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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Megdal: In which the Mets push Johan Santana to the breaking point

“There’s nothing more deadly than a gentle man pushed too far!”

If it hadn’t been his back, it probably would have been something else.

Why the Mets did the Mets take that risk? After all the fanfare surrounding a Monday meeting of the brain trust and a thought-out decision? Collins said pregame that it was Santana who wanted to pitch, as if that settled it.

It is all so disspiriting because it fits a pattern that was supposed to end under Alderson. Things like the inexplicable public announcements and plans to pitch R.A. Dickey on short rest long after the Mets were out of contention, continued shifting of Jenrry Mejia from starter to reliever and back, holding onto Scott Hairston for meager 2012 gains instead of adding a prospect to the team’s young talent base.

It’s not like a better decision-making process can prevent all injuries. But it can limit the impact of the injuries that do occur, and prevent others. (See the Yankees’ handling of CC Sabathia for an example of how it’s done.)

It’s not Alderson’s fault that the Mets’ roster is so limited, given the extreme budgetary restraints forced upon him by ownership’s financial problems. But if he’s not providing the steadying influence that stops the team from making reckless decisions, what’s he there for?

Repoz Posted: August 21, 2012 at 01:14 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. will Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4213931)
I have mixed feelings on this topic. I think there is a growing tendency on the part of MLB teams to prematurely "throw in the towel" and focus on the next season.It is often true that about 50% of the teams know in June or early July that they are unlikely to make the playoffs. If you're always playing for the future, then you're never focusing on today. I have tickets in my desk for about 8 more games at Citizens Bank Park, and I want to see the Phillies win some damn games. If all I want to do is watch prospects, I can drive to Reading or Allentown, and the tickets won't cost $65 each.

The particulars of the Santana situation are analyzed by the article, but I think it is important that the standard for ending a veteran's season should be more then he has a sore muscle and we're not going to make the playoffs. Consideration should be given to both the perspective of the paying customer, and the presumption that MLB games are a competitive enterprise.
   2. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 21, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4213994)
Consideration should be given to both the perspective of the paying customer, and the presumption that MLB games are a competitive enterprise.


Like the poor Marlins season ticket holders.
   3. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 21, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4214174)
How badly was Santana injured?

How long is he out for?

Did the arm fall off, or is it still dangling by a torn ligament?
   4. PreservedFish Posted: August 21, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4214190)
I was very pissed when Collins took Dickey out of the game last night for a pinch-hitter. The Mets have basically nothing to play for except Dickey's shot at a Cy Young, and you just went and guaranteed him a no-decision. And it was stupid even without that consideration. Dickey was cruising and he's better than literally every pitcher in the bullpen. A cast of idiots giving up the losing runs the 8th and 9th was the world's most predictable outcome.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: August 21, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4214201)
Also, I agree with #1. I don't know all the ins and outs of the decisions, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Mets were acting stupidly, but in general you don't just shut down a veteran because he has a variety of nagging injuries (Megdal's argument: "If it hadn’t been his back, it probably would have been something else"). They talked about this on yesterday's broadcast and Darling said that it can be important for a pitcher to work through a bout of ineffectiveness, that it was possible to learn something in September that gets you pointed the right direction for April. Maybe they should have been more cautious, but it isn't black and white to me.
   6. Benji Posted: August 21, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4214204)
Absolutely agree with #4. When Torres walked, I knew what was going to happen, and I was begging for Shoppach to save RA by hitting into the DP, but he earned his Met Merit Badge by whiffing. Then Turner, who I've wanted gone since the pie in Johan's face after the no-hitter, compounded the felony. There's hardly anybody watching anyway, and we wanted Dickey to have a shot at winning. 2 clowns pinch-hitting and the world's worst bullpen made that impossible.
   7. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 21, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4214219)
Rob Dibble scoffs at Howard's concern.

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