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So I realize how much some Mets fans HATED Aaron Heilman. A quick glance at his stats would explain why, a simple sound byte of him entering a game last year would show you how much. But here is the thing, Heilman was sabotaged by the mets. I know some people have tuned out already, but it's true. Remember three or was it four years ago when he threw that one hitter vs. the Marlins? A good marlins team to boot. He had a decent year, I'm too lazy to dig up stats but he showed many signs of good things, much the way Pelfrey developed Heilman was on his way, until......the Mets, (Petersen and Randolph to name names) destroyed him. They threw him in the bullpen the following year after his 1.70 spring training era was bested only by Brian Bannister's 1.25 or something and banished Heilman for good. Now Bannister may have been better that spring, but the fact is Heilman had MAJOR LEAGUE experience already and we all know how spring training stats don't matter anyway. If Heilman had been given the 5th starter job in '06. he never would have made it to the Mets bullpen at all, and you certainly would not be booing him.

But facts are facts and Bannister won the job. That's fine, OK, but how about when Bannister got hurt, oh 6 starts into the year, did Heilman get the call to replace him? NO, why? Because he was "too valuable" in the bullpen. My ass he was. The Mets instead did what they did all this past year when Pedro and Maine went down, called on third string scrap heap projects like Jose Lima, Scott Erickson, and Nelson Figueroua type guys. How about James Baldwin! Instead of taking that chance on a guy who already had some experience and nothing but an upside, the Mets went what they thought was a safer route and brought in washed up veterans who were flashes in the pan during the prime of their careers anyway. (By the way, if the mets were so High on Bannister, why did they absentmindedly ship him away in a deal that netted them a drunk no name reliever. OK, OK, he had a name, albeit one very hard to say or spell.)

Heilman was then brought in in many situations over the last year especially where he was set up to fail. He would come in and face a batter he had no business facing, and when he began his struggles, he was left in way too long by both Randolph and Manuel. The Mets made YOU hate him. Aaron just wanted to pitch. Now I'm not excusing him from all his failures (we know he had many) But the fact is relievers are especially fragile. Heilman's confidence was shot a long time ago, and all the Mets did was keep kicking him while he was down. They finally shipped him out and I have no doubt that he will develop into a decent number three or four starter for the remainder of his career. He will become one of those guys that has much success AFTER being a met, like many others, and Mets fans will then say "we shoulda kept him." NO! We shouldn't have destroyed his sand castle in the first place, then maybe he woulda become a pretty good castle builder here in NY instead of on the Puget sound. (That's in Seattle)

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree and thanks for reminding people what really happened. It is ridiculous that he was never given a chance to start. I hope it works out for him in Seattle.