NL All-Star Game Notebook: Davey Johnson slams Citi Field
One of New York City’s favorite sons is not exactly enamored with the Citi.
Davey Johnson, who is serving as one of manager Bruce Bochy’s coaches, used his time during the National League’s All-Star Game media availability to implore MLB to consider Nationals Park as a host venue for the Midsummer Classic while tweaking Citi Field.
“The All-Star Game, I don’t know how they pick that thing, but I’ve been to a ton of ballparks and I think our ballpark is player-friendly, fan-friendly. Look around here,” Johnson said, alluding to the Willets Point neighborhood surrounding Citi Field before taking aim at the advertising throughout the park.
“It’s awful. Awful. You have to pay for it [Citi Field] somehow.”
The All-Star Game counts
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has said it before but Bruce Bochy believes it bears repeating — the exhibition game is important.
“I think it did play a part in our success,” Bochy said during the managerial press conference yesterday.
Due to the National League winning last year’s All-Star Game, 8-0, the Giants had homefield advantage in the World Series. The Giants swept the Tigers in the World Series, outscoring the American League champions 16-6 in the four games.
“Like [American League manager] Jimmy [Leyland] said, there’s no place like home,” Bochy said. “We got off to a good start because of having homefield advantage. There’s just a sense of comfort for the players. Particularly when you’re in the playoffs — and you have the pressure of performing like these players do — to start at home does give them, I think, a bit more confidence and the ability to relax a little bit. So I do think that it plays a part. It’s hard to quantify how much. [MLB Network studio host and emcee of yesterday’s press conference] Brian [Kenny] could probably help me with that, but I’m not sure. You look at the numbers, and it does give, I think, the club a huge advantage.”
Kenney noted that teams which have homefield advantage in the World Series have won 54 percent of the time.
Valdespin still a topic of stress
It is fitting that the maturation of Jordany Valdespin will continue in Las Vegas, as Sin City has seen more than its share of emotional outbursts.
Mets manager Terry Collins confirmed during his media availability yesterday that Valdespin threw a fit after being told he was going to be sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas following the Mets’ 4-2 win over the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The New York Post, citing an unidentified source, reported Valdespin called Collins a “c—ksucker” after being told of the demotion.
Collins denied that Valdespin cursed at him during their first of two meetings. The Mets manager added he did not know if Valdespin cursed him in the clubhouse or on the flight back to New York
“He wasn’t happy,” Collins said. “When he left the office, he was angry. The easiest way to put it was I went out to the clubhouse to calm him down. It was not accepted very well by the other 24 guys.”
It was not accepted by general manager Sandy Alderson either.
“One of the mistakes he made, the general manager was there,” Collins said. “Both of them.”
Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman for complete coverage from Citi Field during the All-Star Game festivities.