That FOOT Is Me

Wow.  When I first read this article, I thought it was an April Fool’s Joke.  I mean, seriously, why would Brian Cashman call out the Mets for abusing Pedro Feliciano deliberately in the press?  Then I realized the date was not only April 2, but that it was indeed real.

If you are a Mets fan who a) doesn’t live under a rock or b) don’t have quick access to a New York-based newspaper and/or blog, chances are you’ve seen the hullabaloo that Brian “Pee Wee” Cashman, esteemed General Manager of the New York Highlanders, had to remark about newest Yankee bullpen pitcher and former Mets stalwart, Pedro Feliciano.  Yes, perhaps Cashman was the ONLY person in the tri-state area let alone in all of Major League Baseball who wasn’t aware of the fact that Feliciano himself earned the nickname “Perpetual Pedro” for a reason.  No, not because at 2010, he was the most tenured Met.  It was because he asked for the ball every damn day.

I wasn’t so much of a fan of Pedro Feliciano, but I definitely appreciated him when he was on the team.  My thought process behind not keeping him around was simple: he was getting older and pitchers tend to not age well.  Unless he’s the Picture of Dorian Gray himself, Mariano Rivera, whose arm NEVER seems to age.  Anyway, it seems like Cashman was the only person who wasn’t aware that NEWSFLASH: Pedro Feliciano is not only older but guess what – he’s a pitcher who asked to pitch every day and never complained about it.  Perhaps there was a reason why the Mets didn’t keep him around, and that was it.  It was even sort of confirmed by Dan Warthen who said to the effect that “Why do you think WE didn’t keep him around?”

Moving right along, I guess that the Yankees have never ever found themselves overusing a bullpen arm or pitcher in general that they are surprised that a pitcher can come to them as damaged goods.  In fact, I mentioned this yesterday on Twitter, basically stating that when Bartolo Colon had gotten lit up that I wondered if Cashman would blame the Mets for that.  Ha ha.  What started off as a joke got into a minor Twitgument with some Yankees fan who said that The Mets knew they abused Feliciano.  I never disputed that.  When I did say back was because you know the Yankees have always treated their pitchers with thought process that they’re human and their arms can fall off and we don’t want to be responsible for that.

Yeah right.  The Yankees are not beyond reproach.  Two pitchers off the top of my head whom they’ve ruined or more politely put “tinkered with their development” are on the staff now, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes.  Do I need to insult your intelligence with Joba’s so-called “Rules” that were brought on to not abuse him, but then were really in a reverse psychological way managed to F him up further?

And what about Phil Hughes?  The Yanks desperately needed a home grown pitching talent and you can ask many impartial Yankees fans (they do exist, shocking I know) and they agree he was rushed.  Sure, he had many wins at one point in 2010, but he also had a TON of run support to back him up.  Very overrated.  But which came first: the overrated pitcher or the rushed development?  Film at 11!

But wait!  That’s not all.  Scott Proctor and Paul Quantrill are two names in recent years that spring to mind and were even discussed on Joe and Evan on the FAN this morning, that they were notoriously run into the ground by the Yankees that they are deemed unemployable by now.  Huh, funny.  I wonder if a team like, I don’t know say, the Royals took on one of them, would they DARE call out the Yankees on abusing them?  No because it’s a) not cool and b) unsubstantiated.

And when Kevin Brown came to the Yankees in 2003, when he sucked for them in the playoffs in 2004 and for most of 2005, did they come out and blame the Dodgers for not telling them that hey, he might be bad AND have a bit of a temper problem?

And don’t get me started on Kyle Farnsworth.

Truth is, of course Pedro Feliciano was used quite a bit (OK, a LARGE amount) by the Mets.  But the whole shenanigans behind this suggests to me yet a larger problem within the media, Major League Baseball and just overall perception regarding our team, the Mets.

Are we just easy targets?

It’s no secret that Brian Cashman has been a little off his game over the offseason, what with how he handled the Derek Jeter negotiations in the press, how he adamantly said he did NOT want to sign Rafael Soriano and did so and managed to make everyone else uncomfortable as a result of this press conference, had to save face after losing out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, and how after Jeter had signed, made an offhand remark at a function in front of tons of media that Jeter could be groomed to be an outfielder.  Which you know, would have been nice to have clued in the shortstop himself about those plans.  For a place that usually runs a tight ship on their press perception and how things get leaked to the media, Cashman must be asking to be fired.

But that’s not why I’m here.  Now his latest attempt to defame the Mets and how their develop and treat their pitchers is the last straw for this blogger.

I think I can safely say that if this was ANY OTHER team, no one would be calling them out.  But they do.  As Kiner’s Korner friend Steve Keane from Kranepool Society said a few weeks back on our Kult of Mets Personalities podcast, they walk around with this “Kick Me” sign.  The Mets weren’t even asking for trouble, but the fact is, someone like Cashman is under the gun since the Yanks are being portrayed as this “underdog” type, that he needs to scapegoat someone.  Must be nice to have the New York Mets to kick around instead of maybe questioning his own signing.  Geez, ya think???  Lest ye be judged there, Pee Wee.

The Mets are easy targets.  In their opening weekend, they managed to win their first road series when it took them well over two months in 2010 to win their first then (and longer, even, to win their first road series against a National League team).  The press is still having a field day with these remarks, even though Jon Niese looked fantastic in his first start, that RA Dickey is still the MF’ing man, that Carlos Beltran looks good even in RF…NOOOOOO.  Let’s just drum up some controversy about the Mets when what we should REALLY do is look at the Yankees history of abusing pitchers before jumping all over the Mets on how they treated a BULLPEN ARM.

But when will these shenanigans stop?  I don’t know, but I do know that I, for one, know that some foot needs to be put down.

And that FOOT is ME!!!

By Taryn “The Coop” Cooper

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