From All-Star to disappointment; that’s what fans saw as Jason Bay took the podium last night representing the Pirates at the 2016 MLB Draft.
Pittsburgh fans had a two-time All-Star and a middle-of-the-order slugger. Mets fans, however, saw what could have been, rather than what was.
Bay, in the area for the first time since retiring in 2013, holds similar feelings about his time in New York.
“When I look back,” he told MMO. “I just wish I had done better.”
Bay hit just .234 with 26 home runs in three seasons with the Mets after signing a 4-year, $66 million contract. He was bought out of his contract in 2012.
“I don’t regret it by any means, but I went there to do a job and I didn’t do it,” Bay said candidly about his Mets career. “Ultimately I live with that. It’s a performance-based game, it’s ‘what have you done?’ And I didn’t get it done.”
Bay said he was thrilled to see the Amazin’s capture the National League Pennant last season, and marveled at the quality of the “amazing” pitching staff. The 37-year-old still keeps in touch with several former teammates, including David Wright.
“Nobody cares more than he does,” he said. “He signed with the Mets at a time where things weren’t going well. He wanted to be here. He’s loyal to the Wilpons, he’s loyal to the team, and that goes a long way.”
Bay, who endured two concussions and a broken rib in New York, said injuries were one of the most infuriating parts of his Mets tenure.
“The toughest part is when you’re not healthy, there’s nothing you can do,” he said. “You can’t do anyone any good and that’s a very frustrating feeling.”
While he said he sympathizes with Wright’s situation, Bay stopped short of likening their struggles with injuries.
“I didn’t really build up any good will, I kind of came in here with expectations and didn’t get it done,” he said. “David’s built up an endless supply of good will in my opinion.”