Try to be cool and analytical all you want, but if you’re a fan eventually you’ll give in to fury and bloodlust.
I’M NEVER ATTENDING ANOTHER GAME UNLESS THEY RELEASE LUIS CASTILLO BY MORNING!
AARON HEILMAN MUST BE MAROONED ON A DESERT ISLAND WITHOUT EVEN A VOLLEYBALL FOR COMPANY!
CHAIN DOUG SISK TO A ROCK AND SEND AN EAGLE TO EAT HIS LIVER — EVERY DAY!
While I feel for athletes who have to develop rhino skin to withstand or ignore such assaults, I’ve come to believe fan apoplexy is mostly harmless venting — booing Aaron Heilman off the mound may be unfeeling and anti-social, but it keeps us from screaming and biting out the throat of that jackass from marketing who renders the microwave unusable by nuking some disgustingly rank exotic chow and always sneaks away when the copier’s jammed or out of paper even though THE PAPER IS KEPT RIGHT NEXT TO IT.
But that’s for fans. Most of the time, the general manager’s job is to be the anti-fan — to coolly assess a baseball team’s state of affairs in terms of the long- or at least middle-term plan, make sure the manager is building according to the organizational blueprint, and not blow one’s cool when the approach is sound but the results are lacking.*
So far I give Sandy Alderson high marks for that, though his final grades are still a big Madoffian INCOMPLETE. (Looks at watch, waits for Joe to comment.) But I’ll say this for the man — when things go bad, he doesn’t wait around.
Last night D.J. Carrasco distinguished himself by surrendering a bomb to Rickie Weeks and hitting Ryan Braun. Carrasco was then ejected, forcing his tired bullpen mates into service in a lost cause and making Terry Collins and David Wright go all emo in the dugout, which created an annoying one-day story. Carrasco’s job was the simplest and least consequential one on the bullpen chores list: Get rid of these remaining innings without sucking unbelievably conspicuously. He managed to do the opposite.
Tonight, declared innocent of malevolent intent by Collins, Carrasco actually came in with something on the line, relieving Tim Byrdak with the Mets down 4-3. This time, Carrasco never even got a pitch into Mike Nickeas’s glove before screwing up — Todd Frazier walloped his first offering over the fence for a 6-3 Reds lead. (Which is how things would end.)
The fans hadn’t even made it to the phone to scream about it on the FAN when word hit Twitter: Carrasco had been designated for assignment.
Made to disappear posthaste.
Reduced to a smoking spot by an Aldersonian thunderbolt.
Thus endeth a not very impressive Mets career. Carrasco’s 2011 was a nightmare — he put up a 6.02 ERA and the Mets were a Stengelian 10-32 in games when he appeared. But he had a vaguely plausible excuse, beyond never having been that bad before: He’d torn an intercostal muscle during the winter, which threw off his mechanics and took away his sinker’s bite. Given another chance, as guys with guaranteed two-year deals generally are, he promptly sprained an ankle in spring training. When he finally returned, well, it was ugly: His ERA stood at 7.36 when his pink slip arrived.
Carrasco’s total effort for 2012: 48 pitches. That’s not a lot. It’s three innings of Jon Niese when he’s fighting himself. But it was enough for Sandy, who promptly Emaus’d him.
That was grounds for celebration in Faith & Fear land, where we were more than ready to greet our new favorite player, Anyone But Carrasco. The new guy is Robert Carson, who was rumored to be getting a call-up last year and was actually Phantom Met for a couple of days when Mike Pelfrey got the call from the elbow doctor. Carson is a second lefty, which should give Collins more maneuverability, and presumably fewer times when he has to explain his bullpen strategy to a bunch of reporters tiptoeing through a conversational mine field. (Like why not bring Bobby Parnell back for the eighth, with Tim Byrdak LOOGYing Joey Votto, and then Jon Rauch coming in with two outs and … oh, enough. I’m tired and it sucked the first time and I don’t feel like it.)
Anyway, it seems like a good plan, as right now most scenarios light on D.J. Carrasco are apt to, except for the fact that Carson has never pitched above Double-A.
Good luck, kid. And don’t dawdle.
* Unless you’re Omar Minaya, in which case your job is to make it rain option-year money, keep players missing limbs on the active roster and launch crazy jihads against respected beat reporters. I sure don’t miss him, yaknowwhatimsayin?