According to MetsBlog, last night on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, host Seth Everett said Jeff Francoeur, John Maine, Jose Reyes and Johan Santana were unhappy with manager Jerry Manuel. This forced Francoeur to issue a denial before Saturday’s game against the Cardinals, via Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
“We’re 10 games into the season. We’ve lost a lot of close games,”
Francoeur said. “We’re behind Jerry 110 percent. Are you always going to
agree with everything a manager does? No. Nobody does. At the same
time, he’s our manager. He’s a guy that has fought for us, stuck up for
us through a tough offseason, through this time. We’re here for him at
this point to stick behind him because he’s the guy we want leading us
I hope Francoeur learns his lesson here. Earlier in the week he told reporters that he would like to see Jose Reyes remain as the leadoff man as opposed to batting third. It’s a reasonable opinion to have, but he should have had the presence of mind to realize that the press would run with the story, positioning it as though he was questioning his manager’s authority. It’s really a frivolous storyline when there are many other aspects of Manuel’s decision-making that are fair-game for criticism.
As we noted, Bryce Harper was ejected in the Phillies-Mets game for arguing balls and strikes, punctuating the ejection with a fairly aggressive argument in which he sorta shoved his manager into the ump, had to be held back by teammates and may very well have earned himself a suspension.
We’ll see about the suspension part, but even if he didn’t anger Rob Manfred over all of that, he did annoy his teammate, Jake Arrieta, who was on the mound last night. Here were Arrieta’s comments after the game:
“Look, I mean, [Harper’s] got to understand we need him in right field,” Arrieta said. “I don’t care how bad the umpire is. He wasn’t great for either side. I’m out there trying to make pitches, and he misses some calls. So what? We need him out there. I need him in right field, I need him at the plate, and he wasn’t there. So that hurts.
“We were flat from start to finish. Two-hour delay, it doesn’t matter. We have to be ready to play. We weren’t, and it showed. The dugout was flat. The defense wasn’t good. Didn’t throw the ball well as a staff overall. We got beat. We started at 8:45. I don’t think our guys were ready to play. We’ve got to come out tomorrow ready to play.”
For Harper’s part he was contrite after the game, echoing Arrieta’s words about needing to keep a level head and about him being more useful in the game than in the clubhouse. Still, he got told by his teammate. And seems to know he got told.