Wagner Bashes Teammates – Again

Shea is slowly turning into the Queens version of the Bronx Zoo. Manager on the hot seat, fans growing restless, team performing poorly, and for the second time in recent weeks an outburst by the outspoken closer. Two weeks to the day after calling out Oliver Perez as mentally weak and not giving 100%, Wagner pointed out how Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes, among others, quickly disappear when the going gets tough, leaving Wagner and David Wright to answer the media after tough losses.

Wagner is absolutely right. Anyone who follows New York teams, and New York media, knows that group of well-paid position players on the Mets has craftily avoided representing the team in the media – to put it nicely. Does Wagner help matters by spouting to the media about it? Absolutely not. He’s the type who no filter between the brain and the mouth, whatever he thinks, he says. Call it honesty, call it being up front, call it stupid. Anyway you slice it, Wagner just escalated an already shaky situation.

His comments are dead on, everyone in that organization probably feels the same, but saying as much could hurt the team. I love it, great fodder for commentary, made great radio yesterday, another plot line heading into a subway series with both trains running off the track. The Mets, specifically Delgado, Beltran, Reyes, et al., will either respond to Wagner and step up, or these comments will enhance the rift.

If Randolph started the season on the hot seat, following the 2007 collapse, the temperature continues to rise. He has no control over Wagner, but it hints at Willie losing the clubhouse. While Randolph deserves some blame, Minaya deserves more for the gaping holes he left on this team, and the players deserve the most. All three aforementioned players are hitting under .260, and Delgado and Beltran’s combined home run total equals role player Ryan Church. They are tremendously underperforming, based on past performance and those gaudy salaries they earn. Stand up, face the music, answer the tough questions – don’t give Wagner the opportunity to throw you under the bus.

As bleak as everything sounds, New York sits 2.5 games behind surprising Florida in the NL East, far from insurmountable. One five game win streak, and all is forgotten. The bigger problem is on the field. This team looks far from putting together any win streaks. Outside of Maine and Santana, the starting pitching has disappointed – as we expected if Pedro went down, and El Duque went on annual hiatus. Add Luis Castillo to the list of lowly offensive performers, and it adds up to major lineup trouble – thank god for Church and Wright, or who knows how bad it would be. Not shocking when you consider the Mets relied on perennially injured Moises Alou.

Off losing three of four to lowly Washington, the Mets stumble into the Yankees series in need of a boost from Santana on Friday night. If the avalanche of negativity continues this weekend, WIllie could be in trouble sooner rather than later, and things could get ugly at Shea. Wilpon may not need a wrecking ball to destroy the Stadium after the season, at this rate fans may take the liberty.

Oh by the way, lost in the hoopla, Mike Pelfrey threw a gem, flirting with the first no-hitter in franchise history. You may have missed that part.


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