Hospital Flap: Just like the Mets.

BELTRAN: Skips hospital showing with Perez and Castillo.

The New York Mets had planned, as they usually do when they are in Washington, to visit the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to comfort  injured servicemen from Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a pet project of the Wilpons and the team knew well in advance what was to happen this week.

That night’s starting pitcher, Dillon Gee, was making his major league debut and was excused. Everybody else was expected, not required, to attend. It was one of those unspoken gestures of team unity.

The firestorm is in that Carlos Beltran, Oliver Perez, and Luis Castillo, three players who have clashed with Mets’ management this year and who carry heavy, yet unproductive contracts, opted not to attend without prior explanation.

Beltran said he had a meeting with his foundation to build a baseball academy in Puerto Rico; Castillo said he was uncomfortable at seeing the injuries; Perez offered no explanation.

Maybe Beltran could have rescheduled; maybe he could not have. But, it was his foundation, he knew of the conflict in advance and said nothing. He could have rescheduled. That’s pretty lame. Beltran was aware of this visit to the hospital, and although he was supposedly doing charity work, it’s still a weak effort on his part in communicating. Had he taken a more proactive approach, he wouldn’t be lumped in with Perez and Castillo.

Still, it can’t be forgotten how the Mets and Beltran clashed over surgery this spring, and if surgery had been done last summer how he might have recovered for this season. Instead, Beltran is owed $18.5 million for the final year of his contract, which the Mets would gladly unload.

Beltran’s unexcused absence, regardless of the subsequent explanation, brings these other issues to light and puts him in an uncomfortable position. Beltran isn’t stupid, he knows how the media operates and what would be made of this. Beltran is too smart to do something like this unless he was trying to make a statement.

Meanwhile, Castillo’s comment that this would make him queasy is an insult to those who are injured. It is a high insensitive comment. It reminds me, that he didn’t seem to have this reaction when he visited in the past.

You can insert your jokes about Castillo making you queasy here.

Still, the thing that sticks out with Castillo has been his disappointing, unproductive and tumultuous season and the $6 million remaining on next year’s contract. He’s not playing and is angry at the Mets. Was this the right way to express that anger?

Then, there is Perez, who was smart enough not to offer a lame excuse or lie. He just refused comment, which automatically makes anybody speculate what his agenda is. Perez is bitter at how he has been treated, although he brought on a lot of it himself. Perez is owed $12 million this year and next year and has refused all requests to do things that would make him better.

There’s no doubting the Mets want somebody, anybody, to take these contracts off their hands, and it’s no secret these guys want out. It’s also no secret the Wilpons hate eating these contracts.

All what the hospital flap has done is make me wonder whether the boycotts were orchestrated as a way of forcing the team to say “enough is enough,” and cut them loose with their 2011 contracts owed them. I’m thinking it is their way to force the issue on a release.

As far as conspiracy agendas go, it’s a good one.

What also makes me scratch my head on this is Jerry Manuel’s weak response, saying they are adults and can act they way they want. That’s the way Jerry for spitting on the concepts of team and accountability and responsibility.

2 thoughts on “Hospital Flap: Just like the Mets.

  1. i can see how luis and ollie might be bitter for not playing. but if they look in the mirror they need to realize that their contracts notwithstanding, the team has much better players on the roster and in the minors that can do the same thing.

    beltran is a bit different, where if his leg can come back he is not useless. he just may not be the all star CF he is used to being. I don’t know what happened this winter. if he was injured last year why did they not have surgery immediately? why did they bring him back to help his confidence? why did they think that just hanging out that it would fix itself?

    I don’t have the answers, but I do know is that for whatever reason the wilpons were mad. they had the gm call him names until the same gm backtracked. then they got the jr gm to play the bad guy. it became a media circus and they all pretended to let it go away.

    i don’t understand why fred is soo concerned about image. he doesnt seem to care if the team sucks, but if his image is not clean he seems to get worked up about it. his image was smeared by willy by yelling racist in his last days. that certainly put an end to his tenure. it probably is why he was canned the way he was. to get back at him.

    i guess some people like to primp in the mirror rather than deal with real issues.

    of course the offseason taught us the team would be competitive. we are. we are almost a 500 team.

    that’s competitive.

  2. With Steingrabber it was always about winning and image. no crazy long hair or crazy facial hair. etc etc etc.
    Maybe Fred has issues now.. if you are losers you have to me magnanimous. oh well. this team needs a face lift I wonder what they will look like next year?