A few weeks ago I was granted the opportunity to ask former Mets outfielder and ESPN analyst Brian McRae a few questions regarding his time in New York and what he is currently up to now.
As many will recall McRae spend parts of three seasons in Flushing during which time he hit roughly .250, which is lower than his career average of .261.
During his time with the Mets, McRae played under Bobby Valentine and was on the 1999 playoff team for much of the season before being traded.
Since his playing career ended, McRae has been involved with numerous projects, including owning a radio station, as well as running a youth baseball program.
I hope you enjoy my exclusive interview with former MLB player and analyst, Brian McRae:
PH: Being the son of a Hall of Famer, did you find that while you were coming up through the minor league system that there was more pressure on you to succeed than there was on others?
BM: I was a first round pick so the pressure of having a big league dad wasn’t as great as being a 17 year old in pro ball.
PH: In August of 1997 you came over to the Mets in a trade along with Turk Wendell and Mel Rojas where you would spend the next three years of your career. That being said was it difficult to play in front of the New York crowd, as some players have mentioned in the past?
BM: I enjoy New York as an older player but can see why guys struggle with the media and expectations of playing in the biggest market in the league.
PH: While on the topic of playing in New York do you have any particular moments while playing there that stand out to you? One that stands out to me is in June of 1999 when Bobby Valentine was ejected from a game and later reemerged in disguise. How did the players in the dugout react to that?
BM: The way the 1998 season ended was tough because I thought we were better than the Cubs or Giants. We had no idea that Bobby did what he did until after the game was over.
PH: After you ended your career as an active player you moved into another aspect of the game, broadcasting. Over the years we have seen a number of ex-players go this route. In your opinion, what characteristics does a player need to have to be a good broadcaster?
BM: I was a fan of baseball before I started playing and paid attention to everything that went on in both leagues. Once I started broadcasting it wasn’t hard for me to follow all the teams and make sure I knew all the hot topics.
PH: As I understand it, you are currently the General Manager of the KC Sluggers, which is a program that has seen the likes of Albert Pujols and Joey Devine participate in. Could you tell our readers a little bit more about the program and what your responsibilities are as GM?
BM: The KC Sluggers organization is for high school kids in the area to play summer and fall ball in front of coaches and scouts. We play 70 games and travel the mid-west. As the GM I do everything from coaching to raising money.
This concludes my interview with Brian McRae. I would personally like to thank him for taking some time out of his very busy schedule to answer the questions I had for him.