Two Mets Players are Cowards

What is My Point?

If you are going to make a comment to the press about one of your teammates, you have the obligation to be held accountable for your comments.

Why Does it Matter?

This is a cowardly.  Players who just talk behind other players’ backs are the real problem with teams.

News Corps – Mike Puma, New York Post

This is an article written on May 31, 2010.  Two Mets players were quoted talking about the performance of their teammate, Oliver Perez.  Here is the first quote,

“You tell him you go to Triple-A or that’s it, you are finished,” one Mets player told the New York Post, well aware that Perez is still owed about $20 million on the three-year contract he signed before the 2009 season.

Here is the second player’s quote,

“At some point you have to cut bait,” he said. “You owe him a lot of money, but for what?”

2 Possibilities

1. If these players commented expecting to be quoted then Mike Puma is at fault for withholding the names.

2. If the players said they would only make a comment if their names were withheld then they are cowards.

So What are You Allowed to Say?

Players can say anything they like as long as they put their name on the statement.  Anything other than that is “spineless.”

Mike Puma – New York Post

How can you think this is legitimate reporting?  Do you really think it is appropriate to quote a bunch of players and not put their names on the comments?  The irony of this article is that you just did the same thing the players did because you don’t have the guts to write their names.  The only difference is that we know that you are someone who gossips.

Oliver Perez may be horrible and he may be a bad teammate, but every player should be allowed to know the names of their accusers.

Jerry Manuel Does the Right Thing

Here is what Manager Jerry Manuel had to say.

“That’s really a tough question,” Manuel said. “(Maybe) extra innings or something like that, but it’s going to be tough to find spots for him.”

This isn’t a real positive statement for Perez to hear, but Manuel stands up by owning the statement.  This really shows me something about Manuel.  It tells me that he is holding himself to a higher standard then 2 of his players and a reporter.

Gossip

Puma you are being used to hurt a team.

“What, we need another 20-inning game and then use him after we’ve used all our pitchers and if a position player’s sinker isn’t biting?” the player said.

This makes me sick.  You’re cowards.

Morgan Ensberg

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88 Comments on “Two Mets Players are Cowards”

  1. Cyn says:

    Because I tend to be cynical of anything having to do with the press, especially the sports media, I always wonder, whenever I see a quote by an unnamed player, if the quote is real or if the reporter is doing some creative writing.

    It’s the perfect crime. Say that a player or two said something negative, have the rest of the team (like with Ken Griffey, Jr) go around the clubhouse to find out who said it…it’s a cycle that can’t be completed regardless of whether the quotes were faked or real.

    I’m not saying Puma made up the quotes but I’m saying it would be easy for him to make them up and not ever be found out since the players he is supposedly quoting wouldn’t be giving themselves up.

    But if it is legitimate and his teammates are talking to the press like this, it IS disgusting and Jerry needs to nip this stuff in the bud now.

    I really hate today’s media. The never check sources, they never hold back on a story to dig deeper and find out what is really the truth, they all want to be TMZ and get the story first and ask questions later, if ever.

    • I agree with everything you say Cyn.

      Morgan

      • Kirby Fergsuon says:

        long time astro fan here. really enjoyed your play here. what happened to you? such a promising start to a career. i’ve never seen a player have 1 great year (4th in mvpand silver slugger )and never do anyhting again. i noticed you were always tinkering with your swing and stance. it seemed like from at bat to at bat. did you have some sort of a chuck knoblock episode at the plate?

        • Well Kirby, I started playing “not to get booed” instead of going for it. We had Mike Lamb who was doing great and I simply lost playing time. There was nothing physically wrong with me. The game has so much to do with playing well at the right times and I didn’t. To be honest with you Kirby, I am really thankful that I got a chance to play in the big leagues. We had some great teams and made it to a world series. Playing well at the right time got me a career, and playing poorly at the wrong times ended my opportunity.

          It was an amazing experience.

          Morgan

  2. gayle says:

    I get what you are saying from the player’s perspective they need to own what they say and not hide. However is Mike Puma not supposed to report this if the players come up to him and tell him this? or Did he go up to the players and ask what they thought.

    This unfortunately is very typical territory for the Mets the past few years same thing happened a few years ago about Wright and leadership etc.

    • Gayle, Puma needs to hold those players’ feet to the fire. He has to do his best to be a reporter and not give in to easy “shots” at players without accountability.

      Morgan

  3. Matt Wood says:

    In a way, this reminds me of in my job when people send tough emails, talking smack and ripping folks apart, but when they are face-to-face, they act like kittens. That is cowardly. I can’t stand that. If you are going to say it, then say it. If you cannot say it and take responsibility, the keep your mouth shut. :D

  4. Darryl says:

    Morgan, I don’t disagree with your point, but as bad as Ollie has been for the last 2+ years, don’t you think he has already heard some of this from the other guys in the clubhouse?

    • Darryl I have no idea if he has heard this or not. I don’t really care either way. If you are going to come out and get quoted saying something that is negative, then you should own up to it.

      Morgan

  5. Kerri says:

    Personally, I think it’s ridiculous. Nice way to build a team up, guys. Instead of using their energy to become teenage girls, how about using that energy on the field? Better yet, if you see a problem with a player, how about aking a coach or even that player aside and try to work with them.

    I thought that’s what you do aas a team and a ball club, you work with each other. I guess when the $$$$$ are involved it goes out the window.

    As far as the media, shame on you. I work for a newspaper group in Houston. Not stating sources and blowing things out of propotion to sell a few newspapers/magazines is unacceptable. It’s terrible when the media becomes pot-stirrers instead of a real news outlet.

