The Mets ended a lousy 2-6 road trip with a 10-7 win over the Nationals yesterday. That’s the good news, but leave it to the Mets to upstage a solid pitching effort by a Raul Valdes and a ten run offensive outburst by conjuring up yet another public relations nightmare.
After the drama that unfolded when Jerry Manuel removed John Maine after throwing just five pitches in the first inning, who knew that the best worst was yet to come after the game during the post game interviews?
Here’s a quick recap of what went down during yesterday’s game.
In the bottom of the first, John Maine threw just five pitches and walked Nyjer Morgan in the process. As Nyjer trotted to first, Maine leaned forward and grabbed his legs which prompted the trainer, Dan Warthen, Jerry Manuel and the rest of the infield to quickly visit Maine on the mound to see what was wrong. After exchanging a few words with Warthen, Manuel signaled for Raul Valdes before abruptly leaving the field, with a stunned Maine following behind him.
Although they did not speak on the mound, Maine confronted Manuel and the two got into a heated and animated exchange in the dugout. A visibly upset Maine would eventually leave for the clubhouse, while Manuel, still clearly angered, just stared out toward the mound.
Both Maine and Manuel had a nine inning cooling off period and by the time the game ended you would have presumed that it was all water under the bridge after an impressive Mets win, but things would get much worse and start to unravel.
During the presser, Jerry Manuel was asked why he removed Maine and he said he removed Maine for precautionary reasons and that he did not like something he saw when Maine walked Morgan on five pitches. He revealed that Maine had a very poor bullpen before the game and he was nearly scratched, but Maine insisted he was fine. Maine’s velocity was at 82 mph and his mechanics were off.
“He wanted to pitch,” Manuel said. “We got in a heated exchange about that and I tried to tell him I was trying to protect his best interests. I applaud the fact that he wanted to compete, but I think he would have hurt himself trying to pitch at that velocity.”
I don’t blame Manuel one bit for removing Maine. Maine looked like he was lost before he even threw his first pitch, and after he walked the first batter, which was almost inevitable, his body language did not exude any confidence that he could continue on and give his team a chance to win the game. If he had remained in the game and let up 4-5 runs, I would have criticized Manuel for not removing Maine when he did.
When reporters caught up to John Maine in the locker room, he added more fuel to the growing controversy.
“I didn’t get a chance (to make a case to remain in the game). I think that’s what I’m most upset about. They said they saw something so they were taking me out. I’m a little hurt by that. Why don’t you ask me how I feel? Whatever.”
“When you throw your first pitch and you…see a guy warming up in the bullpen, it’s a lose-lose situation.” I don’t have enough clout. I don’t have enough star power to say anything…I would like an explanation. Me throwing 85 miles an hour, I don’t think is a good explanation for me to be taken out of the game. I’m sure he doesn’t have confidence in me. Whatever.”
Maine should just shut up and stop his constant whining in my opinion. If you ask me, the Mets have shown Maine plenty of patience over the last two seasons and all they get in return for it is excuses and more whining after every outing.
If Maine expects everyone to have confidence in him, he can help matters by showing some confidence in himself first. On any other team, he wouldn’t even crack the rotation with his team worst 6.13 ERA.
He always looks like a sad sack before and after the game. He never says anything to motivate his teammates, and his performances of late are hardly inspiring.
For once I’d like to see him smile from ear to ear and say he felt great out there after a game… Something Maine… Gimme something…
Maine was also shocked to learn that the Mets have scheduled a doctor’s visit for him on Friday.
“I don’t need to go to a doctor,” he said. “I have felt pain for two years, but I don’t care about that. I wanted to pitch, the bottom line… I feel something all the time. We’re pitchers…I’m telling them everything that is going on. They know everything that is going on with me.”
Probably the most shocking comments of the night came from pitching coach Dan Warthen who said this regarding Maine’s insistence that he was fine.
“John is a habitual liar in a lot of ways, as far as his own health. He is a competitor and a warrior, and he wants to go out and pitch, but we have to be smart enough to see that he isn’t right, that the ball isn’t coming out of his hand correctly.”
A habitual liar? Really? Who does Warthen think he is?
Everytime I hear something about Dan Warthen, it always seems to be involving comments he made about another player. He once said some comments in spring training that Johan Santana took offense to, and last year he referred to Oliver Perez as being fat and lazy. This past offseason he blamed last years pitching woes on Omir Santos and Brian Schneider.
Here’s a question for our less than brilliant and super critical pitching coach…
If Omir and Schneider were responsible for all those walks last season, why do the Mets lead the world in walks again this year?
Maybe the biggest problem with the pitching is Dan Warthen… Is there one Mets pitcher who hasn’t regressed under his watch?
This entire episode has got me so ticked off.
We have a huge homestand beginning tonight that can ultimately decide our fate for the rest of the season. Instead of focusing all of their attention on the Yankees and Phillies series, now the team will have this ridiculous distraction circulating throughout the clubhouse by a media that isn’t about to let this fade away. Heck, the Mets’ own network, SNY, will be leading the charge and I guarantee it will be the big topic of discussion on Wheelhouse, Loudmouths, Daily News Live and the pre game show.
I don’t know of any other MLB team that spends so much of their time embroiled in these stupid embarrassing episodes between owners, management, coaches or players. I’m kind of sick of it. Just play ball damn it…