Talking with Jason Bay was one of the highlights of the day. He said he has felt good since the end of September and has no restrictions moving forward.
I was ecstatic when the Mets signed Bay last offseason. I always thought that when he played for the Pirates that he would be a great fit for the Mets. Obviously, he didn’t produce in his first year like the organization and the fans expected him to. Then he got injured which ended his season prematurely. In my mind, Bay has a clean slate heading into the season, so let’s see how he makes use of it.
He was able to start his offseason training one month earlier this year once he recovered from the concussion. He said it was a long road in getting back to normal but feels his patience will pay off.
“The month of August I literally did nothing,” said Bay. “I had a headache non-stop for a month and a half.”
He thinks it was his first concussion, but with a concussion, it’s tough to tell. Much medical research has been geared towards concussions over the last few years.
Bay isn’t worried the next time he is tracking a ball close to the wall.
“It’s an instinct thing,” said Bay. “You play a certain way. It’s not something like a hamstring where you can guard it or strengthen it. It’s just one of those things that happens.”
Bay seems very eager to get back on the field and prove to not only the organization and the fans but more importantly to himself that 2010 was a fluke.
“I’m definitely looking forward to redemption,” said Bay. “It was a lost year for me production wise. With the injury at the end of the year, I’m looking forward to getting back out there and starting fresh again.”
He noted that last year he went into stretches where he was trying too hard to make things happen. Rather, he claimed that he should have stuck to what he had done his whole career to fight out of the tough slumps.
“It’s kind of like digging a hole,” said Bay. “The harder and further you try and you dig the deeper the hole gets. You get to a point where you’re trying anything you can. You’re not even really worrying about trying to hit the ball. You’re trying to do all these others things to try to make it happen.”
In dealing with the New York media, Bay said that it comes with the territory.
“Some people are better suited for some markets and some aren’t,” said Bay. “Most people are professional. You can’t listen to everybody, and you can’t please everybody. The quicker you realize that I think the easier it is to understand it.”
Bay was used to a large media market having played for the Red Sox before signing with the Mets.
“Going from Pittsburgh to Boston was an eye-opener, big time,” said Bay.
A healthy, productive Jason Bay is exactly the presence the Mets need for the middle of their order. Unlike Beltran, Bay does factor into the long-term plans, so he needs to show that he can be the player he once was.
“I’m looking forward to going out there and putting it behind me,” said Bay.