Jason Bay: The Player That Lost His Way
What ever happened to Jason Bay? We have seen flashes of his old self over the past three years, but this is looking more and more like one of the worst signings in New York Mets history. The Mets are basically starting every game with 24 outs when he’s in the lineup, and when you factor in the pitcher, it’s more like 21.
I know a lot of Mets fans questions why they keep marching him out there every game. They think the only reason he plays is his $16 million salary.
That may have something to do with it, but it goes deeper than that. Bay’s collapse over the past three seasons defies logic. He was a 30 HR, 100 RBI guy for practically six years before he came to New York. In his last season in Boston (2009), he played in 151 games, and had 36 HR and 119 RBI. Since becoming a Met, he has played in 251 games, has 23 HR, and 112 RBI.
I’ll say it again. It defies logic.
Because it defies logic, the Mets will continue to march him out to play every game as long as he’s healthy. Without a concrete answer to justify why he’s playing so poorly, there is hope he will regain his old form. This was not a steady decline like we see in most players as their careers wind down. This was like pulling the emergency brake on his career. This isn’t supposed to happen.
There is only one explanation for Bay’s inexplicable collapse – it’s 100% mental. Before he even steps into the batter’s box, the battle is lost, because he has lost his confidence. He is worrying about making outs instead of thinking about getting hits. He is worrying about being the goat, instead of wanting to be the hero. It’s like what happened to Pedro Cerrano in Major League II. He has to dig deep and figure out what’s missing and causing him to play so awfully, much like Cerrano had to do in the movie.
The Mets are right, the answer is not in benching Jason Bay. You stand by your man. Jason Bay needs us. He needs the fans to rally behind him, not turn their backs on him. The Mets aren’t making the playoffs in 2012 so Bay’s poor play can’t hurt us anymore. Let’s give Bay all the support he needs to try and turn this thing around so when we need him in 2013, he will be there for us. I’ll get it started by sharing a motivational video for Jason, and the New York Mets to get their juices flowing:
About the Author: Mitch Petanick
Mitch is currently an Editor and Minor League Analyst for Mets Merized Online. His baseball experience includes being a former All-Conference collegiate baseball player who had numerous professional tryouts, and he is currently a hitting instructor. He has been involved with the game of baseball for over 30 years now as a player, coach, and consultant. Mitch is also a former Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @FirstPitchMitch.
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Last updated: 05/18/2013
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