Michael Pineda and Why His Injury Is No Laughing Matter for the Mariners

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Michael Pineda and Why His Injury Is No Laughing Matter for the Mariners
Nick Laham/Getty Images

With news that pitcher Michael Pineda will miss the entire 2012 season, it would seem the Seattle Mariners pulled a fast one on the New York Yankees.

Yet before Mariner fans start celebrating an early win on the Jesus Montero / Michael Pineda deal they may need to think first of the long-term ramifications of this deal.  

Oddly enough, the one person who is probably more upset than you'd imagine about this turn of events is M's general manager Jack Zduriencik.

Why? 

Right or wrong, perception in this day and age is often confused as being the truth. 

At the moment the only facts that all parties can agree on are the following:

1. Michael Pineda is out for the season having never thrown a single regular season pitch for the Yankees. 

2. Jesus Montero is playing every day in Seattle.

After that things get a bit murky.

Could the Mariners have known anything about Pineda prior to the January trade for Montero that would lead to the current situation?

The answer should be no.  From both an ethical standpoint, but also from a business standpoint. 

Could the Mariners have known about Pineda's injury?

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It makes little sense for Jack Z to pull a fast one over on Brian Cashman or anyone else for that matter dealing damaged goods.  Credibility and trust take significant time to earn in any profession, yet both can be lost in a heartbeat in a case like this.  So while it is true that the Mariners and Yankees are competitors, ultimately when working with a trade partner you want deals like this to be settled on the field of play, not in a doctor's office. 

 

To take this a step further, deals like this for two high profile prospects can make and break careers. 

No one wants to earn a reputation of cheating people with "used car saleman" tactics.  Also keep in mind that pro sports are like a fraternity or close knit family.  One minute you could be competitors at each other's throats, the next you could find yourselves working together or in need of a favor/job.  Keeping that in mind, one would have to figure that deals like this could get you effectively kicked out of the house...if there is so much as a shred of truth in the matter. 

Ultimately though this appears to just be a case of bad luck. 

And while it seems none of the key players in the process feels cheated by what happened, that doesn't make life easier for anyone involved, especially Cashman who told The Daily News.

'This is on my watch. I own it. I hope there will be a time in the future when Yankee fans will feel better about the trade. The doctors are optimistic. But I understand that right now the trade doesn’t look good.'

In short, no one wants to end up with egg on their face or for that matter have their calls rejected. 

For you see, while Brian Cashman may be taking heat on one coast, Jack Zduriencik may some day find himself in an unfavorable position down the road. 

With the Pineda deal going sideways, the next time Jack Z picks up a phone to make a deal it might not be so easy for him to get an answer, especially from Brian Cashman.  People may forgive bad deals, but they very rarely forget...

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