Junior Valentine had a painful case of the Mondays last night. I’m not talking about your average, too-much-to-drink-on-NFL-opening-weekend hangover pain. Nor am I talking about the kind of agony associated with your micro-manager boss calling for three Zoom meetings and a sales log update to start the week. Valentine’s discomfort was more like something caused by a Mike Tyson haymaker, thanks to an errant throw in Monday’s Mets-Cardinals game.
1B umpire Junior Valentine is hit in the face by an errant throw by St. Louis shortstop Edmundo Sosa. pic.twitter.com/2MQnvv6Am6
— Jason Martinez (@JasonFox29) September 13, 2021
Valentine, a first base umpire, was in his normal position just behind the first baseman when a routine second-inning ground ball turned hazardous. Kevin Pillar of the Mets sent a grounder in the direction of St. Louis shortstop Edmundo Sosa, who fielded the ball cleanly and then ripped a howitzer towards first.
Unfortunately for Valentine, Sosa’s throw had all the accuracy of a Rick Vaughn fastball.
Intended for the glove of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, the game ball instead quickly introduced itself to the side of Valentine’s face, making for an unpleasant first impression. Valentine immediately hit the deck with blood pouring from his right cheek.
Play was halted for several minutes as a Mets team trainer tended to Valentine. Fortunately, the second-year ump avoided serious injury and was able to shake off the errant throw and stay in the game.
The Cardinals weren’t just hitting umpires, they were also teeing off on the Mets. St. Louis blanked New York 7-0.