All you Mets fans who have been busy sticking pins into the hands of Chipper Jones voodoo dolls all these years, your ship has finally come in.

During tonight’s broadcast of what would be an icky 4-2 loss in 11 innings to the Phillies, Gary Cohen informed us that the now-35-year-old Laaaareeee would be unable to haunt Mets fans with his Brave presence for a good long time, as he is planning to have casts placed on both of his hands after smashing up both wrists simultaneously on a collision with the Pirates’ Jose Bautista on May 11. Thus sprach Larry:

“Taking off my socks hurts,” Jones said. “Everything bugs you. If I bend my hand all the way back or down, I feel it. And every time you feel it, it’s hurting it a little bit more. That’s why I’m trying to immobilize it as much as possible.”

Am I laughing at all this? No. In fact, my wrists kinda hurt right now just typing about it.

You don’t often hear injured ballplayers talk about their physical aches and pains. But it’s pretty obvious that they deal with the kind of pain on a daily basis, even when not “injured,” that most of us would find intolerable. You foul a ball off your foot and you’re supposed to “walk it off.” Someone steps on your hand wearing spikes and if it’s not broken in three places, you’re expected to remain on base. A line drive bounces off your solar plexus and knocks the wind out of you, and people expect you to scratch yourself a few times and then shrug it off like it was a mosquito bite. Because you make All That Money, you are expected to be made of iron, with deader-than-dead nerve endings to match. If you’re in that lineup, boy, you’d better produce.

The Mets were very shrewd when they put this year’s team together. They knew they were going to have a lot of potentially old-and-busted in their lineup and in their starting rotation, and they planned accordingly. Forty-year-old Moises Alou yanks the crap out of his quadriceps? No prob, that’s why we have Endy Chavez. Carbon-dated El Duque’s bursitis acts up again? Sweat not, Oliver Perez will give us number 2-type starts. Born-during-the-first-Mets-Miracle Jose Valentin rips his ACL? Here comes barely-younger Damion Easley to pick him up. Which is why I say you can spend all the money you want on your team, but you’d better get lucky with the guys you pick up off the scrap heap. Because you will get banged up, it’s just a matter of how well you prepare for it.

But sometimes, it seems like even the guys who are “healthy” all have owies at the same time. David Wright has played the last three games with back spasms. Back spasms frigging hurt. Even if you’re David Wright. Your back muscles don’t care how much is in your bank account or how many young girls are tortured by dreams of you; if you tweak ‘em, you tweak ‘em. Carlos Beltran — leading all NL outfielders in All-Star balloting by about a million kilometers, by the way — finally made it back into the lineup tonight after sitting out the weekend with a badly bruised knee.

A bruised knee, you say. What a giant wuss. Yet seeing Beltran out there taking his 0-for-4-with-a-walk and gimping around the bases with his chronically sore quadriceps en route to scoring half of the Mets’ runs tonight (one) was a stark reminder of just what he does for us, every game, without complaint. No whining about the agony of sock removal for this guy. But you know it had to be killing him, crawling out there like he knew he had to with two-thirds of the outfield (Alou and Shawn Green) already disabled.

Come to think of it, now my quads don’t feel so great either.