Falling down

After the loss, some tensions surfaced in the clubhouse as a group a media members and one or two players stood talking loudly and laughing in a corner of the room. An irritated Alex Cora snapped, “Show some respect. They just stuck it up our (…)” on his way out of the room.

- Andy Martino, N.Y. Daily News.

Cora’s remark is everywhere this morning, but Martino’s report is the only one I’ve seen that noted the infielder snapping at “a group [of] media members and one or two players” and not just “the clubhouse” or something vague that sounds like he was lashing out at his teammates in general.

Look: Say what you will about Cora (or say what I’ve said about Cora), I don’t blame him. It sucks when your team loses and the last thing you want to see is people joking around afterward. And yeah, it’s a 162-game season and it’s important to keep cool heads, but the Mets have been playing miserably and Cora’s understandably frustrated. One time I punched a high-school football teammate on the sideline during a 41-6 loss. Losing is upsetting.

But does this incident reflect anything about the Mets’ clubhouse chemistry or sudden lack thereof? No. It’s something that happened after a brutal loss in a string of losses, and it’s a lot harder for baseball players — or anyone — to get along when things are not going well in the workplace.

People have chalked up the Mets’ recent stretch of losses to the changes in the clubhouse prompted by the return of Luis Castillo and Carlos Beltran. That’s nonsense. Those guys may be rightfully and/or nonsensically disliked among the fanbase, but find me evidence that they’re not good teammates. Why should any member of the Mets not like Luis Castillo, a good soldier who plays through as much pain as anyone in baseball?

Cora’s blowup is the type of thing that resonates right now because the team is losing and we’re desperate to find reasons beyond randomness. The Mets aren’t hitting. That’s bad. But that’s all.

If they start hitting tonight and win a bunch of games, people will chalk up the turnaround to Cora’s clubhouse explosion, even though I’d guess it was hardly that — just one frustrated quip as he walked out of the locker room.

Or, alternately, if the Mets start hitting tonight and win a few, folks will point to how the team kept loose and could still laugh after rough losses like last night’s. Just depends on which players were laughing and the whims of perception.

But what matters is that the Mets start hitting. And — and I know this is hard to believe given the way things have gone the past week — they will. They will. When Josh Thole plays, the Mets have one of the deepest lineups in the league. That they’re keeping Thole around is a good sign. If everyone stays healthy, eventually they’ll start putting enough hits together to score a bunch of runs.

And then, suddenly, they’ll be getting along great.

UPDATE: According to the N.Y. Post, the player joking with reporters was Mike Pelfrey. Oh, the intrigue.

14 thoughts on “Falling down

  1. NICE SNY SPIN TED, IT’S A WELL KNOWN FRANCESA FACT THAT EVERYONE IN THAT CLUBHOUSE HATES CASTILLO. HE IS A MISERABLE GUY WHO HATES TO WIN, BELTRAN JUST HAS NO HEART. BUT THANKS FOR ALLOWING US INTO THE WILPON SPIN ZONE.

    METS ALLOW THE PHILS TO GET THE BEST STARTER ON THE MARKET 2 YEARS IN ROW? WOW.

    • There’s a nice coinage: “Francesca Fact”. It refers to such phenomena as major league players who hate to win, and others who perform amazing feats while apparently having no beating heart (!). Who knew?

      • Amazing feats, ahhh, like taking a year off and ELECTING, ELECTING surgery without the team’s (and his TEAMMATES) knowledge. He is a real beast, I really like when he dogs a ball after it goes over his head in Arizona.

    • Francesa Fact? So the Pope has spoken and all should take it as gospel?

      Castillo enjoys losing? I learn something new everyday.

      Mets ‘allow’ Phils to get the best starter on the market 2 years in a row? How’s that working out for the Phils right now?

  2. When I saw the title of this post, and the picture, I got very excited, then was rather disappointed that it was just about some, as you pointed out, meaningless outburst in the clubhouse by Alex Cora.

    Dont get me wrong Ted, you post was very good and I agree with everything in it, but I was hoping this was a post about the movie Falling Down, which is an awesome movie, which would have likely led to some kind of really awesome tedquarters post.

  3. It’s time to shake up the Mets, but not because of a poor attitude by most players. It’s all about performance.

    Francoeur has the right attitude, but will not adjust his batting approach. It’s time to deal him, now that Beltran is back.

    Takahashi needs to go back to the pen, with Gee or Misch getting the next start, with Lilly brought in via trade. Dotel or another decent reliever needs to be acquired, as well.

    And keep starting Thole. Deal Barajas.

      • Francoeur’s only has $2.3 million left on it and Barajas is an inexpensive option for any time needing catching help. It shouldn’t be too hard to unload these guys, getting little in return and eating 1/2 of the Frenchman’s salary.

    • Absolutely! Perez’s presence on the 25-man roster is an insult to the fans and to the players on the team who care about winning. Management is saying that contractual obligations are more important than fielding the best roster possible.

  4. generally, once a team is losing (especailly when they seem to be underperforming to the available talent, unlike teams such as the Pirates, that just stink), and the reports of clubhouse issues start popping up (aka “osing the clubhouse/team”), the next step is firing the manager.

    OH, we can only hope!

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