Jason Bay Feels Timing Is Everything In Sports And His Return Wasn’t The Only Factor In The Mets Recent Turnaround
On March 29th Jason Bay felt a slight strain in his rib cage, which was a troubling sign to the left fielder who was looking to start off the year on the right foot after a series of concussions sidelined the newest Met for over half of last season. Bay would end up suffering a strained intercostal muscle near the left side of his rib cage or better known as an oblique injury that would sideline him until last week.The arrival of Bay back into the Metropolitans lineup could not have worked out any better. New York has had a revival, winning six straight (before losing last night’s contest against the Nationals) since Bay’s return where he has batted .391 with one home run and three runs batted in. He will not take credit for turning things around in New York because he feels the pitching and hitting has come around as a whole and feels that his bad luck may finally have turned around.Jason Bay joined WFAN in New York with Mike Francesa to discuss his frustrations melting away after his return to the Mets lineup and their recent winning streak, if order in the Mets lineup has been restored, if he feels he brought stability to the Mets lineup, the timing of his arrival keeping the Mets from dismantling their team and his oblique injury.
All of your frustrations must have melted away after the team has rebounded since your return?
“I mean it helps. It’s been six games. It’s a small sample size, but I mean I think anybody in any situation likes to get off whether it’s personally or team wise you like to get off to a good start. I mean it kind of helps alleviate a few things like I said it’s only been about a week, but you know what I mean so far so good and more importantly whether it coincides with me being here or not we win some ball games.”
Right now things are looking better for the Mets and the lineup is hitting. It looks like order has been restored?
“Yeah, a lot of people have been asking what role I think I had in that and you know it’s hard for to me quantify. I just kind of got here and we’ve been playing better. I don’t think that’s because I am here necessarily, I just know we’re playing better and I talked to Terry [Collins] and Sandy [Alderson] when I got here and they said look we’re not asking you to be savior of this team, but you being here kind of allows us to envision some guys in some other roles when we put this team together that where they should be and kind of put everybody in the right spots and sure enough Angel [Pagan] got hurt the day I got back and that kind of messed it up a little bit, but I think this kind of gets everybody in a comfortable spot.”
Terry Collins felt you brought a semblance of order to the club house. He felt you brought a stable quality to the clubhouse?
“You know maybe like I said the biggest thing is I don’t think that I’ve been the only turnaround in this. You look around our pitching has done well, the defense has been pretty good, and everything has kind of been a group thing not just me. I think that the biggest thing is that you have a bad stretch like we did early on in the season and the cliche that everything is magnified is true. You don’t have any numbers to hide it. It’s in plain sight and it’s right there. I think now that we are getting back to respectability and we kind of start working on that rather than worrying about trying to get out of the hole.”
Your arrival was very well timed after it looked like the Mets may blow up the team and rebuild again? People were saying the Mets season may be more chaotic than we had originally envisioned?
“Timing is everything isn’t it? I think when you get off to a rough start like that you kind of start to feel it and all of a sudden you win a game or two and you don’t have that…you’re not pressing, you’re not doing those things you were doing when you were down and you were kind of having that ‘here we go again feeling.’ It’s like alright you know you go out there and you play to win, but I think when you’re going on a rough stretch you’re playing not to lose. You’re thinking of god I don’t want to lose again, when you’re playing good baseball you’re going to lose games. It doesn’t matter who you are. Best team in the league is still going to lose some games and I think the biggest thing is when you lose those games it’s not the end of the world, but when you got off to the start we did it’s like every loss that piled up was just becoming the end of the world.”
Tell me about this injury? Is this the first time you’ve had this oblique injury before?
“Yeah, it’s kind of funny I was telling the guys before it’s kind of like the in vogue baseball thing. The oblique, the intercostal rib cage, that whole area, it’s something I have never felt before. I was just taking batting practice before the… we had two games left in spring training and took a swing and kind of felt a little stab, a little poke in my rib cage, and I was like ‘oh that didn’t feel good’. You know I didn’t feel too bad. It kind of tightened up and you know like ‘oh we’ll give it some time.’ The next day sneezing and moving and stuff was extremely painful and it was just frustrating having never dealt with it. The timing of it was definitely frustrating. It’s interesting because it seems like once a week someone is going down with it.”