Is it lying or semantics?
Pitching coach Dan Warthen called John Maine a “habitual liar,’’ two words that could destroy most any working relationship. It remains to be seen whether it will ruin this one, even though Warthen and manager Jerry Manuel have been vindicated for pulling Maine after five pitches last week in Washington.
Warthen’s intent was innocent enough although his choice of words was poor. Warthen meant it in that Maine never admits to his arm feeling poorly.
Even now, when Maine finally admitted something is not right with his shoulder he couched his words.
“There’s a little bit of pain, but what pitcher doesn’t have pain?’’ Maine said. “It’s the nature of pitching. It wasn’t going to stop me from going out there every five days.’’
But, it isn’t pain as much as it is weakness or fatigue in the shoulder.
“There was a little bit of weakness, not that much,’’ Maine said. “I guess they want to get to the bottom of it. What’s the problem, you know? What’s going on back there?
“Something has got to be found, but if everything comes back good, then I’ll deal with it and pitch, if I have to.’’
In the interim, the Mets must improvise.
The current thinking is to use Raul Valdes, who replaced Maine after his five pitch-outing, against the Phillies Tuesday night, followed Hisanori Takahashi and Mike Pelfrey. The thinking of Valdes over R.A. Dickey is because of the left-handed power in the Phillies’ line-up.
The next time Maine’s turn in the rotation would be is a week from today. But, the Mets will jump off that bridge when they get to it.