Backman Suspended For Two Games, Valdespin Draws Three Game Suspension
Wally Backman, Jordany Valdespin and Armando Rodriguez were officially issued suspensions by the Pacific Coast League for their part in a bench-clearing incident on Monday.
Backman was handed down a two-game suspension while Valdespin and Rodriguez were issued three-game suspensions.
Rodriguez was also demoted to Double-A Binghamton and will serve out his suspension there.
Looks like the Mets didn’t have to handle this internally.
Mike Puma of the New York Post first reported the news which was later confirmed by the Las Vegas Twitter account.
During the second game of Monday’s doubleheader against the River Cats, Valdespin continues his torrid hitting and blasted a three-run home run off highly regarded top pitching prospect Sonny Gray. Valdespin admired his homer while holding onto his bat halfway up the first base line.
Later in the game, reliever Brian Gordon was brought in and kept throwing inside at Valdespin with every pitch until finally hitting him in the hands, prompting the home plate umpire to issue a warning to Gordon and both benches. It was obvious that Valdespin was being intentionally targeted.
In the next inning, the battle waged on as Las Vegas reliever Armando Rodriguez stepped up and retaliated by firing a fastball that hit second baseman Grant Green of the River Cats. He was immediately ejected when suddenly Backman led his team onto the field and both benches cleared.
Backman was red-hot and got into a heated pushing and shoving match with River Cats manager Steve Scarsone with both of them shouting obscenities. Both managers as well as Valdespin were ejected along with Rodriguez.
Unlike an earlier incident while with the Mets, Valdespin got the full support of his manager and team this time. The 51s are in first place and are clinging to a slim two-game lead over the now second place River Cats.
Valdespin was named PCL Player of the Week on Monday and in 63 plate appearances with Las Vegas he is batting .463/.540/.778 with 25 hits, 4 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 13 runs, 2 stolen bases, 24 RBIs, and a 1.317 OPS.
On Wednesday, Terry Collins said it was unlikely that Valdespin will return before September 1st when rosters expand.
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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