Friday, April 4, 2008

Angry Gotay

Ruben Gotay is the latest ex-Met to spout off about being shipped out:

Like Lastings Milledge and Paul Lo Duca earlier this spring, Gotay is angry with the Mets for giving up on him without what he considers a reasonable explanation. Gotay, who was scooped up by the Braves after being put on waivers by the Mets last week, hopes to take out his frustration on the Amazin's during the three-game series that begins here tonight.

"Yes, I'm mad," Gotay told The Post yesterday. "I never thought they would put me on waivers after what I did last year. I felt I deserved a chance. . . ." Gotay appeared to blame Willie Randolph for that decision based on how he responded when asked about seeing the Mets' manager this weekend. "I'm not going to go out of my way to talk to him," said Gotay, who had tears in his eyes last week when told he was put on waivers. "I'll talk more to the players than him, because I've always had a pretty good relationship with the players."
You don't seem to hear this kind of thing nearly as much from former players of other teams. The way I see it, the possibilities for why this is the case are as follows:

  • It's the Mets' fault: Is it possible that Randolph and Minaya simply carry out their personnel decisions more poorly than other teams? Not the decisions themselves, actually, but the manner in which they're communicated. Maybe they don't telegraph bad news, thus making its impact all the harder? Maybe they're not straight-up with players?

  • It's the players' fault: I don't know much about Gotay, but Milledge and Lo Duca have reputations as horse's asses, so maybe they'd squawk when shipped out regardless of the circumstances.

  • It's the press' fault: Maybe some random ex-Milwaukee Brewer isn't giving hot-under-the-collar quotes about these things because random Milwaukee reporters aren't trying to elicit controversy. I realize I'm trafficking in stereotypes here, but it just strikes me that a Midwestern reporter is more likely to ask "so, Ruben, how's the new team working out?" while a New York reporter is more likely to ask "so, Ruben, how'd you feel about being told you weren't good enough to be a Met?" No, I have no idea if that's how it works, but it would explain the apparent discrepancy.

If I had to guess? 20% team, 60% player, 20% press, but I'd be curious to hear anyone else's opinion.


Justin Zeth said...

I'm naturally inclined to blame the team first and foremost, but I can't do it here. In general these kinds of situations are about 20% team, 20% player, 60% press; in Gotay's particular situation, it's more like 10% team, 15% player, 75% press. You can just read the New York Post article you linked to--that it's a Post article is information enough for this purpose, honestly--and see the writer did a marvelous job of making up this 'story'.

The opening quote is "April 4, 2008 -- ATLANTA - Add Ruben Gotay Ruben Gotay to the list of ex-Mets New York Mets vowing revenge against their former team."

Grandiose much?

Notice how Gotay is quoted: "Yes, I'm mad." You're the lawyer, Craig: Given that that was the answer, is it likely the question was along the lines of "so, are you mad?"

I will say that Willie Randolph isn't very good with press relations. That, and not anything connected to his performance, is going to get him fired from the Mets job before long.

Chris Needham said...

The Mets aren't immune to receiving players who whine, too:

"They'd play me, sit me, play me, make a trade, sit me," Church said of the Nationals. The trade he is referring to is the one that brought Wily Mo Peña to Washington in mid-August, after which Church started just 13 games.

"It's a business, and I totally understand that, and not everybody is going to like it," Church said. "But I think I lost about 100-something at-bats, and there was a reason for that. People who were there know [what that reason was]. You could see it. There's a business side."

Church paused briefly. "There's arbitration," he continued. "There's this . . . "

Church holds up his hand and rubs his fingers and thumb together, the universal sign for "money."

John Peterson said...

Perhaps this will give you some perspective.

Full disclosure: I wrote it.

Mr. Thursday said...

Does Milledge really have a reputation as a horses' ass? I don't really pay all that much attention to player quotations, but it seems to me that most of the negative commentary on his personality stem from him getting a little excited after hitting a home run as a rookie. In other words: overblown.

As a Phillies fan, however, I must say that I'm fully ready to believe that it's about 80% the Mets' fault, and the remaining 20% is the fault of Paul Lo Duca. Even if it's all not true.

John Peterson said...

It's the manager's fault.

Justin Zeth said...

Milledge is a National because Billy Wagner is a horse's ass, and didn't think Milledge 'respected the game'.

B said...

As a Met fan, I'm incredibly upset they let Gotay go. I think they could have gotten just as much out of him as they will out of Luis Castillo. And he did have a decent year last year. This just seems like another "minor" move that, in some way, will come to haunt the Mets (see Bannister, Brian).

Tom V said...

I would imagine that some of it is the teams they're being traded from/to. It's probably pretty frustrating to be traded from the Mets to the Nationals right now (Atlanta a bit less so, but it still can't be great news). If these same players were being traded from the Mets to the Cubs, or from the Nationals to the Mets, they would probably be complaining a lot less.