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Mets’ Angel Pagan Was on the Can While on Deck, Almost Missed At-Bat

Frankly, I’m shocked this type of situation does not occur more often.  People like me who have to go when they have to go have always wondered what athletes do when nature calls abruptly at an inopportune moment.  In a world full of Steve DelVecchios, pitchers would be leaving the mound in the middle of games and quarterbacks would be bailing in the middle of the two-minute drill.  In other words I know exactly how you feel, Angel Pagan.

According to the NY Daily News, Pagan was nowhere to be found when he was on deck in the top of the fifth inning Monday night.  Had he pulled a Carlos Zambrano and exited the stadium? Not quite. Pagan simply had a bathroom emergency. When Nick Evans walked and it was time for Pagan to step to the plate, home plate umpire Mike DiMuro had to go walking over to the Mets dugout to see what was going on.

“I told the trainer, I have to go to the bathroom,” Pagan said. “When you’re up fourth in the inning and you have to do that, it’s just not fun.”

Pagan said he was on the can and had just finished when he looked at the TV and saw that the count was full to Evans.  He made it out onto the field in time — albeit a little tardy — and grounded out to end the inning.  Take it from a person who once had to relieve himself in a back alley of one of toughest suburbs outside of Boston: I ain’t mad at ya, Angel.

Fist pound to Deadspin for the story.

Jeff Wilpon Reportedly Got on Mets for Not Retaliating After Hit-by-Pitch

Bean ball wars are one of the most uncomfortable aspects of baseball. An ode to Hammurabi’s Code, this aspect of the unwritten rules of the game mandates an eye for an eye — hit my guy and we’ll hit yours. Often times these wars can get out of hand because the process will continue until one team decides not to respond or the umpires put a stop to it. After Mets infielder Justin Turner was hit by a pitch Thursday and the team didn’t respond, COO Jeff Wilpon reportedly expressed his dissatisfaction with the club.

Turner was hit in the 13th inning on Wednesday night to force in the winning run. The A’s were apparently upset he made little effort to move out of the way of the ball (it grazed him on his jersey), so they hit him in the leg in the first inning the next day. The Mets’ lack of response upset Wilpon who reportedly chided the team after the game Thursday.

If that is the case, then Wilpon was wrong for his reaction. He needs to keep in mind that Turner leaned into the pitch, barely was touched, and that allowed the Mets to win the game. It was a cheap way to win a game, so if the A’s wanted to respond by dosing him in the leg the next day, let them. What’s more important? Throwing back at another team for one guy getting hit, or getting a call in your favor after winning a game? Come on Wilpon, get your priorities straight.

Terry Collins Rants After Mets Blow Lead to Pirates (Video)

The New York Mets are 25-30 and they’ve lost eight of their last 11 games. They were up 2-0 through six innings against the Pirates Wednesday night, but they blew the lead giving up five runs in the 7th and four more in the 8th. Manager Terry Collins had made some defensive changes late in the game and some of those players made mistakes, resulting in the blown lead and increasing frustration. Collins ended up going on a rant after the loss. Here’s the video courtesy of Hardball Talk:

The Mets are 25-30, losing again Thursday, and it feels like Collins is falling into the whole snake-bitten drama owner Fred Wilpon talked about when he ripped the team recently. If you think about Wednesday night’s game, Collins tried to make all the moves he thought would help the team but they didn’t work out. It’s understandable why he was so frustrated. And actually, Big League Stew summarized the five plays that set Collins off, and it’s no wonder he ended up ranting after the game.

With three teams already at 31 wins a piece in the NL East, and the Nationals trailing the mets a single game, things could continue to get ugly for the Mets in early June.

Keith Hernandez: Mets Have too Many Charitable Demands on Players

Former 1979 MVP winner and current Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez took aim at an organizational approach recently, saying the team demands too much of their players off-the-field during the season.

Hernandez was backing up third baseman David Wright who was recently criticized by owner Fred Wilpon. Hernandez said Wright has gone “over and above the call of duty” when it comes to representing the team. He then criticized the organization’s operations and demands of players.

“I have always felt that for too long the Mets have, you know, done a little bit too much with the players (in terms of personal appearances) during the season,” Hernandez said. “The players have to play baseball. And it’s a long grueling season. David has always been there for the organization.”

Speaking from personal experience, Wright is extremely accommodating and accessible when it comes to granting media interviews during the season, so I know he’s great with his time. But the Mets are running a business, and part of being an employee is doing public relations and interacting with fans. There’s nothing wrong with teams having their players make appearances and interact, but they have to be mindful of the players’ schedules.

Hernandez played the game and has a good idea of what’s asked of the players and what’s reasonable, so I’ll take his word for it. After all, we know he doesn’t suck up to the players, so he’s probably not messing around. Not only that, but as a team broadcaster, he’s probably speaking on their behalf, saying something they can’t say for fear of criticism. I’ll bet this complaint is coming from the players.

Fred Wilpon Apologizes to David Wright, Says he ‘Misspoke’

Mets owner Fred Wilpon gave one of the oddest interviews by a sports executive this side of David Kahn when he ripped into his own players and team. In his interview with The New Yorker, Wilpon took aim at Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and David Wright. Oh yeah, he also called his team “sh***y” and “snakebitten” for good measure. I’m surprised he left franchise icons Tom Seaver, Keith Hernandez, Doc Gooden, and Darryl Strawberry off his hit list. Could he not find anything wrong with Mr. Met?

Anyway, if there’s anything worse than tearing your team to shreds while leaving nothing behind but the rotting carcass, it’s apologizing for your comments with phony excuses. Check that, it’s clearing things up over speakerphone, then apologizing with phony excuses.

Speaking on Friday, David Wright addressed Wilpon’s apology. “He called to say that he misspoke,” Wright said. “And that he appreciated the response and that he loves the team and the organization and he’d never do anything to try to embarrass us.”

[Read more...]

Video: Soup Nazi and Frank Costanza at Mets Game

On Saturday, we passed along the news that actor Larry Thomas, better known as the Soup Nazi, attended the Mets-Dodgers game at Citi Field. The Soup Nazi was at the game “to give DVD prizes to fans at Citi Field who correctly answered trivia questions about the show,” according to the AP via Off The Bench. He wasn’t alone; Frank Costanza joined him as well. Frank, aka Jerry Stiller, managed to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame without breaking character. Here’s the video via Mets Police:

At least their visit to Citi Field seems to have gone better than the last time a Seinfeld cast member attended a Mets game.

Mets Sacrifice Toolbox to Turn Season Around, Have Not Lost Since

Being a New York Mets fan is filled with surprises. Whether it means having your team mocked on a subway sign or trying to raise money to buy out a player’s contract, the news is rarely positive for New York’s other team.  By destroying a toolbox, the Mets hope to change all that.

Big League Stew shared a story with us on Saturday about a toolbox named “Stanley.”  Stanley was once a mainstay in the Mets bullpen.  He carried essentials such as nail clippers, medical supplies, and various toys.  After watching his team get off to a league-worst 6-11 start and his bullpen post a league-worst 4.11 ERA, Mets CEO Jeff Wilpon gave an executive order: kill Stanley.

Wilpon requested that every player donate an article of clothing or piece of equipment to place inside Stanley, and the team then took the toolbox into the back room before Thursday’s game and destroyed him with baseball bats — Office Space style.  That afternoon, the Mets beat the Astros, 9-1.  They currently hold a 2-0 lead over the Diamondbacks and have not lost a game since Stanley’s demise.

Was it the Curse of the Toolbox that was holding the Mets down for all these years? Time will tell.