Mets OF Jay Bruce, who was acquired in a trade with the Reds last summer, is getting comfortable in New York, Jerry Crasnick explains in a profile for ESPN.com.
"I understand how people come up with their thoughts,'' Bruce told Crasnick, when asked about the idea that he couldn't handle New York. "It's like the fun, cool thing to say that New York is too big for people. I think it's a pride thing with people from New York, and I get it."
"It's an amazing city," he added. "It's chewed a lot of people up and spit them out. That doesn't even exist to me, though. This is the team I'm playing baseball for, with an incredible opportunity. I was just bad at baseball for a month.''
Mets manager Terry Collins said coming to New York is an adjustment for everyone, not just for Bruce...
"You'll hear it from guys who come in,'' Collins said. "In Cincinnati, they have, what, two writers? They have 12 here -- and maybe 15 or 25 when we're at home. That's the thing guys have to adjust to."
According to Bruce, more than location or media it was leaving his wife and infant son at home that was the most difficult part of being traded by Cincinnati...
Apr 10, 2017; Yoenis Cespedes (left) Curtis Granderson (3) and right fielder Jay Bruce (19) celebrate after defeating the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
"I am a routine-oriented guy,'' Bruce told Crasnick. "I like simplicity and routine, and that was really unsettling.''
Bruce, who can be a free agent after the season, is hitting .271 with four HR and eight RBI in 12 games for the Mets this season, while playing exclusively in right field.
Bruce is doing good this season. He hasn't been great, he's been OK, good enough to play every day, but not so great that I'd be turning down trade requests if some other team was interested. Because, the fact is, I'd still rather have Michael Conforto out there playing every day.
Right now, Bruce is probably best suited to be playing with Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes over Curtis Granderson. But, Jay is one 0-for-10 stretch from flipping his story back to where it was last August. It will not take much, I'm sorry to say. And, on a team with an All Star and Gold Glove outfielder riding the pine, he shouldn't be afforded a ton of wiggle room just because he's making $13 million a season.
In regards to adjusting to New York, this is why it was so important to re-sign Cespedes. Yo loves it here. He's produced here. He's produced here in October. He smiles, hits, flips bats, wears gold chains, crushes home runs and leads, and he does it all under the spotlight and loves every second doing it. I've lost count of the number of big-name players that come to New York (be it to join the Mets, Yankees, Jets, Giants, Knicks, etc.) and totally flop. In Yo, the Mets have someone who doesn't just do well on Broadway, he enjoys it.