There’s Enough Blame To Go Around For Everyone
As the Yankees were handing out World Series jewelry in the Bronx the other day, the Mets pitcher John Maine was winning the booby prize for pitching a wonderful session of batting practice out West. Unfortunately, it occurred during the third inning of regulation against the Rockies.
After six runs crossed the plate with two outs, pushing the deficit to 8-0, Maine stumbled off the mound like a punch drunk fighter. The radar gun was registering so low on his “heater”, the Colorado State Police were about to issue the affable pitcher a ticket for driving in the big leagues under the speed limit.
With two horrendous starts under his belt-one more and Maine could be finished in New York (downstate, at least), questions about his shoulder and makeup abound. His next start could be strike three.
Problem is, the front office left little wiggle room if one of the Big Three-Maine, Ollie Perez, and Mike Pelfrey, falters. They bought a fancy car (Jason Bay) but couldn’t afford the auto insurance. If that isn’t organizational ineptitude what is?
By the way, Bay (finally) graced the RBI stat sheet in only game seven. By the way, his rib came during garbage time At this rate he is sure to overtake last night’s winning pitcher, Greg Smith any day.
As Omar Minaya keeps a stiff upper lip, and is Joe Cool, Jerry Manuel should start squirming. However, there is one element working in the skipper’s favor: the Mets don’t go to the West Coast until May 31st, a place where they have a propensity to slay managers.
How many heads does Minaya get to feed to the Lions? His count is approaching two and he’s still the ringleader. It says here he’s safe until the All-Star Break. Then he should be sent to Nebraska to scout school boys.
But the GM failed not rebuilding the pitching staff (starters). Maine and Perez have lost velocity, their confidence, and soon the fans’ support. Add Luis Castillo and newly minted centerfielder Gary Matthews Jr, to the list of potential boo bird targets.
Matthews is no Matthews Sr. Castillo’s dugout tantrum, for getting nailed on questionable judgment (and a bad call), was sophomoric. He should be escorted to the pine but that would make sense.
After another stunning loss last night, somebody has to step up big in Colorado for the series finale. Remember every Santana loss counts as two, and a no-decision is as good as a defeat. Maybe Mike Pelfrey will take the ball and keep his team in contention past the first third inning of action. Maybe Bay or David Wright, or even Jose Reyes will have a big game with the stick and eradicate a modest four game losing streak.
Then again, any losing streak this season could turn into a Red Ball. That is Police parlance for Emergency.
About the Author: Doug Branch
Doug has been sports writing since 1983. He first wrote about the Mets at spring training that year, and his first interviewee was surly catcher Ron Hodges. He currently writes for Mets Inside Pitch, among other magazines published by Scout Publishing-which is owned by Fox Sports. He began following the team during the Wes Westrum era, and redeemed many Borden milk coupons for free Saturday baseball. The night of Tom Seaver's imperfect game against the Cubs, he was in line to buy a ticket when the windows slammed shut and abject disappointment ensued.
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