You often get the feeling that players aren’t as passionate about the same things as Joe Fan is. But it turns out, the Mets (at least some of them) hate the Phillies as much as fans do.
Personally, I don’t hate the Phillies like I used to hate the Braves. My “hatred” is more jealousy â€“ they’ve built their team the way I wish the Mets had. And I think the Halladay deal will blow up in their faces in a couple of years. But I digress.
Last week, the Mets hosted a couple of VIP cocktail receptions for season ticket holders at the Caesar’s Club. On Wednesday, Howie Rose hosted David Wright, Mike Pelfrey, Omir Santos, Ryota Igarashi and John Maine; on Thursday, Maine and Santos returned for a second round joined by Pedro Feliciano, Daniel Murphy and Howard Johnson, all gently interrogated by Ron Darling. I attended the Thursday evening session. On both nights, all the players took questions from the audience as well.
All the players seemed well media-trained and, despite some pointed questions about Carlos Beltran (Murphy: “Carlos always has the best interests of the team at heart”), the signing of Jason Bay and last season’s miseries, kept a cool Crash Davis-coached head on their shoulders â€“ except when a fan asked all the members of the panel if they hated the Phillies as much as the fans did. Barely missing a beat, Daniel Murphy offered this bit of bulletin board material: “I really despise the Phillies,” to the enthusiastic applause of the crowd.
Other highlights: Omar Santos re-enacted his reaction to his favorite moment of the year â€“ his ninth-inning homer off Jonathan Papelbon at Fenway Park:
John Maine admitted he had tried to do too much lat season and pronounced himself healthy and raring to go.
HoJo told Murphy he didn’t have to be so perfect all the time and told him to take a day off from swinging periodically. Murph agreed, noting that if he got 600 ABs during the season and made strong contact in 300 of those ABs, the results would make everyone happy.
But there’s no reason to synopsize the entire event.Â I recorded all 36 minutes of Thursday’s Q&A for your perusal, which are linked below in four parts:
While I was at CitiField, I snapped a couple of shots of the construction of the Mets Museum, to be located where the first base side gift shop used to be; more precisely, these are pictures of the deconstruction of the gift shop: