Prior to tonight’s clash with the Yankees being rained out, Mets closer Billy Wagner revealed himself to be a bit of a revisionist historian, insisting that Thursday’s heated remarks after a 1-0 loss to Washington were aimed not at his teammates, but at the working press. From the AP:
“Whoever wrote that I pointed out Delgado and was calling guys out is wrong. I don’t call out anybody,” Wagner said. “We get along good around here. We lost a tough game and were a little frustrated.”
Last year, then-Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca said the same three or four players spoke on behalf of the team and that others should, too. “They speak English, believe me,” Lo Duca said then, remarks some interpreted as critical of the Mets’ Spanish-speaking players.
Wagner was angered that some media tried to portray him as criticizing the Latin players.
“These average fans think I’m some racist,” he said.
Portions of Wagner’s comments were played on XM’s Home Plate channel tonight. When asked about Lo Duca’s assertions, Wagner was quick to point out, “I’m not Paul Lo Duca…It’s a shame Carlos Delgado has to defend himself….against something no one said.”
For once, I’ve got to take Country Time’s side. These media jackals have a lot of nerve shooting video of Wagner and employing all sorts of editing trickery to put words in his mouth. Calling out a teammate is highly out of character for Wagner, and if the AP took the time to talk with younger players he’s discreetly mentored (Lastings Milledge, Oliver Perez), perhaps the closer’s reputation would be justly served.