During the top of the second inning of Friday night’s 7-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets outfielder Jason Bay went crashing into the left field wall at Citi Field and was forced to exit the game; with what was later diagnosed as a concussion.
Bay, who was attempting to make a diving grab on a Jay Bruce line drive, fell awkwardly and smashed his head into the padded wall. After struggling to get to his feet, Jason finally retrieved the baseball. But by that time it was too late as Bruce was rounding third to score easily with what was ruled an inside-the-park home-run.
“I felt terrible for Jason,” Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters after the game. “He always plays the game one way — all out. He never backed off anything. He didn’t back off the wall. He didn’t back off a broken rib. He still dove. He still plays the game the only way he knows how. …It didn’t matter what he did, if he didn’t hit 40 homers, he wasn’t going to be the same guy everyone thought he was going to be. It didn’t matter how he played the game. It didn’t matter anything else. He had to be a home run hitter. Jason Bay is a fine baseball player. When you hit 45 home runs, you get paid. That is the nature of the game. It doesn’t mean he has to hit 45 every year, but that is expectation. Jason Bay is one of the finest people that I’ve ever had on my team. I just hope he gets out of this and recovers, because I’m pretty concerned about it right now.”
Whether you like Bay or not – most do not – you have to feel bad for him. Seriously. The guy has suffered his second concussion while doning the blue and orange due to crashing, head-first, into the outfield wall attempting to make a play. I realize, that ultimately, production is what counts — and many fans (including myself) are frustrated with his lack of production — but Bay — at the very least — is equally frustrated and every time he steps on the field he gives it 110%. We can bash Jason for not being very good at baseball anymore. But we can never bash him for lack of effort.
“He is so respected in this clubhouse”, Scott Hairston told reporters,“and that play symbolizes what Jason is all about. He was trying to keep runs off the board and dove for a ball because he hustles every single minute. It is almost incomprehensible that he is hurt again, but I can assure you that every guy in this locker room is deeply concerned for him.”
Bay, who hasn’t lived up to the expectations that comes along with a $68 million contract, has been limited to just 21 games this season hitting four home runs with a .626 OPS:
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