It looks like John Maine’s career with the New York Mets and perhaps in baseball is close to coming to an end. The last 2 seasons have been a disaster for the pitcher. I have defended him many times on this site and others. I don’t exactly know why but I’ve always had a bit of soft spot for Maine.
Maine is a guy who always wants to pitch no matter what. Maine expects a lot of himself and wants to contribute. We’ve seen in the past that he is more than willing to go out and pitch when he’s hurt. Maine is the opposite of Oliver Perez in that he wants to help the team. Maine’s also the opposite of Carlos Beltran as he wants to play through the pain. Unfortunately the desire to play through any pain is not enough to play in this league and shouldn’t be. In that case you and I would be making more than most players.
Maine endeared himself to many Mets fans including myself in the 2006 playoffs. 2007 was a great year for him, especially the last start of the season for him in which he took a no hitter deep into the game against the Marlins. 2008 Maine needed to be shut down and ultimately had surgery. Maine didn’t come back from the surgery as everyone hoped as he had to be shut down again for a good part of 2009. Of course this year has been dreadful; just look at his numbers: 6.13 ERA, 25 Walks and his fastball doesn’t reach 90.
It wouldn’t surprise me in the next week or so we hear that John Maine has been designated for assignment. To me what has sealed Maine’s fate is Jerry Manuel. Maine like Ryan Church and Ramon Castro before him is in Jerry’s Doghouse. Last month Jerry said to the writers that perhaps Maine would be better if he decided to pitch left handed. It was a cheap shot from the manager. Jerry this past weekend took another cheap-shot at Maine by saying that he would only pitch Maine on off days. Of course the writers and everyone else just laughed. The Teflon manager slides by as usual. I bet if another manger had said that there would be a different reaction but since as Jon Heyman said to me in a tweet regarding Jerry Manuel:
“SI_JonHeyman @gregpomes not good for a quote. GREAT for a quote.”
Maine has been awful, I don’t want him in the rotation and the Mets wouldn’t be wrong if they get rid of him. I didn’t like kicking Maine while he’s already down. We’ve seen Warthen attack Maine on air and I just can’t help but feel a little sorry for him. A Jerry had to say was that “we are not going to take Takahashi out of the rotation and right now we don’t have a spot for John Maine.” There was no reason to make jokes at Maine’s expense. Really shows what kind of a guy Jerry Manuel is. Perhaps being released by the Mets will be a good thing for Maine. He’ll go to a team with a good pitching coach and a better manager that perhaps can fix him. Whatever happens, I wish John Maine well and I honestly hope he can turn his career around.