Wagner’s Comments: What’s the Big Deal?
Sorry for being late on this one … I’ve been avoiding talk radio, Baseball Tonight, espn.com, and all forms of media that might be covering baseball since “the loss”.
Anyway, let’s look at Billy Wagner’s comments in New York Magazine — the ones that he apologized for:
“We’ve been throwing four innings a night – for months!” Wagner told the magazine. “Our pitching coach has no experience talking to a bullpen. He can help you mechanically, but he can’t tell you emotions. He has no idea what it feels like. And neither does Willie. They’re not a lot of help, put it that way.”
OK … and? Why the apology?
Everything Billy said was correct. I can see why people are up in arms, because it sort of could be construed as criticism, but really, it’s not. Wagner said, in so many words, that both Rick Peterson and Willie Randolph were ignorant of what goes on in a reliever’s mind. Pointing out ignorance is not being critical — it’s stating fact.
I know, I know — Billy “should just keep his mouth shut”. Yet at the same time, we hope every day that one of the Mets will come forward and say what’s on his mind — the truth, rather than the same old b.s. and tired cliches. Or are you satisfied with hearing “… gotta turn the page …” every day from Willie Randolph?
To expand on Wagner’s words: if Rick Peterson gets the credit for revamping the careers of Tom Glavine, Oliver Perez, and John Maine, then he has to get some of the blame for the collapse of both the starting pitching and the bullpen. Yet, throughout September, we saw nor heard anything from The Jacket, and not one pundit, beat writer, nor blogger called him out. Now, after the season, Wagner doesn’t blame him, but simply states that he can’t help with a reliever’s emotions. The first time all season someone puts the finger on Peterson, and he has to apologize for it. Huh.
Personally, I do agree that Wagner would have been better off stating things differently — because what he said could have caused dissension had the season still been going on. However, he manned up and apologized for the words, and by next February it will be forgotten.