Thursday, April 19, 2007

Meanderings of Jon Heyman [J. Mark English]

I'm not getting ahead of myself, or too big for my britches, but I'm beginning to think that Jon Heyman is reading this blog.

Today he followed up on what I wrote about the Mets and their no-hitter plague:

...Mets' promising youngster John Maine couldn't overcome history when he came up short in his bid. Maine pitched what should be known as a "Mets no-hitter," throwing six no-hit innings before failing in the bid.

It continues to be remarkable that the Mets, around since 1962, have yet to throw a no-hitter despite employing some of the great pitchers of our time such as Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Dwight Gooden, David Cone, Pedro Martinez, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack and Al Leiter. Many of these pitchers threw no-hitters elsewhere, including Seaver, Gooden, Cone and Leiter, and of course Ryan (seven).

For comparison's sake, the Mets have been no-hit six times. And the rival Marlins, around only since 1993, already have four no-hitters to their credit.

Heyman preceded these comments with a great piece about the Phillies desperation move, putting starter Bret Myers into their bullpen. Heyman thinks that this may be a last ditch move to help save skipper Charlie Manuel's job:

I don't know whether it was embattled manager Charlie Manuel's idea to move Myers or not (it's hard to believe he had any lucid thoughts during the same 24-hour period where he bragged he could beat up a radio host, on tape no less), but I wouldn't blame whoever decided to make the switch (and I suspect it was GM Pat Gillick). With the team digging an early yet substantial hole, and no relievers to be had in trade, the move isn't completely foolhardy.

But for now, this move looks suspiciously like the move before the move.

Gillick told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "We're behind Charlie," and "I think the responsibility lies with the players as much as it does the manager right now." I must say, I have heard stronger endorsements.

If this pitching switch doesn't work, it only stands to reason that Manuel will get the boot. Sources close to the situation say his Phillies bosses appreciate that Manuel's players love him. But those players clearly aren't playing for him.

This rotation-relief swap may help some. But if it doesn't, you have to think that Phillies coach Jimy Williams, the longtime Gillick associate and heir apparent, will be warming up in the bullpen.

Labels: , , ,