Mets: Max Scherzer’s Attempt For Martyrdom Falls Flat – Reflections On Baseball

Max Scherzer Pleads His Case

Max Scherzer has been nothing but a disappointing disgrace for the Mets. And now,  for $40 million, he wants a medal for making a start tonight

Updated: 4:45 EST

Earlier this afternoon, the Mets announced that Max Scherzer would miss his start tonight against the Reds due to neck spasms. Still, the question remains, why all the pomp and circumstance, Max?

In case you haven’t noticed, against all odds, Max Scherzer will be making the start tonight for the Mets in Cincinnati.

At least, that’s what Scherzer wants us to believe.

Pitching for a Purple Heart instead of a Cy Young, Scherzer wants us to know this about his re-0ccuring injury woes: “Just don’t break,” Scherzer said of his goal while pitching in his current condition. “I’m trying like hell not to join the IL. I’m fighting through this and doing everything I can. But this is the big leagues, and no one cares if you’re hurt. You’ve got to go out there and perform, so I get it.”

Well, Max, you are right about one thing, no one cares if you’re hurt, and no one, especially, cares if you are being paid $40 million to pitch for the Mets this year, and it’s only a matter of time before Buck Showalter takes you aside to remind you of that fact.

Max Scherzer: An Unwanted Mets Distraction

Already, Max Scherzer has been nothing more than a distraction for the Mets, a team struggling to put together a season worthy of challenging the multi-talented Atlanta Braves in the National League East division.

We’ve already been through the embarrassing “sticky stuff” fiasco in which Scherzer was caught red-handed by an umpiring crew for excessive stickiness on his hands. He was given a 10-game suspension, causing him to miss two starts, one of which would have been against the Braves.

Lurking in the shadows of the controversy was that the Mets and Showalter chose to lobby Scherzer to shut down his appeal of the suspension. In other words, shut up, Max, take your punishment, and sit down quietly.

Taking the hill tonight, Max Scherzer will have logged 435 starts and more than 2,700 innings throughout his major league career. In July, he will celebrate his 39th birthday.

Scherzer: A Litany Of Injuries For An Aging Body

According to Fox Sports, Scherzer was known as a “horse.” His first trip to the Injured List did not occur until 2019, eleven years after his major league debut in 2008.

Since then, Scherzer has incurred ten injuries, ranging from a broken nose, triceps, two hamstrings, and an oblique setback.

These are lingering, not major-type injuries, and whatever is happening with Scherzer now, it’s not career-threatening.

Mets Aces: Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander
Mets Aces: Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander

Instead, it’s a combination of those nuisance-type lingering injuries that – Voila – are not unique to someone who has thrown over 40,000 pitches in a major league uniform.

Juxtaposed against Justin Verlander, who is taking his 40-year-old injury lumps in stride, Scherzer has elected to make himself part of the Mets news cycle.

This comes when the team needs the solitude of their clubhouse to pull themselves together during a losing streak that threatens to end their fight for a division title before it even begins.

Tonight, Max Scherzer will be making his sixth start of the season for the Mets, with nearly a quarter of the season having passed. Only once has he been able to pitch into the sixth inning. He is allowing more than five runs per game (5.56 ERA).

With his remarks about doing everything he can to stay off the IL, Scherzer is setting us up for another four-inning start while pitching under stress as if it’ll be a miracle if he even makes it that far. Conversely, if he completes six innings, the perception (he hopes) will emerge of him as a hero in a time of dire need by the Mets.

Mets: Caveat Emptor – Let The Buyer Beware

Steve Cohen: The Mets are in his hands (
Steve Cohen: The Mets are in his hands (

Before the cry arises here, the Mets knew what they were getting with Max Scherzer, and Steve Cohen did not break the bank by adding $90 million to the coffers of the Scherzer treasury.

But by the same token, though, the Mets did not expect Scherzer to arrive in the clubhouse as a distraction. The Mets knew about his quirky habits, like his “Don’t touch me” policy, and his teammates were mindful of sinning by talking to Scherzer on the day of or during one of his starts.

But no one could have expected this.

As Mets Fans, Forgive And Forget

As Mets fans, and despite having said all of this, there is still every reason to root for Scherzer to pitch the game of his life tonight in Cincinnati and for the remainder of the season.

Because, after all, and on paper at least,  Max Scherzer is an integral part of the Mets season. The team has proven it does not have adequate replacements in the farm system to replace Scherzer or any of their starters.

But at the same time, it’s not too early for this Mets fan (and perhaps others) to send Max Scherzer a message that says, “Just shut up and pitch.”

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.