Church irked by Manuel’s comments

Even though Ryan Church is now a member of the Braves, he’s still reminded of how frustrating it was to play for the Mets and manager Jerry Manuel.

When Church’s former teammate David Wright suffered a concussion after he was hit in the head with a fastball by Giants starter Matt Cain in a game last weekend, Manuel said Wright was a “different animal” than Church when it comes to missing time due to a concussion. (Church missed much of last season after suffering two concussions.)

According to a report by, Church was upset with Manuel’s “different animal” comment.

“It just felt like a low blow,” Church said. “I saw it. I wasn’t happy. If he had a problem with me or anything like that, you’d think he’d tell it to my face. I had plenty of opportunity to talk while I was wearing that uniform. It just was like, all right, now that I’m wearing another one, why would he come out and say that?”

When he met with reporters before Tuesday night’s series opener against the Braves, Manuel was told that Church called the comments a “cheap shot.”

But Manuel said he meant no disrespect. He said he was simply trying to explain that the players involved were different, just like the concussions.

“There’s no ill intent,” Manuel said. “I don’t mean to take a shot at him. If that’s how he felt, I apologize to him. I like Ryan Church.”

Manuel and Church had bad blood before this incident and I don’t blame Church for feeling like Manuel took a cheap shot. Manuel wasn’t sensitive to Church’s injuries last year (the entire Mets’ staff mismanaged Church’s two concussions by making him available to pinch hitting him two days after the first injury and then putting him on a freaking plane to Colorado with post-concussion symptoms shorty after that) and isn’t being sensitive now in his comments. Because Church is in Atlanta now, Manuel probably feels as though he can take swipes at his former player without facing any repercussions.

Granted, the Mets have suffered an unusual amount of injuries this season, which have nothing to do with Manuel. But that doesn’t mean he deserves a mulligan for what has transpired this season. He’s a lousy manager and I would be shocked if the Mets didn’t fire him in the offseason.

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