A few days ago, Mike Puma offended the Mets with his article poking fun at Bartolo Colons’ weight. The NY Post ran one of their attention grabbing headlines ‘Lardball!’ to go along with Puma’s piece.
His first paragraph included the excerpt:
“If the umpires searched Bartolo Colon’s neck for a foreign substance on Thursday, chances are they only would have found peanut butter.”
This was Puma’s way of taking out two birds with one stone, as he made light of the Michael Pineda pine tar incident and Colon’s appetite in one. Although Puma is responsible for the article, I hope the team is aware that he more than likely didn’t make the headline. Those are normally done by an editor after reviewing the piece. So there is more than one culprit here, just trying to be fair to Puma, who has been held solely responsible.
Once the piece was made public, and was received with more laughs than disgust, The Mets came together and took a stand against this kind of reporting. Following the game that day, the entire Mets roster was absent from the clubhouse and refused to speak to the media until Puma left the room. Upon his departure, the team quickly returned and spoke to the remaining reporters on hand.
This may sound like a childish move on the player’s part, but I was proud of the Mets for doing this. For far too long now, the Mets have been a punching bag for the media. They have played second fiddle in this city to the Yankees for much of their existence and are often the butt of a joke in the tabloids. When Sandy Alderson made his 90 win remark, that wasn’t just a statement about how he expects the players to perform on the field, but also that it’s time to take this team seriously. No longer will they accept to being part of another punchline.
As proud as I am of what this team did, I do hope they ease up on Puma and the Post staff after making their point. Although he is a beat writer, and should be covering the Mets in a more serious tone, anyone who claims they haven’t made some sort of lighthearted joke about Colon or another Mets player is lying to themselves. Baseball is a game and games are meant to be fun, I see no reason why a reporter can’t have some fun with his work covering the team along the way.
Puma did attempt to put this to rest with an apology in the form of a tweet. There was just one problem with that, he sent it out at 1:27 am. Not exactly prime viewing time for all to see. I really hope Puma and The NY Post did something a little more on the private side directly to Colon and the Mets, as ultimately those are the only two that deserve any sort of apology.
Overall, I don’t think this is a story that will continue throughout the season. What I took away the most from this situation is that the Mets came together as a team, and that’s what the most important thing to come out of this will be. That’s what being a part of a team is about, having each other’s backs, no matter how big or small the situation may be. Good for the Mets and I hope they are a stronger team because of it.