Where Is The Adult In The Room?

Less than a year after being named GM of the Mets, Sandy Alderson was described as “the adult in the room” by Joel Sherman.

My question today for the Mets: where is the “adult in the room”?

Sherman wrote this in response to the Francisco Rodriguez trade in July 2011:

Look, Alderson was hired because the Mets needed an adult in the room. They needed someone who made reasonable, big-picture choices rather than continue with the decision-of-the-moment way in which the Mets had operated for so long.

The tidbit was picked up prolifically and celebrated by every corner of the media and blogosphere.

While I actually enjoy Joel Sherman’s writing (I bet you find that hard to believe), to me that quote was unfairly damning to Omar Minaya. By calling Alderson the “adult,” Sherman was effectively calling Minaya the “child.” Even if Sherman was referring to Jeff Wilpon as the child — and he should’ve been, as he knew better than anyone the real story behind the Mets’ organizational woes since Nelson Doubleday was pushed out — Sherman had to be aware that most of his readers (and re-tweeters) would be thinking of Minaya as the child.

But I digress …

We’re here in the present, and I have to ask: “where the heck is the adult in the room right now?”

I ask this because the immediate response to Matt Harvey‘s partially torn UCL, in regard to whether he’d be shut down for the rest of the season, was this:

” ”

Nothing. Not a word about shutting it down. Nothing about Harvey’s 2013 season being over. Indeed, as this post is being written, 45 minutes after midnight, the Mets had yet to officially place Harvey on the disabled list.

Where is the adult in the room? The one who stands up, goes to the microphone, and announces that the organization’s best hope for future success would be shut down, effective immediately, because his health far outweighs the last 30 or so games of a lost season?

Instead, the “adult” told us this:

“It’s possible he won’t pitch rest of the season”

It’s POSSIBLE? What? Is this some kind of altered reality that Sandy Alderson is living in? Why would there be any question whatsoever?

Alderson went on to reveal that Harvey had been experiencing forearm tightness for “some time,” yet Captain Teflon made sure to add,

“This was a surprise to all of us, including Matt himself, who has not really experienced elbow pain. There were other issues as well over the course of the season.”

Um. Oh. Soooo … you’re the only team in MLB that isn’t aware that forearm tightness is an indication of a UCL strain and precursor to UCL damage? Really?

Again I ask, “where is the adult in the room?”

After Harvey’s last start, and before the terrible news was reported, NJ.com relayed this:

Most of all, the Mets have monitored Harvey’s throwing motion on video to assure his mechanics remain sharp. Mets coaches evaluate “to see this guy’s arm is dragging or he’s starting to lower his release point,” Collins said. In either case, the risk of an arm injury is increased.

“If Matt Harvey starts to change mechanics and starts dropping his arm, that would probably be a red flag that it’s time to give him some time off,” Collins said.

Really? This is a Major League Manager speaking, and notes coming from a Major League coaching and training staff, in the 21st century? An entity that generates hundreds of millions of dollars a year? These comments are exactly the same as one might hear from the pitching coach of the 1948 Washington Senators?

Yes, seeing a lowered release point, or “dropping” of the arm, is an indication of an arm problem — specifically, a shoulder problem. We’ve known this even before scientists started studying pitching mechanics (and human kinetics in general). We’ve also known — for at least a decade, if not several — that forearm tightness is an indication of an elbow issue, and is independent of velocity.

One more time: “where is the adult in the room?”

It’s clear that Harvey was sent back to the mound every five days, despite the known risk involved, because without him, there was a fear that the Mets would have trouble selling tickets and become irrelevant. The “adults” absolved themselves of responsibility by making sure that everyone understands that Matt Harvey never said he was feeling “pain.”

Am I off base? If so, please feel free to present your hypothesis and set me straight. I call ‘em as I see ‘em, and I’m disgusted to have witnessed this tragic comedy evolve.

I’m done on the soapbox — for now.

Mets 2013 Games

About the Author

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.

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