NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Terry Collins has heard the reaction to this past weekend’s Jordany Valdespin drama — and he doesn’t care.
On Friday night, with the Mets down a sizable margin to Pittsburgh, Valdespin admired his ninth-inning home run. We all knew what was coming Saturday: the outfielder was sent up as a pinch-hitter and promptly got drilled by Pirates pitcher Bryan Morris.
Valdespin was greeted to crickets in the dugout, and the hit-by-pitch wasn’t met with retaliation. Some fans and media personalities — including WFAN radio’s Mike Francesa — got all over the Mets for not backing up JV1.
“I don’t answer to fans,” Collins said before the Mets’ 10-4 loss in St. Louis. “They don’t play this game. They have no idea what goes on. They have no idea what goes on in there. They have absolutely no idea what it means to be a professional teammate at this level.”
Collins said one of the reasons for the Valdespin flap “is that we’re not playing very good, so everybody is looking for something to write about.” The sputtering Mets have now lost five straight games.
“I don’t care what the perception is,” said Collins. “All I know is what goes on here. I’ve been doing this for 42 years. I don’t care what anybody on the outside thinks. I know how to get it done in the clubhouse. I’ve been getting it done a lot longer than a lot of people. (Valdespin) is fine. He handled it great.”
Valdespin, who reportedly tried to avoid his at-bat Saturday, appeared to respond to the flap on Twitter. His tweet Tuesday translates to “They criticize me to lower my self-esteem but I go straight to the top. I wasn’t born to lose.”
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson disputed the notion Monday that Valdespin was “hung out to dry.”
“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.”
He added: “I’m not telling you he’s the most popular guy in the clubhouse. That would be misleading.”
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