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The New York controversy machines sprang into action again on Thursday night when Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen threw out this quote about pitcher John Maine(notes):

"John is a habitual liar, in a lot of ways, as far as his own health."

ZOMG! Pitching coach calls pitcher a liar! Rewrite the back page! News at 10!

Of course there was more to Warthen's comments after Maine had to leave Thursday night's start after just five pitches against Washington, but they don't quite fit with the catchy headline.

Here's what Warthen said about Maine directly after the liar line:

"(Maine is a) competitor and a warrior and he wants to go out and pitch, but we have to be smart enough to know this guy is not right and the ball isn't coming out of his hand correctly."

Well, that's more like it. As my own headline suggests, a pitcher trying to tough it out and hide an injury isn't exactly earth-shattering news. Maine says he feels something "all the time" in his arm and it probably happens every day to pitchers everywhere. 

OK, so Warthen made the mistake of using some pretty loaded words to preface Maine's "warrior" outlook and it's understandable that Maine the "competitor" is upset about being pulled after just a few minutes. 

But it'd be a much bigger story if he suggested his pitcher was making up injuries so he could get out of a start. In fact, when I first saw the headlines, that's what I thought Warthen was implying about his oft-injured pitcher.

Bottom line, though: If we're going to get all a-twitter over something from this story, it's that the Mets trotted out a pitcher for only five throws before yanking him off the mound. If they know that Maine often likes to hide his battle scars — which appears to have been the case on Thursday — the team needs to do a much better job of getting a second opinion before the first pitch is thrown.  

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