Valdespin Controversy Arrives Early
Yes, I’m about a week late on this, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts regarding the Terry Collins – Jordany Valdespin – hit by pitch story in St. Louis last Tuesday.
If you were visiting MetsToday in the spring, you may or may not remember a cautionary post comparing Jordany Valdespin to previous Mets problem children. It was in reaction to a story in NJ.com by Jorge Castillo about Valdespin’s “complicated clubhouse presence.”
This is what I typed:
… to see a story like this come out so early in a player’s career, before he’s really done anything, and knowing he’s swimming in the often-turbulent fish bowl of New York, playing for a team that is likely going to be less interesting on the field as the season progresses … well, it’s not what I’d say is an ideal recipe for the young man. This story came out mainly because there isn’t much else to talk about in Port St. Lucie right now — what happens in late July, if/when the Mets are out of contention, and again the beat writers are searching for stories and headlines? Valdespin might be the lightning rod, and — whether deserved or not — the result could be a public perception that becomes damaging to both the player and the organization.
Honestly, I thought if ‘spin was going to be at the center of a public storm, it would happen later in the summer — certainly not in mid-May. So here’s my question: do you think this most recent issue of Valdespin-as-problem-child going public has more to do with Valdespin, with the Mets’ losing record, or Terry Collins?
Some suggest Collins is a ticking time bomb, about to explode in a way similarly to every other managerial job he’s had. Some say the Mets players and manager simply don’t appreciate Valdespin’s flair for the game. What I wonder is how much about the Valdespin situation are we NOT hearing about? Is this just the tip of the iceberg? It might be, considering how infrequently ‘spin gets into the lineup.
I also wonder — is the Collins / Valdespin bomb going to go off just in time for the All-Star Game? Will the Mets considering jettisoning one or both of the two men prior to July, to avoid marring what may be the singular celebration at Citi Field in 2013?
Fire away in the comments.
Either way to season, like all are a grind on us fans as we sit back and look for any semblance of hope to cling to. I am also excited about ex-card Ankiel. Realize he isn’t any great shakes but who can hate a guy who tries to throw behind a runner from the warning track on his first catch as a met? Maybe we can watch a few more web gems this year because of his cannon. Or until the sandman decided to bring another waiver claim deadbeat.
I’m sure there will be plenty more “much ado about almost nothing” Valdespin stories. He didn’t do much wrong in HBP Gate; he did just enough to make it more dramatic than the Mets’ other woes.
As for Valdespin, he brings some of the out going enthusiasm missing since Jose left. However, he needs to channel that behavior towards a more positive team approach vs. personal agrandizement. Thats where Wright and other veterans can try to redirect his energy. If he doesn’t modify his behavior then they may be left with another Lastings Milledge situation [he’s now out of baseball].
I still contend that Collins was wrong for the Mets from the beginning. He may be nice person and knowledgable about the game, however he is way to intense, particularly for younger players. In trying to be perfect they think to much about not making mistakes which only distracts them into making them. He never smiles, looks like he is “chewing nails”, can’t manage a bullpen, up until this week couldn’t set a daily lineup without moving players in and out or up and down the lineup, and doesn’t appear to like having so many younger players on his team because he doesn’t know how to handle/motivate them. Little stability, hitters unable to get used to hitting in front or behind some else. Like Baz suggested, Collins was a stop-gap choice while the payroll was straightened out. He should go before he completely destroys the morale on this team.
I firmly believe there is a solid nucleus of players which with the right manager can and will win games. Reduce the tension, create a more “have fun” atmosphere, let them play and they will produce.
Yes I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Can you name one manager on a playoff team that has a player like this? I cannot. They won’t stand for it. That, my friend is old school, winning baseball.
As for Collins I believe he has an old school mentality in that he preaches good fundamentals and tries to play small ball but he lacks the tools and the patience/management/grit to truly intimidate/innovate his players. He has proven in previous management that his style works in the short runout like many leaders the talent inevitably rises to the top and the foam on this beer has long since dissolved.
Collins mentality is not a reality and I believe the word I used is “tries” to use an old school approach but he is not a great manager and I root for him But will not be hurt when he is cast aside, that’s the nature of the position. Much like you said, Spin will play, but it i s more a matter of who else do the mets have not because he refuses to bench him.
In looking at some other teams with a record similar to the Mets, the Twins, Dodgers, Angels, Brewers, and Cubs are playing their best players! There isn’t a single talented player on any team that is not playing regularly.
That’s what I don’t get: What is the plan? If we are rebuilding, why aren’t we seeing the other young guys getting an Ike Davis chance? Collins is part of management; if he’s not on board, why are we wasting time?