Friday, June 29, 2007

Division in Mets Clubhouse?

What a difference a year makes. Last season at this time, the Mets all but had the NL East wrapped up as they mashed their way though the National League. Team chemistry was at an all-time high for this organization. Never before had the Mets assembled such a good bunch of guys who all got along. Jose Valentin said it was the most fun he had ever had playing for an organization. Carlos Delgado, who just a season earlier turned down the opportunity to play for the Mets and went to the Marlins, expressed the same sentiment.

Well the Mets aren’t playing as well as they did last year, and now there’s word that there is some division in the Mets clubhouse, particularly when it comes time to speak with the media. In an article in the Daily News by Peter Botte, Paul Lo Duca calls out some Latino players on the team to step up and speak to the media. "I'll do this (interview), but you need to start talking to other players," an irate Lo Duca said, "It's the same three or four people every day. Nobody else wants to talk. Some of these guys have to start talking. They speak English, believe me."

After Lo Duca’s blow up, a reporter asked Delgado to comment (not specifically about what Loduca had said), but he ‘politely declined.’ Beltran, however, offered to be interviewed.

I am not too sure what to make of this situation but I hope it gets resolved soon. I guess I never really thought about it before but it does seem like all post game comments come from David Wright, Paul Loduca, and Billy Wagner although Reyes does some as well. But you rarely hear anything out of Delgado. For someone who is so well-respected by his teammates, and by those around the league, he’s got to do a better job at being a leader. Which is really the big picture here; it’s not so much who’s taking time to talk to the media but who is taking on that leadership role? David Wright, while easing nicely into that role, is still too young and inexperienced. Beltran makes $18 million a year. He needs to be more involved, take the pressure off some of these guys as well.

I guess what bothers me the most about this is that it went public. While I like Loduca’s fire and desire to win, I think he should have handled this internally. I’m sure today he’ll wake up and agree. At the least, it should have been brought up with Willie so that he can talk to his players and take care of it. That’s what his role is. You can bet Randolph will be disappointed with his guys today. Let’s hope he nips it in the bud and we roll the Phils.

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