This afternoon in St. Louis, Terry Collins had the following to say about whether he left Jordany Valdespin out to dry during Saturday’s game against the Pirates:
“I don’t answer to fans. They don’t play this game. They have no idea what goes on in there. They have absolutely no idea what it means to be a professional teammate. … I don’t care what the perception is. All I know is what goes on here. I’ve been doing this for 42 years. I don’t care what anybody on the outside thinks. I know how to get it done in the clubhouse. I’ve been doing it a lot longer than a lot of people.”
Collins also said Valdespin was afraid of being hit a second time and wanted to get out of his second plate appearance on Saturday, not his first.
“His arm was bothering him. It did swell up,” Collins explained. “Now, if they threw at him again, we would have answered. There would have been a definite answer. They didn’t.”
Earlier today, Andy Martino of the Daily News said Valdespin wanted to get out of his first plate appearance on Saturday out of fear of being hit.
Michael Baron, Contributor
No matter what question by a reporter prompted this response, this is not the road Collins wants to go down with the fan base. He isn’t wrong – it’s a whole different and isolated world in that clubhouse. It also doesn’t help he is being asked about this situation with Valdespin at every juncture, but it comes with the territory managing a New York baseball team. This is a fan base that is feeling quite dejected by his team’s poor play this season (and the last six years for that matter), and so a statement like this is probably not coming from him at the best time…
In any event, it’s time for all of this to be put to bed. The damage is done, it’s nothing more than a negative distraction and it has no way of ending well for either the player or the team. It’s clearly become a he-said, she-said game in both print media and in social media. The main issue is the team is lousy, and the energy and efforts should be devoted towards improving the on-field product rather than damage control because a player decided to showboat at the wrong time. Questions about selfishness, team chemistry and unification would all be non-existent if the team was seven games over .500, as opposed to seven games under .500…