In 2007 and 2008, two seasons that ended in collapse, the New York Mets had plenty of issues. Lack of clutch hitting, spotty performances by their pitching and, much more publicized, their clubhouse. It may be undervalued or not looked at enough, but the status of a team’s locker room can make or break a team. There’s no question about it, those Mets teams had a cancer for a clubhouse. Many fans believed that Carlos Delgado had a lot to do with it but that is merely speculation. I won’t name names but obviously there was something amiss in that clubhouse. Whether it be cliques forming or complacency, the Mets locker room situation was a mess. That is no more.
Ever since Terry Collins became manager of the Mets at the start of the 2011 season, the culture has changed on and off the field for this team. There’s a certain scapiness, fight and dare-I-say fun attitude with this team. The clubhouse has been refreshed with young players who are not only hungry but unentitled. With players like Justin Turner who has become the team’s pie-thrower after walk-off hits and big-time performances and Johan Santana with post-game speeches about “believing it”, the air is different in New York. There’s no hatred, no angst, no problems. Even veteran left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak, chronic prankster, has added some fun to this team. Just the other day, after Frank Francisco called the New York Yankees chickens, Byrdak bought and brought in a baby chicken–named Little Jerry Seinfeld–to the team’s locker room. The Mets have become a fun team, on and off the field.
Disclaimer: The Mets did not eat Little Jerry.
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