Dodgers dodged Max Scherzer drama after injury, controversy

Adam Weinrib
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 18: Max Scherzer #21 of the New York Mets pitches during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on May 18, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 18: Max Scherzer #21 of the New York Mets pitches during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on May 18, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Mid-lockout, Max Scherzer raised alarms regarding the way his Dodgers tenure ended with a classic tactic: claiming he “hadn’t done” something that nobody suspected him of doing, thus introducing the “thing” as an entirely new concept.

Scherzer’s confession came in a Los Angeles Times story where he stated that, no, he hadn’t left the Dodgers due to an “overcooked” arm, nor had he ditched the team because of their supposedly wrongheaded decision to give the right-hander a “lighter workload” as the playoffs approached, leading to his inability to pitch NLCS Game 6.

The sum total of this story, of course, was thousands of Dodger fans saying, “Wait, Max says we did what?” in unison. From that point forth, Scherzer’s Dodger tenure became a source of retroactive drama, and his departure for Steve Cohen’s New York Mets suddenly made a lot more sense.

Beyond, of course, the dollar figures, which had already clarified the picture plenty.

Scherzer’s “I’m not blaming the Dodgers, I’m just pointing out a thing the Dodgers did and connecting the dots to my dead arm” strategy landed the bulldog on several Los Angeles-based sh*t lists this offseason, so it comes as no real surprise that he’s already been a source of drama in his new home, too.

On Wednesday night, Scherzer flagged the trainers and walked off the mound mid-start, prompting a blizzard of Mets Panic before it was revealed to be oblique soreness.

This is his second injury scare in as many months; a tight hamstring prevented Scherzer from making an Opening Day start. The Dodgers rotation isn’t exactly blemish-free, but combined with the offseason butting of heads, it’s beginning to look like Scherzer might not have been the wisest investment for the team’s current climate.

Dodgers made right decision letting Max Scherzer’s drama walk to Mets

Scherzer should make a full recovery, but the injury he shrugged off will reportedly keep him out for 6-to-8 weeks — at a minimum.

After an offseason of dead arm worries and two false starts in a month and a half, the Dodgers — in need of stability — should be thankful they don’t have to be crossing fingers every time Mad Max takes the mound.

Then, of course, there’s the other controversy he found himself in the middle of lately.

So hard-headed he can’t be spoken to once he begins his warmups, yet strangely talkative after the fact, Scherzer also drew ire this week for taking the mound early and blocking Ambassador and Consul General of Japan Mikio Mori from throwing the first pitch at Citi Field.

It was Japanese Heritage Night. It was also Max Scherzer Gruntfest 2k22.

No one is arguing Scherzer snubbed the ambassador purposefully as part of some sweeping statement, but the teeth-gritting ace making himself the unimpeachable center of the show, then blaming everyone else when his arm turned up dead got old very quickly in Hollywood.

Yeah. He’s felt like a Natural Met for months now.

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