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Mets Step Up to Defend Estes

AROUND THE MAJORS

June 18, 2002|From Times Wire Services

Shawn Estes and Mike Piazza hit Roger Clemens all right Saturday--with longballs instead of beanballs.

But after learning that ESPN baseball analyst Rob Dibble questioned Estes' toughness and called him a "clown" on Baseball Tonight, the Mets struck back.

"He was the most unprofessional player to ever play, or one of them," Met Manager Bobby Valentine told the New York Daily News. "When he hit people it was because they hit a home run off him, not protection for his teammates."

Dibble, a relief pitcher for seven seasons in the major leagues said Estes should have hit Clemens, even after he missed and both benchings were warned, and that the left-hander probably lost the support of his teammates.

According to the Daily News, not one Met agreed with Dibble that Estes had lost respect or support in the clubhouse, whether they were asked on or off the record.

*

Minnesota Twin right-hander Rick Reed was scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday against the New York Mets after cutting his thumb while opening a suitcase.

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