NEW YORK (WFAN) — The Mets got it right both on and off the field Tuesday.
Before their 6-4 win over the Washington Nationals, the team visited wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
“It probably brought the team together a little bit,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. “One can get a little better insight of what it means to be a teammate.”
Alderson, a Vietnam veteran, called the visit “sobering.”
“Ultimately when soldiers go to war, they do so with the people next to them most in mind, and that’s sort of the ultimate motivation,” he said.
“I certainly was taken by the spirit that the wounded soldiers and Marines exhibited, and the support that they’re getting from the hospital staff and so forth, and hearing their stories about how these injuries occurred was pretty sobering, so I think everybody who was there benefited from it.”
New York’s trip went off without a hitch, unlike last September’s public relations nightmare when Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez found themselves deep in the Mets’ doghouse for skipping the visit.
Carlos Beltran was also absent last year due to a prior commitment. Perez wouldn’t comment. Castillo just wasn’t comfortable, and his response drew much criticism.
“Sometimes you see people with no legs, no arms. I don’t like to see that,” Castillo said.
Two Mets didn’t participate this year, Francisco Rodriguez and Taylor Buchholz. A Mets spokesperson told the New York Daily News the absences were cleared in advance and “perfectly fine.”
K-Rod and Buchholz had scheduled visits with their children on Monday and couldn’t travel to Washington in time. Rodriguez said he missed his kids once already this season because of a mandatory team commitment.
“I couldn’t miss another day with them,” Rodriguez said, according to the paper.
Do you have encouraging words for our veterans? Be heard in the comments below…