Last week, Zack Wheeler and Mets 3B Aderlin Rodriguez were “reprimanded” for an on-field incident that led to “ethnic tensions in the clubhouse,” team sources told Andy Martino of the Daily News.
1:35 pm: Today on WFAN, Sandy Alderson acknowledged the incident, but said it has been addressed with both players.
“We didn’t want this to escalate into an issue,” Alderson said. “We have had extensive conversations with both players. We think it’s done. When an incident like that becomes known, we have to address it. That’s the big leagues in New York.”
8:17 am: According to reports, in a previous game, Rodriguez hit a home run against Wheeler and “pimped it around the bases.” Wheeler later hit Rodriguez in the hand with a pitch, most likely in response to the home run celebration, after which “Rodriguez told Wheeler that if he missed Opening Day, Wheeler would too,” reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
“Later, ethnic tensions arose in the clubhouse, according to two people present at the time,” reports Martino.
The two prospects were called into an office last week and things were smoothed over, according to Rubin, who says Paul DePodesta recently described the incident as “exaggerated,” though others in the organization did not minimize the altercation.
To read Matthew Cerrone's reaction to this story, click here...
Matthew Cerrone, Lead WriterSeriously, it’s never a dull moment, is it? Look, I wasn’t there, and neither were you, any reporters or any one else not in uniform, so it’s difficult to comment on the intent of Wheeler’s or Rodriguez’s comments, tone, or if they were even what is being described. I’ll leave that to the team, since it should be an internal issue anyway, these are young guys, with a lot at stake, and things often get intense… I also wonder if these sort of things happen on other teams, they just don’t have 10 beat reporters competing for every bit of news and information, as the Mets and Yankees do? Just a thought…
As for Zack hitting a teammate with a pitch, that’s not cool. I like the fact that he clearly has no intention of taking anyone’s crap. But, is it really necessary to risk injuring a teammate (and potential future star) in an effort to protect your ego or keep a guy in check? I don’t think so. Again, I appreciate the initial emotion, and I’d obviously have no problem if he tried to drill an opponent, but let’s cool it with the Mets-on-Mets crime, OK? Also, Rodriguez might want to reconsider threatening the organization’s (and one of baseball’s) top pitching prospect. I’m guessing that’s probably not a good career move, regardless if he feels it is warranted.
Anyway, the reality is, when Rodriguez is hitting 25 home runs for Wheeler at Citi Field, as some scouts believe he can, I’m pretty sure no one will remember this… back to work, boys.