Darryl Strawberry says “somebody’s got to charge the mound” to put an end to the NY Mets HBP controversy

Darryl Strawberry suggests confrontational approach to Mets’ HBP issues
from Zac Wassink, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com

Members of the New York Mets reached a breaking point after J.D. Davis became the MLB-leading 19th New York player to be hit by a pitch this season in the top of the eighth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s 10-5 loss at the St. Louis Cardinals. Mets reliever Yoan Lopez seemingly responded in the bottom half of that frame by delivering a high-and-tight message toward St. Louis third baseman Nolan Arenado, which sparked a bench-clearing incident.

After the defeat, Mets slugger Pete Alonso, who was plunked in the helmet by a pitch in St. Louis on Tuesday night, told reporters that “there are consequences whether it’s on purpose or not, and we’re going to stand up for ourselves.”

Club legend Darryl Strawberry seemed to agree with that mindset while speaking with SNY’s John Harper via telephone.

“Come on, man, if they want to put a stop to their guys getting hit, somebody’s gotta charge the mound,” Strawberry said of the situation. “I know the game is different now but at some point, you have to let teams know that if they throw at you, they’re going to pay a price.

“That’s how we were. Teams didn’t like us because we were in New York and we were good and we took curtain calls, so they tried to test us by throwing at us and we put a stop to that real quick. We let them know we were going to fight them, all of us, and they were going to respect us.

“This team has beaten up on some teams early and I think they’re being tested. If you don’t make a statement, other teams are going to keep doing what they’re doing and think you’re a bunch of softies. You can’t have guys getting hit in the head and not do anything about it. So make your statement early: ‘You keep hitting us and we’re going to charge the mound and snap your neck.'”

Strawberry added that the current Mets can’t afford to worry about possible league punishments such as suspensions.

“You go out there and pop them in the face and it does a couple of things,” Strawberry said of charging the mound. “It did for us, anyway: it forces pitchers to back off from what they’re doing, and it becomes a bonding thing for a team. Once we established that we had each other’s backs and nobody was going to mess with us, we felt like we were never going to lose. It was part of who we were.”

The Mets were off Thursday but may find themselves in an emotional battle when they host the rival Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night. Earlier that day, members of the Mets will meet with an MLB executive about a matter the league previously said it would “continue to monitor” this spring.