Scutaro in position to tell a few stories
Now that he is an established player, Marco Scutaro is sure to have a different relationship with Bobby Valentine than he did the first time around.
Scutaro could not be reached for comment yesterday regarding Valentine becoming the new manager of the Red Sox. But while watching Valentine on ESPN one day last August, he told an interesting story about their first encounter.
Scutaro was called up to the Mets in 2002, arriving in Cincinnati the night before his first game. He saw Valentine in the team hotel and went over to introduce himself.
“Bobby thought I worked there and was like, ‘Hi kid, nice to meet you.’ I had to tell him I was his new infielder,’’ said Scutaro, who laughed at the memory.
Scutaro returned to the minors after 10 days but was recalled in August for a game in St. Louis. Valentine wanted an outfielder for the roster but Mets general manager Steve Phillips preferred an infielder.
Valentine and Phillips were at the height of their long-running feud and Valentine used Scutaro to make a point, sending the rookie in to play left field in the fifth inning of a day game in bright sunshine.
In a 4-4 game, Scutaro misplayed a line drive off the bat of Eli Marrero that was ruled a double. Marrero then scored what proved to be the winning run.
“Steve told me the kid could play the outfield,’’ said Valentine. “Not much I could do.’’.
Scutaro was left to sit at his locker surrounded by reporters, explaining that he had limited experience in the outfield and did the best he could.
Valentine was fired after that season and has not managed in the majors since. Now he has Scutaro again.
Don’t bet on the 36-year-old Scutaro going back to the outfield. He last played there in 2008 for three innings.
“Those were some crazy times,’’ Scutaro said in August. “I was new to the majors and I did whatever they told me. But it was always interesting with Bobby.’’