The Mets and Walter Reed

by Jason Epstein

Last September, four Mets players from the recently expanded roster, including Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, and Oliver Perez, missed a voluntary visit to Walter Reed Army Hospital to meet with wounded servicemembers. Subsequently, a few New York columnists went bananas, including the perpetually self-righteous Mike Lupica, who declared:

Of course Beltran and Perez and Castillo don’t get on the team bus to go to Walter Reed. Why get on a team bus when you don’t want to be on the team?”

Yesterday’s trip to Walter Reed seemed to go off sans any drama, even though this time there were two no-shows — Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez and Taylor Buchholtz. The lack of an outcry is even more interesting when one recalls that new general manager Sandy Alderson did a tour of duty in Vietnam while in the Marine Corps.

Among other things, maybe the Wilpons, who were reportedly outraged by last year’s no-shows, belatedly figured out that there were far more important issues requiring their attention?

EDIT: Apparently, the “no-shows,” no doubt aware of the earlier tempest, alerted the brass in advance that they had familial obligations.

Right Field

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