When the New York Mets sent utility man Jordany Valdespin back down to Triple-A Las Vegas in mid-July, they probably hoped his days of stirring up trouble on the field and in the clubhouse were over. Well... not quite yet, it seems.
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Valdespin and others are facing internal suspensions and fines in the wake of a benches-clearing brawl Monday that was sparked by the embattled utility man's showboating, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post.
The incident began when Valdespin hit a three-run home run in the second game of Las Vegas' double-header against the Sacramento River Cats. The 25-year-old reportedly admired his home run for so long that he didn't drop his bat until he was halfway to first base. Taking exception to this, River Cats pitcher Brian Gordon consistently pitched Valdespin inside in his next at-bat until he managed to hit him in the hand.
A warning was issued to both sides following the HBP, but Las Vegas right-hander Armando Rodriguez decided to ignore it. Rodriguez beaned Sacramento infielder Grant Green in the top of the next inning, then jawed with Green as he walked down the line, causing both benches to clear.
For Valdespin, Monday's fracas is just another in a long list of well documented on-the-field and clubhouse incidents. To wit: Valdespin threw a fit in the clubhouse when the Mets demoted him last month, which included some not-so-nice words (rhymes with "mock trucker") for manager Terry Collins. And that tantrum was eerily similar to the one he threw when the team pulled a harmless prank on him the year before in San Francisco.
Valdespin has also drawn the ire of opposing teams for showboating in the past. During a May contest against the Pirates, in which the Mets were being thoroughly blown out, Valdespin flipped his bat and admired his home run for what the Bucs thought was a little too long. When Pittsburgh retaliated by beaning Valdespin the next day, he proceeded to act out in the dugout.
Valdespin, Rodriguez, and manager Wally Backman are all facing fines and suspensions from the team for their part in Monday's brouhaha, per Las Vegas 51s Inside.