Friday, February 29, 2008

Wright Tells Milledge To Shut Up

The New York Mets do not like Lastings Milledge. After all they traded him - a potential Gary Sheffield type - for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider.

The love fest doesn't stop there, as David Wright and [of course] Billy Wagner took exception to comments Milledge made to Sports Illustrated upon his arrival at Nationals training camp:

"I can't go through anything worse than I went through in New York. It only gets better from here," Milledge said. "A lot of veterans didn't like the way I play the game. They thought I didn't respect it."

Milledge added: "The vets here (on the Nationals) have no problem with me. They know I respect (the game). They know I work hard."

"Enough is enough," David Wright said yesterday. "You're a Washington National now. Don't worry about what happened last year or the year before that. Just go out there and try to help the Nationals win.

"It makes no sense to bash your former team. He just needs to turn the page and worry about helping the Washington Nationals. Forget about what we're doing over here. Forget about the New York Mets."

This is a no-win situation when viewing the situation as an outside observer. Milledge probably had some growing up to do, but his make-up issues seemed to be very much exaggerated. After hitting an important homerun, running down your the foul line at your homefield and high-fiving excited Mets fans is youthful enthusiasm, not cockiness or showing up the opposition. If Milledge had released a rock record - and not a hip hop album - littered with profanity, methinks the youngster would not have received half the commotion.

On the other hand, Milledge could have shown some class and progress by keeping his mouth shut this Spring, but he could not manage to do so. Whether or not he hits his ceiling becomes more a question of maturity than physicality. The question remains, can Milledge put the trivialities aside and just play ball, or will he continue to fumble his priorities. At least he can always turn to the new Elijah Dukes for inspiration.

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