Knocking on wood with crossed fingers isn’t as effective as it used to be*

…knocking on wood with crossed fingers, nearly everyone is healthy.

Me, here, like six hours ago.

Since I wrote that this morning, the Mets have placed Jason Bay on the disabled list with a fractured rib and Mike Pelfrey on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Neither gave a timetable for his return. Bay suggested reporters “WebMD it” and said that he’ll return to baseball activity when he’s pain-free. Pelfrey insisted he feels great, though Sandy Alderson did not rule out ligament damage.

So we’ll see how that all goes. In the meantime, we’ll see Mike Baxter, Scott Hairston and likely Jordany Valdespin in left field, and presumably Chris Schwinden on regular rest in Pelfrey’s turn in the rotation on Friday. Lefty Rob Carson will join the team until it needs a starter to replace Pelfrey.

I could point out now that the Phillies still have Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Cliff Lee on their disabled list, but I assume you don’t want to hear it, even if as of last week you didn’t want to see Pelfrey throw another pitch or Bay top another grounder to the third baseman. The Mets are cursed!

For what it’s worth, I cracked a rib on the first play of my first-ever middle-school football scrimmage. I tackled a running back, and as we went down, he stuck his knee up and into my chest. I thought I just got the wind knocked out of me in some new uncharted middle-school-football way and tried to play through it, then finally broke down crying in my dad’s car after practice two weeks later when the pain hadn’t subsided. I couldn’t breathe deeply without feeling like I was being stabbed. Outside of hernia surgery, it’s the most physical pain I’ve ever endured — and I have M.S. and Crohn’s disease and I’ve broken a few other bones. Obviously every injury is its own unique thing, but it speaks to the typical toughness of the professional athlete, I think, that Bay said he felt “a little sore” today.

*- Unless crossing fingers negates the effects of knocking wood, in which case, my bad.

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