Ah, the one man that can actually turn a good day into a bad one with a homerun. At one point it seemed the perfect combination of Lenny Harris, Matt Stairs and Ed Kranepool had been formed on New York’s bench, but all good things come to an end and a foul ball to the groin must have rattled him too much.
April 23rd 2012: Jordany Valdespin’s Debut
He didn’t really do much on his debut except pop-out to shortstop, but it is kind of necessary to mention. It was also his first pinch-hit opportunity that unfortunately failed.
May 7th 2012: I’m the Man Right Now
This is what seemed to start the legend of what a Met fan knows as Valdespin. In a tie game against the rival Phillies, Valdespin came to bat with two runners on and proceeded to crank a go-ahead 3-run homer with the most awkward swing I’ve ever seen. This homerun marked his first hit, homerun, RBI, and pinch-hit homerun. After the game Mike Nickeas said, “He can hit. You saw him do a little bit of it tonight. I’ve seen him do that, amongst other things.” I really wonder if he was silently pointing out his past, present, and future attitude.
June 5th 2012: Valdespin’s Second Pinch-Hit Homer
This homerun isn’t really considered to be all that important considering the Mets would end up losing a heartbreaker later in the game and David Wright a homerun in the same inning. But this does mark the second pinch-hit homerun of his career.
July 6th 2012: Close, but no Cigar
Valdespin hit a solo homerun with 1 out, and he actually sparked the Mets to attempt a huge comeback. After Ruben Tejada drew another nail-biting 3-2 walk, Murphy and Wright followed with walks. Ike Davis got a hit for once and he knocked in two runs. Lucas Duda ended the game with a bullet right back to Carlos Marmol and doubled off Davis. This was the unofficial decline of the 2012 Mets. Valdespin had made his heroics noticed by continuously sparking the Mets offense.
July 17th 2012: Another Met Loss with Valdespin Magic
Down two nothing in the top of the ninth, Valdespin delivered his fourth pinch-hit homerun, but it was unfortunately short-lived with Parnell blowing the save. At that point in the season, Valdespin seemed to be a secret-weapon.
July 24th 2012: It’s Not Even August
Even with the team spiraling out of control Valdespin still kept his demeanor and launched another homerun off the bench. Gary Cohen said it best, “It’s not even August and he’s already set the record.” This was the beginning of his regular playing time.
August 23rd 2012: Right there is Valdespin, Misjudged It, and It’s Over His Head
Collin McHugh will always remember this day as his outstanding MLB debut, but this could be noted as one of the worst losses in recent memory. In a 0-0 game, a ball was lined to Valdespin in center field and it floated right over his head; Tyler Colvin would later score with the only run of the game. This was the beginning of the fall of Valdespin.
March 11th 2013: Ouch
After leading off the game with a homerun, Valdespin was beaned with a 94mph fastball. Literally every single sports network had heard about this; Valdespin really enjoyed the attention. I can only imagine that some of the minor league teammates Valdespin had played with were silently cheering.
April 24th 2013: Valdespin’s Grand Moment
Of all the moments in his brief career, this one truly stands out. Valdespin’s teammates were able to put up with his antics for one night because he launched a walk-off grand slam. After the game Kevin Burkhardt asked Valdespin if he was the man and, sure enough, Valdespin thought so.
May 1st 2013: Valdespin’s First Pinch-Hit Home run of the Season
Valdespin continued his heroics and drilled a three-run homerun that gave the Mets the lead and they never looked back. This was probably one of the last moments where Valdespin was even remotely liked by his teammates.
May 10th-11th: Bomb and Bean
Valdespin launched a rocket into the upper deck and at that point even most Mets fans were thinking what is that guys deal. Valdespin proceeded to completely show up the Pirates and flip the bat. Davis gave him the coldest high five I’ve ever seen. It would be one thing if he had tied the game or won it, but we were trailing by a great deal of runs. The next day the Mets faced the Pirates once again. Sure enough Valdespin was beaned in the ribs and not one person really cared. Looking back, that was the worst Mets game I had ever seen.
July 14th 2012: Cockroach
By this point, Valdespin was not really liked by his teammates and after the entire month of July with absolutely no production, he was going to be demoted. Valdespin apparently threw a temper tantrum and called Terry Collins a name one should not call their manager. It came out later that the other 24 players in the locker room backed up Collins, shocking Valdespin.
August 5th 2013: Biogenesis Scandal
This seemed to come out of nowhere and it only reaffirms that Valdespin should not ever step onto Citi Field again. This is sort of the last we heard of Valdespin, except that he was recently re-added to the 40-man roster.
Whether it was a sophomore slump, ‘roid rage or simply enormous ego, Valdespin made a fool of the Mets organization. It seems he never made many friends in the clubhouse, with the arguable exception of Ruben Tejada, which led to his unfortunate immaturity. Clearly Valdespin has some sort of talent to be able to hit for power and steal some bases, the Rule 5 draft will take care of him. Knowing the Mets, they will probably allow him to play his way back into the organization.