The New York Daily News features a screamer of a headline this morning: "Adrian Gonzalez off the hook as NY Mets' Kelly Shoppach takes fall for Boston's text mutiny." Oh, weird! I guess, contrary to the report from Yahoo, it was not "Adrian Gonzalez, texting on behalf of himself and some teammates," that "aired their dissatisfaction with Valentine for embarrassing starting pitcher Jon Lester by leaving him in to allow 11 runs during a July 22 start."
Glad that's cleared up. I guess—ah, well, I have time, might as well read past the headline. I wonder how Shoppach, now five days into his Mets tenure, took the fall for the unfairly maligned Adrian Gonzalez.
The article starts off with Shoppach "not confirming" that he wrote the text, and then:
A small group of players that has been unhappy with Valentine this season - a group that included Shoppach, according to a source familiar with the circumstances - was complaining about the manager in late July and engaged Gonzalez in the conversation. A member of the group suggested that the only way to bring about action would be to voice their problems to ownership. Gonzalez was tired of hearing the constant grumbling and agreed with them that a message from him - the team's highest-paid player - would get management's attention.
So Shoppach denies writing the text, and Gonzalez agreed the text was a good idea, and allowed it to be sent from his phone.
Several sources say Gonzalez had nothing to do with the message's content, which - according to a report this past week on Yahoo! Sports - indicated the team was unhappy that Valentine had left ace Jon Lester in a game to give up 11 runs against Toronto on July 22.
Several sources! Still—I'm not really seeing the Shoppach angle.
On Saturday at Nationals Park, Shoppach denied any involvement in sending the text message, insisting, "I don't know what you're talking about." But on Tuesday when the Yahoo! report was published, Shoppach was asked about it and said of the Red Sox organization, "Let me be very careful. I think, and maybe this is as far as I'll go with it, too, there is a disconnect in communication between the players through the upper management."
A-ha! The one guy whose been traded since the scandal broke. Typical move from a guy whose not part of the organization anymore—why are they always the ones who did something divisive that's been incorrectly pinned on the old team's star?
Shoppach bristled at the notion he was involved. "I have no influence on what they're doing with upper management," he said Saturday. "I am a backup catcher doing my job. It is my responsibility to do my job. That's it: a guy on a one-year contract who is just happy to have a job around a bunch of talented guys like they have there."
That's not how you take a fall, Kelly! All that bristling and denial. Very poor form. Nevertheless, the Boston Herald is going with "Report: Shoppach Sent Text," so within a few days he'll be "taking the fall" for that Fever Pitch movie and every other bad thing to ever happen in Boston. Thanks, Kelly! He's a good sport.