I enjoy participating in the world of social media. I’m on Twitter more hours than I really should be but for the most part it’s a very informative vehicle for breaking news, links to interesting stories and taking in all different views and opinions. What sucks about social media is the segment of participants who turn into your mother, grandmother and Aunt Sadie, you know the one’s, they tell you how you should react to news or statements that infuriate you or lure you into debate. It used to be a debate was an exchange of views, ideas and opinions that although were different, they were respected. In today’s social media world debate consists of I’m right and you’re an asshole. The news about Matt Harvey was a prime example of this new way of debate.
I saw the news about Matt Harvey’s partially torn Ulnar Collateral ligament when it hit the Twitterverse, Mets Twitter erupted, as you knew it would. How could this have happened? Who fucked up? Whose head will role because of this? The Wilpon’s are broke,SELL THE TEAM!(that one is universal in times of Mets disaster news) Mets Twitter didn’t care, like a bunch of Third World dictators they wanted a scalp any scalp, didn’t matter.
When the tweets went out for the call of the heads of Terry Collins and Dan Warthen, the pearl clutchers, who I mentioned above, came out in full force. Some were beat writers who sit at press conference after press conference and never ask a pertinent or compelling question. Maybe that’s the best way these days as we have seen recently with NY Daily News NY Jets beat writer Manish Mehta who has been getting killed for asking the Jets cartoon character of a head coach, Rex Ryan to name his starting quarterback for the first game of the Jets regular season, and when not getting an answer, not letting Ryan off the hook and demanding an answer. Since when is that wrong? Dick Young must be shaking his pitch fork in hell over this reaction.
Anyway, so Mets fans wanted not just a head on a stick but answers on how or why did this happen to the Heir to The Franchise Throne? The first two heads fans wanted was Collins’ and Warthen’, doesn’t matter if neither guy was directly responsible for Harvey tearing the ligament but because the majority of Mets fans would like to see a change in manager and pitching coach anyway, this was as good as time as any to raise the rhetoric.
I’m as guilty as anyone in this. It’s not that I don’t like Collins or Warthen, its more I feel there needs to be a change not just in body but in philosophy. Collins to me is much more valuable and a better fit as a minor league coordinator than a field manager and since his contract is up after this season as a manager, I would have no problem whatsoever with the Mets reassigning him for next year, but I’d like to reassign him as a Director of Minor League Field Operations.
My beef with Warthen is that I don’t agree with his passive direction to pitching. Warthen loves his pitchers to nibble around the plate and to throw a lot of off speed and breaking balls. Mets pitchers hardly ever throw inside to establish that part of the plate is as much theirs as it is the batters. I also feel both Warthen and Collins are woeful at bullpen management. Pitchers are overused not just in game situation but in preparation to enter a game situation. Too many times relievers warm up, then sit down, the warm up again, and then sit down again. Mets relief pitchers are subject to more wear and tear on their arms warming up than they do in an actual game situation. To analyze Collins in game strategy would take another 1,000 word post.
All this spewing of anger doesn’t mean I hold Collins and Warthen responsible for Matt Harvey‘s injury. I am confused about Sandy Alderson stating the organization knew that Harvey was complaining about soreness in his forearm but didn’t do anything preventive about that. Also Collins it seems was out of the loop on this vital piece of information as well. There seems to be a fracture in communication here that needs to be addressed.
What also needs to be addressed is the number of injuries the pitchers in the organization have suffered; Frank Francisco, Jurys Familia, Jeremy Hefner, Jenry Mejia and now Matt Harvey, all out with elbow injuries. If I’m the GM I have to look at this pattern and think about revamping the way the organization handles the care and prevention of these types of injuries. I understand completely that you can do so much prevented care and study on pitchers, even Rick Peterson who is at the forefront of Pre-habilitation with his use of the facilities at the American Sports Medicine Institute , claims that with all the preventive measures you can take, injuries still happen:
“It’s like driving the speed limit, wearing your seat belt, doing everything right, accidents are still going to happen”
After the initial ranting and raving over the injury to Harvey, seriously how did you expect Mets fans to react to the Harvey bad news? We were programed to thinking 2014 was the breakout season under Sandy Alderson. The only reason to be a bit optimistic was every five days being Matt Harvey Day and then watching Zack Wheeler start to understand what to do on a big league pitchers mound and the fact that enough money was coming off the books this off season for the Mets to be free agent buyers again, pointed to the end of the non-competitive seasons and back to not just respectability but to be one of the teams in baseball to be talked about as World Series contenders; all that was sabotaged by a torn Ulnar Collateral ligament, and you expect me to pause and be reflective? Are you fucking kidding?