Zumaya & Henning … AGAIN

By Jeff Moss
February 27, 2012

@Lynn_Henning this is your Waterloo, ya retard.”

That is the Tweet I sent to Detroit News baseball writer, Lynn Henning, this morning after I rolled out of a hotel bed in South Florida and realized my vacation was officially over.

Anyone who has been paying attention to either the News or the DSR this offseason is …well aware of “The Deacon’s” almost macabre obsession with former Tigers relief pitcher, Joel Zumaya.

For weeks leading up to Zoom-Zoom’s eventual signing with the Minnesota Twins, Henning basically campaigned the Tigers in print to bring back the cursed, righty flamethrower.

When it became as painfully obvious as a non-displaced fracture of the olecranon that Dave Dombrowski had moved on with his life and would offer Zumaya nothing more than a perfunctory non-roster invitation to Spring Training, Henning declared this wise decision a BIG MISTAKE.

(And you know Henning’s Zumaya obsession was serious since he publicly called out Dombrowski at the exact same time that Lynn was trumpeting DD’s candidacy for the commissioner’s gig that never opened.)

On December 15, 2011, Henning penned an article questioning the Tigers refusal to hand Zumaya a guaranteed roster spot and included the following quote in his piece:

“Why could he not be envisioned as fully healed in 2012, throwing the same bullets and kneecapping curveball, healthy at last, just as he arrived at his prime?”

Fortunately for Tigers fans, Henning’s attempt to act as Zumaya’s agent didn’t work and “Guitar Hero” eventually signed with the Minnesota Twins on January 16th.

Which led to the following Henning outburst on Twitter:

“Biggest off-season mistake by Tigers: Not signing (Joel) Zumaya.  Twins aren’t stupid.  Did their homework.  Made a potential steal.  Smart Investment.”

“Critics act as if Zumaya was slouching.  He was HURT! But if docs say he should pitch again – and they have – he’s a dynamite reliever.”

Yep, Dombrowski’s biggest offseason mistake in the middle of January was not guaranteeing a roster spot to a guy who over the last five years had proven without a shadow of a doubt that he COULD NOT STAY HEALTHY!!!!

Yep, counting on Zumaya to in part replace Joe Nathan was going to be a STEAL for the Twinkies.  Because it is always a good bet to place your chips on a PITCHER who has been to the Disabled List seven times, has undergone five surgeries, who has experienced injuries to his foot, shoulder, elbow and finger and who has only pitched in 109 games over the last SIX YEARS!!!!

Henning continued this mantra over the next few weeks as agitated Tigers fans besieged the “journalist’s” Twitter account with messages of disdain for such a naïve opinion regarding Zumaya’s injury history.

(I am guessing based on Henning’s total failure to forecast the future, he has a future bet parlay in Vegas on Lindsay Lohan and Chris Brown never appearing on TMZ ever again.)

Yet the stubborn former farmhand from St. Johns, Michigan wouldn’t relent.

But on Saturday afternoon I figured we were FINALLY going to get the mea culpa from Henning that we all deserved.

News started trickling out of Fort Myers, Florida that Zumaya had injured his right arm yet AGAIN.  This came as a shock to absolutely NOONE except Lynn and Twins GM Terry Ryan.

But instead of commencing some damage control for his previous three months of asinine postings on Zumaya, Henning actually double-downed on his idiocy by Re-Tweeting the following comment from some random Tigers fan (@bodlbodl) that had a whopping FIVE TWITTER FOLLOWERS:

RT @Lynn_Henning Joel Z says he is OK, just stopped the throwing session early…. #overreaction

Yep, Henning was so fucking desperate to cling onto any hope that Zumaya’s prognosis wasn’t dire that he Re-Tweeted this news from a dude in Texas who has FIVE FOLLOWERS!!!

I thought that Lynn had hit rock bottom at this point and that the definitive news that Zumaya needed Tommy John Surgery if he ever wanted to pitch again would FINALLY snap Henning out of his denial.  But I was wrong again.

