What a mess. Let me try to sort this out and inject my own opinions on the matter.
John Maine had to lobby his way into starting the game while he was still warming up in the bullpen. After five pitches, Jerry Manuel and Dan Warthen didn’t like what they saw, came out and removed Maine – very much so against his will. Manuel was visibly upset while on the field and in the dugout afterwards.
I thought it was a bit of a quick hook on Manuel/Warthen’s part. Go out and talk to him first, see if he can get through the inning. If not, then remove him. Five pitches doesn’t really seem like enough time, but I’m not a manager or pitching coach.
The Mets announce that he was taken out for precautionary reasons due to his velocity being down and a different delivery.
Again, bit of a quick hook, don’t you think?
Post-game, Maine is none too pleased with being pulled. He says he wasn’t given a chance to argue his case and that all he wants to do is pitch. He also says he feel pain, but so does every pitcher, and that he has no reason to see a doctor tomorrow. He also says he has no idea why he was pulled, etc. etc.
Glad he’s angry about this, but I’m more concerned about the lack of communication. They coaches had literally the whole game to go and talk to Maine, discuss the issues and lay out a plan. Instead, it seems they just let him sit in the clubhouse and stew for three hours. That’s worrying.
Warthen, when speaking to reporters, calls Maine a “habitual liar.” Warthen adds that Maine is a warrior, but that he lies about his health a lot.
I can understand thinking this in your head and discussing this with other coaches, the manager and Maine himself. But to say this to the media? That’s where I have the biggest problem. Yes, the media should be clued in to as much as possible, but when a coach calls out his player and calls him a “habitual liar” it’s both a in-team and PR disaster.
Warthen should not have said that and it likely only makes the possible job of helping Maine that much harder. Frankly, they’re all grown men who should be able to speak in plain terms with each other and try to figure out what’s best for Maine and for the Mets. It seems, though, that they’re unwilling to discuss these topics and look like fools when it’s all “he said / he said / who said what?” talk to the media and to the world.