The New York Mets might not not have gotten off to a great start this season, but at least they have a player that is. John Buck is playing better than a lot of people expected. I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I'm not that surprised.
For what it's worst I own Playstation 3, along with that Playstation is a copy of the highly praised baseball game "MLB 13 The Show ". They're slogan is "So real, that it's unreal." That fits for the purpose of this story.
If there's one thing that I love to do on MLB video games, it's build a franchise. I usually pick the lower ranked teams and work my way up the standings as I rebuild a franchise back to the glory days they were once at. Obviously the teams on that list would be the Cubs and Astros. But I, being a New York fan, decided to do the city of New York a favor and bring the Mets back.
I lost the first five games of the season and David Wright was leading the league in strikeouts. My best hitter was John Buck. In only a couple weeks Buck was leading the team in homeruns, RBI's, and batting average. I even remember tweeting, "Not sure if it means anything, but John Buck is having a great season for my Mets." Turns out that it meant a lot.
After putting up a great month to debut in a Mets uniform, Buck says it was no fluke. “It’s more positive energy in my favor,” said Buck. He's only batting .263, but Buck trails only Justin Upton in homeruns (10), and only Mike Napoli (31) and Miguel Cabrera (30) in RBI's.
Buck tied a Mets record with 9 homeruns in April after he hit 12 dingers all of last year and he's only 12 RBI' shy of tying the mark he set with the Marlins a year ago. The Mets (12-15) say that they are completely surprised with his hot start, and say that they'd be nothing of a team without him.
“I can’t begin to tell you where we would be if he didn’t get off to the start he got off to,” manager Terry Collins said. “We could be five-and-whatever.”
Buck, who was in Miami last season, was part of the blockbuster trade that sent him to Toronto with Jose Reyes, Josh Joshson, Mark Burehle, and Emilo Bonifacio. Buck was a pproached by Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos and told that it was likely he wasn't staying in Toronto as the team seeked to trade Buck or JP Arencibia.
“A lot of players like Alex Anthopoulos so much because he is so upfront, which helped me realize right away going into the offseason I’ll be playing every day, whether it’s in Toronto or someplace else,” Buck said.
“So when I got moved again, it wasn’t that big of a shock. Plus, when I got here I knew it was a good opportunity with the staff and where the team was, I knew there would be ample time for me to play and kind of redeem myself after last year.”
Even knowing that he would eventually have to fight out Travis d'Arnaud for the Mets starting catchers job, but shortly after d'Arnaud was sent to Triple-A he broke his left foot and likely won't even resume baseball activities until June.
“You spend all spring thinking you’re only going to be here a little while until d’Arnaud is ready,” Collins said. “Maybe [Buck] is saying, ‘I’ll show everybody. I’m going to be here a little longer than that.' There’s nothing wrong with letting some of this stuff motivate you and saying, ‘I’m pretty good, too. ”
Whether it's all because of MLB The Show or John Buck is really just this good and he's finally showing it, it's easy to say that's Buck is currently the Mets best player. And maybe trading away Dickey was actually worth it.
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