Friday, May 16, 2008

Have a Great Long Weekend

Mets' Wagner calls out teammates for ducking media

Outspoken Mets closer Billy Wagner lashed out at truculent teammates Thursday for dodging reporters and ducking "being accountable" by failing to talk to the media.

Wagner, who ripped his teammates earlier this season, caused the flap on Thursday when he questioned some players' failure to make themselves available to the media after the team's deflating 1-0 loss to Washington.

"You should be talking to the guys over there," he snapped to reporters in the clubhouse.

He apparently, according to The New York Times, then gestured toward the lockers of Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and, especially, Carlos Delgado.

"Oh, they're not there. Big shock," he said.

The 36-year-old reliever later added to his furious finger-pointing of teammates during his weekly radio appearance, voicing frustration that he is one of only a few players reporters can interview after a crushing loss.

"I didn't even play today, I was not a participant in the game and the guys that had participated were gone," Wagner said in his interview with ESPN Radio 1050's Michael Kay. "David Wright is always there, the same guys are always there. But there needs to be other guys that are accountable. It gets a little old when the same people keep getting interviewed even when they don't participate."

When asked to name the specific players he felt failed to meet their media commitments, Wagner replied: "I think that will be recognized tomorrow [Friday]. You need to stand there during the bad times other than just stand there during the good times. That will be something that will be talked about tomorrow by the team I'm sure."

The left-hander also insisted to Kay that he was not singling out the team's Hispanic players for criticism.

"I think it's just certain guys," Wagner said, when asked if there was a racial component to the issue. "I don't think it's Latin, white or black. I don't think it's a color thing."

"It gets frustrating for some of the guys that are there," he added. "Whether I'm there, or David Wright or whoever is there constantly, it comes a point that they don't need to be answering the questions that should go to someone else. And then it causes that tension because of my opinion of something that may not be something the way that it really was."

Wagner's remarks come two weeks after Mets manager Willie Randolph told Wagner to keep critical comments in-house after he had criticized pitcher Oliver Perez following a blowout loss to Pittsburgh.

Wagner criticized Perez after the left-hander lasted just 1 1/3 innings in a 13-1 loss to the Pirates on Wednesday, a night after the Mets exhausted their bullpen in an 11-inning victory.

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