Left fielder Jason Bay will not officially pronounce himself out for the rest of the season. Still, the first-year New York Met looks at the Oct. 3 season finale rapidly approaching and acknowledged it is "highly unlikely" he will return to game action before the season concludes in 2½ weeks.
"Given the lack of things that I've done at this point to get back on there, I understand it's probably highly unlikely, but it's still a goal," Bay said after taking part in a team photograph Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field, then watching his teammates take batting practice.
Bay suffered a whiplash-induced concussion at Dodger Stadium on July 23. He played the next two games before the symptoms surfaced on a cross-country flight back to New York after the series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bay has started to do physical activities, but has not attempted to swing a bat.
"There's been a few things where you run a little bit too hard and your body is kind of like, 'Let's slow down a little bit,' but no setbacks," Bay said. "There's really nothing that you can do to set it back. It's more just: You do things and you feel good, you do a little bit more. And if you don't feel good, you wait. You just keep piling it up."
Bay said the headaches that lasted for more than a month have now totally gone.
"I haven't had any headaches for a while," he said. "It's funny. I kind of got used to having one for a while there. You kind of get used to it. Now, not having one, you kind of realize how big of a pain in the butt it was."
Bay signed a four-year, $66 million deal with the Mets last offseason. Assuming his first season as a Met is complete, he will have hit .259 with six homers and 47 RBIs in 348 at-bats over 98 games. Bay had averaged 154 games a season from 2005-09.
Bay plans to return to his Seattle home in 2½ weeks when the Mets complete their schedule.
As for why he won't officially pronounce himself done for the season, despite even his acknowledgement it's nearly impossible to return, Bay said: "I hate to sit here right now and say I'm not going to play again, and that's it. ... Every day that passes and you don't take these giant leaps forward, you realize you're that much further behind. I realize the ramifications of the days and where you're at. I'm not going to squash it, but I also realize."
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.