him on New York’s ‘What if’ All-Stars

The immediate problem for the Mets is the hole in the rotation that Jacob deGrom was going to fill every five days. Chances are we won’t see deGrom before June 1, so it’s 10-12 starts he won’t make, after 20-22, which he didn’t make last year.

This means that DeGrom is going to join another category of New York, to which no athlete ever wants to join.

Call them “What-When” stars.

It’s hard to believe that after eight years in the major leagues, DeGrom’s lifelong record is only 77-53. Even in an era when victories and defeats no longer define the starting pitcher as they once did, this is a staggering figure at 33 years old. And look, we understand that not only the injury kept DeGrom’s total winnings at 77, thanks to the usual sabotage of the bullpen.

But now that DeGrom has lost a piece of significant action for the second season in a row – and don’t forget that he also missed his last eight starts in 2016 – it’s clear that his career as a whole, his work will suffer from this absence. One cannot deny his greatness in real time when healthy. But it will be forever difficult to talk about his career without using these defining, qualifying words:

“If healthy…”

There is a rich list of New York athletes who share a similar burden. For many of them, this did not prevent them from qualifying for the Hall of Fame or at least securing a place in the fan memory bank. But they all also have a melancholy preface.

If healthy … Joe Namat was one of the greatest players to ever throw a ball. Then it was a different game, and the Jets weren’t as good until the end of his stay as they were in the beginning. But Namat also lost huge sections in 1970, ’71 and ’73 – his seasons 27, -28 and -30. It was to be the cream of his prosperity. It wasn’t.

King
Bernard King
AP

If healthy … Bernard King was one of the best strikers in NBA history. Be that as it may, his glorious 1983-84 season – 27.4 points per game with 57.2 percent of throws from the floor – nearly earned him the MVP title, and the following year he averaged 31.6 points when he blew up. yourself a knee. It cost him the next 185 games as Nick. It’s almost certainly what kept him № 30 out of the rafters in the Guard, and it’s impossible not to wonder what a healthy King / Patrick Ewing tandem might look like.

If healthy … Mickey Mentle was one of the two or three best baseball players who ever lived. But after 1951, he was never truly healthy, even though he was playing through countless pains. But injuries have cost him his last nine games in pursuit of Babe Ruth’s 1961 record, helped dramatically lower his lifelong average below 0.300 at the end of his career and also affected his figure. From 1963-68 he missed about 200 games, a minimum of 800 bits. On average in his career – one Homer every 15.12 points, that’s an extra 52 to his total and brings him to 588 – certainly at a distance where he could be the second player of all time to reach 600 before than did Willie Mace.

If healthy … Don Mettingley was Donnie Baseball, perhaps the most complete player in all of baseball since 1984-88. But as a great documentary that goes out on the details of MLB Network, he was almost too serious a worker for his own good, and his back suffered from it. The notion that Mettingley is not in the Hall of Fame is irrelevant to those of us who grew up in New York in the ’80s, despite his brief period of elite play.

If healthy … David Wright was in the Hall of Fame. According to baseball-reference.com under 26 his closest partner was … Flour Bates. His first six seasons, Wright’s average year was .306 / .387 / .515, 26 homers, 104 RBI and OPS-plus 137. But we know what happened to Wright. And we know he will never get close to Cooperstown.

Waka’s blows

Eddie Coleman was not just excellent at his job. He was also such a wonderful companion, friend, archer and gentleman as anyone can be. Here is a wealthy and happy retirement for you.


Our old friend Gary Myers will be hosting a draft party on April 26 at Greenwich Street Tavern in Tribeca, which will have questions and answers with Tiki Barber and Tony Richardson.

The Lakers
LeBron James
Getty Images

I wonder if LeBron James has a different attitude to the NBA game system this time, when the Lakers are fighting the Spurs for 10th place in the West?


Suddenly it doesn’t seem like the end of the world that Mets ’second game of the season will be held in streaming service, right?

Back to Vac

Alan Hirschberg: How unfortunate that the Metz did not put up a statue of Tom Severus outside City Field while he was nearby to see it.

Vac: Of all the embarrassing things the previous owners did, it was their striking lack of concern for the team’s history that I will always find most enigmatic.


Jim Scanelli: I am also a fan of NIT. It is a pity that everything is going. In our younger years, we never missed the semifinals in the Garden. I remember when NIT was the main tournament. It is a pity that all good things must end.

Metz
Tom Siver and David Wright at the 2013 All-Star Game.
Paul J. Beresville

Vac: All I know is that maybe on Tuesday night we were alone and finished, but the people of St. Bonaventure, who stuffed the bottom bowl of monosodium glutamate, had a party we will never forget.


@PovreyPop: I remember 1989 when PJ Carlesima took Setan Hall to the NCAA Finals. We were robbed by COVID in 2020. Shahin Holloway is a great hire, and if he has the best talent, play like Saint Peter’s? Follow the NCAA! I’m pumped up!

@MikeVacc: I can’t remember the last time hiring met with such widespread approval from fans.

Reed Shire: Thank you for your story about the day of Gil Hodges’ death. I was 18, and Metz and Hodges meant so much to me. I was one of thousands who waited for hours to look at his box. This work meant a lot to me.

Vac: Over the years, it has been surprising to see that Hodges ’influence is still so deeply felt among Mets fans of a certain generation.

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