New York Mets
If Mike Pelfrey has a good outing Thursday and the Mets can complete a four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the right-hander promises to have a warm greeting for manager Jerry Manuel.
“If everything is good when he comes to take me out, I might give him a big hug on the mound,” Pelfrey quipped.
Pelfrey has grown annoyed with criticism on the airwaves about him turning his back on Manuel when the manager removed him from his most recent start, on national TV on Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 14-game winner said to check the videotapes: He has waited for the reliever to enter the game and handed him the ball directly to his replacement all season. And all season he has done so without chatting up or facing the manager, Pelfrey insisted.
“My whole thing is, at the time, what was he going to say?” Pelfrey asked about Saturday’s reported disrespect. “Like in Washington [on Sept. 6], what is he going to tell me -- ‘Hey, you pitched bad?’ I know. I’ve been backing up bases. That’s my whole thing: He doesn’t need to tell me. I saw him signal for the bullpen. He didn’t need to say anything.
“I’ve always done that. I guess because [Fox analyst] Tim McCarver said something, everybody else makes a big deal about it. But there wasn’t any difference.”