Friday, December 03, 2010

Forget the (John) Maine

Forgive this Fan for being a bit dense on the latest course of Mets decision making. From what Terry Collins is saying, they are in deep talks with 31 year old, broken pitcher, Chris Young, formerly of the Padres, whose best season included a 128 ERA+ but has a 105 career ERA+ and yet have non-tendered their own broken 29 year old pitcher, John Maine, whose best season was a 122 ERA+ and has a career ERA+ of 98. The most games Young has ever won was 12. The most games Maine has won is 15. Granted, that's basically it for both pitchers as far as glory goes.

But it goes beyond that. Maine was non-tendered because it was feared that he would possibly make $4 million in arbitration. Young made nearly $7 million last year and will not be signed for much less than what Maine would have made.

Maine's most famous recent memory was getting mad at Jerry Manuel for taking him out of a game when he was obviously hurt. Maine didn't want to leave the game. Many viewed Maine as a trouble maker from that incident. But to this Fan's perspective, that made Maine look like a fighter and a competitor. Yeah, such antics would have gotten Maine hurt worse because he didn't know how to listen to his doctors and take care of himself. But at least he had fire in his belly. That made an impact on this observer.

But this is what this Fan doesn't understand. Everybody in the world is looking for pitching. At least 25 of the 30 teams will be searching around for pitching when their big Winter Meetings commence on Sunday. Why give up on a guy like Maine over $4 million? That's chump change in the MLB. Maine was once an effective pitcher. The Mets have to feel strongly that those days are behind Maine.

That is what this all looks like. The Mets didn't believe Maine can ever be an effective pitcher again. Yet they do believe Chris Young can be. Good luck with that. Broken pitchers are tough to put a lot of faith in. But in this day and age when everyone is looking for pitching, it would have seemed worth the Mets while to hold on to Maine at least one more year to see if there is anything left there. When he was healthy, he was a pretty darned good pitcher.

But then again, maybe this writer just likes his last name and feels defensive that nobody wants it...whoops...him.

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