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. Continue reading
Headlines were when Dan Warthen was outed by a reporter for comments he made in the clubhouse. Warthen approached Dice K’s interpreter, Jeff Cutler, to apologize for an ill attempted joke. Cutler did not take offense to this joke, but Wall Street Journal reporter Stu Woo, who witnessed the whole scene, broke this story later in the day.
Here is an excerpt from Woo’s article in the WSJ:
Cutler and I turned around. It was Dan Warthen, the Mets pitching coach.
“I’m sorry I called you a ‘Chinaman’ yesterday,” Warthen told Cutler.
“It’s OK,” Cutler replied.
“I didn’t mean to insinuate –- I know you’re not Chinese,” Warthen said. He paused. “I thought it was a pretty good joke, though.”
“It was,” Cutler said, with a small laugh.
Warthen walked away.
Were you offended by Warthen’s joke? I asked him.
“No,” Cutler said.
What was the joke? I asked.
“You should ask Dan about that,” Cutler replied.
After the story broke, Mets starter Jonathon Niese had some choice words for a group of reporters in the locker room “Stop tweeting about our clubhouse. That shit’s got to stop” was his reported statement. Now I’m not sure how Niese would feel knowing that his words were immediately tweeted out by those same reporters, but nonetheless, I was happy to see someone speak up.
Was Warthen’s joke poorly thought out? Sure, I won’t argue that it could offend the wrong person. But if the man in question, Cutler, was not bothered by it, then this becomes a non story to me. Warthen was obviously bothered by his comments enough that he went out of his way to apologize before this story ever made it to the limelight, which was as far as this needed to go. The two of them worked this issue out, without having to be told to, problem resolved, end of story.
I know this is a new day in the world of sports media, where everything these players and coaches do is a story and I mean EVERYTHING. There was a time when the locker room area was a sanctuary for teams to go back and talk freely to one another and there was an unspoken agreement that reporters would not talk about things they heard or witnessed. “Off the record” is a term that seemingly does not exist anymore, any conversation or action seen will be tweeted for the world to read about within seconds.
The locker room/clubhouse area is meant for the team. Reporters are allowed in to ask questions and gain information from the players and coaches. But now they could be looked at as “spies” of sorts, where players and managers will be weary to say or do anything in the presence of anyone. And rightly so, reporters now have the power to end someones career or at the very least tarnish their public image, like Warthen in this case, all with the push of a button.
“I apologize for the thoughtless remarks that I made yesterday in the clubhouse. They were a poor attempt at humor but were wrong and inappropriate in any setting. I am very sorry,” Warthen said.
“On behalf of the entire organization, I apologize for the insensitive remarks made by of one of our staff members. The remarks were offensive and inappropriate and the organization is very sorry,” added Mets GM Sandy Alderson.
It seems like a story of this caliber breaks every hour these days in the world of sports. I’m sure all athletes are happy to play in the present day, where contracts have reached astronomical amounts, but I’m sure at least a little piece of them misses the day when there was a mutual understanding with reporters as to what was written.
Mets ace Matt Harvey was cleared today by his medical team to begin throwing a baseball. Harvey is only four months removed from Tommy John surgery, but this news marks the first step in his goal of returning to the mound. This is great news for both Harvey and the Mets, now we have to be patient with our 24-year-old.
“Since it is four months out, the process is going to be slow. I have to not push things.” Harvey said, regarding his discussion with his doctor “He just wanted to make sure I knew that and I was clear with that. Obviously we’re not going to push things early. But, for me, being able to wear my glove and pick up a ball again is a good sign.”
Harvey has publicly stated his desire to do his rehab work in NY, most rehabbing players spend their time in Port St. Lucie, but he would like to be closer to his home. This would also allow him to be with the team during home stands, where he could bond with his younger teammates and continue to learn the league from the bench. Everything about that sounds great, but will this ultimately turn into a distraction?
In only a short amount of time, Harvey has taken this city by storm. When he emerged late in the 2012 season, he quickly caught the eye of Mets fans and the rest of baseball. But it was his 2013 campaign really put him on the map as a star in the making. He was featured in a Jimmy Fallon show skit, could be seen on celebrity row for countless Rangers games, did a tabloid grabbing interview for GQ Magazine, dated Super-Model Anne V and oh yeah, was the starting pitcher for the All-Star Game at Citi Field. Harvey became one of the hottest athletes in NYC, everyone wanted a piece of him.
Personally, I don’t care what Harvey does off the field, as long as it doesn’t affect his performance on the mound. I only raise this questions because I know there will be certain media outlets and reporters who will make it their mission to question his work ethic this season. Last season was different, you could find him on the mound every 5th day, no matter what else he did that week. Now, he won’t be throwing off the mound in Citi Field, and many will be ready to jump at the opportunity to question his lifestyle during his rehab process.
Harvey does seem to be very mature for his age, just watch one interview and you will be shocked by his poise at such a young age. But every once in a while he surprises me with his actions, for example his GQ interview last season. Whether he was misquoted or thought he was speaking off the record, you have to be smarter than that. These guys are not your friend, they are using you to make a name for themselves. Or more recently, when WFAN’s Joe Benigo expressed his concerns for Harvey’s off the field headlines on air, Harvey became defensive and attacked these remarks via twitter while on vacation in Thailand. The only reason this story gathered any buzz was because of Harvey’s response. If something like that can trigger him while he is on vacation, imagine what it will be like when he is dealing with these questions in New York.