The following Tweets emanated from Henning’s computer THIS morning and if I was Lynn, I think I would immediately claim that my account was hacked:

“Doctors didn’t forecast Zumaya’s torn UCL. Some fans who are medical experts did. Zumaya, is 27, should have Tommy J. surgery and return.”

“Different fate, and the same hacks who drool venom over Zumaya are the same snipers who would riddle the Tigers for not having signed him..”

“And a year from now, when Zumaya’s recovered from Tommy John, some smart team ought to sign him – that is, if doctors and not fans rule.”

I mean, I don’t even know what to even write at this point.  The guy is such a fucking dummy that he doesn’t even understand ANY of the arguments.

The fans who didn’t want the Tigers to count on Zumaya’s health this year by guaranteeing him a roster spot weren’t exactly predicting his torn UCL, ya country bumpkin, they were forecasting the future based on his PAST PERFORMANCE!!

And it wasn’t just Tigers fans that wanted to move on from Zumaya’s tragic injury history, it was also their General Manager who was privy to all of Joel’s medical records.  Ya know, the same guy who you usually openly fellate in your atrocious columns.

And what alternate universe is Henning living in when he discusses a “different fate”? If you wanted to make a wager that Zumaya would make it through a complete season without a trip to the DL, you probably could have received 250 to 1 odds.

The inevitability of this occurring at SOME POINT this season was almost a guarantee.  The fact that it occurred during Zumaya’s first day of work from the mound only further displays what a fucking idiot Henning is.

And now after this latest arm catastrophe it would appear that EVERYONE in the world understands that Zumaya’s career is done like dinner EXCEPT this lunatic scribe who cannot admit when he is wrong.  And I am even including JOEL ZUMAYA in that group!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is what “One Man and No Truck” had to say about his latest prognosis:

“Right now, my perspective is probably not,” Zumaya said Monday in response to a question if he plans on making yet ANOTHER comeback. “I know I’m pretty young, but I’m probably going to go on six surgeries if I go get another one. I’m only 27 years old. I’ve taken a lot of wear and tear on my body, especially my arm, and then rehab, and it just mentally takes a lot out of you.”

So around the same time that Zumaya was making plans to become a professional fisherman, Henning was still Tweeting that a “smart team” would sign Joel for 2013.

Unfortunately for Henning, it doesn’t look like he will be able to declare the signing of Zumaya as the “steal” for a second consecutive offseason.

And even if Zumaya changes his mind and decides to have yet another medical procedure on his right arm, doesn’t Dr. James Andrews have the same responsibility to say no to him that Heidi Montag and Joan Rivers’ plastic surgeons SHOULD have when those women want another tuck or lift?

And while I have littered this article with jokes about the embarrassing situation (mainly to avoid crying) this isn’t really a laughing matter at all.  The Detroit News continues to employ a person who has ZERO COMMON SENSE and who would rather put his own agenda ahead of ANY journalistic credibility.

In this offseason alone, Henning totally fabricated a story about Dombrowski being the front-runner for Bud Selig’s job.  A repeated expose that would have made Stephen Glass or Jason Blair blush.

His reporting on the Tigers pursuit of Yeonis Cespedes was both contrary and factually inaccurate.  Sometimes in the same freaking sentence.

And now this Zumaya debacle where he still believes that he was 100 percent correct on his opinions and reporting and who is now desperately looking for any support even if it means Re-Tweeting some NOBODY with FIVE TWITTER FOLLOWERS.

I would suggest that Henning should lose his job over his repeated transgressions, but then I remember that this is the same abomination of a paper that continues to employ the original “Officer Barbrady” (Chris McCosky) and a total illiterate in Terry Foster.

NOBODY at that paper cares about quality control or ethical reporting or accuracy and it would appear the ONLY way you can lose your job over there is to make a joke about a head coach’s daughter’s choice in men.

I had half a mind to make the drive up the Florida turnpike from Lauderdale to Lakeland and personally berate Henning for his stupidity, but then I remembered that my wife was also on this trip.

So instead, I am finishing this blog post from the Food Court at the Sawgrass Mall while Melissa is shopping.

And if you believe that she is going to come and get me with zero shopping bags in her hands, you probably also think that Zumaya will win the Rolaids Relief Award in 2014.