So, Gerard’s out amid the art and tumbleweeds in far West Texas, and I was more or less out of commission this weekend myself, so a few things that some might’ve considered important — or at least ordinarily been covered — were not covered. I imagine that those relying on CSTB for their golf coverage will probably never be able to trust us again, but one incident that I imagine GC might’ve given a link was Jerry Manuel’s (actually pretty funny) joke following the Mets’ 11-0 drubbing at the hands of the Braves on Saturday.

The context: Gary Sheffield was cramping up (because he’s 40 years old and signed with the Mets to win a World Series as a part-timer, not to be “protected” in the lineup by Omir Santos on a team that increasingly looks like it could lose 90 games). Reporters asked him after the game about Sheffield’s prognosis. Dr. Manuel responded, “They’re calling it cramps… (so) surgery on Thursday.” Then he laughed.

A bunch of people laughed. Because what the fuck else are you going to do when such a thing keeps happening over and over and over to the Mets’ best players? Are you going to cry? Are you going to cry about it, like a little baby? It depends, really. If you are Mets GM Omar Minaya or outlandishly overmatched bluetooth jockey and player development director Tony Bernazard, yeah, you’re apparently probably going to cry like a little baby. Here’s Bart Hubbach in the New York Post:

Manager Jerry Manuel figures to get an earful from his bosses — if he hasn’t already — after an ill-advised joke last night following the Mets’ 11-0 loss to the Braves… Realizing that team-owned SNY was filming the remark, Manuel quickly added: “I couldn’t resist. Sorry, doctors.”

Manuel then pleaded twice — apparently without success — with the network’s in-house reporter, Kevin Burkhardt, not to run the footage. Manuel was making light of the Mets’ habit, particularly this season, of minimizing injuries that turn out to be much more serious. It is an especially touchy subject with team management, so Manuel is sure to hear about it.

I mean, obviously it’s a little passive-aggressive and such, but the Mets training staff has botched injury after injury this year. Bernazard, one of those bizarre corporate survivors who seems consistently to fail up despite being disliked by your more discerning Mets and his odd habit of only developing players likely to have worse Big League careers than he did, is maligned by the fans who can still bother to care. His failure (and Minaya’s as well) is written all over the organization, most notably through some unrealistically lousy farm teams. So honestly they need to loosen up and get fucking fired learn to laugh about it, you know? It’s good to laugh. I do it whenever Brian Schneider bats.

At ESPN, Buster Olney offers another reason Manuel might be in trouble over his remark, writing, “The Mets have a professional relationship with the Hospital for Special Surgery, which sponsors the team. Imagine if a spokesperson for Coca-Cola ripped the soft drink company publicly; Manuel was joking, but that’s essentially what he did.”

Well, I mean, not specifically. And maybe not at all. But essences are slippery things. This is not a big deal, and probably wasn’t a big deal when it actually happened like three days ago. But better to talk about this than the actual team as presently constituted, probably.