The Buck Factor – Mack Ade


Did you happen to watch ‘Hot Stove’ last night?

Kevin Burkhardt had a fascinating interview with new Mets catcher, John Buck.

Buck was a $6mil throw in as part of the Dickey deal and his obvious role is to catch until Travis de’Arnaud is ready to take his job away. That being said, he could easily come to camp with the same shitty attitude that Kelly Stoppach brought to the clubhouse last season.

But no, not Buck.

The first think you noticed was how big this guy was walking next to d’Arnaud. He looked like he could use d’A as a bat.

But then the interview came and you quickly realizes that this was a guy that really wants to be a Met, has no intention of just handing over his starting job, and has already brought more to the table than most do in a season.

During the interview, he mentioned:

-         He had a side pick-up session with Bobby Parnell and pointed out to him how he was so much more effective last season when he would mix in his slow stuff early into his pitch count

-         Admitted that he had pointed out to Johan Santana that he was tipping off some of his pitches.

-         Admitted that he had reached out to former teammate, pitcher Shaun Marcum, and helped convince him to sign with the Mets rather than sign with teams he had other active options with.

-         Turned to his childhood buddy, RP Scott Atchison, who he used to have ‘sleepovers’ with when he was eight years old and said that was an ‘easy one’ to recruit for the Mets.

All of this from a guy no one sort of really wanted in this trade.

I like the way these first couple of unofficial days are going. The Mets battery has really filled in well. There’s a very good five man rotation, possibly a very talented bullpen, and a combo power bat/super prospect behind the plate.

Try to find someone who taped this show and watch the interview. Buck is a very intelligent ballplayer who in one day had elevated the knowledge level for that position.


Charles said...

Sounds great...

Here's what I hope.

Johan Santana proves yet again, he still has it. That instantly makes the Mets a legit team every day because of the rest of the rotation. Those 5 would give them a chance to win every night.

Something somehow works out in the bullpen. Sandy brought in ton of arms. Add those to what's already in house and there's no reason why this couldn't become a team strength. Fransisco, Parnell, Lyon, Edgin, Feliciano, Atkinson could make a solid pen. Now, add one from this group. Hawkins, Hefner, Elvin R, Carson, and Burke. A lot of options and that's great.

I'm hoping Elvin steps up, but since they'll need a long man, Hefner might get it. Either way, somebody will get hurt and there's replacements.

Havens beats out Daniel Murphy for the second base job even though there isn't a competition. Imagine Reese finally overcomes his bad luck with injuries and now that his back is finally healed, he steps into the Mets lineup. Wouldn't having that potent bat at second and Murphy on the bench make this team that much stronger?

D'Anaurd shows the mets that him becoming a super two would be a good thing. There's been a lot of chatter that Travis will be held back in Vegas in order to keep him from becoming a free agent a year early, while also making him eligable for arbitration a year early. I say, that if you really want to win this year and also show fans you're serious about it, then you need to put the best players on the field. Keeping Travis out of Queens only makes the average fan wonder why a NY team is would worry about saving money they won't need to spend for another 6 years anyway? I mean, hopefully by then, this team will have won a championship and will be in the middle of a dominant and long lasting run of winning baseball. Well, lets start that now by putting the future of the team on the field; especially if he deserves it and earns it. The Buck stops here! Pun intended.

TP said...

Great points on Buck. I think this is a very underrated pickup. Yes, he hit below Mendoza last year, and at his age is in decline, but this guy is a pro and knows the NL east. Even putting aside D'Arnaud for now, the catching situation is far off better than last year (no disrespect to nice guys Thole and Nickeas). Buck strikes me as having the leadersip qualities you want in a C, both for the pitchers and as example to young Cs. Sign up Bourn, take a gable with Wilson, and all of a sudden, as Charles says, if Santana returns in early 2012 form, they have a real team again, in 2013 no less!

Mack's Mets © 2012