    • Kerri I am with you. I believe in having anonymous sources in extremely limited situations. But this in nothing more than taking a shot at a guy and then hiding.

      Morgan

  6. openabner says:

    For Griffey, I can understand a player may want to admit he is washed up to a reporter but doesn’t want to look like the younger player who is unaware of what Griffey means to the game. Perez is terrible now and wasn’t that great before he signed this contract. Even he must know that. The Mets players aren’t exactly treading on an impressive legacy so say they want him off the team. Like Darryl says, Perez must hear this talk once in a while hanging around his teammates.

    • Openabner, I agree that Perez has been horrible. I just don’t believe that you should fire a negative comment out at the guy and then hide. If you have a problem, the newspaper is the last place to air your grievance.

      Morgan

      • openabner says:

        Neither do I. I just think he must know who the comments are coming from. Like in your tweets today, that kind of comment doesn’t warrant the secrecy provided. They (presumably) won’t be fired and aren’t spilling the beans on corruption, pollution, or endangerment.

  7. Steve Buffum says:

    Google “an unnamed teammate said”: 46 results
    Google teammate +”on condition of anonymity”: about 231,000 results (note: many links are on the same subject)

    These are very rough and not particularly insightful, but this is my back-of-the-envelope attempt to show that this sort of thing happens a LOT. Jamarcus Russell. Tony Romo. Kobe Bryant. Barry Bonds. Milton Bradley. Managers. General managers. Yeah, I think the example you cite is pretty bad and you wonder if there is an agenda behind it, but … I find myself wondering how much sportswriting you’ve gotten to read in the past five years. These things that appall you … right or wrong, a lot of us out here in Fanland have become inured to.

    • Steve I am not sure if I understand you completely….must be the accent…but if I do not want to accept the “that is the way it is and has always been” approach. I want fans to get the truth and you can’t do that by hiding.

      Morgan

  8. pat says:

    Either the players should have the guts to say these things to Perez or shut their mouths to everyone.

    Whether it is a player hiding behind a writer or a writer hiding behind a player, piling on the easy target anonymously is gutless.

    Perez isn’t Top 10 of what is wrong with the Mets but as long as the attention is focused on him, it isn’t focused where it should be.

    • Steve says:

      Have you seen him pitch? He was likely the worst starting pitcher in the majors over the course of the last season and a half. He’s easily the worst player on the current Mets roster.

    • Pat I agree with you. Maybe Perez is 100% of the problem…who knows? But you shouldn’t be talking to the papers. They should be talking together.

      Morgan

  9. kaufmak says:

    all I can say is it’s the Post. They haven’t had a legitimate reporter, sports or otherwise, in years.

  10. Steve says:

    I actually agree with the players here. Ollie is within his contractual rights to refuse a demotion to the minors, but it’s fairly obvious that it’s in the best interest of the Mets to send him there. The media in NY is ruthless, and have spent the better part of the last 4 years on the Mets cases for not having a “winning” mentality. I think it’s nice to see a few guys make it known to fans and management that just because the team owes Ollie 20 million isn’t enough to justify the way he’s hurting the club. It may be embarrasing for Ollie, but it’s nice to see the players letting the media know that they are behind doing whatever it takes to put the best product possible on the field.

    I understand your take as a former player that you wouldn’t want guys saying stuff like that about you to the media. I certainly wouldn’t want the same to be said about me. I’d also like to think that if I was clearly hurting the team badly enough that they repeatedly asked me to go to the minors to work things out, that I may in fact do whats best for the ballclub. I really think it’s a case of the other players simply wanting to push Ollie towards doing whats best for the team (or the front office to do it), and making sure the fanbase in NY (which is fairly fed up with many of the players) knows that they are wanting to be put in a better place. 1 players selfishness shouldn’t be forcing the other 24 players on the roster into a predicament like they are in.

    • Steve I agree that Perez is doing poorly to put it nicely. My problem is that these players are taking a shot at their teammate. I don’t care if your teammate is the biggest jerk in the world. If you want to say something to him then you go up to him and say it. If not, shut your mouth and play. If you do say something to the paper then “own up” to it. This is just cowardly.

      Morgan

      • Billy says:

        the problem is, baseball is no longer a sport, its a business. therefore, the other employees of the team are tired of watching this one employee keep the company from their goal of being a better company. They also realize that this employee is severely hurting their chances of that end of year bonus for making the playoffs or world series. They see that mgmt doesn’t seem to care b/c they don’t want to pay this guy to sit home and do nothing. Morgan, wake up!! Ollie is hurting the Mets more with his selfishness that the two players did by commenting on it. And as far as I read, they aren’t bashing Ollie personally, they are commenting on how bad he is playing and how the team can’t seriously compete if they have to be subjected to his awful play. How would u feel if you just drove in 3 runs to tie a game, and Ollie comes in the next inning and walks four and serves up a homer to make your hit meaningless???

  11. Dan Watson says:

    Shame. The Mets at 26-26 are right in the NL East. Expect them to run off a nice 12/15 streak (in the wrong direction).

    • I missed reading your takes over here Dan. Unfortunately I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do know that this type of behavior is the sign of bad character. It is tough to win if your guys can’t be honorable.

      Morgan

  12. Brian McMahon says:

    I agree that the players here are in the wrong; and I don’t just think it’s about them not giving their names. Morgan, if they had given their names, wouldn’t you be admonishing them for not keeping their feelings inside the clubhouse? I know I would. Whether they give their names or not, it’s hard to see how talking about this stuff in the press is going to help the team.

