Be my Valentine?
Mets manager stirs more controversy with harsh remarks
Posted: Saturday October 09, 1999 01:45 AM
Bobby Valentine doesn't believe his comments have affected his team. AP
NEW YORK (AP) -- On a night when the New York Mets moved one win away from playing for the National League pennant, their manager found himself on the hot seat again.
Bobby Valentine, often the center of controversy, was in that familiar position following publication of an article in this week's Sports Illustrated.
In the story, Valentine talked about a team meeting the Mets players held in Philadelphia when the team was in the middle of a seven-game losing streak that nearly cost them any chance at the playoffs.
"You're not dealing with real professionals in the clubhouse," Valentine said in the article. "You're not dealing with real intelligent guys for the most part. A lot can swim, but most of them just float along, looking for something to hold on to. That's why, I'm sure, they're having a players-only meeting. Because there's about five guys in there right now who basically are losers, who are seeing if they can recruit."
Mets general manager Steve Phillips, who fired three of Valentine's coaches earlier this year, told reporters the remarks were "an ill-timed fire."
Valentine said there were some inaccuracies in the story but did not deny the tenor of the story.
After the Mets' 9-2 win over Arizona on Friday night, Valentine said the controversy clearly had not affected the players.
"Like I said before the game, they don't care about any of that nonsense," he said.
First baseman John Olerud said he had not seen the article.
"It's hard for me to comment on it. I don't know what was written or what was said."
Reliever Dennis Cook said, "I don't want to comment on it until I read it and I probably won't read it until the end of the season. I don't know anything about it."
During his tenure with the Mets, which began at the end of the 1996 season, Valentine has feuded publicly with a number of players, including Pete Harnisch, Todd Hundley and Bobby Bonilla. Harnisch and Hundley are no longer with the team and Bonilla spent most of the season on the disabled list.
Bonilla often has been criticized for non-production in a season in which he made $5.8 million.
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