The last 24 hours haven't been easy ones for New York Mets fans.
On Monday, the team announced that Matt Harvey had a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. The injury will likely cost Harvey the rest of this season, and possibly all of next year if he requires Tommy John surgery.
One day later, the Mets traded outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Single-A prospect Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later. That deal effectively raises the white flag on the Mets' 2013 season.
In some unfortunate timing, the Mets traded Byrd on the same day that a Marlon Byrd t-shirt is being given out to fans at Citi Field who purchased a special "t-shirt night" ticket. To those fans wondering why the Mets dealt away their leading home run hitter and RBI producer, the shirt can be used to dab wet eyes or soak up tears.
OK, that might be exaggerating a bit. Surely even Mets fans — even those that may have really enjoyed watching Byrd — understand that trading a 39-year-old veteran when he had some value, rather than let him leave after the season as a free agent and getting nothing in return, was a good move for a team headed toward its fifth consecutive fourth-place finish in the NL East.
But if you really enjoyed the Marlon Byrd era in Queens — hey, you now have a t-shirt to remember it with. Perhaps fans at Citi Field will wave those shirts to celebrate Byrd's year with the Mets at some point during Tuesday night's game versus the Phillies.
To be fair, this isn't just an "Oh, that's so Mets!" public relations flub. Last season, the Philadelphia Phillies proceeded with a Hunter Pence bobblehead promotion almost a month after trading him to the San Francisco Giants. Why let such collectibles go to the recycling bin or a third-world country when you can still hold a giveaway for your fans?