After having a night to sleep on it, there’s a lot not to like about Jenrry Mejia’s return to the Mets from an 80-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs.
Unfortunately, Mejia, GM Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins, when pulling their collective heads from the sand, spoke as if testifying before Congress.
Mejia channeling his best Mark McGwire, told reporters in San Francisco: “I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system. … That was in the past. It is what it is. I did what I did. Now I come here to move forward and do the best I can on the field.’’
At least he didn’t pull a Sammy Sosa and claim he didn’t speak English.
Memo to Mejia: Before you face the future, you must first confront your past.
Alderson, as he usually does, responded as if he believed everybody – including the Mets’ fan base – were idiots.
“He made a mistake,’’ Alderson said. “He admitted that. He’s paid a penalty. Whether I think he needs to express some public contrition or not? I know that privately, he’s done so. I’ve talked to him, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s over.’’
“Over? Did somebody say it was over? Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?’’
It’s never over for a drug user. There are always lingering questions.
“It doesn’t matter,’’ Collins said when asked if Mejia was contrite. “It happened. The guy’s back. I’m not going to live three months ago.’’
As for as contrition goes, Mejia at least owes it to his teammates to acknowledge his actions. In that regard, he talked to a few of his buddies, but that was it.
Good job, Terry. Good job, Sandy. Good message you’re sending there.
Look, I know Mejia is no McGwire, no Barry Bonds, no Roger Clemens. Not even a Rafael “I have never used steroids’’ Palmeiro. He’s none of those players in stature, but I don’t believe him when he said he has no idea how the drugs got into his system.
Oh well, he’s back. Ready to lead the Mets to the playoffs. Except, in the off chance they get there, he’s not eligible.
“He’s here to give us another option at the end of the bullpen and hopefully get some big outs,’’ Collins said.
The guy who was getting those big outs was Logan Verrett, but gets shipped out to make room for Mejia. He’s the one sent to Vegas.
What a good message that is to the players. “Do your job, but when the guy is done with his suspension for cheating, you’re going to the minor leagues.’’
That just stinks.
The Mets claim they are about winning now, so the guy who pays the price for Mejia is Verrett, who was pitching lights out.
For the record, Verrett had given up only one run in his last six appearances spanning 12.1 innings going back through June. That included a three-inning save Sunday in Los Angeles.
Verrett goes because he has options remaining, which is the path of least resistance. Meanwhile, Alex Torres’ ERA has an 8.10 ERA in his three July appearances. Torres was brought here to get left-handed hitters out, but they are stroking him for a .271 batting average, .417 on-base percentage and .833 OPS.
Does anybody else see the disconnect here?
Yes, Verrett, because of options remaining was the easy choice. But, that doesn’t make it the best choice.