I was driving in to work and listening to WFAN today, much like I would on any other day. I happened to hear Joe & Evan discussing some quotes from LaTroy Hawkins and Marlon Byrd regarding the incident that took recently place with Jordany Valdespin, when he got hit by a pitch, in what seemed to be a show of revenge from tossing his bat after a home run, in a lopsided loss to the Pirates.
Joe & Evan said that the quotes really give a taste for how much the Mets dislike their teammate, and his immaturity…after reading the quotes, you can be the judge.
Here are the quotes from Hawkins, and a couple of other Mets, from USA Today:
“I couldn’t believe he did that, 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? 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. He’s created a lot of unnecessary tension around here.”
“Sometimes you have to look yourself in the mirror. He’s got to ask himself, ‘What can I do to gain the respect back from my teammates?’ And he’s got to come up with that answer on his own.”
“For some reason, he doesn’t want to do things the right way. He wants to do it the hard way. Hopefully, he’ll figure it out, because he’s got a chance to be a damn good ballplayer.”
“The Pirates did what you were supposed to do. They just sent a message that you don’t do that. We would have done the same thing to another team. Any of the 29 other teams would do the same thing. Anybody around baseball who knows anything about the game knows that’s what’s supposed to happen. It should have been done and over with.”
According to USA Today, Byrd has already counseled Valdespin many times this season.
“I tried to explain to him that if you were a (expletive) star or a big-time star and you do that, you might get away with it, but we’re getting beat 7-1 with a 12-year veteran on the mound. Come on.”
“I don’t care what the fans think. This is the big leagues. It’s a big-man’s game. I told him, look, it’s not about you. It’s about us. It’s about the team. We’re all trying to teach you a lesson here. We’ll see if he gets it.”
“The easiest way to describe this is that it’s stupid. The whole incident is stupid. It’s gotten way too much attention. This thing should have been over, and now it’s turned into a life of its own. 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. It’s ridiculous.”
David Wright is sticking to his neutral stance, but the other quotes were pretty strong. Even if a teammate does something stupid, you come to their defense. If a teammate makes an error, you pick him up. If he strikes out in a clutch spot, you pat him on the back and tell him we’ll get them next time. If he gets plunked on purpose, you come to his defense, regardless of the events that led up to the plunking.