9:55 am: In a post to Twitter, New York Post beat writer Mike Puma said he did not intend to offend Bartolo Colon with his comments last week.
“For the record, I keep hot fudge on my neck for long games,” Puma added.
April 28: Mets players refused to speak with reporters Friday, Apr. 25, until Puma was escorted out of the clubhouse (Daily News, April 27).
In his postgame report the day before, titled ‘LARDBALL,’ Puma wrote: “If the umpires searched Colon’s neck for a foreign substance on Thursday, chances are they only would have found peanut butter.”
Colon, who pitched seven innings and let up one run in his last start, is listed at 285 pounds.
According to multiple tweets, Puma was calmly escorted from the clubhouse, after which players talked with media as they normally do after the game.
This past Spring Training, Ike Davis also ripped in to Puma, who published a report saying Davis concealed an oblique injury from the team for most of last season.
“If Ike Davis took a swing at me, he might miss,” Puma later told WFAN during a phone interview.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
In late February, writing from Port St. Lucie, I mentioned how I felt a unique tension between Mets players and media in the clubhouse and around camp. Players young and old told me it was just a natural reaction to having the same group of people, reporters and players, so close together, everyday, for months. I took what they said as true, but it was nevertheless palpable, so much so that Davis actually confronted a reporter in front of other reporters… twice.
I noticed other, more subtle moments as well, whether it was backhanded comments, shoulder shrugging or taunting, most of which also seemed like guys just being guys, ribbing one another, in what is a weird, but professional, close-knit situation. I haven’t been to Citi Field much this season, so I assumed this was isolated to PSL. Then, this report about boycotting Puma surfaced…
I suppose this could be just an issue with Puma, or maybe it’s an overall issue with New York Post. I can’t say I blame the Mets. The Post has been downright mean and totally disrespectful at times, whether casting immature fat jokes, calling people ‘clowns,’ and routinely editing images together to make further fun of people who are just trying to do their jobs. I’m all for criticism and honest reporting, but I believe everyone (media and fans) should always be fair and respectful. Of course, this isn’t isolated to the Mets, they do it to all teams.
It’s also worth noting that Jon Niese barked at reporters to stop tweeting about the team’s clubhouse, following a controversial report about Dan Warthen, which originated from an off-record conversation overheard in the locker room.
In the end, though, my educated guess (speaking as fan, media member, and someone who talks to lots of people around this and other New York teams) I think this may also be a situation where young players are coming up, working hard and feeling pride in what they’re doing, but – instead of finally getting a bit of well-earned praise – they’re being met with constant criticism and negativism, night after night, despite doing what they probably feel is above-and-beyond work with local media.
I may be reading between lines here, but – if true – I can’t say I blame them. I feel it as a Mets fan. I’m finally feeling happy and proud of these guys. I know it could all end tomorrow. But, right now, they’re good and fun to watch. Nevertheless, despite being 14-11, the future looking bright, and these guys playing well and doing much better than expected given their early-season schedule, some people in media, other baseball fans and even some fellow Mets fans continue to mock what this team is doing. I understand, I’m frustrated and I don’t even wear a uniform.