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Flying Tiger
07-07-2001, 09:09 PM
Florida Marlins outfielder Cliff Floyd says Bobby Valentine backed out of a promised roster spot on the National League All-Star team, ESPN's Peter Gammons reported Thursday.

Valentine, however, disputes Floyd's version of the conversation that was finally held weeks after the two sniped at each other through the media.

"I did not tell Cliff Floyd that he was on the team. Period," Valentine told Gammons on Thursday evening. "I've let some things go in the past, but not this time."

Floyd maintains that the Mets manager, in no uncertain terms, made the promise in a telephone conversation, and Floyd even went so far as to purchase $16,000 worth of unrefundable airplane tickets for family members to make the trip to Seattle.

The conversation in question took place Tuesday, the day before the All-Star reserves were announced. Floyd and Valentine had recently taken verbal shots at each other, with Floyd calling Valentine "a stupid manager," and Valentine responding by saying Floyd's remarks could be the tie-breaker if Floyd was on the bubble as an All-Star candidate.

"I wanted to apologize to him, and he said he wanted to make certain that this was behind us and was not going to be a media event," Floyd told Gammons earlier on Thursday. "His exact words were, 'It's against league rules to announce this today, and I'm not supposed to tell you, but congratulations, you're on the team.' "

But Valentine left Floyd off the NL roster the next day despite a .339 batting average, 21 home runs and 70 RBI.

Valentine said he was only trying to prepare Floyd for the possibility of being added as an injury replacement. He said he wanted to ask Floyd about whether he would play if he were named to the All-Star team, since Floyd had been quoted as saying he would not play for a team led by Valentine.

Valentine said he never promised Floyd a spot on the team. But on Friday, he told KJR-Radio in Seattle that if one of the NL All-Star outfielders can't play because of an injury, he will add Floyd to the squad.

"Please don't embarrass me with questions like that," Valentine told reporters Wednesday when asked why Floyd wasn't named as a reserve. "He's not going because other guys are more deserving, like (Moises) Alou and (Lance) Berkman or any of the other guys right on the edge. He's one of about seven guys who's not going because there's a 30-man roster."

Floyd said that when he did not make the team he "was just going to let it go. "I didn't expect to make the team, to be honest, but then this happened," he said.

On Wednesday night, Gammons reported that Floyd's agent, Seth Levinson, said Valentine had promised Floyd a spot on the team and that Floyd and Levinson felt that Valentine had not kept his word.

"I still planned to keep quiet, because I don't want this dragging on," Floyd said Thursday. "But then he said what he said. Look, I don't really care about Bobby Valentine. I've got a team to worry about. But there was no misunderstanding."

Valentine disputed that statement when asked about it Thursday during a conference call to discuss the All-Star Game.



"Cliff Floyd's agent is a liar," he said. "I didn't back out of anything. I talked to Cliff and Cliff knows exactly what I said. ...


"(Cliff) called me and I told him he's on the bubble and I appreciate everything he does," Valentine added. "I told him that I love him as a player, I've wanted to get him as a player, I scouted him as a player, and we'll see how the chips fall."


That prompted an angry response from Levinson, who, with his brother Sam, represents many major league players, including Mets first baseman Todd Zeile.


"We will stand by our reputation in the industry and the character of the players we represent," Seth Levinson said.


Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Flying Tiger
07-07-2001, 09:10 PM
I already hated this guy and now his all-star decisions aren't making me any more of a fan.