The Mets are bringing Marlon Byrd, he of the PED suspension, to spring training. Byrd is 35 and hit .210 with one homer and nine RBI.
My first reaction was a yawn and my second was thinking how badly Jordany Valdespin is throwing away his career. The Mets have a huge hole in their outfield, but you never hear Valdespin’s name mentioned. And, here’s a guy with speed and came off the bench last year to hit a handful of pinch-hit homers. This is a guy with the potential to make an impact and he’s a virtual non-entity.
Valdespin began to shoot himself in the foot at the end of the season with a sour, combative attitude which included not hustling. What does it tell you when a bench player doesn’t hustle?
What does he do next?
With a chance to redeem himself to make an impression for the future, he’s suspended for insubordination.
What is wrong with this guy? He has a chance to be a major league player and be set for life financially. He has a chance to earn a starting outfield job in New York. It isn’t hard to be a popular player in this city. Hustle, play hard, be enthusiastic and demonstrate some success and the fans will love you. Just look at Lenny Dykstra and Wally Backman. Neither were great players, but were productive and played hard.
Valdespin had a chance to be a player like them.
Maybe he’s not another Carl Everett or Milton Bradley, but he’s headed in that direction. Valdespin has a chance to be a major leaguer and he’s throwing it all away.
His loss, not ours.