Roger McDowell in Trouble

Former Met reliever Roger McDowell is under investigation by MLB for allegedly threatening fans in San Francisco with a baseball bat and verbally assaulting them with homophobic slurs

You can read all the gory details by following the link above. It sounds like Roger snapped, and in a very bad way — like, in a John Rocker or Al Campanis way. As in, McDowell will forever be remembered for this ugliness and people will wonder what kind of guy he really is.

We won’t get into what he said and did here; what’s important to the Mets is that McDowell has done a good job in Atlanta as a pitching coach and now his job is in jeopardy. From the above-referenced article:

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement that he was aware McDowell was “being accused of engaging in highly inappropriate conduct toward fans at a game in San Francisco.”

“Although I do not yet have all the facts regarding this incident, the allegations are very troubling to me,” Selig said. “The Atlanta Braves have assured my office that they will immediately investigate the allegations, and report the results of the investigation to me. After I have all the facts, I will make a determination of how to proceed.”

This is the type of thing that could seriously affect an otherwise functional clubhouse. First Bobby Cox is gone, next Fredi Gonzalez is in there calling suicide squeezes with two strikes, and now their pitching coach may be suspended from the team — not to mention the media jumping all over this. If these things affect the Braves’ performance, that can only be good for the Mets, right?

  1. Walnutz15 April 28, 2011 at 10:15 am
    Very strange story – especially the part about ballparks not being a place for children.

    . . . . . .this coming from a guy who acted like a child for most of his “adult” baseball career.

    Always liked McDowell – because of the masks, the hot foot, the bubble-gum – and the overall crazy perspective he brought to the game.

    He’ll regret this.

  2. Junkie April 28, 2011 at 11:20 am
    All of these ’86 Mets have had problems-

    (1) Gooden, (2) Strawberry, (3) Dykstra, (4) Backman, (5) Ojeda, (6) McDowell, (7) Kevin Mitchell, and (8) Hernandez.

    Lot of problems with these guys.

  3. Anthony April 28, 2011 at 11:30 am
    This comment about the ballpark not being for children reminds me of something that Janish said the other day when I objected to Backman’s offensive antics when he in the post where Backman argued that the homerun was foul.

    How many that kids speak those words themselves, and/or hear them from their parents every day and that this isn’t the 1950s.

    It’s not right to act this way – period.

    • Roland Agni April 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm
      I can’t speak for Joe, but you are comparing apples to oranges.

      McDowell was speaking directly to fans and saying / doing whatever nasty stuff. And I would think that McDowell’s actions and words were in response to whatever the fans said to him first. It doesn’t make it right, and McDowell should have kept control of himself, but the point is, there had to be something instigating the scene — most likely from a fan or fans. And so I would argue that the fan(s) who started it should also be held accountable in regard to the virgin ears. For all we know it was some kid’s parent mouthing off first.

      The Wally Backman thing is completely different. The only thing that connects the two is graphic language. I’m not going to argue about whether it’s “right” or “wrong” to use curse words; last I checked the First Amendment hadn’t been repealed. And I agree with Joe — Backman is not the first, nor the last manager to use foul language during an argument with an umpire. All the puritans that went off on Backman in the comments were acting like they never heard a manager swear before. Please. Terry Collins was throwing F-bombs around last night after the Reyes triple and last week when he was tossed — does that mean he isn’t mature enough to be a manager?

  4. Walnutz15 April 28, 2011 at 11:46 am
    I’m of the train of thought that “(stuff) happens” — and if a wild scene ensues as a direct result of a call, etc.

    ……then so be it.

    Granted, no one knows 100% what happened between McDowell and the fans in the stands……but unless you’re physically harmed by a fan, then I know I’d be keeping my interaction with them to a minimum.

    Unless you’re kissing their posteriors, then you can expect some kind of backlash to occur. For McDowell to essentially threaten/menace someone – wasn’t smart at all.

    p.s. – Bring back Rock ‘N Jock Softball on MTV!!!!

  5. Joe April 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm
    The lazy use of gay slurs is dead wrong but let’s admit that some fans won’t care.

    But, the presence of two little girls and (per the NY Daily News) “pigtailed” children talking about mean coaches yelling at them, well, that won’t go over that well. He’s a coach, who is supposed to be a bit more able to control himself. And, he didn’t just target hecklers.

    Still, the Phillies is the Mets primary nemesis now. The Braves are so late ’90s.

    I wonder if Keith or Ron will say something about it.

  6. Jimmy April 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm
    Pay big bucks to take your family to a baseball game and your kids are witness to animal like behavior (apology to animals) by an out of control coach? Get rid of this bad apple. As the saying goes……”for the good of the game”.
  7. murph April 29, 2011 at 3:04 am
    in retrospect, somebody who would light their own teammates on fire “for humor” was an air-hole back then (1980s Mets), and it seems is still an axxhole now (2011 Braves). Just an older a-hole that should know better by now.
  8. Atlanta Job May 2, 2011 at 10:45 am
    I agree McDowell did a great job as a pitching coach in Atlanta but surely his job is now in jeopardy. Self-control is part of the job and losing it has a rippling effect on many people. Nobody wants to see someone act like that at a game.
  9. Anthony May 4, 2011 at 11:54 am
    Another day, and yet another story of an ’86 Met acting like a douche.

    These are not suprising anymore – see Backman, Gooden, Strawberry, Dystrka, etc. etc. etc.