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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Mets manager Terry Collins says, ‘I don’t answer to fans’

05.15.13 at 8:04 am ET

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MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Astros at Tigers, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: White Sox at Twins, 1 p.m. (WGN)
NHL playoffs: Red Wings at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Bulls at Heat, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Grizzlies at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)


‘™¦ The struggling Mets have lost four straight games, but the bigger news out of New York on Tuesday was manager Terry Collinsswipe at the fans in an attempt to defend his handling of controversial outfielder Jordany Valdespin.

Valdespin irked the Pirates on Friday when he flipped his bat in celebration after hitting a meaningless home run in a 7-3 loss. On Saturday, Valdespin was sent up as a pinch-hitter and was drilled by Pittsburgh pitcher Bryan Morris. Valdespin went to first base without incident, but when he eventually returned to the dugout he slammed down his helmet. The Mets did not retaliate.

Media members and some fans on Twitter questioned whether the team put Valdespin in a bad situation. Collins would have none of it.

“I don’t answer to fans. They don’t play this game,” Collins said Tuesday. “They have no idea what goes on. They have no idea what goes on in there.”

Added Collins: “I don’€™t care what the perception is. All I know is what goes on here. I’€™ve been doing this for 42 years. I don’€™t care what anybody on the outside thinks. I know how to get it done in the clubhouse. I’€™ve been doing it a lot longer than a lot of people. He’€™s fine. He handled it great, I thought, the way he went about it. He went to first base. He didn’€™t throw his bat any place. ‘€¦ He did it the right way. And now it’€™s over. Now we move on.”

Collins said if Valdespin had been hit a second time Saturday, the Mets “would have answered.” He also acknowledged that Valdespin’s antics can rub people the wrong way.

“[Valdespin] is an energetic guy, he plays with flair, he’€™s going to [tick] people off once in a while,” Collins said. “The issue is we have to be careful he doesn’€™t [tick] those guys [his teammates] off. That’€™s where he has to be careful what he says and how he handles himself, because everybody has tried to help.

“In the four years I’€™ve been around him, there’€™s been a number of people that have thrown their hands up, but you can’€™t ever give up on talent like that.”

‘™¦ Former Steelers linebacker James Harrison, in his introductory press conference Tuesday with the Bengals, revealed that he spends between $400,000 and $600,000 per year on “body work.”

“I’ve always been what everybody’d like to call — excuse my English — is ‘massage whore,’ ” Harrison said. “I can’t think of nothing else. They done called me it so long I’m starting to believe it.”

Added Harrison: “I have a hyperbaric chamber. I rent a hyperbaric chamber when I’€™m in Arizona. I have massages and I bring people in from New York, Arizona to where I’€™m at. There’€™s that cost. Like I said, I get body work almost every single day except Saturday and Sunday. I have a homeopathic doctor and I do a lot of homeopathic things.  It’€™s just a lot, supplements, so on and so forth.”

The 35-year-old said he feels as good as he has in a few years, although the Steelers apparently weren’t convinced, as they released him after a nine-year run.

‘™¦ A man who was trying to dribble a soccer ball 10,000 miles from Seattle to Brazil in time for the 2014 World Cup died Tuesday morning after being hit by a pickup truck in Oregon, two weeks after his trip began.

Richard Swanson, 42, was raising awareness for the One World Futbol Project, which donates soccer balls to people in developing countries. He was on Highway 101 South near the Oregon coastal town of Lincoln City when he was struck from behind around 10 a.m. by a driver who remained at the scene.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 15, 1990, the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted four former stars: Elvin Hayes, Neil Johnston, Earl Monroe and which seven-time All-Star guard who ended his NBA career by playing one season with the Celtics in 1977-78?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “That hockey game will haunt me until the day I die.” — Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul, a day after his team’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Bruins in Game 7

STAT OF THE DAY: 27 — Career home runs for David Ortiz at Tropicana Field — following his three-run shot in the first inning of the Red Sox’ 5-3 loss to the Rays on Tuesday night — the most ever by an opposing player

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jim Ryu plays catch with a young fan in the stands during batting practice.

A youth hockey game in Russia turns ugly with a bench-clearing brawl.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Lenny Welch was born on this day in 1938.

Read More: James Harrison, Jordany Valdespin, Richard Swanson, Terry Collins