Was Valdespin Sent Up By Collins To Get Hit?
Updated by Joe D. at 2:30 PM
Just caught this on MetsBlog who seems to have just caught on to what has been a two day debate here:
It almost sounds like Collins put Valdespin in a situation he knew would end up with a hit-by-pitch, maybe in an effort to teach Valdespin a lesson, right? If that’s the case, is that why Valdespin threw a ‘tantrum,’ as fans and media have described it?
Unfortunately, we’ll never know if Collins sent Valdespin up to hit knowing he’d be beaned, in a game down nine runs. And, there is no way to know if his teammates were really indifferent, even though that’s what it looked like. I hope this isn’t the case. I really hope Collins didn’t risk getting a player injured, just so the youngster could learn a lesson. I also hope Terry’s players don’t go on to question his leadership because of it, even if the guys understand his reasoning. In other words, I really hope this just goes away…
Matt, first welcome to the party. Also, you may want to read my post entitled, “This Team Is Fractured”. It has even more insights in it that will help you realize what’s going on.
One thing though, your closing comment, “I really hope this goes away.”
Sitting on one’s hands and saying ten Hail Mary’s is not going to make this go away. It’s Terry Collins who should go away and I believe you know the reason why.
Aren’t you the one who always says, “hope is not a strategy”?
It would be great if we could wish this into the cornfield, but a fractured clubhouse is not just going to go away all by itself. This is not the first time we’ve seen Collins divide a major league clubhouse…
Do you really believe that Valdespin was showing up the Pirates and not Terry Collins when he hit that homer? Watch it again… What do you see…
Do you think Collins didn’t know that bat flip was intended for him and not the Pirates?
Weren’t you right there at the post game?
“I know he’s trying to make a statement because he hasn’t been in the lineup. I know he’s trying to make a statement to everybody what he can do. If he keeps hitting homers, he can stand at home plate all he wants, I guess. As long as they start coming up at the right time.”
Collins sent Valdespin up there to get his just desserts as one of our readers pointed out.
It’s not as unbelievable as it sounds, it’s human nature to want to get even.
Luckily he wasn’t seriously injured.
That said, Valdespin needs some reprimanding, some friendship, some understanding, and some baseball etiquette. That much is also clear.
Original Post May 13, 12:00 PM
They say that the cream always rises to the top. Except of course when you don’t use it and just let it sit around and spoil.
That’s what continues to happen with Jordany Valdespin.
In the latest chapter of the New York soap opera titled “El Dramático,” Valdespin was intentionally hit by a pitch by Pirates reliever Bryan Morris. This stemmed from Valdespin’s prolonged admiration of his 426-foot moonshot into the Pepsi Porch in the latter innings of Friday’s lopsided loss.
It isn’t troubling that Valdespin basked in his bomb on Friday or that he even got hit by a pitch Saturday. What’s troubling is the lack of support from his teammates and the coaching staff.
In the often glorified unwritten rules of baseball, it states that a team is informally granted permission to peg a player if he showboats after a home run. I get that. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but it’s something I’ve learned to accept as a baseball fan.
What bothers me is that no one is there to have his back when it happens. David Wright went on the record after Saturday’s loss and offered a somewhat head-scratching statement about the incident.
“You’ve got guys that support Valdespin, and guys obviously are trying to help him,” Wright said. ”I think toning down some of his flair might be appropriate.”
So what he said is that guys support him, but he should tone it down? I don’t see how publicly concurring with the over-the-top perception of Valdespin is showing support. Wright was dubbed as the team’s captain to begin the season, but I’ve seen little in the way of upholding that title. Sure, he’s produced on the field this season, but as long as Valdespin wears that orange and blue uniform, he deserves the support of every player on that roster. It’s a captain’s job to ensure that.
That leads me to Terry Collins’ management. If there was any speculation as to Collins’ disdain for the Mets’ productive bench player, it seemed to be dispelled Saturday night. With the Mets down 10-1 in the 7th inning, Collins forced Valdespin into the game to receive what he thought Valdespin had coming to him. Sure enough, Valdespin was drilled in the right forearm.
