Mets should light fuse, send Coleman packing National League

July 27, 1993|By Steve Serby | Steve Serby,New York Daily News

There really is no point in keeping Vince Coleman around anymore. He is bad news, in the way George Foster and Dave Kingman became bad news once, and the New York Mets should cut their losses now and eat the remainder of Coleman's contract immediately if not sooner. Enough is enough.

Fred Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday have sinned enough paying Vince Coleman $11.95 million over four years. Coleman has been an embarrassment right from the start, starting with that Port St. Lucie rape investigation that could not prove guilt and later mean-spirited altercations with Mike Cubbage and Jeff Torborg and an accidental golf swing that struck Doc Gooden behind the right shoulder 30 minutes or so before Gooden was scheduled to start a game in April. Now this incident outside Dodger Stadium, in which three people, including a 1-year-old girl, were injured Saturday after a departing Coleman allegedly threw a firecracker out of a car.

Vince Coleman is nothing but trouble, and should be asked to leave. He has no future with the Mets. The old regimes of Cashen and Harazin and Harrelson and Torborg would shuffle their feet and make like ostriches every time Coleman acted like a punk. The question is when the current regime, from Gerry Hunsicker to Joe McIlvaine to Dallas Green to Wilpon and Doubleday, gets tough with someone who must believe by now he is some sort of baseball Steven Seagal, above the law.

Coleman has a sorry arm in left field and the Mets' collective baseball IQ improves significantly when he is gone. He has little or no feel for the game. He still can run and steal you bases and he finally stayed healthy and he sure tried hard to turn back the clock to his game-breaker days in St. Louis. But he isn't as dangerous on the field anymore as he is off it. It is time for him to pack his anger and take the chip that forever seems to be on his shoulder somewhere else.

Anthony Young has lost 27 straight games but he is a winner. He stands there and takes the heat and is class all the way. Could you imagine how Coleman would react after missing 27 straight cutoff men? Or getting thrown out trying to steal third 27 straight times?

Coleman had a big game on the recent West Coast swing and WFAN's Ed Coleman -- a thorough professional -- approached him for a post-game interview. Coleman said no to Coleman. Remember that the next time you hear him complain about the New York media.

He is 31 years old. He throws a cherry bomb and a tiny girl and a young boy and a 33-year-old woman suffer. There was an eyewitness named Salvador Hernandez who told the Los Angeles Times, "He definitely meant to throw it at the fans."

Coleman laughs after the explosion, and figures the Mets, or baseball, will protect him again. Even if he meant no harm, he shows us at the least as much common sense as a teen-ager once again. His rap sheet is long and should not be permitted to grow. He has become the classic case of addition by subtraction. Green is searching for players with head and heart and he can do much better than Coleman and knows it.

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