It seems that every denizen of Mets Township, from the news hounds at MetsBlog to the maestros at Faith and Fear to prognosticating genius Metstradamus and especially to photographer and blogger extraordinaire MetsGrrl (though definitely not our boys at East Coast Agony), is somewhere between mildly peeved and truly up in arms about the omission of John Kevin Maine from the National League All-Star roster. And not one of them is wrong.
Maine has been steady as a rock, moreso than his mates in the rotation. His numbers -- and we're talking about any of them, from the 9 wins that wow Joe Morgan to the .237 BABIP that impresses the Sabermetricians -- are through-and-through Top 10 in the league, many of them Top 5. He should be in that game before at least one other Met. (Sorry, Charlie . . . Beltran.) He should be in that game, period, and it's disappointing for the guy not to be going.
Who knows why he isn't? Could be that he's not flashy enough, and his numbers are just this side of gaudy, so there really hasn't been a whole lot of SportsCenter time for Maine. Could also be that with Billy Wagner having a lights-out first-half and the new era of All-Star managers possessing soft spots for closers, it's a pretty tough case to give the Mets six entries. (Especially the way they were playing a few weeks ago.) Or, it could be that Tony LaRussa is the douchewhistle many have called him, and he wasn't going to give any more Mets the satisfaction of inclusion than he had to.
Hell, it could be that John Maine eerily resembles the creepy, murderous, rapist character of "Wild Bill" in The Green Mile. I don't know what it is that's keeping John Maine off the roster and out of the gimmicky "Final Vote" poll, but here's the thing: in the end, I have often secretly thought that Mets omissions were for the best.
That's right. Ultimately, I think we'd rather rest this key cog of the New York Mets rotation. Let the Break be a break. Sure, there won't be a whole lot of action for a starting pitcher in the All-Star Game. Sure, there isn't a huge chance of injury. (Somewhere Ray Fosse just rolled over in his grave . . . uh, except that he's still alive, and with his arthritic shoulder, he's not rolling over without a burly bedmate, a downhill lie, and a bucket of luck.) But couldn't any major league ballplayer benefit from a little R&R? I mean, is Huey Lewis the only guy clamoring for a couple days off?
In truth, it's not the nine innings (or however many Bud Selig will allow) that takes it out of the players; it's the media blitz, the made-for-TV tripe-laden interviews, and the overbearing hype of the Midsummer Classic. Compare that to the stress of an unpopulated fishin' hole. It's gotta be a thrill to be a part of the All-Star Game, and you want that for young pitchers . . . but when they get the snub, you have to start to think, "Hmmm . . . extra rest as well as the bonus of a little chip on the shoulder? A little fire in the belly to try to show up the doubters? A little extra special sauce on the out-pitch every time he faces St. Louis?"
Maybe I'm just trying to bright-side this thing, but I'm okay with as many Mets as possible sleeping late, forgetting about baseball, and recharging the battery for a few days. Of course . . . don't anybody else agree with me. We still want the sentiment of the masses to be that John Maine was robbed of his rightful spot on that roster, and just make sure Mr. Maine hears us loud and clear.