Saturday versus Marlins'
starter Josh Johnson,
Met manager Jerry Manuel
rolled out this lineup:
- LF Angel Pagan
- RF Fernando Martinez
- CF Carlos Beltran
- 3B Fernando Tatis
- 1B Daniel Murphy
- 2B Ramon Martinez
- C Brian Schneider
- SS Wilson Valdez
wound up losing the game 7-3
and since then a prime topic among sports talk show callers has been their angst with this lineup.The question "how could Manuel bench all his stars?" has been asked repeatedly. Apparently no one noticed that Carlos Beltran
started this game. He had 3 hitless at bats before leaving with a stomach virus after the 5th inning. At least one "star" started the game."Where was David Wright?
The Mets just had an off day Thursday." Wright had started every game of the season to that point. Wright is 3 for 18 with 1 RBI and no extra-base hits in his career versus Johnson. Further, in the 3 games prior to Saturday, Wright was 3 for 15 with 8 strikeouts. It could at least be argued that he needed a rest. Few players play all 162 games. His replacement, Fernando Tatis,
was placed in the clean up spot in the line up, perhaps because in his career prior to this game he was 4 for 6 with a home run and 2 RBI versus Johnson."Why did Manuel play Schneider?
I wanted to see Santos."
Seriously? I know Santos is Met fans' latest cult hero, but they're called cult heroes for a reason: they have a cult following. Santos has been a revelation for the Mets thus far, but he is 28 years old and has less than 100 career Major League at bats. He was stuck in the minor leagues for 7 years for a reason: his career Minor League numbers of .258 BA/ .303 OBP/ .348 SLG. Not to mention Schneider had just been activated from the disabled list prior to the game, and that it was the proverbial day game after a night game."Where was Luis Castillo?"
Really? Most of you have wanted him fitted for cement shoes and dumped in the nearest river for months. Now you're going to complain that he's not in the line up? Castillo has balky knees and is rested occasionally. Ramon Martinez
moved over from short to give Castillo a day off, and was replaced by Wilson Valdez.
To the best of my knowledge, nobody wondered why Wilson Valdez was playing. Kudos for that."I paid good money for my tickets and I want to see the best players." Perhaps the most reasonable argument. But if you call yourself a baseball fan, you probably have noticed the trend that ball players are more likely to be rested in a day game after a night game. If you ever went to Shea Stadium
on a Sunday during the Mike Piazza
era, you likely saw Todd Pratt
, Vance Wilson
, Jason Phillips
, or Ramon Castro
. This was due in large part to two things: it was almost always a day game after a night game, and most players need a rest now and then. Those rests cannot be scheduled to meet your entertainment needs. If you want better odds on seeing the regulars play, don't go to a day game after a night game.Ultimately, it's a long season, and almost every player, star or not, is going to get an occasional day off. As much as you might like him to do so, Manuel can't survey the entire fan base to determine when to give his players a day off. Teams have 25 (and 40) man rosters for a reason. Sometimes they even use them.