Unwilling to let Brad Bortone do all the heavy lifting when it comes to dumping on Jordany Valdespin, Nats reliever Tyler Clippard (above)  tells the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore that he’s steamed a meatball served up to the Mets’ suspended outfielder cost him a July 2012 save.

“That’s the kind of stuff you think about,” Clippard said. “You’re like, ‘Those guys are doing stuff that’s affecting my career and they’re not playing the game the right way.’ So that’s frustrating. I think anybody can relate to that. If they’re not doing things the right way, and they’re beating you, then it leaves a sour taste in your mouth. So that’s why this is so important. Because nobody – players, ownership – nobody wants to see guys cheat.”

“You take away the integrity of them game when you cheat, when guys are cheating,” Clippard added. “And it’s unfortunate that the players who do cheat can’t see that. Because it’s kind of on a bigger level … where somebody maybe in another country or maybe the United States that doesn’t really know much about baseball, this is what they hear about. They hear about players cheating. And so it puts a really big asterisk next to the game.

“There’s a bigger picture involved and a lot of people can’t really see it like they should be, because they’re very – I don’t know if they’re very egotistical or self absorbed or whatever terms you want to use – but there’s a lot involved in that in this. And it all comes back to the integrity of the game.”

Indeed, there’s nothing remotely egotistical or self-absorbed about Clippard  focusing on a HR allowed to Valdespin over a year ago rather than say, the heavily favored Nationals’ inability to get back into the NL East race. But since Clippard professes to care about the integrity of the game, maybe he’d be willing to donate a portion of his 2012 playoff share to charity and/or an unemployed baseball player?  After all, last year’s NL East champion Nationals featured the talents of Rick Ankiel, a guy who at one point or another might’ve done whatever it took to stay in the big leagues. Kind of like Jordany Valdespin.