The New York Mets Aren’t Nearly Done Burying Jordany Valdespin

Posted in Baseball at 9:15 pm by

It’s 5 days since Mets OF Jordany Valdespin (above) was intentionally drilled by Pittsburgh’s Bryan Morris, an act that seemingly occurred with the passive consent of Mets skipper Terry Collins (embarrassed that Valdespin would admire a solo HR while on the wrong end of a blowout the previous night).    With the Mets receiving some grief for the failure to protect Valdespin or retaliate the following afternoon, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale visited some NY veterans in the visitors clubhouse in St. Louis yesterday to get their take on the matter.  “To read these reports how we don’t have his back and how we don’t care about him is absolutely ridiculous. It couldn’t be further from the truth,” argued team captain David Wright, though the most scathing criticism of Valdespin came from a reliever with far less service time in a Mets uniform.

“I couldn’t believe he did that,” Mets veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins said. “We were all dumbfounded. It was a bonehead thing to do. And to do that against Jose Contreras? He’s old enough to be his father, and one of the nicest guys in the world.

“What were we supposed to do there?” Hawkins said. “We were down six runs, he hits a home run and he acts like it’s a walk-off. This isn’t Little League.

“What, now we’re supposed to get into a fight for that? We’re supposed to throw at somebody because he did a bonehead thing? Now, if they throw at him for no reason, that’s a different story. We protect our team. But to do what he did put us in a bad spot, a real bad spot.

“He showed absolutely no respect. If you’re going to pimp it, you’re going to suffer the consequences. I have no problem defending my teammates, but some things, you just can’t defend against.”

Who better to lay down the about matters of etiquette than the highly decorated mop-up man Hawkins?  Maybe it took a full week for the message to sink in, but hopefully, Valdespin has come to understand they are some actions in baseball that are completely indefensible.  And not showing proper deference to Jose Contreras after going deep against him is generally considered the worst atrocity of them all.  If Valdespin is ever lucky enough to hit a home run against Contreras in the future, I for one hope he’ll immediately apologize, then refuse to run the bases.

3 responses to “The New York Mets Aren’t Nearly Done Burying Jordany Valdespin”

  1. WeWanttheFunk says:

    This abysmal report gives no evidence of whether or not anyone on the Mets went to the extreme of speaking with Vladespin when he returned to the dugout after the offending dinger and, if so, whether or not the conversation was productive.
    I think it would be much classier of the Mets to tell the Bucs “We’ll handle this internally, thanks,” then back up their teammate like they’re supposed to if he’s thrown at. (But c’mon. I can’t even remember the last time the Mets looked classy.)

  2. LBprGuy says:

    If he hits another off Contreras, he literally can “act like he’s been there before.”

  3. GC says:

    I read one item in which Collins claims he sat Valdespin down before the Saturday game, though I don’t know if he made it perfectly clear that his player could expect to get brushed back at the very least. I mean, if the Mets are furious that Valdespin made it to the big leagues with zero knowledge of any unwritten rule(s), aren’t some of his tutors to blame? The guys who managed Valdespin at his two most recent stops in the minors — Wally Backman and Tim Teufel — never took the time to explain what sort of actions were frowned upon, likely to antagonize opponents and teammates alike?

    Either the Mets willfully promoted a player who is equal parts dense or deaf, or there’s a serious communication gap between the club and certain younger prospects (hello, Lastings Milledge) that’s at least half the fault of older fucks who oughta know better.

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