Final Word On Wheeler and Rodriguez Incident
Updated by Joe D. at 7:30 PM
Most of you read my initial thoughts on Wheeler-gate early this morning; I think it was overblown. I wanted to just say one last thing in lieu of Sandy Alderson’s comments regarding the situation while a guest on WFAN. Here is what he said:
“We didn’t want this to escalate into an issue,” Alderson said. “We have had extensive conversations with both players. We think it’s done. When an incident like that becomes known, we have to address it. That’s the big leagues in New York.” (MetsBlog)
Good. They nipped it in the bud as any good organization would have. Whatever happened, happened, and now it’s over.
One person who was right there in the thick of it, told me that it was much ado about nothing and it all started with something a third player said that he shouldn’t have, after the plunking, “Good. That a**hole deserved it.”
The important thing to take away is that almost immediately, the situation was handled appropriately by the coaching staff, and then the front office, and that all is now good in the neighborhood.
I think what was more appalling than the minor incident itself was how some used it as an opportunity to make the team look bad, create more divisiveness and garner some extra attention for a day. Sadly many of them were Mets bloggers. Anyway…
Have a great weekend and think happy thoughts for Opening Day.
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Original Post 6:00 AM
Zack Wheeler, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, was reprimanded last weekend along with teammate Aderlin Rodriguez for an on-field incident that led to ethnic tensions in the Mets’ minor league clubhouse, according to the Daily News.
Team sources told Andy Martino that during a minor league intrasquad game last Saturday, Rodriguez, a 21-year-old infielder from the Dominican Republic, homered against Wheeler, 22, and “pimped it” around the bases, as one witness described it.
Rodriguez apologized to Wheeler, but the phenom still hit Rodriguez’s teammate with a pitch later in the game. That drew a long glare from Rodriguez, who shouted at Wheeler during a slow walk to first base. At one point, the home plate umpire stepped between the two prospects.
Later, ethnic tensions arose in the clubhouse, according to two people present at the time. “Some of the American guys and some of the Latin guys were circling and yelling at each other,” one source said. The same source added that Wheeler and Rodriguez “are both great kids, competitors, and this stuff just happens sometimes.”
Mets brass reprimanded both players, and the team considers the issue closed. Vice president of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta acknowledged the incident, and said, “We’ve talked to everybody involved, and I think at this point it’s done with.”
Asked if there was any concern about ethnic tensions arising from the incident, DePodesta said: “From our perspective, we treated it as any parent might treat a dispute between two of their kids. You don’t take sides. There is no such thing as sides. You just try to tell them what the right thing to do is, the responsible thing to do, and you go from there. There aren’t any sides taken (by the organization).”
While most of you all know about Wheeler, Rodriguez is considered one of the organizations top power hitter and led the system in home runs in 2012.
Thoughts from Joe D.
This sounds a little overblown to me and it doesn’t matter what the ethnicity is of the players involved. This is baseball and this happens all the time. It seems that the Daily News wanted to sensationalize this simply because of what the ethnicity of the players involved were, rather than the fact it was just two Mets prospects and that’s it.
- Player A throws pitch down the middle of the plate.
- Player B hits home run and showboats it.
- Player A plunks the next batter.
You’ve seen this before. The only thing that’s different is that it was an intrasquad game and both players went into the same clubhouse after the game – both of them still a little hot.
This is no big deal.
About the Author: Craig Lerner
I'm a data analyst and researcher for a leading news agency who loves life and is hooked on the Mets. I love following the Amateur Draft and have a particular fondness for the Mets Minor Leagues who I follow each day. Give me a cold beer, a summer day, and a Mets game, and I'm good to go.
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