Fernando Martinez Being Benched a Coincidence?

Michael GanciCorrespondent IMay 29, 2009

Jerry Manuel has made it abundantly clear that Fernando Martinez was punished enough for the big mistake that he made during Wednesday’s game against the Nationals.

Martinez hit a high pop fly and didn’t run, and surely enough, the ball wasn’t caught, and Martinez was thrown out. The crowd booed as they didn’t appreciate the lack of hustle by the young rookie.

This isn’t the first time we have seen something like this. Jose Reyes has been caught on multiple occasions this season with admiring a fly ball, or giving up on a pop up. It would be nice to see some of the Mets’ players take the same approach that Shane Victorino takes in Philadelphia.

To me, the lack of hustle is clearly a reflection of the manager. Jerry Manuel wanted to bring a looser attitude to the clubhouse than Willy Randolph had, but there needs to be a limit to his generosity.

If someone needs to be made an example of, then so be it. Martinez may have it in the back of his head that he is being punished, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. We all know that he feels terrible for the events that transpired, and he will never make that mistake again, because if he does, the punishment from Jerry should be much more severe.

Tonight, if Carlos Beltran can go, it looks like Angel Pagan will be back in right field and leading off. Jerry is said to be impressed with how Pagan has made the most of his opportunity.

Right now, it is looking like Pagan may be campaigning to stick around once the Mets are completely healthy. I wonder who that would be at the expense of. Guys who come to mind are Ken Takahashi, who the Mets would like to keep around for long relief, Ramon Martinez, who is likely gone when Reyes gets back, and Jeremy Reed, who has been an excellent defensive replacement.

The highest likelihood would likely be Reed, because he hasn’t hit much, and Pagan has played just as well defensively.

We will see how it goes.