Friday, May 21, 2010

Maine Pulled After One Batter

In a strange story for the Mets, John Maine was pulled after one batter in the Mets's game against the Nationals. Maine was clearly not pleased at being pulled after coach, Warthen, didn't like what he saw from Maine in warm ups. Maine then aired out his displeasure in a post game interview (you can see that all here). The Fan isn't sure how to feel about all of this.

First, there is consideration for Maine's health. Obviously, the Mets' dugout leadership felt that he was hurting and was not going to be able to deliver for the game. But if that's so, why let him start the game? If he looked that terrible in warm ups, why not pull him before the start? Instead, they let him go to the mound and walk one guy (the ball four pitch was a strike by the way) and then face the indignity of being pulled from the game.

The second thing the Fan felt by watching the video was the body language of manager, Jerry Manuel. Watch the video for yourself. His body language practically screamed that he has no respect for John Maine. He didn't go to the pitcher and pat him on the back and tell him he was pulling him for his own protection. Instead, he waved his arm to the bullpen and then turned his back on Maine and walked back to the dugout, first making some kind of arm motion like, "get him out of there."

Warthen is then quoted as saying that Maine is, "a habitual liar in a lot of ways as far as his own health." A habitual liar? Whoa. Those are strong words. Maybe Maine is not forthcoming about his health. Most ball players are not, especially pitchers. Earlier in the year, Nick Johnson of the Yankees withheld from the team that he was hurting because he knew his reputation. The Fan gets all that. But this particular event seemed poorly handled. To let Maine start the game when there was already concern and then pull him after one batter was disrespectful. Manuel's body language was even more disrespectful.

The Mets are correct to protect one of their assets and making sure a player does not harm himself is a refreshing change from the past when no such care was ever evident. But, golly, you've got to handle it better than this was handled.

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