Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Crack In The Clubhouse: Feliciano Mouths Off

Willie's gotten a bit of a pass for his in-game strategical mishaps because of the sense that he has a strong command of his clubhouse, and the respect of his team is more integral to the Mets winning ways than any particular in-game decision. Although we've heard a little chirp hear and there from guys like Billy Wagner, for the most part it's been evident that the club respects Willie and will go to the wall for him. Well, if Willie wants to keep that respect, it might be about time to drop a hammer. The Mets play has been embarrassing over the past week, and now we start to read quotes in the papers from a player, Pedro Feliciano, who's unhappy with Willie's decisions. From Newsday today:

Feliciano questioned the decision to bat for Darren Oliver, who went 1 1/3 scoreless innings, with the Mets down 3-1 in the sixth.

"I don't know why they pinch hit," said Feliciano, who pitched two innings Sunday before allowing six hits and three runs in 1 1/3 innings last night.

"Oliver is the long reliever. He has to pitch like three at least. They say the bullpen's tired, so let him go three or four. I don't know who messed up, but somebody messed up."

Ooh boy. I'm anxious to hear what the response to that will be. Willie's got to keep control of this clubhouse during this period of poor play. Otherwise, it might be time for Sweet Lou in 2007.

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