Heading to Pittsburgh on a high note
I can?t think of a better way to finish off the first half than going to the All-Star Game with a bunch of my teammates. It?s a great honor to be selected to represent the National League for the first time, but it?s even better to be heading to Pittsburgh as one of six representatives of the first-place team in the NL East. We?ve put ourselves in great position. We?re where we want to be and it?s only right that we have so many guys on the team.
Having six guys on the team ?- Jose Reyes, Paul Lo Duca, Carlos Beltran, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez and me ?- is a testament to the way we?ve played during the first half. We?re the Mets representatives on the team, but we?ll be carrying the flag for the rest of the guys in the clubhouse, too, because everyone on our roster has contributed to the success we?ve had so far this season.
I?ll be in awe the entire time. I?ve been a fan of Major League Baseball for a much longer time than I?ve been playing here, so I?ll have my eyes and ears wide open. The guys who will be on the field with me are the elite players in the game. Some of them will be future Hall of Famers, so I?ll have an opportunity to learn a few things from them while I?m in Pittsburgh, too. I figure I?ll be able to have a lot of fun and become a better baseball player at the same time.
People have been reminding me the last few days that the last time the Mets had six guys in the All-Star Game was 1986 when they won the World Series. That?s a fun piece of trivia, but it?s not a good omen any more than getting swept by the Red Sox last week was a bad omen. How well we do in the end will be a matter of how well we perform on the field.
We?re barely halfway through the season at this point and we still have a long way to go. As well as we?ve done so far, we can be even better in the second half. Personally, I?m going to strive to be more consistent. I feel like I?ve taken a baby step toward becoming the player I want to be. But there?s still a lot of hard work ahead, still many long hours in the batting cage and many long hours in the weight room before I get there.
The other highlight of the All-Star break for me will be appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman next Wednesday night. I don?t know exactly how it came about, but it was arranged through Jay Horwitz in our public relations office and it took about two seconds for me to accept the invitation.
I watch Letterman all the time. We?ll have to wait and see, but knowing the show, I?m sure Dave will have some funny stuff lined up for me, probably some good one-liners for which I won?t have any response. I?ve gotten better at making media appearances since coming to New York, but I still get a little nervous. It?s amazing that I can hit a 95 mph fastball or catch a screamer down the line at third in front of a packed stadium, but when that little red light goes on the TV camera, I still get anxious.
You don?t have to worry about me getting a big head from all of the attention I?ve been getting from the media and fans in recent weeks, though. My teammates aren?t about to let that happen. I?ve actually become one of my their favorite targets in the clubhouse. They love to tease me and give me a hard time. It?s all fun. That?s one of the things I love about our club. You have to really check your ego at the door of the clubhouse and be prepared to take a little ribbing.
Thanks for sending me to the All-Star Game. I?ll let you know what it?s like while I?m there next week.