I like what I see from the team this spring. More importantly, I really like what I see from Jerry the Gangsta. This is HIS team folks, something that we haven’t seen since Bobby V. Willie seemed to “play the part” while Jerry is the part.
I went to the game, well sort of, today. It rained, and I had to get on the road – so I didn’t see too much of it. I did see pre-game, where Jerry was signing autographs and talking with fans. He really loves this team, and he is a take charge guy. I can see why the players bonded with him as a bench coach, and really liked playing for him last year. I am excited to see what he can do with this team for a full year.
I also had my annual “words” with Omar. I usually see him once a spring and tell him how I feel about the team. If you ever have the chance to talk to him do it, he is very engaging. A few years ago I said to him “Omar, PLEASE find a taker for Matsui” he laughed and actually said he was trying (half joking). Today, he was walking through Ft. Lauderdale stadium among at least 65% Mets’ fans, and no one seemed to notice him. I called out his name and thanked him for the bullpen. He smiled and gave a thumbs up. I mentioned this in a previous post, but you really do have to have your eyes open during spring games. I went to an Astros/Phils game last week and while I was exiting there was Miguel Cairo and Raul Ibanez standing by their car in the parking lot. People were walking by them without even noticing them – some of them were autograph seekers as well. Since they were Phillies’ fans, I didn’t let them know who they were missing. Sorry folks- oh, and don’t wash all of those new red shirts with whites!!!
I have many memories of Ft. Lauderdale stadium, from the 80’s, some of which I have to get around to posting here. I was a autograph hound and loved talking baseball with players. Unfortunately, from a fan perspective, much of this was with Yankees – Winfield, Mattingly, Henderson, Tommy John, but also many visitors – Boggs, Rice, Valentine, Brett, etc.
I have seen the Mets a few times this year, and I see a different focus. The easiest way to explain it is that they look like seniors in high school. They are having fun, they are used to one another, but at the same time are extremely focused in what they are doing. I like it.
Posted by Gene Anthony