Ryan Church was a question mark entering the 2009 season.
No one was quiet sure what to expect from Ryan, who was trying to rebound from a head-injury plagued 2008.
The right fielder began his first season in New York on fire, cranking home-runs and doubles off the wall in Shea, and flashing some leather in the outfield as well.
He was the team's MVP through the all-star break, leading the team in many offensive categories.
But then, as you know, his season went spiraling downhill after Junel Escobars knee went smashing into Church's head as he slid into second base in a game against the braves.
Ryan was never quiet the same after that.
The team mishandled his injury, making him travel to Colorado instead of resting his head...even an eight-year-old fan would agree that that is just a stupid thing to do!
So Church struggled whenever he hit the field after that, which hurt the team down the stretch.
During the offseason, some fans wanted to trade Church and get a new right fielder, for which I was strongly opposed.
But Church stayed, and when 2009 began, Ryan picked up right where he left off last April, smacking double after double and hitting over .400 through the first ten games.
This man should be playing every day right?
Well then WHY does Jerry Manuel insist on playing Gary Sheffield, a 40-year-old, past his prime veteran, instead of the athletic Church?
I have nothing against Sheff, but he should not be taking playing time away from Church.
Personally, Ryan should take this as a slap to the face from Manuel.
Church plays hard every game and is the exact type of player I want on every position on the field, and this is how he gets treated?
Midway through last season, Mike Fransesca of WFAN reported that Church was unhappy in New York, Church denied the rumors, but even if he was unhappy, could you blame him!
They mishandled his injury, which could have ended his career, then instead of playing him every day like he deserves to, they stick an aged veteran out there who cannot handle the outfield on a regular basis.
So Note to Jerry Manuel:
GO TO CHURCH!
He should be out there every day! Hands down. If anything, use Sheffield to replace Daniel Murphy instead. I like D-Murph and all, but his defense needs a lot of work, and you are going to give Carlos Beltran an ulcer if he has to patrol the outfield with Sheffield to his left and Murphy to his right!