Mets Pitcher Billy Wagner: Bully Or Team Leader?

The biggest story with the New York Mets over the last week has been closer Billy Wagner ripping Oliver Perez after Perez’ dreadful start against the Pirates on Wednesday. It’s raised many questions about the Mets as a team.

Do the Mets need a team captain?– They could probably use a team captain but I don’t know who would be the logical candidate. They would want someone that’s going to be around for several years like Jose Reyes, David Wright, Johan Santana, or Carlos Beltran. I doubt that it would be Santana. Typically, captains are position players. Wright and Reyes are pretty young to captain a team of veterans. Beltran is usually so quiet that it’s hard to picture him as the team leader. I don’t think that Billy Wagner would even enter the discussion on this topic.

Is Billy Wagner a loud-mouth bully in the clubhouse?– The Phillies would say “yes” after Wagner’s one season there. Lastings Milledge would say “yes” after last season’s note that Wagner allegedly left in his locker. Remember the “Know your place rook” note that was rumored to have been written by Wagner? Publicly ripping Perez after a poor start this week didn’t sound like leadership to me. It came across as blasting a teammate in the media, not constructive criticism.

My opinion is that Wagner wouldn’t even be in the discussion as a team captain for the Mets. Blasting teammates in the press, or leaving anonymous notes in their lockers doesn’t seem like leadership to me. It smacks of a clubhouse bully.

What’s your opinion? Did Wagner address the Oliver Perez situation in the same way that you would?

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