While he has not become the object of derision for Mets fans that Oliver Perez was, Jason Bay, by his own admission, has not come close to playing anywhere near the level of what was expected from him when he signed a very hefty contract with the Mets in January 2010.
There’s no question that he always gives maximum effort, as evidenced by his slamming into a wall at Dodger Stadium last July to haul in a long fly ball. Bay missed the rest of the season and the Mets’ 2010 season was over, for all intents and purposes, at that point.
Jason still has not been the offensive force that Mets fans were expecting but his game-winning single last Sunday in the tenth inning for a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Yankees lifted a huge weight off of his shoulders. Being a hero against the Yankees atones for a multitude of past sins in the minds of Mets fans. Of course making a game-blowing blunder against them has the opposite effect, as ex-Met Luis Castillo will certainly attest.
Last month retired Met Shawn Green promoted his memoir, “The Way of Baseball” (Simon & Schuster), in Bryant Park. Green said he pressed every at-bat in 2000 after signing a big contract with the Dodgers, and opined that Bay may be trying too hard to prove he’s worthy of his high compensation.
Bay said that while he understood Green’s logic, big bucks are not affecting his performance adversely. “I have high standards that I expect from myself irrespective of what I am getting paid,” he told me two weeks ago.
When the season began there was understandable consternation about the depth of the Yankees’ starting rotation in light of Andy Pettitte’s retirement. It turns out the Yanks have so many quality starters that they sent Ivan Nova down to their Scranton farm team, though he had a record equal or better than that of many pitchers named to the All-Star team.
Speaking of the All-Star game, Yankees ace CC Sabathia took one for the team as he was left off the American League squad. He should be starting for the AL next Tuesday, but since there are so many Yanks on the roster, and the rules say every team has to field at least one player, the math conspired against CC.
If you like soccer, make it over to Flushing Meadows Park over the next three weekends as 16 teams comprising players who were born outside the United States but live here now will represent their native lands in the Cosmos Cup Tournament. The event is free.
This mini version of the World Cup was launched by the company hoping to revive the Cosmos as a professional soccer team. Major League Soccer commissioner and Bayside High alum Don Garber wants to expand into New York and believes the Cosmos and his home borough would be a natural fit.
Martina Hingis, who once dominated women’s tennis but retired way too young, is playing for the New York Sportimes of the World Team Tennis league. Douglaston native John McEnroe will play a few matches as well. Why they are playing at hard-to-get-to Randall’s Island instead of the National Tennis Center is beyond me.