|Photo by Flickr User: slgckgc|
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News was able to get Jason Bay to open up about his struggles since joining the Mets, and how he believes he can have a resurgence at the plate in 2012.
Bay believes he can hit 30 home runs this season. Do I believe that? I don't think it's likely. He's only hit a combined 18 home runs in the two years he's been in New York. Do I hope that he can? Absolutely.
With Bay, I feel his struggles have been more mental than physical. Perhaps one of the better things to happen to Bay this offseason was hearing that the walls at Citi Field were being moved in. Maybe this will provide him the little confidence boost he needs to get off on the right foot in April.
Despite appearing calm, cool, and collect at all times the past few seasons, David Wright told Martino:
"I have seen him snap. When no one is looking, and when there are no cameras around, and the younger players can’t see him, he will let it out."It's okay, Bay. Let it out. After watching some of your plate appearances the past few seasons, I've wanted to rage, Paul O'Neal-style, as well.
No matter how bad he has struggled at the plate, I have always rooted for Bay. He's just a likable guy.
I attribute that to his work ethic.
"I would hate to be running down the line, and that one time you dog it, all of a sudden a guy throws it away," Bay told the Daily News. "I don’t want to be that guy who doesn’t run hard. I don’t want to be that guy — desperately...I would just hate to have a mark on me for my effort. It would irk me to no end if someone said, ‘yeah he was decent, but he was lazy.’ Or ‘he didn’t respect the game.’ Because I can control that."No matter how bad he was at the plate, Bay never carried those struggles over to the outfield. Throughout the season, he made some spectacular plays in left field. He works hard, and I respect that.
It's that hard work that has saved Bay from feeling the wrath of many Mets fans. I don't know how much longer this will last if he doesn't get off to a good start this season.
While my expectations for Bay are not incredibly high, I will continue to root for him and wish him the best in 2012.