The Mets used to be the masters of the motto.
All the way back to the 1980s, they came up with some catchy phrases to highlight the season.
They had “The Magic is Back” and “Baseball Like It Oughta Be” to name a few.
In 2013, though, the motto seems to be lost or at least it’s not the in your face like in past years, however if the Mets do decide to come up with one, they may want to look back to the days of Harry Truman for some inspiration.
“Give ‘Em Hell Harvey!” could be one every five days. But that leaves about 125 games to come up with another.
So while the Mets wait for d’Arnaud, they may just say, “The Buck Stops Here.”
John Buck is making his mark on Mets pitchers. His experience and ability to work with Mets pitchers have been felt over the first week of the season. All four starters pitched well, and they all credit Buck for his ability to keep their heads in the game.
He’s unbelievable. I had good catchers in my day,” said tonight’s Mets hard luck starter Jeremy Hefner. “Not to take away anything from (Josh) Thole or (Mike) Nickeas last year, JB has been around the game. He played with those guys last year. I leaned on him tonight. But the way he brings confidence and brings the best out of you. It’s refreshing.
Buck said he learned this art form from Brad Ausmus and Paul Bako back in the early 2000s. And over the years he learned pitchers, know which ones need the silence and which ones need a good kick in the behind.
“He recognized each pitchers personality and adapted to them,” Hefner said. “He would push buttons when necessary.”
“I had good mentors,” Buck said, “who showed me what the red flags were and how to get the most out of them.”
And Hefner got his kick in the butt in the second inning tonight after giving up his only run – a homer to Greg Dobbs.
But that’s Buck’s specialty. Sure he has some power, but he won’t remind anyone of Mike Piazza. Instead, the Mets have a professional backstop, whose job is to get this young set of arms on the right course, something Buck seems to be very happy in doing.
“Younger guys have a little more teaching involved,” Buck said. “But the young guys we have, it’s more sticking to game plans. It’s not a mentoring type group, instead these are guys who belong here and it’s getting them to stick to the game plan. Obviously, I think they are in that level.”
One guy Buck really clicked with is Matt Harvey, who Buck sees as someone who would click with anyone catching him.
“He’s got good stuff,” Buck said. “So he’s got a lot of weapons when calling a game. It’s obviously why he is so effective.”
Sure it looks like a marriage made in heaven, but we all know Buck is not long for the Mets. He is a stop-gap until Travis d’Arnaud comes up and a few more stinkers by the bullpen like tonight, it may be sooner, rather than later.
However until that happens, the Mets starters, will be very happy to have their final word come from their veteran catcher.
The Buck truly stops there.