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Archive for Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mets coping with turmoil

May 18, 2008

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— As a stubborn rain soaked Yankee Stadium on Friday, things were no less stormy inside the visitor's clubhouse, where the Mets spent the afternoon in full damage-control mode.

The concrete walls were suitable for the club's bunker mentality, and when the door closed for the anticipated team meeting, it was time to clean up the mess created by Billy Wagner's comments from the previous day.

Wagner was under fire - again - for calling out some of his disappearing teammates after Thursday's gut-wrenching 1-0 loss to the Nationals, but he denied the media's assertions that his specific target was the absent Carlos Delgado.

The closer did not mention Delgado by name Thursday, but gestured in the direction of his empty locker.

As soon as Delgado arrived, Wagner intercepted him, and both players said the closer's apology was accepted.

Wagner also backed off his initial statements that there is an "accountability" problem in the Mets' clubhouse, an abrupt reversal from his expletive-laced stance only 24 hours earlier.

"I shouldn't be here right now," Wagner said. "I shouldn't be answering this stupid stuff about something that was taken out of somebody's imagination - saying I'm pointing out my teammates when I didn't point out anybody.

"And I feel sorry that Delgado has to answer questions about something I supposedly said that I didn't say. It's unfortunate."

Delgado initially huddled with David Wright once he arrived at his locker. If he was upset with Wagner, it didn't show, though Delgado did say he had to leave quickly after Thursday's game because of an "emergency."

He also expressed the belief that criticism of teammates should be done "privately" and "with respect."

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