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TBS Broadcasting Comments (Mets v D-Backs) PDF Print E-mail
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Television
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 05 May 2008 04:14

MLB on TBSThe following are quotes from the Sunday New York Mets (5) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (2) game commentary on TBS Sunday Major League Baseball

Game announcers: Chip Caray and Jim Kaat

Kaat on Mets shortstop Jose Reyes: “(Jose Reyes is) kind of like how (former MLB outfielder and all-time stolen base leader) Rickey Henderson was in his prime.  Not the power of Rickey, but when he gets on (first base) it’s like a double, he’s going to steal.  He creates (scoring chances), he distracts the pitcher and he makes this team go.”

Kaat on how Diamondbacks shortstop Augie Ojeda’s hustle turned a routine single into a double in the first inning: “(Augie Ojeda) ran hard from step one and the reason he runs hard and all these Diamondbacks (run hard) is because they know they’ve got a guy (bench coach Kirk Gibson) in the dugout watching them.  And if they don’t (run hard) he’ll call them on it.”

Mets third baseman David Wright on the Mets’ collapse down the stretch in 2007 that led to the team missing the playoffs: “You would think that a seven game lead with 17 (games) to play, that we could coast into the playoffs.  But that was a hard lesson to learn.  I don’t think we coasted, but as easy as some of these guys make it seem, it’s not that easy.  It seemed like what could go wrong, went wrong.  Last September, when we pitched well, we couldn’t hit.  When we hit well, we couldn’t pitch.  It’s just one of the ins-and-outs of baseball and what makes this game so special.”

Kaat on the importance of the Mets acquiring pitcher Johan Santana: “It’s the (Johan) Santana acquisition that seemed to erase that bitter taste that (the Mets) had.  They were so positive and I think the one thing they are hanging their hat on is, and it’s a lot of pressure for one guy, but they are thinking Santana could do what (Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy) Koufax used to do for the Dodgers.  And (Santana is) capable of doing that.”

Kaat on how little things early in the game add up to big things on the scoreboard: “Don’t think that both starting pitchers don’t know (how important the early innings are).  You don’t pitch against the other pitcher; you pitch against the other lineup.  But you are very aware that early in the game, the second inning can be like the ninth inning.  You don’t want the other team to get that (early) advantage.”

Caray and Kaat talked with New York Mets manager Willie Randolph during the game.

Randolph on the Mets getting some injured players back: “It’s been very important to get our troops back.  We’ve been beat up all year, it’ll be nice to get some of our pitchers back, too.  We’re starting to get a little bit of rhythm going and once we get everyone back going back to full circle, we’ll be ok.”

Randolph on if he is able to relax when his ace Johan Santana is on the mound: “I can’t really relax but it is comforting to have Johan (Santana) out there.  He’s an outstanding athlete and throwing the ball well for us so far this year.  We feel very confident giving him the ball.”\

Kaat on Diamondbacks outfielder Eric Byrnes: “(Eric Byrnes) fits into that Kirk Gibson mold, without the power or talent of ‘Gibby’ but (Byrnes is) an all-out player.  He’s not going to put up MVP numbers but he’s going to be very productive in the middle of the lineup.”

Caray and Kaat talked with Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin during the game.
 
Melvin on how their solid offensive start will benefit the young Diamondbacks hitters as the season goes on: “We’ve got to keep progressing.  Offensively, we got off to a great start.  Some of the doubts (going into the season) were whether or not we were going to score some runs.  I think confidence-wise for such a young group to get off to a good start offensively should pay dividends later in the season.”

Kaat on the American League Central race: “I think the Tigers feel very, very fortunate that Cleveland has not played the (high) caliber of baseball that everyone expected them to.  ( Cleveland ) could have the type of record that the Diamondbacks have and that would really put the Tigers in a bit of a hole early in the year.”

Kaat on the injuries to the Detroit Tigers pitching staff: “If you look at the Tigers, the expectations are high because of their (starting) pitching but what I think the casual fan, who were ready to send them to the World Series immediately, might overlook is no (injured relief pitcher) Fernando Rodney and no (injured relief pitcher) Joel Zumaya.  Those two guys (pitched) at the end of the game and set up (closer) Todd Jones.  (Rodney and Zumaya) were a big part of why (the Tigers) got to the World Series (in 2006).  If you look at any team, if you don’t have those quality pitchers in the seventh and eighth (inning) to set up your closer, you’re just going to be an average ballclub.”
 
Kaat on the importance of pitchers getting ahead in the count: “There are very few days when you go out there with your top stuff.  The key is winning on days when you’re not quite as sharp.  For most pitchers, you have to pitch ahead in the count.  If you’re a Randy Johnson in his prime or a Nolan Ryan or a Kerry Wood, then (the count) can be 3-1, 3-2 and you can still get them out.  Most pitchers can’t pitch that way and they have to be ahead in the count, expand the strike zone and get hitters to chase those borderline pitches.”

Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana on his pitching coach Rick Peterson: “He wanted me to be myself and do the things I was doing in Minnesota , so I feel comfortable with him.  When something is wrong and he wants to talk about something, we sit down and try to figure things out.  He’s very smart…he knows what every player is doing in this league.  He has a lot of knowledge of the game.”

Kaat on Mets shortstop Jose Reyes’ lead-off style compared to a pair of Hall of Famers: “(Jose Reyes) can get such a huge lead (off of first base) and still get back (to first base) with very little effort.  A lot of your cagey baserunners like (Hall of Famers) Lou Brock or Joe Morgan, they’d sneak off and not take a big lead but then they’d have that explosive first step and steal (the base) anyway.”

Kaat on the challenges the Diamondbacks and Mets face the rest of the season: “As it gets deeper into the pennant race, how will these young players (on the Diamondbacks) handle it?  The one advantage they have is they have such an energetic, helpful coaching staff, guys that have been through it.  On the other hand, the Mets are a veteran team and you expect better things from them than what their record has shown so far.  When their pitchers get healthier, they should get better.”

Source: TBS

 

 
 
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