The Brewers pulled a card out of the Cubs’ playbook on Sunday and demoted high-priced starter Jeff Suppan to the bullpen, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Anthony Witrado. The Cubs, of course, did the same thing last week with Carlos Zambrano.
Suppan posted a depressing 8.68 ERA and 2.04 WHIP in his first two starts of the season — both against the division rival Cubs — and manager Ken Macha decided this weekend that he’d seen enough. The 35-year-old right-hander is earning $12.75 million this season, his last guaranteed year in Milwaukee. He was awful this spring and probably shouldn’t have landed a spot in the rotation out of camp, but Brewers GM Doug Melvin isn’t worried about the stigma that goes with paying so much to a middle reliever.
“The investment part of it, I think people make too much of
that,” Melvin said. “People say he’s making more money so he gets more
of a chance. I think you give him a chance because the guy’s started 30
games 11 years in a row. That’s what you give the chance to. It’s got
nothing to do with the money.”
Left-hander Chris Narveson was promoted to the rotation in Suppan’s place. We’ll see how he fares Wednesday against the Pirates.
Marc Carig of Newsday took Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon to the woodshed over the weekend. He, quite justifiably, lambasted them for their inexplicable frugality, their seeming indifference to wanting to put a winning team on the field and, above all else, their unwillingness to level with the fans or the press about the team’s plans or priorities.
Mets ownership is unaccountable, Carig argues, asking everything of fans and giving nothing in the way of a plan or even hope in return:
Mets fans ought to know where their money is going, because it’s clear that much of it isn’t ending up on the field . . . They never talk about money. Whether it’s arrogance or simply negligence, they have no problem asking fans to pony up the cash and never show the willingness to reciprocate.
And they’re not just failing to be forthcoming with the fans. Even the front office is in the dark about the direction of the team at any given time:
According to sources, the front office has only a fuzzy idea of what they actually have to spend in any given offseason. They’re often flying blind, forced to navigate the winter under the weight of an invisible salary cap. This is not the behavior of a franchise that wants to win.
Carig is not a hot take artist and is not usually one to rip a team or its ownership like this. As such, it should not be read as a columnist just looking to bash the Wilpons on a slow news day. To the contrary, this reads like something well-considered and a long time in the works. It has the added benefit of being 100% true and justified. The Mets have been run like a third rate operation for years. Even when the product on the field is good, fans have no confidence that ownership will do what it takes to maintain that success.
All that seems to matter to the Wilpons is the bottom line and everything flows from there. They may as well be making sewing machines or selling furniture.