Meet The Press: Reactions to Spin-Gate at the Top of the Show
Now that I’ve had some time to cool off, I was wondering how the rest of the Mets blogosphere was reacting to Spin-Gate and was surprised to find little to nothing about it on MetsBlog or anywhere else for that matter. Could it be I’m just overreacting? It wouldn’t be the first time…
However I did learn the Mets are recalling reliever Greg Burke because the Mets bullpen is overworked. It’s only May 11th, and already the Mets have made eight different bullpen transactions. I haven’t check other teams, but that sounds like a lot of moves this early in the season. That’s never a good sign.
Meanwhile, the Mets beat writers and columnists are weighing in on the fractured Mets clubhouse.
David Lennon of Newsday writes:.
He carried the bat with him halfway down the first-base line, which always makes for some anxious moments, before flipping it, end over end, toward the Mets dugout. When the seventh inning was over, Valdespin walked down the stairs and angrily rifled his helmet at the rack, a startling display from the volatile utility man.
The Mets’ response afterward was just as predictable.
To say his own teammates and manager were happy about the Pirates using Valdespin as a piñata would be unfair. Instead, let’s put it this way: They certainly didn’t sound upset.
“I would have been bothered had it been somewhere up in the neck area,” manager Terry Collins said. “If nothing else, he grew by it, and that’s the most beneficial thing that could happen.”
It was nice to see such genuine concern from the Mets manager about one of his player’s well-being.
I believe that Terry Collins has lost control of this team and anarchy is quickly setting in. So much so that slumping first baseman Ike Davis also decided to let it all out today and blamed the Mets hitting philosophy for his woes at the plate.
John Harper of the Daily News reported about Davis’ frustration and said that he has openly questioned the Mets’ hitting philosophy of taking pitches and working counts. Davis said, “It’s time to start swinging at first pitch fastballs.”
As I’ve said before, a one size fits all philosophy doesn’t work. To effectively get the most out of your players, one needs to consider each player’s unique skill sets, weaknesses and strengths.
What might work for some, may not always work with others. Ike Davis is a perfect example of that. The former Mets first rounder was very successful long before Dave Hudgens showed up. Clearly, something is amiss.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York caught up with David Wright and I was waiting all night to see what Wright had to say about this Valdespin situation. Wright was on the on-deck circle when his teammate got thrown at and stood there motionless with a blank stare. After Valdespin jogged to first, Wright struck out to end the inning and the look on his face was priceless as Valdespin rushed ahead of him and slammed his helmet in the dugout and headed down the tunnel to the clubhouse.
“He’s young. He has a lot of flair about him. That’s his personality. And he doesn’t need to change the person that he is. I think toning some of it down might be appropriate. But he gets excited. He hits a home run and it’s exciting. Sometimes your natural reaction is to be excited about that.”
“You have guys that care about Valdy and are always pulling him aside. And he will pull guys aside and ask questions and things. I think he gets somewhat of a bad rap, sometimes unfairly. He’s obviously made some mistakes in the past.”
I didn’t see a lot of guys that cared about him after he got hit, did you?
I had a beer during the game so my judgement could have been clouded. There could have been a lot of care that I simply missed because of my one-beer drunken stupor.
Valdespin, by the way, declined through a team spokesman to speak about today’s drama afterward.
I think Lennon made a good point when he said that as long as Valdespin remains on the 25-man roster and is wearing a Mets uniform, his teammates have to at least pretend to stick up for him. Making fun of Valdespin or ripping him constantly to the media is no way to try to build a winning foundation in Flushing, which is what is supposed to be going on there. Whether Valdespin was in the wrong or not, why should the Mets care how the Pirates feel?
Maybe Valdespin should have never flipped his bat as he did, but as I wrote in my recap, I didn’t believe he was showing up the Pirates at all. I guess I was the only one who saw it and reported it, but Valdespin was glaring into the Mets dugout when he did that. In fact this is what I wrote Friday night:
Funny thing… Almost as if in a moment of defiance, Valdespin looked straight into the Mets dugout, flipped his bat, and rounded the bases with a swagger that screamed – You keep benching me and I’ll keep making you look like the clown prince.
I thought the message was for Terry Collins and NOT the Pirates.
I think Collins knew that and that’s why he “Spinned” the tables on him. You may remember before the game I took issue with Collins ranting about the Pirates potentially throwing at David Wright. He raged on about being on the lookout for Valdespin being retaliated against by the Pirates before the game. And wouldn’t you know it… That’s exactly what happened.
It may be time to get rid of Jordany Valdespin. He’s not wanted here and that has been obvious from when I first started sharing my conspiracy theory about that back in February. I’m not going to get all Andy Martino on you and say any of this has to do with race. It doesn’t.
As I said at the time, the winners in the Mets Spring Training battles wouldn’t be based on performance, but mostly on the fact that Alderson would rather have his guys play than the residue of the last era. That’s his right and his call as the general manager.
Otherwise, how else can you explain the best performer of the spring camp being relegated to the bench?
Unfortunately, they won’t get much for Valdespin if anything at all because the Mets have completely destroyed and demolished any trade value the kid might of had.
If this exciting prospect ever does fulfil his potential, it won’t be with the Mets, and most likely the team won’t have anything to show for him if and when that happens.
“We’ll be back next Sunday because if it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Press.”
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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