Flores endures emotional evening
NEW YORK -- His eyes still red and watery after the Mets' 7-3 loss to the Padres on Tuesday, infielder Wilmer Flores stood, stunned, in a clubhouse that remains his home.
Flores learned during the game that a deal was in place to send him and Zack Wheeler to the Brewers in exchange for Carlos Gomez, only to find out afterward that there was no trade. A source confirmed that the Mets nixed the deal due to medical concern over Gomez's right hip -- leaving Flores in a wildly emotional state both during and after the game.
"I was sad," said Flores, who signed with the Mets as a 16-year-old and has been in the organization for eight years. "Being a Met forever, all my teammates this year, that's why I got emotional."
Flores first deduced that something was up in the seventh inning, when he went to bat and received a pair of standing ovations. On defense half an inning later, he teared up while fans and broadcasters wondered aloud why he was still in the game. But manager Terry Collins did not know anything was up until someone pointed it out to him.
"I said, 'Why?'" Collins said.
"Well, he got traded," came the response.
"To who? For what?"
To no one for nothing, it turns out. That leaves Flores and the Mets having to repair wounds that the whole world could see.
"These guys, they're susceptible to anything that's being talked about," Collins said. "So here's a kid in the middle of the game, everybody in the ballpark thinks he's traded but him, because I didn't say anything to him. How would you react? You think these guys are stone-cold robots. They're not. They're human beings who have emotions. This kid's upset, he's sad, he's been a Met his whole life and he wants to probably be a Met.
"You guys think this game's easy to play? Play it with [stuff] like that going on during the game. That's hard for anybody. And I feel terrible, for, as you guys know, there's not a finer kid in the clubhouse than him."
Around the same time that Collins learned what was happening, team captain David Wright overheard the news on a clubhouse television. He walked back to the dugout, then followed Flores from the bench back to the clubhouse in an attempt to comfort him.
"He got emotional," Wright said. "It's an odd situation, obviously. But until someone comes up and tells you, everything is just speculation. I know today with social media and stuff, there's things that get out that normally wouldn't get out.
"It's very easy to get caught up with these rumors and things going on, and all of the sudden, you get up there and you're thinking about something else that may or may not be true."