    But I disagree with you calling out the reporter. This is his job, to report news around the team. If two Mets players are so disgruntled with the way management is handling the Perez situation that they’re willing to be quoted complaining about it, well, that’s news, and if Puma didn’t report on it, somebody else would.

    Puma has two choices: he can get stories like this, that people who buy the Post like to read, or he can quit and find a new line of work, because if he doesn’t print it the competition will.

    • Brian I understand that the reporter is doing their job, but this article is specifically meant to push the Mets organization. If Puma wrote a bunch of statistics that shows Perez’s inability to be effective then it would be legit.

      You are right that even if the guys said their names I would be upset that they went to the papers with it. But I would have respected them for “owning” the statements. You might say that I can’t prove that. You are right. You can decide for yourself if I am “two-faced.”

      Morgan

  13. John says:

    Morgan, are you going to offer an opinion on Perez’s decision-making process, or just his unfortunate teammates? Their comments may make you sick, but watching Ollie pitch every 5th day or at the end of a close game is downright nauseating.

    Point being: These are legitimate complaints, not just gossip. Perez is hurting the team every day he is on the roster, and he refuses to work out problems in the minors. Maybe his teammates have tried to convince him in person, maybe they are doing it through the media, but Ollie is the problem here.

    • John I agree that Perez has been horrible. He didn’t accept the demotion to AAA and that is stupid. It may end up being the reason the guy is let go. Either way, I don’t care if he is the worst player in the history of the game. You don’t go to the media and say negative comments without having your name published. Plain and simple.

      Morgan

  14. Cyn says:

    //This is his job, to report news around the team.//

    Gossip is not news and that is what the problem is. There is no such thing as a reporter any more, they’re all gossip mongers. There is no story in a couple of anonymous quotes from teammates. All that does is stir up more rumors.

    //These are legitimate complaints, not just gossip. //

    Then put your name to the quote. Make a point of saying that talking straight to your teammate hasn’t helped and he really needs to see how much he’s hurting the team. Be a man, not a weasel.

  15. Jay says:

    So anyone who tells the truth is a coward? Are the statements by these players not the very thing everyone thinks and feels about Oliver Perez? So police informants who reveal info about criminals and remain anonymous are cowards too? This is professional sports not a schoolyard “say it to my face then punk” confrontation. Morgan Ensberg you should be keenly aware that the Mets do not want to be embarrassed any further by Oliver Perez after giving him a 3yr/36 million dollar contract.

    Morgan should be aware that Perez is a lightning rod for the Mets right now and any player criticizing Perez is criticizing the Mets front office. That is the reason the two players remained anonymous, not because they are cowards or are afraid to speak their minds face to face to Perez. As a Met fan, reading those quotes was like a sigh of relief! Amen! Hallelujah! Somebody on the team feels like I do about Perez!

    There comes a time when people get tired of the same ‘ole act. These guys that came out love the Mets more than you Morgan. They aren’t cowards, they’ve just had enough and you should be ashamed. Under your very flawed caveman logic, anonymous tattlers are cowards. Deepthroat, Mets players, the guy who calls the cops on his neighborhood drug dealer without leaving his name, are all cowards? Now that may not be what you meant but it is what you’re saying.

    • Jay telling the truth does not make you a coward. What makes you a coward is telling the truth and then not admitting that you said it.

      Are you serious with the criminal comments? Do you really think that breaking the law is the same as telling a pitcher that he should be in AAA? That is silly Jay.

      Perez has played horribly. He denied a AAA assignment that could help him. Every decision he has made relating to this situation has been bad. Then Mets organization made a bad decision….you miss the point.

      The point is that it is fine to say anything you like as long as you “own up to it.” Relating this piece to protect citizens or the fact that the President of the United States lied to the people by spying on the Democratic Party is NOT EVEN CLOSE. Please tell me that you understand that being an anonymous source to save lives or to protect national security is different then 2 teammates talking (what I believe is true) about their teammate and then hiding. If the gripe is with the organization then it should be directed at them.

      This was handle poorly Jay and I hope you understand what I am trying to say. By the way, the fact that I played baseball has nothing to do with this piece. Who care if I played ball or not? What those players did was wrong.

      Morgan

      • Jay says:

        Not sure if you understand that these players are attacking the Met front office by criticizing Perez and his being on the team. Why would they put their names to it when they WILL be retaliated against by the Mets and the NY media machine?

        And why? For you or some other dude to be ok with them and call them real men for putting their names to those quotes?

        Me comparing them to real life situations was to show you how silly it is to call players out who are speaking the truth. There is nothing wrong about what they did! They play for a team that has Perez pitching because he’s getting big money and Perez is killing them on the field.

        They would get killed for putting their names on it and for what? For some man law respect? C’mon this is the real world! No one wants to create the controversy but they want to be heard and they want changes made. These players are not bad guys!

        To pretend like adding their names to the quotes would have no negative impact on them is crazy to me and not one single Met player has come out and said they WANT Perez on the team. NOT ONE vote of confidence and that speaks volumes. Those two players echoed the sentiments in that clubhouse and I will say that the guys who didn’t speak up are the cowards.

  16. teamlittleguy says:

    No matter how badly he’s performed, those comments by fellow teammates are just mean and uncalled for in a media context – anonymous or otherwise. Perhaps those comments were made in the frustration of the moment but gosh, isn’t there’s a nicer and more gracious way to get the message across?

    If that’s what it’s like in the Mets clubhouse, no wonder Perez is exercising his right not to get sent to AAA. Sounds like he’d like to cut bait, too.

