NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese hurled a four-letter word — the one that begins with ‘F’ — at his skipper during his final start of the year, according to the New York Daily News. But that likely won’t factor in if the Mets decide to trade Niese this offseason, the paper reported.
The fireworks were reportedly set off when Niese ignored a bunt sign in the third inning on Sept. 26 against the Houston Astros. According to the Daily News, Mets manager Terry Collins got all over his pitcher in the dugout, and Niese snapped back, “F— you. Take me out if you don’t like it.”
Collins left him in the game.
“I know Jon like the back of my hand,” Collins told the Daily News on Wednesday. “He’s so wired during a game, when you say something to him in a situation like that he snaps. The players know it so I don’t worry that they might get the wrong idea. It’s not like they see me backing away from a situation like that.”
On Thursday, Collins denied the juiciest quote in the report, according to several media members on Twitter:
An unnamed player downplayed the incident to the Daily News, saying it was just the ultra-competitive Niese “being a knucklehead.”
“I don’t know to what extent that incident was different than maybe a handful of others that happened from time to time,” general manager Sandy Alderson said Thursday, according to NJ.com. “Jon isn’t always happy when he comes off the mound. I don’t know if I’m aware of that particular incident.”
Still, F-bombs usually don’t go over very well in this town. Just ask Geno Smith. And with a surplus of starting pitching, the Mets could decide to move a player like Niese in a trade to fill their need at shortstop.
Alderson said it would have “no impact whatsoever” on the team’s offseason decisions.
“It’s more about how that moment affects the relationship going forward,” he said. “Whether there’s lingering anger from one party or the other. I just don’t see that happening. That’s not Terry and that’s not (Jon).”
Some are wondering why the dugout altercation has become an issue now, comparing the situation to R.A. Dickey’s tumultuous final weeks as a member of the Mets in 2012.
“I have zero problem with Jon Niese’s competitiveness,” Collins told the Daily News.
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