"One of the mistakes he made when he had his tantrum is the general manager was there," Collins said, referring to Sandy Alderson happening to be attending that day's game and in the room when Valdespin received the demotion news. "That probably was not the best timing."
New York Mets
Collins, speaking on Monday at Citi Field, where he is serving as an All-Star coach, said Valdespin became angry after Saturday's loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates when informed he was being demoted to clear a roster spot for reliever Scott Atchison's activation from the disabled list.
"He wasn't happy," Collins said. "When he left the office, he was angry. The easiest way to put it is: I went out to the clubhouse to calm him down. It was not accepted very well by the other 24 guys, I can tell you that, too. We all know he's an emotional kid. That's how he plays and that's how he goes about things."
Collins disputed a New York Post report that Valdespin called him an expletive to his face.
"First of all, he did not," Collins said. "Now, I can't say what he did on the plane. I can't say what he did walking out of the clubhouse. I wasn't there. By the way, he doesn't speak all that good English. It could have been 'cockroach,' for all I know."
After the demotion meeting went badly and teammates became upset with Valdespin's clubhouse histrionics, Collins and Alderson met a second time with the emotional infielder, this time about maturity, according to the manager.
Valdespin will not be disciplined, Collins added.
He will have plenty of time to report to the minors, though. Triple-A Las Vegas currently is in its All-Star break and does not resume play until Thursday.
Collins said Valdespin behaved better in the second meeting.
"They're always fine. They're always OK -- the second time," Collins said.
"I sent him down first and then I met with you guys," the manager added, referring to his postgame media session. "And afterward I brought him in and pretty much explained the process of maturation dealing with this level."
Valdespin, in a series of tweets early Monday morning, wrote:
"Though I try not to get upset about things that are written about me, it's tough for me not to react to the article about me disrespecting my manager. I was very upset with myself for not helping the team when I was given the opportunity to play. I respect my manager [and] organization's decision to send me to Triple-A and am working very hard to become a better player and teammate and will hopefully be back to NY soon to do whatever is needed of me."
Valdespin has been suspended multiple times during his minor league career for behavior issues.
"By me," Collins noted, referring to suspensions when he oversaw the farm system before becoming Mets manager.
Asked if Valdespin, now 25 years old, should know better, Collins said: "One of the things you've got to understand is you can't take for granted anything. You're saying, 'Geez, he should have known.' You can't take it for granted."
Added Collins: "You expect Jordany to understand it because he's been sent down before. He didn't get it."