No one should question Harvey’s desire and determination to get back on the mound to help the Mets win. He has already thrown around the idea of trying to pitch down the stretch this season. Although this doesn’t sound to be a plausible plan, it’s that kind of attitude that has won over the fans. If I’m the Mets, I would be playing up his rehab throughout the season. Maybe have a crew monitoring his workouts and make it a feature on Mets Weekly. When the team is on road trips, I would throw him in the study and let him give insight on the games. Things like this will help keep him both in the spotlight and mentally focused on his return.
“I’d always love to pitch and get back out there, but I don’t make those decisions,” Harvey said regarding a return in 2014. “I can only stay with the doctors and prepare to the best of my ability. If things can work out quicker than normal, then we’ll see. But I can’t make that call. … I haven’t really talked to them in-depth about that. I know they don’t want me to push, and I’m definitely not going to force things to happen earlier. If they happen to come quicker, then that’s where we’re going to go.”
As Jerry Seinfeld recently stated, the Mets finally have a “cool guy”. Harvey has all the intangibles to be a star both on and off the field, he just has to remain committed to what got him there in the first place. I don’t foresee Harvey doing anything personally to make his rehab a distraction, I worry more about his reaction to the media that will be out to get him. If he is able to go about his business and keep reporters out of his mind, Harvey should be just fine.
But please, stop teasing us with these pitching in 2014 remarks. You’re surgery broke our hearts enough, don’t tease us like that.
In the latest news from the walking tabloid that is Alex Rodriguez, he has finally caused Brian Cashman to let down his guard on how he really feels about the former MVP.
When AROD first joined twitter, I could not have been happier. Everyone knew it was only a matter of time until he embarrassed the Yankees and himself over the widely popular social media outlet.
On Monday Cashman was asked about rumored reports that AROD was ready to start a rehab assignment which he answered replied with “He has not been cleared by our doctors to play in rehab games yet,” said Cashman. “He’s getting closer. There’s no doubt about it. But we don’t have a date for him to start playing games yet. It could be July 1. It could also be July 5 or maybe June 25.”
Now he did throw that June 25 date in there, but he was clearly saying that in a sarcastic tone to reporters as if to say nothing has been decided.
AROD has been on twitter roughly a month now and has stuck to posting brief messages with photos on the progress of his rehab down in Tampa. Yesterday he posted this…
Brian Cashman did not take a liking to this self proclaimed announcement that AROD is ready to start playing in games. His response when a reporter informed him of the tweet “You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, we will” Cashman said. “Alex should just shut the f— up. That’s it. I’m calling him now”
This is what Joe Girardi had to say regarding the matter and Yankee protocol on rehabbing players:
“There is always a chain of command with injuries,” Yankees manager Joe Giardi said after the Yankees’ 5-3 win on Tuesday. “And there has to be. That is the process. It goes through our training staff, our doctors, our GM and then it probably gets to me.”
Now Rodriguez released a statement stating that he is going to comply with whatever the Yankees want him to do and that the tweet was simply a form of excitement. Whatever the real reason was, whether it was to force the Yankees hand in allowing him to begin a rehab assignment or not, the front office is clearly not pleased.
With an ongoing investigation looming on AROD’s full involvement with the Miami Biogensis clinic, I’m sure the Yankees would love to keep him off the field. The only problem? The Yankees are so decimated by injuries that they need his bat in the line up.
Stay tuned for this story to further develop and be sure to follow AROD on twitter as he surely will provide us with another story shortly.
The legend of Matt Harvey continues to grow as last night was his best performance yet. Harvey pitched nine innings while allowing only one hit, which was an infield single with two outs in the 7th, on his way to retiring 27 of the 28 batters he faced while striking out 12. This was on of the most dominant games ever thrown by a Mets pitcher and in my opinion, more impressive than Johan Santana’s no-hitter.
From the very first inning , you just knew the White Sox had no chance against the phenom. Ron Darling said it early on that as a hitter, walking up to the plate there has to be something unsettling about looking out at a guy with blood running down his face with that type of demeanor and power out on the mound. The blood did eventually stop but Harvey did not. He was overpowering with his fastball and had complete command of his slider and change-up. I know the White Sox are a weak hitting team but with the groove Harvey settled into last night I don’t know if any team would have had a chance.
It was disappointing the Mets were unable to earn him a win, the Mets offense looked nearly as bad as the White Sox early on. Thankfully the Mets were able to win this game in the 10th with a Mike Baxter walk-off hit to drive in Ike Davis, salvaging Harvey’s dynamic start. The Mets are now 7-1 in games that Harvey pitches and he could very easily be 8-0 himself. This team is not talented enough to squander starting performances like this and they need to win these ballgames. It was great that they found a way to win, it is important that the team wins first and foremost, but Harvey deserved to earn a win as well. The team certainly owes him one, hopefully it will come on a day that he isn’t at the top of his game.
You’re missing out if you aren’t following Doc Gooden on twitter during a Matt Harvey game. He is zoned in on each and every pitch he throws and makes sure to let his feelings known. Doc has started what could become the new age version of hanging a “K” for each strikeout in a stadium by tweeting out each one using the hash tag “#MattHarveyKCount” and I simply love it. It’s great to see that Gooden is still emotional invested with this team and has developed a friendship early on with Harvey, who is attempting to captivate this city the way he once did.
Hopefully the stands will begin to fill up for his starts, if there is anyone player that should make fans want to buy tickets, it’s Matt Harvey. If he is able to continue to pitch this way and the Mets earn him some more W’s along the way, starting the All-Star game in Citi Field is a very real possibility. Now that would be something special for this franchise.