PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- As captain of the New York Mets, David Wright takes responsibility for making sure the team's young players handle themselves in a professional manner. So when Wright completed his work in an intrasquad game and saw top prospect Noah Syndergaard in the clubhouse eating lunch rather than being in the dugout, he confronted the 22-year-old right-hander.
Wright instructed Syndergaard that the dugout was the appropriate place for him to be for the duration of the intrasquad game, even though Syndergaard was not scheduled to pitch. A contrite Syndergaard accepted the advice, but not before veteran right-hander Bobby Parnell intervened, picking up Syndergaard's plate of food and tossing it into a trash can.
"If a kid's not playing nice, you take his toys away," Parnell told Newsday.
Only then did Syndergaard finally join teammates in the dugout.
"Being a young player, any chance you get to learn, you go out there and learn,'' Wright told Newsday about the importance of prospects watching the full intrasquad game. "... I'm not a big ranter and raver. When I get on somebody, it's 99 percent private. I'm not going to yell and scream. But when I speak to somebody, when I get on somebody, the point needs to be taken.''
Syndergaard told the newspaper he was caught off guard by the controversy.
"It was surprising,'' he said. "It kind of caught me off guard. I really wasn't expecting it to be that big of a deal. So it took me off guard a little bit. But I understand where it's coming from. ... There's really no point getting into details about it, but I came inside. I hadn't eaten lunch yet, so I figured it was as good as any a time to eat lunch. I didn't think much of it.''