“They threw at him,” Collins said. “I knew they might. It’s part of the game.”
Collins’ rationale was that he didn’t want to burn two bench players by using Mike Baxter. So at the expense of wasting an additional bench player in a bigger blowout than the night before, he threw Valdespin into the fray. The brief moment was a microcosm of the prodigious disconnects between Valdespin and the Mets.
Valdespin went on to “throw a fit” in the dugout after the inning ended according to SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt, who was very boisterous about the incident over Twitter and showed his lack of support for the Mets utility man.
All the tweets to me saying the Mets need to protect Valdespin are lost. All he has to do is take the HBP, move to 1B, and move on (cont)..
— Kevin Burkhardt (@KBurkhardtSNY) May 11, 2013
Throwing a fit in the dugout just shows his lack of understanding of the game….
— Kevin Burkhardt (@KBurkhardtSNY) May 11, 2013
For the most part, I enjoy Burkhardt, but I think he’s the one who’s a little lost. I find it sort of unprofessional to go on the Internet and talk about a Major League baseball player’s lack of understanding. I mean, he did make it to the Major Leagues after all. I’d venture to say he has a pretty firm grasp on the game Kev-o, but thanks for your insight. It’ll be interesting to see Burkhardt’s postgame interview after Valdespin’s next walkoff.
Valdespin refused to address the media about the incident after the game.
If you don’t like the guy, trade him. If you can’t stand a guy for outwardly expressing his emotions on the field, tell him behind closed doors. Don’t make a mockery of him by having him walk the plank on national television and then telling the media he should tone it down. With teammates like that, who needs opponents?
I seem to recall a championship team in 1986 that had copious amounts of player tension. The Mets were also loathed for their frequent curtain calls and arrogant attitudes. That was their identity. Now their identity is the evident lack thereof.
The media circus that has surrounded this team is getting out of hand. I dislike having to spend the first half of the season contributing to this debacle. There are more disconcerting issues on this team.
Jonathon Niese’s consistent struggles are putting more pressure on Matt Harvey to perform. If Harvey doesn’t continue his unimaginable season, the fan base will alienate themselves further from the team. If Harvey does continue and the Mets don’t figure things out offensively, he could grow old of this team and be gone for good. I don’t know how many times you can expect a guy to throw nine innings of one-hit baseball without giving up a run and settle for a no decision. It’s those kinds of games that will make a guy lose interest.
Daniel Murphy is mired in a horrific 9-for-61 slump. He’s been a solid hitter for the Mets and they’re going to need his bat if they want things to get better.
Ike Davis has been so bad that he’s been seeing bench time. When he is playing, he still can’t get it together. Fellow MMO writer John Delcos expressed his feelings on the first baseman’s future:
“Davis’ slow start should definitely cause the Mets to resist the temptation of signing him to a multi-year extension. Davis is hitting a paltry .170 with a .270 on-base percentage. He already has 35 strikeouts with just 17 hits and 13 walks. He has four homers and eight RBI.”
I’ve gone on a little longer than I normally do. I haven’t been a Mets fan as long as many of you who go back to the sixties and seventies, but I can safely say this is the worst state I’ve ever seen this franchise in. What happened in that game ranks up there with Tom Glavine‘s meltdown in 2007 in the way it felt. A real punch in the gut.
It’s hard to tell where the Mets go from here. In all probability, this will be swept under the front office’s Persian rugs instead of being used as a way to band together. The only silver lining is a morbid one. Things can’t get any worse.
About the Author: Daniel Nelson
Daniel Nelson is an editor for Mets Merized and a senior at San Francisco State University majoring in Journalism and minoring in Economics. He was born in Fair Lawn, New Jersey where he grew up watching the Mets. Daniel was also the recipient of the 2013/2014 Otto J. Bos Memorial Scholarship, the largest scholarship the SF State journalism department has to offer. You can follow him on Twitter @pacific_theme
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