By Hampton Stevens
Special to Page 2

You think you're having bad week? Be grateful you aren't the Mets' Karim Garcia.

On Monday, Garcia was in trouble for an incident in which he and teammate Shane Spencer allegedly scuffled with a 20-year-old delivery driver outside a Port St. Lucie pizza parlor. The altercation reportedly began when the driver asked Karim not to urinate in the parking lot.

Karim Garcia
AP
Karim Garcia show off the new "sunroof" in his Hummer.

The nerve of that kid!

On Tuesday, Karim gave his statement to police. Then he took batting practice and promptly ripped a foul to right that smacked an elderly fan on the cranium. After the ambulance left, Jose Reyes took BP and sent a ball into the players' parking lot -- where it smashed the window of a Hummer belonging to (you guessed it) Karim Garcia.

Heaven knows what the rest of the week will bring. Locusts, lightning strikes ...

Fellow Met Roger Cedeno has the right idea.

"I've got to stay away from Karim," he said. "He's not having good luck."

Duh. Trouble follows Karim -- and not just the trouble from last year's ALCS, when he famously teamed with Jeff Nelson to fight a Fenway Park groundskeeper.

He's 28 years old and already on his fifth club. He's better known for fluke injuries, a weight problem and confrontations with service industry professionals than for putting up good baseball numbers.

What gives? After watching "The Cooler", Page 2 figures the role of Bernie Lootz, the unluckiest man in Las Vegas, was mis-cast. They let William H. Macy play him. Should've been Garcia.

He's star-crossed, born under a bad sign. He's baseball's version of Joe Btfsplk, the L'il Abner character who walks around with a rain cloud over his head.

We wanted a closer look. (Not too much closer, mind you. We're with Cedeno on this one: Better safe than sorry.) So we sent spies to Florida to check him out, and stole a look at his daily diary.

A Day in My Life
2:06 a.m. -- Returned from my nightly revelry; set alarm for 6:02 a.m.

6:02 a.m. -- Didn't hear alarm. Must've been that three-hour power outage.

9:02 a.m. -- Alarm finally woke me up. Hit "snooze" with right hand. Tried to remember why my fingers are sore. Did I punch anyone last night?

9:12 a.m. -- Hit "snooze" again, making sure to use left hand.

9:22 a.m. -- Ditto.

9:32 a.m. -- Ibid.

Karim Garcia
AP
Whether it's striking out, or beating up a groundskeeper -- Karim is your man

9:33 a.m. -- Cellphone rang and startled me, making me fall out of bed and sprain my left wrist. Hurried to find the phone and stubbed my toe. It was Art Howe, telling me to get to the park pronto. Twisted my right ankle while putting on my pants. I'm just going to have to play through the pain today.

10:04 a.m. -- Stopped to pick up my dry cleaning on the way to the Yard, but couldn't find my stub. The clerk, a 17 year-old girl, refused to give me my clothes. Strangely, she flew into a rage and demanded we step outside to "settle it like men." Don't know what got into her.

10:31:01 a.m. -- Went to McDonald's, but arrived too late for breakfast. What is it with these people today? Had to deal with another 17-year-old kid going Michael Douglas in "Falling Down" on me. Didn't get my McMuffin. Looks like it's going to be a long day.

11:04 a.m. -- Walked into the clubhouse and bugged the clubbie for a uniform switch again. I still want No. 13. Wouldn't you know it? I stumbled over that damn black cat and fell into the bathroom mirror, which shattered all over the place. Caught a glimpse of Cedeńo, fleeing in a towel and nothing else. What's up with that dude?

11:30 a.m. -- Took batting practice. Fouled the first pitch into the dugout and shattered Piazza's elbow. Flat-clobbered the next one deep to center, and that klutz Mike Cameron broke his nose trying to catch it. What a riot! And you shoulda seen Glavine, Leiter and Trachsel in that freak head-to-head-to-head collision on my short pop to right. That ought to have all three of 'em in traction for a while.

Noon -- Lunch time. Saw Todd Walker coming in approaching traffic. Did my best to swerve wildly and knock him off the road. I bet Hal McRae is smiling somewhere.

12:10 p.m. -- Three dozen oysters at Sam & Ella's Seafood Shack. Yum!

12:45 p.m. -- Had to excuse myself for a second. Took longer than I thought. I'm still feeling woozy and looking green.

1 p.m. -- The team told me I have to go through an exorcism if I want to be on the Opening Day roster. Called Fehr to complain. Jerk told me I'm on my own. What kind of representation is that?

2:03 p.m. -- The feds showed up the ballpark for those questions about the ImClone stock I sold last year. Why does the media keep saying those dealing were "sketchy?"

3:15 p.m. -- Tried to call Terrell Owens to find out who does his PR. He wouldn't take the call. Said he thought he was being punk'd by Jeff Garcia.

5:05 p.m. -- Talked to the writers after practice. Told them one more time that I wasn't urinating in that parking lot because I was drunk. They just don't get it. How many times do I have to tell them I was just trying to prove I could meet whatever new anti-steroid policy baseball wants to implement?

5:35 p.m. -- My insurance agent called to tell me that that foul ball falls under the "Acts of Nature" clause. Damn! The Hummer isn't covered.

5:59 p.m. -- Watched a DVR'ed version of "The Sopranos." That bear confuses me.

7:46 p.m. -- Pedro Martinez stopped by Casa De Karim and threw a fastball at my head. Just for old time's sake, he said.

Karim Garcia
AP
MLBPA recently appointed Big Apple Pizza as the official location for all drug tests.

7-9 p.m. Office Time

Phone calls:

  • The private detective in Cleveland I hired to find my lost feel for the strike zone. No luck yet.
  • Todd Bertuzzi. Tried to cheer him up. Told him, "Boys will be boys." He didn't seem cheered.
  • Emails:

  • To Voodoo.com to order that stuff that Pedro Cerrano from "Major League" rubbed on his bats. "I ask Jobu to come take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come." I love that line.
  • To Howard Dean, saying it was "fun" working on his campaign. Sure hope he gets that big win in November.
  • 9:01 p.m. -- Went out for a pop or two with the boys. Everyone seemed to have fun except Cedeno, who spent the whole night in a corner, muttering spells over a Karim Garcia bobblehead.

    Hampton Stevens is a contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Page 2.




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