  17. Ashitaka says:

    Yeah, that’s pretty low, especially the last part about using a position player instead of him (Bill Hall was lights out for the Red Sox though, ha ha). Well, Billy Wagner is gone now, at least they can’t blame the comments on him. It’s kind of sad that it’s becoming like this. It’s easy to say that it’s just a problem with baseball, but it really isn’t; all over the country, it’s becoming painfully apparent that people just don’t get how to get along and treat each other with respect. It’s such a selfish world, this is just one manifestation of a general decay in morality and decency, sadly.

  18. lisa gray says:

    this isn’t exactly the first time that mets players made all sorts of anonymous statements to reporters. al leiter and john franco were well known sources.

    i understand what you are saying, morgan.

    however, the case of oliver perez is not like, say, diamondbacks players giving a media person anonymous quotes about that poor rook who got rattled last night and balked in the winning run.

    perez has his little self a rep of being, uh, difficult – as he was the last time this sort of thing came up – the year before his walk year of his last contract. same problem. this is not exactly a new problem, or someone grousing that a ballplayer should cut his dreads or something – or “know their place, rook”

    i seriously doubt that his teammates have not, uh, discussed this with him. i’m QUITE sure that there have been a LOT of behind closed doors talk. from coaches AND teammates.

    i think that another poster had it right when they said that the players are being careful – NOT because they don’t want to face perez, but because it is criticizing the FO. And they may have talked it over with other guys on the team – perhaps it was a group decision – and decided that this is bout the only way left of forcing perez’ hand – so to speak.

    this isn’t something that can really be dealt with in the clubhouse any longer

    • LIsa are you ok with those teammates gossiping about one of their teammates when they really want to send a message to the Front Office? I think I have misunderstood what you are saying because nobody should be attacked if they aren’t the target. If they want to say something to the Front Office then I think they are cowards and flat out mean.

      The next point confuses me also. If Perez is the biggest jerk in the world, why is it ok to gossip? What is it about Perez that allows another person to do something wrong?

      You said, “i seriously doubt that his teammates have not, uh, discussed this with him. i’m QUITE sure that there have been a LOT of behind closed doors talk. from coaches AND teammates.” How do we know what has been done or said behind closed doors? For us to speculate that we have any idea what it is like on that team is silly.

      Lisa if you think that gossiping to the newspaper to handle a communication problem on a team is the honorable thing then you are flat out wrong. I don’t believe you understand what I am saying.

      Morgan

  19. Ryan says:

    Morgan, I agree reveal your names and don’t hide it is stupid to even make those coments.

  20. Rich Mahogany says:

    Morgan, what do you think about situations where a reporter says a player isn’t well liked by his teammates, but does not provide any quotes to support the statement? Carl Pavano comes to mind. During his time with the Yankees, when he was constantly injured, I read stories along the lines that Pavano had become a joke in the Yankees clubhouse and the players questioned his resolve to get healthy. But aside from a few quotes attributed to Mike Mussina, who spoke only for himself, I never saw anything to back these stories up. I presume that the stories were based on other players’ off-the-record statements (the alternative being that the reporters simply made the stories up). Were the unnamed players (assuming they existed) being cowardly? Should the reporters who wrote these stories not have written them?

    • Rich I believe that every person in an organization should be held accountable for what they do and say. Why are we as a culture so concerned with gossip? Gossipers are talking about others because they don’t like themselves. With Pavano, don’t you think it is strange that you still aren’t sure if guys liked him or not. He is on another team and gossips have no problem talking to the press when a guy isn’t there. I was on that team. I never heard one single word about Pavano.

      Here is what I would say about Perez if I was on his team. When asked if players are frustrated with Perez for declining a AAA assignment, Morgan Ensberg said, “This game is really kicking Perez in the face right now. He has to make his own decisions about AAA, but I would think that a player wants to do everything they can to get back on track. It isn’t about being in AAA or the Big Leagues for him. It is about doing what is necessary to get back on track.” Rich I just don’t think that we should ever get personal with another player even if he is the biggest jerk in the world. I am not going to let another player lower my integrity because I can’t handle the frustration. I don’t believe that there is any room for commenting about your teammates, coaches, or Front Office if you aren’t quoted. How is that going to help?

      I hope you understand what I am trying to say here.

      Morgan

      • Rich Mahogany says:

        Thanks Morgan. Seems clear to me.

        This is purely speculation, but I think some reporters develop personal feelings about certain players and then write stories based on those feelings. I’d think that in doing so, the reporters’ feelings are more in line with those of fans (the reporters’ audience) than players. Regarding Pavano again, as you probably know, many Yankee fans despised the guy because he barely pitched. So it probably became easy for reporters to assume that other Yankees despised him too. The state of sports journalism being what it is, it might not have mattered if no one on the team besides Mussina said anything negative about him.

        I can see the same situation developing with Perez – an ineffective pitcher who made a poor decision in refusing assignment to AAA. Reporters will probably go out of their way to collect negative comments about Perez and write stories about him being a clubhouse pariah whether they get those quotes or not.

        I agree that players should not badmouth other players and should take responsibility if they do. The Perez quotes only contribute to the Mets’ reputation for running a poorly-managed franchise.

        I appreciate you shedding some insight on the state of the Yankees’ clubhouse. As a Yankees fan I eat that stuff up.

  21. Joe says:

    Maybe Puma needs to retake some journalism classes and remember the difference between “on the record” “off the record” and “not for attribution.” There’s a couple of things going on with this article that make it very fishy:

    #1 The New York print media are VULTURES, basically it’s their job to “make something out of nothing” in writing an article every day and the fact that these quotes are so short leads me to believe they were either not supposed to be used at all, taken out of context or possibly made up. Plus the fact there has been no follow-up comments from Perez or said players strengthens that arguement.

