Surgeon General’s Warning: This Mets Bullpen is Dangerous to Your Health

sny1A new season has started, bringing with it a new batch of terrible commercials on SNY. Jimmy and I have talked, and soon we will probably dedicate a post to a bunch of them. But even though there have been just three games, there is one in particular that I feel compelled to write about already.

I don’t smoke. I never have, not once. I’m not judging anyone else, it’s legal and if someone wants to smoke, that is their business. And so nothing about smoking scares or fazes me. I am, though, like a lot of people, phobic about going to the doctor. Of course it is not rational, the doctor is only the messenger, but denial is a real thing. A real dumb thing, I know, but still real. And I have talked about this with enough people over the age of 40 to know I am not the only person who has this phobia.

So now this year, the anti-smoking animals, bored with their usual campaign of showing us fun graphic images of human suffering in between innings, have a new advertisement. Just in case you haven’t seen it, there is a guy, who frankly looks a little like me, sitting in a doctor’s office. He is sitting by himself on the dopey paper on the stupid table, wearing the emasculating hospital gown. And he has that look of irrational dread on his face, because he is terrified the doctor might be bringing bad news.

Only it’s not irrational. Because the door opens and the doctor says,

“Congratulations you have cancer.”

“Great news, you have heart disease.”

“Diabetes, you lucky devil!”

Or something like all that. I think the door opens four freaking times. Now I have a message for these anti-smoking terrorists. You don’t have to smoke to get these illnesses. And so the real message of these commercials is – Don’t go to the Doctor! Bad, bad, things can happen. A lot of people, me included, do not need that message. It is the opposite of a health-based advertisement. And the smokers don’t care. Does anyone really think that people who smoke do it because they don’t know it’s bad for them?

Anyway, what does this have to do with the Mets, right? Well, yesterday I’m watching the game and Zack Wheeler is running out of gas. Everybody can see it. This means there is no choice; it is time for the Mets bullpen to swing into action. And I thought about the people at the game, sitting in their chairs, all 500 of them, with that look of dread that the guy has in the commercial. Only it’s completely rational. Because they look out at the door, the bullpen door, and it opens and the public address announcer says,

“Now pitching Scott Rice.”







“Now pitching Carlos Torres.”







“Now pitching Gonzalez German.”







And so on. No fan should be subjected to that. It’s inhumane, it’s horrible. Three games in, my first solid takeaway.

This bullpen should come with a Surgeon General’s warning.


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  1. James Preller says:

    I love this, great post. The “call to the bullpen” should be sponsored by the AMA, accompanied by footage of open heart surgery on the big board.

  2. wkkortas says:

    I missed the part in Moneyball where your roster should be composed of three first basemen and no reliable bullpen options.

  3. Eraff says:

    The problems with the Roster are beyond 0-3. The problems with 3 First Basemen go well beyond the opening losses and lack of production over the 1st three games. The Roster does not have useful parts for Late inning Offensive and Defensive substitution, including a back up middle infielder who’s main attraction is that he could play a few games when your SS is hurt—but he provides NOTHING in the way of an in-game move.

    The Bullpen???… it’s the ultimate patch and hope spot in MLB— I’m frustrated that they have three different guys who’ve entered games and provided a 4 pitch walk to the first batter (in crucial game situations). However, I’m still willing to hope on the fact that there are some live arms…some young arms…out there and at the level below.

    If the team had won 1, 2 or even 3 games, I’d remain concerned with the Roster construction and the Bench…it’s simply not a defensible set of decisions by any Baseball Logic. Complicating that, it’s obvious that both the choice starting the season and the go forward at first base are nothing but Bizarre decisions—they simply can’t be explained. Too much of all of that…. past is anticipated to be Prologue, and THAT is my big worry.

    There are 159 games left to address all of this—too many good arms to give up on 78-83 wins…or More…. if the Management/Ownership will Walk the 90 Win Talk.

    • You know, the other day Montero threw 6 shutout innings in Vegas. Normally, that would be good news. But now it feels like another slap in the face, an insult to him and to us. He’s ready, everyone knows it. Of course, he’s never pitched an inning of relief, so he might not be ready for that. Dice-K and deGrom are down there, too. So it’s hard to reconcile the signing of Bartolo Colon with the known weaknesses in the roster. (And I won’t mention what Jose Abreu is doing in Chicago already — for $8 million this year.)

  4. Eraff says:

    There was a back and forth with the Quote, ” He didn’t know what to do, and so he did…..Nothing”.

    Michael joked that it referred to Sandy’s action over the Winter.

    I have argued that their spending level itself is inadequate, and that it’s a disappointment. Michael offered strong disagreement about the sheer spending level. Conceding the point there, you do come face to face with their CHOICES….. The players they choose to Pay, and those who they choose to PLAY.

    • Michael Geus says:

      I actually think the spending level is awful for the market we play in. A complete joke.

      But it wasn’t insignificant, and so yes, if nothing else we can evaluate him on how he spent what he had to spend. We can’t evaluate him on anything else because he didn’t do anything else.


  5. IB says:

    I saw a shot of the stands in the online NY Times. You’re not exaggerating – there were 500 people in the stands. On the 3rd day of the season on a gorgeous afternoon. They ruined this franchise.

    • Michael Geus says:

      And remember, Sandy was quoted again on Opening Day that for the team to add any more payroll attendance needs to go up first.

      When it comes to payroll quotes, that is the one I believe from him.

  6. IB says:

    I’d like to add:

    This page has often discussed the problem of measuring Alderson’s success. This team has been in larval stages for 3 years and there comes a point where people don’t care anymore – that photo tells you everything you need to know about measuring Alderson’s failures. It’s not hopeless, but it’s pretty bad.

    • Michael Geus says:

      This is why I don’t think anyone can be given a pass until 2015. The only way to change the problem is to win, and every year longer that takes creates additional damage to the franchise.

      It’s not good enough to complete a project, time frames matter too. I was once involved in a startup who clearly built a great product. But the problem was, it took them so long to get it to market customers were already loyal to inferior products. Those customers could not be won back, and the startup failed.

      It’s not just what you build. Time matters, it is the most precious of all commodities.

  7. Raff says:

    So- perhaps they run this limping mare around the clubhouse turn, perform the cliché diversion of firing Collins on June 1 (roll the laugh-track), do a roster DUMP and re-sort, and bring up some of the kids… Meaningful Games In June!

  8. […] that bothered me the most, and happily, I succeeded in turning that all around. In my house when that door pops open, before Mr. Doctor gets to say anything, we yell out, “It’s Scott Rice,” or […]

  9. […] the year I had two major stress points. One was the Mets horrific bullpen, the other was the awful “anti-smoking” commercial reminding me three or four times a night of all the horrible things that might kill me. And I […]

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