The New York Mets’ new closer, as interviewed in today’s Newark Star-Ledger by Don Burke (link taken from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory).
Those people, it doesn’t matter how successful you are. I don’t get it. They boo you. They scream at you. Anybody who’s going to boo you when you don’t hit 100 miles per hour, what does that tell you? There are some fans who are fantastic, who were very supportive, and made you feel welcome there. But, for the most part, you had the guys who just came to the ballpark to yell at you. If you’re having a bad season there, forget it. You can’t get out of that funk. They won’t allow you to. You have to go into Philadelphia and become so thick- skinned, somebody that you’re not. It’s hard.
Q: How do you think you’ll be received when you visit Citizens Bank Park this season?
A: Oh, I’m going to have a big, old bull’s-eye on my back. But I’m going to approach it like I do everything else. I’ve got three hours to spend with you. You want to spend your three hours yelling at me? Go ahead. Then I’ll go home and go to sleep. You’ll get to tell your grandkids that you yelled at me for three hours. If you want to stand there and yell at me — as long as you’re not saying anything about my family — you can call me whatever you want to call me. I don’t care because I think it’s hilarious. I spent most of my time (in the bullpen) laughing at these people. I think Major League Baseball should have some of these fans come down out of the stands. One’s going to hit and one’s going to pitch and it’s going to be in a big situation. Let’s see how easy it is. They sit up there and tell me how easy is it. ‘I could do that. You bum. You (stink).’ All right, find out how it is. Come down here.
Q : Are Phillies fans as bad as it gets?
A: They’re easier on the visiting team. I’m sure they won’t be easy on me this year. But if that makes your day, if that makes it special for you, go right ahead.