Mets Better Off Without Valdespin

Two weeks ago I wondered why Jordany Valdespin wasn’t getting more playing time. Now, I’m wondering why I bothered to care.

Why should I, or anybody else for that matter – outside his immediate family – care about Valdespin, of whom GM Sandy Alderson recently said is testing his limits of tolerance?

Answer: There is no reason.

VALDESPIN: Will never be the man.

VALDESPIN: Will never be the man.

The Mets finished in fourth place last year and are in fourth now. They are a season-high six-games below .500, and after losing three of four to Pittsburgh, are about to start a stretch that could flatten them for the season.

Bottom line: They can lose with or without Valdespin.

Valdespin’s actions over the weekend illustrate he’s a me-first player. His posing after a homer in a blowout loss defined “bush league.” His post-homer comments put that assessment in bold.

“When you hit the ball, you got to enjoy your hit,’’ Valdespin said. “Every time I hit the ball, homer or something, I enjoy that. Every hit, I’m enjoying, my family’s enjoying, my friends enjoying.’’

Kind of says it all about him, doesn’t it?

Mets manager Terry Collins, thinking old school, acknowledged payback could be coming, but his response was inadequate and weak. It made me wonder why he should be manager.

“We’ve talked about this individually and as a group,’’ Collins said. “In the game today, you have to turn your head on some things. It’s done everywhere. Do I like it? I don’t know if it really matters. I can’t change the game.’’

Maybe not, but he damn sure can change his little role in it. Collins’ answer and willingness to put up with Valdespin’s histrionics, shows how dysfunctional the Mets are as an organization.

Valdespin styling after a meaningless home run was the epitome of selfishness and Collins knows it. While it might be the way of the world elsewhere, the only appropriate thing for Collins to say was: “Other managers can put up with that, but I won’t tolerate it on my team.’’

That Alderson didn’t say the same and send him down as punishment was also weak. In Alderson’s Sabremetric world, is there an adequate measure for Valdespin’s actions?

The next day Collins suggested there could be payback, and that it might be directed at David Wright was sobering. That the Pirates didn’t retaliate against Wright was a classy gesture on their part. Go after the real culprit was their reasoning.

They were right to plunk Valdespin, and I don’t want to hear any more Pollyanna crap about a fastball to the ribs wasn’t right. That’s the baseball code.

In that code you take your punishment and shut up. However, Valdespin went berserk in the dugout and slammed his helmet, drawing more attention to himself.

Wright, as captain, did an excellent soft-shoe trying to defend his teammate, although his words seemed hollow, as if deep down, he knew he didn’t believe what he was saying.

I wonder if Wright would have been so generous had the Pirates went after him in retaliation, or if Valdespin’s slammed helmet ricocheted and hit somebody in the eye?

Somehow, I doubt it.

Valdespin had no business being incensed, as he was the one who created the mess. His anger also indicates he either wasn’t aware of the circumstances or didn’t care. Valdespin doesn’t get that this is a team sport and not about him.

His actions scream “look at me,’’ as if he were a NBA diva. However, Valdespin doesn’t bring enough to the table to warrant the Mets putting up with him. They can finish fourth with or without him.

I prefer the latter.

14 thoughts on “Mets Better Off Without Valdespin

  1. From a practical standpoint they need him as he provides energy and some power either as a starter or the bench.

    As a matter of direction they need to decide what if anything they will do and do it quick.

    He is not an everyday player so you can’t bench him. You can fine him.

    I am on the fence about him. He has talent and we lack that. I also think he can be coached.

    • dave: I’m not sure how much energy he provides if his teammates say behind his back that he’s the most hated guy in their clubhouse. … He has some talent, but not enough to justify his attitude. And, the Mets have had trouble coaching him for the past few years.-JD

  2. I cant believe how everyone seems to think it is ok to throw a lethal object at a human being as retaliation for show boating. What if it broke his wrist and he was out for the year. Jordany is definately on his way to being an unliked player, but the guy has already singlehandedly won two games for us. The punishment should be an internal issue. Terry should have gone up to Clint Hurdle and said I will take care of this. That the mets didn’t stand up for their teammate tells me that the Mets prefer to be liked more than they do feared

    • Steven A: That’s how they’ve played the game for more than a century. Right? Probably not, but Valdespin, if he had been paying attention, should know the code of the sport. … Yes, he has had his moments, but with a lot of complementary drama and he is disliked by his teammates. … I like your comment about Terry Collins saying he would take care of matters, but in hearing his post-game comments I don’t believe he would have done anything. Personally, I believe he wouldn’t have done anything because after all, the Mets haven’t been able to get through to him for the past few years. Maybe, Collins thought the only way for Valdespin to learn was for him to take his lumps.-JD

    • As John says this is how it is done in baseball. You step out of line and the other team retaliates. This is not basketball or football.

  3. A player is cut by another team because he cannot hit 200.

    But this makes him good enough to start for us.

    Welcome Rick Ankiel!

    • Rick Ankiel may not hit .300 this season for the Mets but he will save a pitchers butt with his play in the outfield and put the fear of God in base runners with his strong arm.

  4. The Mets have let the league batting champ and the Cy Young winner go in the past few years. Jordany, tuck in your back pocket, shut your mouth and get 400 at bats in the major leagues and hit 300 before you wind up heading for a crash landing in the Mexican League.

  5. You are right nobody in this day an age wants a loveable loser. I personally prefer the selfish asshole player, because at least he is giving a damn, even if its just for his personal gain, over the guys who just rolled over and accept the losing. But here is the thing, everyone is saying how the team, coaches and front office has talked to Valdespin. But why should he listen to them? the players act like they dont give a damn, the coaching staff has allowed to loser mindset to take place, and we all know of the issues the front office and ownership has had in public, let alone the disfunctional stuff they have kept behind closer doors. Lets look at the mid 80 mets, the personalities of some of those guys wasnt exactly the best, and they didnt exactly abide the code of conduct in baseball. But there were guys like Keith and Gary that could put people in their place, and everyone in that roster had each others back when those brawls broke out.

    • Sebas12: He should listen to them because they dictate his playing time and the route of his career. … You are right in that it begins at the top, but if a player doesn’t like it here, his best way out is to play hard and don’t be a jerk. Don’t think for a minute other teams aren’t watching Valdespin. Why would they want him now? So, Valdespin has hurt his own value. As far as Hernandez and Carter, yes, they had the backs of their teammates. But, Valdespin is so far out there. Notice how nobody said anything on his behalf – outside of Wright – and didn’t approach him when he came back to the dugout. His teammates don’t want anything to do with him.-JD

  6. “NBA diva.”

    That screams of racism and an attack on Black athletes. Why not NHL diva? They behave well? The sport with the most fighting. Imagine the NBA had that much fighting.

    All of these players are me first. I’ve already seen three stories about Matt Harvey that basically imply that he’s mad about run support. He just does it off-the-record. Wright isn’t selfish? Why demand a contract until he’s 37. He knows he can play well at that age.

    Whites (and I’m one) think everyone has to conform to their culture. Guess what? The Dominican Republic won the WBC. A team of me first guys who celebrate including former Mets great Jose Reyes. Maybe the white dudes should change because this team has been like watching paint dry since Reyes left.