Unless you're Cal Ripken or Eli Manning with any coach other than Ben McAdoo, pro athletes miss games. They all get banged up to the point of not being able to play. Again, other than Eli the Great. What a gritty, gutty legend. However, in recent years, we've seen more and more players taking time off just to rejuvenate. It makes sense considering how long—and kind of meaningless—the regular seasons are, particularly in basketball. Still, you hate to see it, especially if you forked over good money just to see your team's star player modeling a suit on the bench.
The San Antonio Spurs really started this trend under Greg Popovich, famously getting fined for resting four of their star players for a nationally televised game against the Heat in 2012 (The Spurs still almost won. . . POP!). But while you may argue with this strategy of saving guys so they're fresh for the playoffs (You'd be wrong because it's smart), at least they just come out and say DNP-rest. Other teams aren't as blunt—and the excuses are getting more and more ridiculous.
LeBron James sitting out games for "load management" last year was pretty funny. But nothing tops the reason the New York Mets gave for All-Star second baseman Jeff McNeil to miss Thursday's game against the San Diego Padres.
Heavy legs?! Wow. Do you think ELI would miss a game because of heavy legs?! Do you know how many times I've woken up with heavy legs and still gone into work?! Talk about guts.
Sure, 162 regular season games is way (way) too much, but it's freaking baseball. You sit in the dugout for nearly half the game waiting to hit, and the other half of the game you stand around waiting for someone to hit a ball to you. Guess that is a lot of standing, though, for a 27-year-old professional athlete with HEAVY LEGS! Good grief.
Anyway, nothing against McNeill, who leads the majors with a .342 batting average, but he must wish his manager had come up with another excuse. Any other excuse.
And as for the Mets, we guess they're saving him for the postseason. LOL.