The fight between the New York Mets players and fans is long over. But that doesn’t mean the booing has completely subsided. Booing is a part of life and they will no doubt make plenty more appearances at Citi Field over the years.
Veteran Rich Hill, who has said all of the right things since joining the Mets in July, delivered more poignant words to get a sense of who he is. Not directed at anyone specifically, we do get a good sense of Hill’s leadership qualities and maturity from his quote about playing in big markets:
Could you design a player better suited for the New York spotlight?
If Mets pitcher Rich Hill can pass along any wisdom, these are the words his teammates should digest
I’m not sure if Hill was ever asked about playing in New York previously but I do like that a quote like this didn’t come out until two weeks after players and fans went to war. Had this been only a few days after we found out the Mets were booing our grandmothers and children, Hill’s take on the situation might have rubbed people the wrong way.
I have always admired the career Hill has put together. He is one of the more unique stories in baseball. Anyone who fights to get back into the big leagues as hard as he did deserves a tip of the cap.
Now in his 40s, I’m sure Hill has reflected plenty about how he behaved in his 20s. Personally caught in between the ages of Hill and many of his Mets teammates, I can already look back at the person I was and move forward hoping I can understand life much like Hill seems to.
A key takeaway from Hill’s words is how impersonal he sees the reaction from fans. Boos aren’t generally personal attacks. They are a result of a poor performance. This was the mistake his younger, less experienced teammates made back at the end of August.
Hill may not be with the Mets beyond this year, but the team does already have a guy with a similar mentality on the roster. Things like this are what I would like to see come from the mouth of Jacob deGrom. Well-respected all across the baseball world and more so from those around him, deGrom is the kind of guy players will listen to.
There has been a lot made of what Mets players have said or done this year. The culture around the club has been all positive vibes with some fun mixed in along the way. Hill’s words are refreshing for me. They’re simple. They’re clear. And they show the kids one direction they can go the next time they get booed.
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