NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Wilmer Flores wiped away tears as he warmed up at shortstop for the eighth inning, thinking he was being traded from the organization he joined as a teenager.
Manager Terry Collins left the rookie out there. He was trying to win a game and had no idea why Flores was crying.
It turned out Flores became emotional over a rumor: General manager Sandy Alderson said there was no trade after the New York Mets lost 7-3 to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night despite three homers from a suddenly hot Lucas Duda.
“You think these guys are stone-cold robots. They’re not,” Collins said. “They’re human beings and they have emotions.”
Word spread throughout Citi Field in the middle innings about a deal that would’ve brought Carlos Gomez to the Mets from Milwaukee. Flores was one of the players included in the tweets and internet chatter about the trade.
When Flores came to bat in the seventh fans gave him a standing ovation that in the context of the game was unusual — the Mets were trailing 7-2 and there was no one on base.
“It was a little bizarre from inning three to inning eight,” Alderson said.
When he came out to shortstop for the top of the eighth, Flores began to cry as he warmed up. His eyes were watery and red after the game, too, even though Alderson had apologized to Flores.
“During the game I heard there was a trade and I got emotional,” Flores said. “I heard from the fans. When I came up to hit I heard everybody cheering. … It was difficult.”
Generally when a player is traded mid-game, he is pulled. Collins sent Flores back out to his position because he was not informed of any swap.
“Somebody came to me and said, ‘Wilmer’s crying.’ I said, ‘Why?’ ‘Well he got traded.’ ‘To who? For what?’ I didn’t know,” Collins said, incredulous. “I said, ‘I don’t know what’s going on, we’ve got a game to play.'”
Alderson blamed modern technology.
“There is no trade,” Alderson said. “Unfortunately social media, etc., got ahead of the facts and it may have had an adverse affect on one of the players rumored to be involved. It was an unfortunate situation.”
The team was blasted on Twitter for the way it handled the situation.
“It’s an odd situation, obviously,” Mets captain David Wright said. “But until someone comes up and tells you, everything is just speculation. I know today with social media and stuff, there’s things that get out that normally wouldn’t get out. It’s very easy to get caught up with these rumors and things going on, and all of the sudden, you get up there and you’re thinking about something else that may or may not be true.”
After six straight losing seasons, the Mets are in a pennant race. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak and dropped New York two games back of Washington in the NL East.
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