Welcome to my blog, everybody. This is the first time I?ve tried to do something like this, so I?m going to have some fun with it and try to give you a glimpse of what it?s like inside the Mets clubhouse. You can help me out by giving me your thoughts and suggestions as the season goes along. I?ll try to answer some of your questions whenever I have a chance.
The first thing I realize is that I need a cool name for my blog to replace "Getting it Wright," so send along your ideas through the "Comments" link below and I’ll choose the one I think is best.
My first season with the Mets went by fast. It was a lot of fun and memorable to say the least -? even having to take orders from Cliff Floyd. It was all part of the rookie experience, sort of my initiation into the big leagues. That stuff is in all in good fun and it really helped make me feel like part of the team.
During the offseason I was just like any other Mets fan, I guess. I would get online every day and check to see what kind of moves the front office was making. Needless to say, I liked what I was reading all winter. With each one of the moves, I found myself nodding my head and thinking, "This is going to be a big help." Now, when I take a look around our clubhouse, I realize the sum is even greater than the parts.
It was tough to lose guy like Mike Piazza, who was a legend in this city, and Mike Cameron, of course, but Omar Minaya, the Wilpons and the rest of the front office did an outstanding job by adding guys like Carlos Delgado, Billy Wagner, Paul Lo Duca, Xavier Nady and Duaner Sanchez. Julio Franco is another guy that?s going to bring a lot to this team.
I got to meet all of these new guys when we had our Mets caravan in January. Then we had Spring Training to get to know each other a little bit better. Now we have the task of putting together all of this great talent and making ourselves a team. We have all the right tools and all the right pieces. Now we have to put it together and play cohesively.
My biggest expectation going into this season is to win a lot more games. One way or another, that?s what we need to do and that?s really the only thing that matters. The only important statistics are our won-lost record and the NL standings.
We have a playoff caliber team. In fact, we have the talent to go deep in the playoffs. Now, we just have to stay healthy and play like we?re capable of playing. One of the things I like about this year?s club, so far, is the way the veteran guys on the team have been speaking up, especially the guys who have played on winning teams.
Those guys keep reinforcing ?- as clichι as this sounds -? that we have to play for the team on the front of our jerseys rather than the name on the back. We have to pull for one another, play for one another and pick each other up.
It?s a long season in baseball, so we?re all going to have our moments to contribute and we?re all going to have work through slumps and injuries. If somebody doesn?t get the job done in front of you, then it becomes your responsibility to pick him up.
Hopefully, having that strong team attitude from the very beginning will help set the tone for a winning season. I?m only in my second year, so I know how important it is to be surrounded by some veterans who you can lean on a little bit.
Speaking of veterans, I think Cliff is going to be delegating his bag carrying duties between a couple of new rookies this season. It looks like Brian Bannister and Anderson Hernandez are taking over for me this year. As long as I don?t have to do it anymore!
Seriously, though, Cliff will take good care of them, like he did for me. I had to do a lot of chores but he always took care of me, too. He bought me some nice new suits and took me to dinner, so it was well worth it. I?m sure he won?t be too hard on Brian and Anderson, either.
I couldn?t be happier playing for the Mets and being a New Yorker. One of the things I realize living in Manhattan is that we play for the greatest fans in the world. They recognize everybody on the roster, from No. 1 to No. 25. Even as a relatively new guy, people recognize me every time I walk out of my apartment.
It?s all good, though. You get words of encouragement -? a "good game last night" or a quick "hello" -? little things like that that let you know that they appreciate your efforts. There?s so much excitement and electricity. New York sports, baseball in particular, has a certain energy that you don?t get anywhere else. I?m lucky to be a part of it.
I?m going to try and update this at least once per homestand, so keep reading and let’s have a winning season together.