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Sources: Jordany Valdespin throws tantrum after demotion

Mets center fielder Jordany Valdespin returns to the

Mets center fielder Jordany Valdespin returns to the dugout after flying out in the bottom of the second. (April 26, 2013) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Jordany Valdespin threw a tantrum Saturday night upon learning of his demotion to the minor leagues, multiple clubhouse sources confirmed Sunday night.

It was the latest in a long line of behavioral issues that have plagued him throughout his time with the Mets.

The blowup, first reported by The Star-Ledger, took place in the clubhouse after a loss to the Pirates. Valdespin reportedly was calmed by bullpen coach Ricky Bones. One witness called Valdespin "visibly upset.''

According to the New York Post, Valdespin yelled a profanity at Terry Collins and demanded to be placed on the disabled list. Collins could not be reached for comment.

Valdespin was sent down Saturday after his average plummeted to .188. The demotion came one day after he made a mental gaffe. In a tie game, he was used as a pinch hitter for Jeremy Hefner in hopes that he might hit a home run. Instead, he tried to bunt his way on before eventually striking out.

"He's getting better,'' a veteran teammate said before the incident.

On May 10, Valdespin caused a flap when he flipped his bat and watched the ball after homering into the Pepsi Porch at Citi Field against Jose Contreras in the ninth inning of a 7-3 loss to the Pirates. When Valdespin pinch hit for LaTroy Hawkins in the seventh inning the next day, Pirates pitcher Bryan Morris drilled him in the right forearm. Valdespin later reacted angrily in the dugout.

Teammates rallied around him, even printing up T-shirts featuring his likeness.

But Saturday's incident marked yet another step backward for Valdespin, who has been disciplined for various offenses in the minors such as insubordination.

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