    #2 The Mets Front Office and Clubhouse have been a disaster for a very long time. There is no clubhouse leader so it wouldn’t surprise me if NO ONE came up to him and said, “hey Ollie, do the right thing” but givin Perez’ comments it also wouldn’t surprise me if a number of guys said something to him and he blew them off. Omar and the Front Office refuse to admit they made a bad deal (if he was a Yankee he would’ve been gone last year) so Jerry and the team are stuck with him.

    So you can see where a Met player is in a very tough position – playing in the media capital of the world for a team in with no true identity = anything I say could get me in serious hot water. Morgan, as a former player I understand where you’re coming from. I’m sure you would be plenty pissed if someone was talking about you behind your back. But it just seems we’re not getting the whole truth, which is what’s wrong with sportswriters in the first place – they tell you what THEY want to tell you.

  22. Sal says:

    Honestly what happened to being a part of a team..showing some solidarity? Do you have to like every single member of your team? No, fans don’t expect it..however we as fans want to see our players ACT as a team. Put up a front, act like everything’s perfect to the media…don’t throw your teammates under a bus….you are getting paid to play a sport, not to create fodder for sports writers. It’s not up to the two Mets players to dish out the criticism, that’s what coaches and front office personnel is for…the players jobs are to go out there and play to the best of their ability.

  23. Billy says:

    Hey, are you even still playing?? Are you on the Mets??? NO!! Maybe you should keep your own mouth shut about other team issues. I’m sure Ollie has heard the same thing from these teammates, and he shouldn’t even have to. He knows he sucks right now, and he knows that he’s the one hurting the team by not accepting a demotion to try to fix himself. I highly doubt that you have the whole story either, so to call these guys cowards, yet throw in the “if the story is true” is just bad reporting too.

    • Billy, I am a little confused by your point. Those players are venting their frustration on the front office. I just don’t think it is right to trash a teammate when your real beef is with the front office. Billy, if you and I didn’t get along, I would pull you aside without anyone knowing and try to work it out. I wouldn’t go to the papers and start bashing you. But I definitely wouldn’t bash you if my problem was with the front office who brought you to our team. Those players are cowards and the only way they wouldn’t be is if they gave their names. They are hiding Billy because they know they can get away with it. Players shouldn’t get to say whatever they want and just hide. You have to make sure that players are held accountable. Does that clear this up?

      Morgan

      • Billy says:

        Morgan , i find it very very very hard to believe that most of the players on the team have not already gone to Ollie to either try to help him or suggest he accept the demotion to help the ballclub. I’ve always liked Ollie, and I still think he could end up making a positive contribution to this team down the road if he works out his problems IN THE MINORS where it’s not hurting the Mets chances of making the playoffs. Steve Traschel did it a few yrs ago, and he may not have been happy at first but he later admitted that it was for the best. You keep talking about how wrong these guys are for being anonymous. I think they are anonymous as far as we know, but I fully believe that these players would’ve had the balls to tell Ollie the same thing to his face, and probably have a few times. I feel like your article is meant to stir up more trouble than there already is. C’mon, you know that everything that happens in the dugout, locker room, or team bus isn’t always in the papers either. I do agree though, If i had a problem with you or your play, I’d come to you and not the media. However, my point is that I think that ship has sailed many many times. I personally would lock Ollie in a room and make him watch game film of every pitch Johan has ever thrown, and learn to emulate him to the very smallest detail. Dan Warthen obviously is NO help whatsoever.

    • Billy, I am a little confused by your point. Those players are venting their frustration on the front office. I just don’t think it is right to trash a teammate when your real beef is with the front office. Billy, if you and I didn’t get along, I would pull you aside without anyone knowing and try to work it out. I wouldn’t go to the papers and start bashing you. But I definitely wouldn’t bash you if my problem was with the front office who brought you to our team. Those players are cowards and the only way they wouldn’t be is if they gave their names. They are hiding Billy because they know they can get away with it. Players shouldn’t get to say whatever they want and just hide. You have to make sure that players are held accountable. Does that clear this up?

      Morgan

  24. lisa gray says:

    morgan,

    i DO understand what you mean by “being accountable” for what you say.

    how would YOU deal with a teammate who you (and everyone else on the team) have talked to repeatedly about his problems – and you are ALL met with a shrug. this teammate is causing a serious problem and because he is paid a lot, the Organization refuses to deal with it as they would with someone who was not being paid a lot.

    how would YOU (and the other 23 guys) go about putting some pressure on
    1 – the teammate
    2 – the Organization?

    i read what you said you would say to the reporter – which is basically nothing – or, shall i say, restating the question. and i understand WHY you would say that. i would say that, too – probably not even that much, the way things are.

    but in a situation where CLEARLY something needs to be done, like the oliver perez situation, how do you 23 guys do it? and oliver is not exactly a young guy learning to pitch to ML hitters and taking his lumps, like bud norris.

    because the fact is that you are supposed to be a winning, NOT rebuilding ballclub and you are either going to have to operate with a 24 man roster, or have one pitcher who does nothing but pitch in blowouts, or is, essentially useless. and you are NOT going to win with that kind of significant disadvantage.

