NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s been a troubling few days for Mets outfielder Jordany Valdespin.
Then, on Saturday, the Pirates hit Valdespin intentionally in retaliation. No Mets pitchers retaliated back, nor did Valdespin’s teammates get off the dugout steps to defend their talented second-year player. According to reports, Valdespin was very unhappy with how the situation played out, and he proceeded to throw a tantrum in the clubhouse after the game.
On Monday, during WFAN host Mike Francesa’s rant about the Mets’ early-season ineptitude, he took issue with how the Mets dealt with the Valdespin controversy.
“I have a different take on the Valdespin thing,” Francesa said on Monday. “To me, the Valdespin thing speaks volumes about what the Mets have become. I don’t care if you don’t like like Valdespin. He’s on your team. I don’t care if you detest Valdespin. He’s still wearing your uniform. And when the other team does that to him, and you guys act like you want to go out there and applaud it, that speaks volumes about what a bunch of losers you are.”
Valdespin knew that there was a very good chance that he would get hit. And in an effort to avoid getting plunked, the 25-year-old told manager Terry Collins — through trainer Ray Ramirez — that he was unavailable to hit, a source told the New York Daily News. Teammates weren’t too pleased with Valdespin, the newspaper reported, as they concluded that the controversial player was attempting to avoid a beaning.
It was ultimately determined that Valdespin was healthy, and he was sent up to hit. Unlike in other at-bats, he came to the plate wearing an elbow pad. The rest is history, as JV1 was promptly beaned.
“I think, first of all, Valdespin knew what was coming,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told Francesa on Monday. “He was all loaded up with body armor for that at-bat. Look, he was going to have to hit in one of the two days, otherwise he’s not an asset for us if we simply keep him on the bench. At some point, he’s going to have to go out there and hit. So, I don’t think it was a surprise to anybody that that’s what transpired.”
Alderson was adamant about the fact that Valdespin is not a “loner” among the Mets, and that his teammates do in fact have his back.
“I think it’s unfair to say that, simply because we didn’t hit one of the Pittsburgh players thereafter, that he didn’t have a friend,” Alderson told Francesa. “Valdespin is a very interesting player, Mike. We all know that. I think you’re assuming that Jordany has just been taken at face value … He’s part of the Mets, he’s part of our team and we have a responsibility to the entire team, including him, to make sure that he can become the best player that he can be.
“…The notion that he was hung out to dry is just a mistake.”
Alderson did say, however, “I’m not telling you he’s the most popular guy in the clubhouse. That would be misleading.”
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