I just remember one game, I believe two years ago, where the Mets were playing the Nationals, and John Maine looked as if he were throwing batting practice to six-year-old kids. He was just lobbing it in there, around 82-85 mph, and he got shelled the first inning or two. He seriously looked like he wasn’t putting in an ounce of effort, almost like he wanted to pitch poorly. Then Jerry Manuel came to take him out and he argued with Manuel on the mound before storming off into the dugout. After that, I seriously disliked John Maine.
I remember that game vividly. But it was my perception that Maine may have felt his career slipping away from him on that day, so that would explain his reaction. It was extremely sad watching him pitch and then see his reaction afterward.
Maine was an easy guy to root for in a sport that has been lacking of this lately. He was quit hardworking and didn’t make excuses. Even though at the end of his Mets career he hurt his team by not being truthful with his injury issues, we don’t see a guy try to tough it out any more. We usually see a player sit back; collect they’re paycheck and make sure they are healthy for the next contract. In game 1 of the 2006 NLDS , Maine was thrown into the game, the stadium was rocking and he did his job. At the end of the 2007, in a pressure packed game, Maine came within 4 outs of a no-hitter. I think Maine would have been best in the bullpen, as he was often very good the first 2 times through the batting order. Also the amount of balls fouled off of him did no good for his pitch count.
I remember Maine’s last game of 2007 as well. He got a lead early, and crushed the Marlins with 7 2/3 innings of no-hit ball, only to see the season end the next day with a pathetic Glavin effort. It was no fluke, the Marlins hit the snot out of both Perez and Glavin, and many other pitchers as well. If Maine had remained healthy, he’d have been a Met for a long time. I still have my “Maine 33” shirt.
When it comes to pain, players are sort of damned if they do and damned if they don’t. But he clearly exasperated the Mets with his refusal to admit that there was something seriously wrong with his arm and shoulder. He tried to pitch through it and ended his career in the process.
John Maine is a man of character on and of the mound. All he has ever wanted is to pitch for his team and take care of his family. He understands the score and from his heart, has only wanted to give his all.
Comment by Pete Mauer — September 18, 2011 @ 8:19 pm
Health is always a great concern for most people.
Comment by Woodrow Mailloux — October 18, 2011 @ 11:49 pm
my instinct is not to blame maine. if anyone, look toward the mets mismanagement of health with reyes, beltran, ike, etc. when other players try to play through pain they are considered to be part of the old-school, tough-guy, noble way. and it is. maine wasn’t a wimp or complainer to the media. and the mets ownership was recently paraphrased as having told guys to “toughen up” and that they “didn’t want to hear it”. maine’s attitude is embraced most of the time, cal ripken would have handled it the same way. i’m not comparing talent or ability to stay on the field, i am just comparing attitudes. the “liar” portion of warthen’s statement was a negative focus, and due to the nature of the entire quote, it has an almost out of context feel. the media focused on the negativity of the word “liar”. maine to me always seemed like a guy with character. you didn’t have to question his heart or toughness. he wasn’t being consciously selfish or malice. he likely viewed the injury stuff as a thing to keep in house, that is a pros way. if glavine doesn’t crap the bed in that last game mets fans remember maine as a hero for saving the season. it would have been, and still should be, one of the most memorable performances in mets pitching history considering the game was pretty much elimination at that point. there are guys in the hall of fame that carried themselves the same way. nobody would have focused on mickey mantle as a liar for playing through injury. granted he did it with far more success than maine, that point is moot.