    • Lisa going to the newspaper and complaining should only be done if I use my name. We are paid a ton of money to play our hearts out, not to gossip because things aren’t going my way. The organization makes the decisions and they need to handle those decisions. I am not going to complain and be a cancer. I am going to try and deal with the reality of the situation. Perez can decline a AAA assignment because the front office agreed to the contract. If we have 24 guys then we will have to win with 24. Life isn’t fair and just because I am not getting my way doesn’t make it ok for me to act like a coward. If those 2 players printed their names I wouldn’t think they are cowards. They would be frustrated players who decided to vent, but they put there names down so they are willing to take any good or bad that comes from it.

      Your first sentence said you understand accountability, so why are you letting these guys slide? If you give players this type of power they are going to abuse it. This is simply not a good idea. Do you understand what I am trying to say?

      Morgan

  25. Mark L. says:

    Hey Morgan, given that you were on the Yankees during a stretch where there were more than a few highly-paid underperforming players – did you encounter similar tactics from journalists looking to unearth some resentment or bitterness in the clubhouse?

  26. Eric Jones says:

    Morgan, can you please shed some light on the following subjects……The Oswalt “trade speculation” and Galarraga getting completely screwed last night.

  27. Mark says:

    Morgan,

    The guy writes for The New York Post.

    The New York Post, under Rupert Murdoch’s Reign, does not write accurate or accountable stories.

    Understand that Rupert Murdoch is the Ultimate $&@& Stirrer and then ignore accordingly.

    • Mark I am really upset with the players more than the writer. I would love for writers to hold players accountable more often and try to lesson the “anonymous” sources. Understand that when a anonymous source says something, the players have to comment on it and that is just tiring when there is no real way for us to know if it is true.

      Morgan

      • Mark says:

        Morgan,

        I understand your point.

        What I suggest that you consider is propensity of The New York Post, certain other publications, and tabloid newspapers as a whole to employ anonymous sources and leading headlines solely for the purpose of self-creating controversy to drive the sales of their product.

        The Post, which has long been known under the Murdoch Empire as light on the facts and heavy on the innuendo and general compost, readily uses anonymous sources and racy front and back page headlines to convince the consumer to pick up a copy of the daily rag at the newsstand. However, once the reader opens The Post, the reader typically finds an innuendo-laden, anonymous source-based story about a rumor of a rumor of a rumor.

        Other publications readily use this practice as well, but The Post remains one of its chief practitioners and The Post’s writers are well known for writing “stories” better cast as pure fiction about alleged scenes at Yankee Stadium, CitiField, Giants Stadium, The Garden, etc.

        Do the players need to identify themselves? Sure.

        However, I doubt that the players in The Post’s story even exist. Mr. Puma, either personally or aided and abetted by his alleged “editors”, simply contrived them out of the ether that is the Internet to manufacture controversy when none exists.

        That’s the style, and the lack of professionalism, one finds at The New York Post and throughout Mr. Murdoch’s Media Empire.

        Tell Roger Ailes or Col Allen that if either or both wish to debate me on this point, I’d love to do so.

  28. lisa gray says:

    morgan,

    i am not ignoring your point about accountability to the media.

    thing is that i am not a man and i don’t belong to a closed group of 25 guys who have to figure out a way to deal with someone who is causing a lot of trouble for the other 24 guys.

    i don’t know how the 24 guys, IF they had a closed meeting between themselves, would go about figuring SOME way of dealing with the situation – that is, strong arming the troublemaker into leaving. and, yes, i am assuming that the 24 guys HAD tried discussing this with the problem guy and got nowhere.

    it might could be that they decided the only weapon they had to deal with perez was the media and they ALL agreed that 2 spokespersons would do this.

    it is hard for me to say because i have not been in this situation.

    i did ask a couple of males (bescause just in case all yall see this different because you are not grrrls) how they would deal with someone like this. they told me that if all 24 guys were in agreement that the 25th HAD to go (because he was destroying things for them, himself and the company) and he was (so to speak) the favored son who the “daddy” wouldn’t hear nothin against, they would use something analagous to the anonymous quotes to the media – IF they thought that this was their best weapon and IF they knew it would have serious repercussions for themselves if it was done differently, but NO consequences to the troublemaker.

    i see you have said that you would simply prefer to continue with 24 players and try to win anyway.
    thing is that i doubt that the other 23 guys would ALL agreee with this, or think that they had a genuine chance of actually winning playing with such a tremendous disadvantage.

    and then you have not only the guy who is there but at BEST, doing nothing, but dissention among the rest.

    but then again, maybe i am wrong and there are 22 guys who are NOT happy that their anonymous teammates said anything to the media and feel the same way you do.

    however, it is very hard for me to believe that males who have the extreme ego/competitive gotta WIN personality it takes to play and compete in the ML would all just shrug this off and figure – well, we’re getting paid all this money, like, so what if perez is a giant lead weight around this team’s neck…

    • Lisa,

      I love this game. It is so hard to deal with guys on your team who are putting themselves first. This is a nightmare situation and I really feel for the players and the Mets organization. As for the writing, it wasn’t unusual to see these quotes. I just want reporters to hold those players accountable if they are going to talk about their teammates.

      Ironically, I am really pulling for the Mets because of this. For them to have to deal with such a unique situation really shows me something.

      Morgan

  29. Ryan says:

    Morgan, Perez isn’t that good obviously a red flag has to go up after 2-10 win loss record in Pittsburgh. Also who is the toughest pitcher you ever faced?

    • Ryan I think that Perez is really playing poorly. It is also such a unique contract that he signed that it makes it difficult for the Mets.

      John Smoltz by far.

      Morgan

  30. Mikhail says:

    I despise any sports story where critique of teammates, management, or the fans is published under the guise of “anonymous” sources. While everyone has the right to their own opinions regarding worldly topics, team oriented comments have to have a name behind them or they leave the speaker shrouded not just in a veil of secrecy but one of spinelessness.

