The Baltimore Sun

While we're on the subject of sports and the media, let's give credit to New York Mets closer Billy Wagner for taking up the issue of "accountability," as a New York Times article put it.

After a 1-0 Mets loss to the Washington Nationals on Thursday, reporters crowded around Wagner's locker for a postmortem. But here's the rub: Wagner didn't even pitch.

After the Q&A; with the Fourth Estate, Wagner indicated a cluster of empty lockers belonging to Mets who did play and wondered aloud: "Why they're over there not getting interviewed? I get it. They're gone. Shocker."

The missing players included high-priced first baseman Carlos Delgado, who went 0-for-4 and whose line drive double play ended the game. Wagner's beef is that only a handful of players consistently wind up answering for the team.

Granted, Wagner's outspokenness has gotten him into hot water before, but he makes an excellent point here. Too often, reporters -- trying to make sense of a team's struggles for the fans -- follow the path of least resistance and seek comments not from those who should be most accountable, but from the guys who are most accommodating.

Of course, when the media complain about unavailable athletes, it's whining. So it's refreshing to hear from players who believe that their colleagues should be a little more stand-up in lousy times.

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