There’s dumb, there’s stupid and there’s what Victor Zambrano did this afternoon at Shea, when he not only knowingly put the Mets in a precarious situation, but also placed his career at risk.
Maybe his heart was in the right place, but his thinking was off when he went to the mound knowing his elbow wasn’t right.
Something popped in the second, and he sprinted off the mound into the dugout. Jose Reyes didn’t move as fast.
Zambrano had all the tests, and while the Mets aren’t saying now about the severity of the injury, things don’t appear good. When pitching coach Rick Peterson said he’s “sad,” and when Pedro Martinez said Zambrano risked his career, how can anybody think the news will be good?
The Mets already have one pitcher on the DL, they are playing well … there was no reason to take such a risk. Zambrano knew he was hurting and told teammates. Too bad he didn’t let Willie Randolph or Peterson in on the secret.
“Some of the guys came over and told him he should come out of the game,” Martinez said. “I knew he was hurting, but I didn’t know to what extent. To risk your career like that, it wasn’t a wise decision on his part.”
Moments after criticizing Zambrano’s judgment, Martinez turned on the group of writers around him, saying it was the media pressure put on Zambrano that forced him to try pitching while hurt.
Zambrano has barely said anything all spring. He’s a loner in the clubhouse and pretty much ignores contact with the media. To think he would be affected by anything said or written about him is pretty hard to comprehend.
Sure, Martinez was sticking up for his teammate. That much is obvious. But, in this case Martinez’s support is misguided. Zambrano acted on his own, pure and simple.
The Mets won, 6-5, and lead the Braves by nine games. That’s pretty amazing, but all that was lost in the shuffle because Zambrano didn’t use his head.
What it costs the Mets, we don’t know, yet. It remains to be seen what it will cost Zambrano, but right now it looks like a high price.