So I’m sure most of you saw the press conference for Jason Bay. If not, here is where you can get your recap.
Alot of things were discussed. Even a special guest was on hand for a special presentation. COO Jeff Wilpon graced the conference with his presence as well.
Here’s what happened:
After Minaya made the announcement of the Jason Bay signing and gave Bay his #44 jersey, there was a special guest, Rod Gilbert, on hand to present Bay with a New York Rangers jersey with #44. Bay is now officially an honorary Ranger.
Enter joke here: Bay was actually asked to help the Rangers score some goals. Guess the season isn’t going too well for ya?
Another joke? When Bay was given the Mets cap, he actually
I don’t wanna mess up my hair.
What? I thought it was funny.
So here is what Bay had to say:
It’s a big deal and a big day for me.
[There was] a short list of teams I wanted to go to. The Mets were on that list.
[I am] very grateful and honored.
Gilbert helped out by saying:
The Mets are first class. You picked the right team.
When asked about the Mets and what made Bay choose them:
Chance to win. Regardless of what happened last year. [They are a] very good team. Winning was the biggest factor.
Bay felt that from a talent standpoint, the Mets were among the best if they are healthy. Plus he felt the Mets have probably the best pitcher in baseball with Johan Santana.
Mets had the criteria. The Mets wanted me more. This is where I want to be.
Asked about hitting in the monsterous Citi Field:
Pittsburgh is very spacious as well. Not concerned. I am confident in the type of player that I am. I’m by no means Torii Hunter out there, I know that, but I still think I’m pretty good.
If you don’t get a chance to do it, you can’t prove it.
One journalist actually asked him about money being a factor and how close he was to going somewhere else. He said he would disregard the second question but answer the first:
Money aside, you have to make the choice. New York was a perfect fit for everything.
It seems there were some rumors that were going around about Bay. So it was addressed by Bay.
Regarding Peter Gammons report about Bay rather playing in Beirut than Queens and about his shoulder:
No one knew my position except my family. I didn’t talk to anybody. So for someone to say I said something, it kinda hurts. Don’t know where he came up with Beirut.
I never hurt my shoulder. I had surgery in 2003. Its been great ever since. [The rumor] took on a life of its own.
Bay with Kevin Burkhardt
When asked about talking to other Mets players about New York:
I started talking to players during the last season. [Players included Billy Wagner, Alex Cora and Xavier Nady.] Everyone said first class organization. Everyone had great things to say.
Asked about leave Boston:
[It was] tough to leave Boston. Being in Boston taught me a lot. I hope to bring some of that here.
Once again about the park:
Park size is not a factor. I pride myself in driving in runs. I’m not a home run hitter.
He envisions himself hitting around the number five spot.
Omar Minaya during the presser
Bay was our priority. We will continue to look and talk to agents and other general managers [to fill up other spots on the team].
I told the fans to be patient.
We achieved our goal [with being able to slug more] with Jason Bay.
Minaya was in his glory. Good for him. I’m very proud.
Interview with Burkhardt
Regarding Minaya’s opinion on Bay:
Bay is steady…consistent. He’s a good athlete. A run producer. More than a HR hitter.
About Citi Field:
Afte one year we don’t know enough about our ballpark. (Jeff Wilpon made the same comment to Burkhardt.)
Winning is not about home runs. Its about more than that…fundamentals, moving runners over, [etc.]
When asked if Minaya told Wagner to say nice things about the Mets as part of the trade deal:
Anybody who plays here will say its a great place to play. I thank Billy for saying that, but I did not tell him to.
Regarding filling in other holes:
Yes, it is no secret we are negotiating with Bengie Molina, but, like with Jason Bay, fans are going to have to be patient.
There are some pitchers we are looking at. Niese and Nieves are in the picture.
About Delgado, Castillo and Oliver Perez:
We will continue to monitor Carlos. We’ll see how his health is.
I see Castillo on the roster on Opening Day.
Perez is rehabbing in Arizona. He’s coming along fine [his knee and health].
Final words from Minaya:
Turn the page on 2009. Its over.
Jeff Wilpon with Burkhardt
Omar had a plan. He wanted a power hitter. As Jason said, when he hits it, he hits it.
We have to do what is best for the organization. We understand the fans frustration. It still went pretty quick.
We are going to stay behind him [Minaya]. Speed is not going to win it this winter. The patience will pay off.
Regarding changing the dimensions of the park to fit the players:
…was told not to change the dimensions. The team can play to the dimensions. [We] can’t determine how the park plays without a healthy team.
There ya have it folks. There is your presser in a nutshell.
I like Bay. I like him alot. The only thing that bothered me was when he said, “So for someone to say I said something, it kinda hurts.” To that I must say, get over it. You are in New York City. Expect it.
I will say I like how he dealt with it. He ignored it and stayed focused on what really mattered. So I do not see distractions being a problem with him.
Welcome to New York City, Jason Bay!