    Athletes always have the excuse that they fear repercussions from their teammates, or face being blackballed by the media or the management. But in the end there are just two choices: you either have the guts to put your name behind your opinions and statements, or you don’t. The only valid concern is that you may be misquoted or have your words be taken out of context, and in that case the best option is probably to avoid presenting harmful comments in the first place or applying additional care to your choice of words.

    BTW, not sure if you’ll have a post on this but I’d love to hear your comments on the near perfect game gaffe.

  31. Tom says:

    Anyone think that maybe these players have had a discussion with Perez privately and actually told him they were sick of his ****? Maybe told him to accept his MiL assignment or risk getting firther trashed in the media…

    Oh yeah, and the other thing is that the organization is completely dysfunctional and 100% of the time fails to take out the trash (see, Castillo, Luis or Matthews Jr, Gary) So I’m sure there are players fed up with that and willing to do whatever it takes to try to control their own destiny by getting malcontents off the team. Gratned, this incident is not a sign of an organization headed in the right direction, but if it ends up getting a scrub like Ollie off my team, then I’m ok with it. The organization’s problems with PR and management aren’t going away until Jeff Wilpon dies, and that’s a long way off and also assumes that his children aren’t as stupid as he is.

    Perez deserves every bit of what he’s getting. He has since come out and stated that “I need to pitch more innings” – this from a guy that refuses to go to aplace where he can get more innings. If 10 more unnamed sources come out and say that Perez likes to fondle underage girls, fine with me, as long as it ends up in him being off my team.

    • Tom I don’t really think they have. If they did talk to him I think they would have said, “As a team we sat him down and talked to him, but he felt like he should stay here.” That wasn’t the response that the anonymous players gave, so it shows me that they were trying to talk to him through the papers.

      I agree that Perez is not only hurting the Mets, but really hurting himself. In the end, the Mets have to deal with the realities of the situation. He is allowed to turn down a AAA assignment and the Mets allowed that in his contract.

      Morgan

  32. Tom says:

    sorry my spelling sucks – how do you edit?

  33. LAT says:

    Morgan,

    I was curious about your take on Bud’s decesion not to give Galarraga his perfect game. I can see both sides of the issue but at the end of the day I think the goal should be to have an accurate record of what happened on the field. What do you think about instant replay for calls like this?

    • LAT I think this is a really tough call. Maybe I will write a post about it now.

      Morgan

      I started to write about it and I just think that there is going to be no real change here so I stopped.

      • teamlittleguy says:

        You know, I heard an interesting take on this from Ken Burns last night – his thought was that baseball moves so very slowly and deliberately in these situations, but that MLB will eventually reverse this call and award Galarraga the perfecto in the distant future. In his words, baseball is just “taking depositions” on this right now – and that Selig’s ruling should not necessarily be viewed as one that will stand the ultimate test of time.

  34. Dan Duran says:

    Looking forward to seeing your take on the Joyce/ Galarraga call. I’m sickened by my local sportswriters’ lack of tact and true understanding of this game we true fans love so much. When your post goes live, I’m forwarding it to them and every news media I have access to in the Sacramento market.

  35. Mark says:

    Morgan,

    Thanks for the compliment, of sorts, above.

    For what it’s worth, the only Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony that I have so far attended came in 2005 when Peter Gammons received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award and was inducted into the writers’ wing of the Hall.

    As a bonus that year, Ryne Sandberg, a pretty fair second baseman (chuckle), and everyone’s favorite chicken connoisseur, Wade Boggs, also joined the Hall. Sandberg’s induction speech, then and now, was and is a keeper. Jerry Coleman, a Marine aviator and lieutenant colonel, received the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters.

    For my money, Peter Gammons was the gold standard for baseball writers. I simply adored Gammons for his love of the game and his ability to convey that love to his readers at The Boston Globe and Baseball America and later his readers and viewers at ESPN.

    My respect for Gammons, however, remains firmly in the past tense.

    Gammons threw it and me away with his puff ball public relations interview of Alex Rodriguez following his “steroid scandal.” That day, Peter Gammons placed his allegiance to Bristol and the MLB ahead of his responsibility to viewers, readers, and journalism as a whole.

    The journalist should love the craft, honor his responsibility to the reader and the fan, and remain devoted to the story told accurately and told well. With A-Rod, Gammons instead emphasized the clean-up campaign for A-Rod in the MLB and on behalf of Disney/ABC/ESPN’s multi-billion-dollar television and media investment in the game.

    I take no pleasure in writing those words. I simply adored Peter Gammons. That day, with his ridiculous decision to aid and abet Rodriguez through all of the questions that Gammons left unasked, I saw one of the finest writers I have ever read place his position and his employer above his respect for the truth and for the game.

    I am a Mariners’ fan dating back to the days of Diego Segui, Alvin Davis, and Julio Cruz. I am not a Cubs’ fan. I was never much of a Ryne Sandberg fan. However, I will always recall this excerpt from Sandberg’s Hall speech. At the same time, this portion of the speech reminds me why Peter Gammons, the baseball writer I placed above all others, broke my heart for all he did NOT do and all he did NOT respect when he failed to interview Rodriguez.

    Sandberg said:

    “The reason I am here, they tell me, is that I played the game a certain way, that I played the game the way it was supposed to be played. I don’t know about that, but I do know this: I had too much respect for the game to play it any other way, and if there was there was a single reason I am here today, it is because of one word, respect. I love to play baseball. I’m a baseball player. I’ve always been a baseball player. I’m still a baseball player. That’s who I am.”

