Mike Wallace stopped short of calling out Teddy Bridgewater in his introduction to Baltimore reporters after signing with the Ravens on Tuesday, but his comments about quarterbacks still raised plenty of eyebrows back in the Twin Cites.
Said Wallace, according to the Baltimore Sun, “When this process started, I knew that I wasn’t going back to Minnesota. I was like, ‘I need a good quarterback.’ … I need a quarterback who I know is proven and can get things done.”
It sure sounded like a parting shot at Bridgewater and their #MissedConnections last season. If it was, Wallace would hardly be the first former Minnesota athlete to sound off after his playing days here were done. Here are some (in)famous other examples:
*The closest parallel is probably Percy Harvin who, after being traded to Seattle in 2013, had this to say: “I’m very blessed to know that this doesn’t come around often to play with an up and coming quarterback like Russell (Wilson), who guys are comparing preparation-wise to Brett Favre. When I hear that, and hear people comparing him to Brett Favre, I listen.
Coming on the heels of unnamed sources saying Harvin didn’t like playing with Christian Ponder, many viewed this as a shot at Ponder. It’s quite possible they weren’t wrong.
*David Ortiz has perhaps the most notable beef with his former team, the Twins, complaining in many different places — including this lengthy 2007 Boston Magazine piece — that the Twins tried to alter his hitting style and make him take the ball the other way (his words were much more colorful than that).
Ortiz does have 1,457 career hits that went either up the middle or to the opposite field — including 648 extra base hits (232 of which were home runs). So the approach maybe wasn’t a bad idea?
*Former Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner, after signing with Anaheim in the 2014 offseason, sounded off about all the playing time given to a particular defenseman in Minnesota (Ryan Suter, though he’s not mentioned by name). Said Stoner: “I didn’t like the way it was run in Minnesota. They kind of just give one defenseman all the minutes and the rest suffer. And I wasn’t happy there. I don’t think the minutes displayed how I was playing. It was more of the just the way things were run there.”
Stoner, it should be noted, has averaged 16 minutes, 49 seconds of ice time with Anaheim after averaging 16:12 in his Wild career. It is my sincere hope that he is enjoying those extra 37 seconds.
*More recently, ex-Wild player Zenon Konopka had a pair of tweets about the Wild’s slump, including this one: “The Minnesota Wild have so much talent. All the pieces to be Stanley Cup champs — wasting years isn’t fair to the players or fans #YeohastoGo.”
Yeo was fired a few days later, though it is doubtful Konopka (or his bunny) had an influence on the decision.
*Vance Worley, who was awful for the Twins in 2013 before being quickly dispatched back to the National League, had some unkind words for his former team in 2014 while he was in the midst of a much better season for Pittsburgh. Worley said the Twins missed a flaw in his mechanics that the Pirates spotted quickly. “When I went over to the Twins, that was something they never noticed. I was flying open, and then you can see everything out of my hand. I changed the mechanics; the next thing I know, I’m in Triple A.”
Feel free to add some other examples you can think of in the comments.