    • Mark I think Peter Gammons is a good writer. There really isn’t much holding the feet to the fire anymore and I don’t know how to change that. Great post.

      Morgan

  36. Nicole says:

    Im a huge Yankee fan, and when I read this article my stomach turned. I thought to myself, are you kidding me? How classless. Oliver Perez has been awful and I do not blame any Met fans/players for the disdain they feel regarding him one bit, but to talk to the media, put him on blast and then hide who you are? Youre absolutely right Morgan, the only word that fits, is COWARD.

    I also wondered if this was “creative writing” and just completely fabricated too, but honestly this isnt the first time a Met player has popped off to the media about someone on his own team. After reading about all this, I have a new found respect for Billy Wagner. At least he had the balls to do it himself.

  37. EG says:

    Morgan,

    Congratulations on your work. I wish I had come to it sooner. (Read through many of your earlier pieces and was disgusted to read about the spitting incident at Wrigley)

    While I agree with you philisophically, anonymous sources are an unfortunate, necessary evil. No one was willing to go on the record for Watergate, and I think you would agree that that was of greater importance than Oliver Perez, yet it was unnamed sources alone that led to Nixon resigning. Nobody went on the record for the overwhelming majority of the most critical post-civil war story in this nation’s history.

    We need some perspective here. Players, like those in many professions, like to keep their problems in-house…..and when one of them crosses the line and puts their name to paper and makes an accusation, a la Canseco, he is roundly (and probably to most, appropriately,) criticized as a rat.

    Well, (even though he does seem like the disgusting insects that you find under rocks) which way do you want it?

    Players have done nothing but try to camaflouge the entire PED era and I would guess that is in large part because of the stigma that would be attached if they were to go public. It’s a bit of a no-win situation.

    Without anonymous sources, you fail to learn critical information. Most of us train our kids not to be tattletales, but as a parent, you want to know which kids are dealing drugs in school so you can get rid of them.

    Not everyone has the stones of Ozzie Guillen. That’s unfortunate……….not to mention the public’s loss b/c he is truly refreshing and entertaining.

    BTW, your take on Gammons is so dead-on. I lost total respect for the man.

    For what it’s worth, I’m a New York-based Cubs fan and thought that Sandberg’s speech was one of the best I’d heard outside of Reggie Jackson’s.

    Sandberg is the player I teach my son to emulate. Work as hard as you can, get the most out of your ability, never bitch about a call and stay even-keeled.

    Best wishes and success.

  38. Joe says:

    Hey Nicole, now you can understand what it feels like to be a Mets fan – your stomach turns pretty much every day. As I stated in my previous post – the fact that no other paper followed up on this tells me it’s probably false, it’s a week later and still no follow-up. Case closed – The Post strikes again with another National Enquirer story. I’m actually shocked the Mets actually stepped up and cut Matthews loose, maybe there is hope after all….oh wait, Perez on the DL??? Ok maybe not….there goes my stomach turning again.

  39. AJ says:

    This truly is horrible. Ollie’s performance has been less than perfect, but how about they stop taunting Perez and maybe shine the light on their GM. Wasn’t it Mr. Minaya who gave Oliver that lucrative contract he hasn’t lived up to in the first place? I sincerely hop Ollie finds who said that (or if someone did, as cyn pointed out) and the Mets have to add two players to the 15 day DL with a foot up their ass.

    • AJ that is really extreme, but I can understand how you feel. Perez has done nothing but hurt himself here. He has done nothing correct in this matter at all. His teammates shouldn’t be crushing him behind his back though. I feel you.

      Morgan

  40. Marc Schneider says:

    Assuming that the reporter is accurately reporting the quotes (and not making them up), I think he has an obligation to print them even if the players refuse to be identified. And I think any reporter has an obligation to protect his sources if they demand it. Is it cowardly for the players to make anonymous comments? Absolutely. But it is news if some teammates are criticizing others. I too wonder if some of these comments are made up or taken out of context, but assuming they are not, it’s not the reporter’s job to protect the team. Many people (and certainly players and coaches) think the reporter should be a fan of the team and try to help them, but that is not the case. That’s the way journalism works, whether sports or non-sports.

  41. Andy Dupuis says:

    Marc, you are correct that the job of a reporter is to report news, but since when does he said/she said gossip from anonymous sources constitute news?

    Reporters aren’t obliged to go the presses with that sort of crap. They ALWAYS have the option to say, “Hey guys, that’s a heckuva story, and I want it for the readers but unless you plan on attaching your names I got nowhere to go with this”

    That sort of thing is called “integrity”, and eventually the readers and the players will see it and understand it and then you have a terrific reporter on your hands with a huge following.

    “Deep Throat” has been cited by many on this forum to underscore the rightness of printing anonymous information. Let’s not forget that a case can be made that “Deep Throat” was up to his eyeballs in the mess as a willing participant and had no issues with anything until he was passed over for promotion. In other words, he had a personal axe to grind….

  42. Toby Rittner says:

    Hey Morgan, have you ever considered writing about other sports topics? I have to be honest. I have almost completely stopped reading mainstream media outlets coverage of sports. I hail from Cleveland and the rampant and blatant lies about the future of LeBron James have just become a daily nightmare here. Anonymous sources, insider knowledge, people close to the player, etc. have just become normal and accepted. Do you ever envision writing about other topics? Perhaps taking a spin at the way the media has to fabricate stories to sell papers/advertisements and therefore accepting these dubious sources and insiders word as truth? Just curious because I enjoy your point of view and would like to read more. Take care!


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