Diamond Dave Q & A With Eric Young, Jr.

Eric Young Jr. returned to New York this week. The former Met and Yankee is now on the Angels, having entered the spring as a non-roster invitee and now filling in for an injured Mike Trout. Young Jr. came to the Mets in 2013 from the Rockies, and had a few memorable moments, including a walk-off home run against the Royals and scoring the winning run from second on an infield single against Colorado. He led the league with 46 stolen bases, a feat his father had accomplished in 1996. Young Jr. played in 100 games for the 2014 Mets and then returned to Flushing for 18 games in September 2015.

He made a cameo in the Bronx, playing in six games for the 2016 Yankees. He was on base when Mark Teixeria hit a walk-off grand slam against Boston in the final week of the season.

Young Jr. spoke to NY Sports Day before Wednesday’s game.

NYSD: What is it like to come back and play in New York?

EYJR: It’s always great. Pretty much a second home, was able to be on the Mets and the Yankees, so fans have always been great. They gave it to me a little bit last night but just because I’m on the other team, I understand, but for the most part everybody’s been great welcoming me back home. My guys over there, that I’ve seen, they all came giving me big hugs and everything, so it’s good to be back.

NYSD: Did you get to know a lot of Yankees and Girardi, only being there for six games or was it kind of in and out?

EYJR: Yeah, cause they’re very personable, so I spoke to everybody, and talked with everybody. Got to sit down with especially the youngsters over there. You know, established a great relationship with Judge even though I was here for a short period of time but we spent a lot of time sitting and chatting, got to learn each other, so it was great to see the success he’s having now and I’m do glad.

NYSD: What’s it like to be with the team for a week, basically. How do you describe that to people, when you think of a guy like Pujols who is with a team for 10 years.

EYJR: I think it’s great. You wouldn’t know who’s been here for a very long time, who’s been here for a short period of time, and that speaks to the group that we have here. Everybody here has the same outlook, very personable, everybody’s rooting for one another, and it makes it fun to be around, just because there’s no egos involved and everybody wants success for each teammate just because the ultimate goal is trying to win.

NYSD: Your dad had played with a few California teams. Is playing in California everything you thought it would be?

EYJR: Just from visiting him, I always loved California, so now playing out here, it’s great. You can’t beat the weather. It’s close enough to LA but not necessarily in the hustle and bustle of LA, so I kind of got the best of both worlds playing in Anaheim.

NYSD: How would you compare playing in California to playing in New York?

EYJR: I wouldn’t say it’s a slower pace but, like I said, just a little bit. New York is a little more hustle and bustle but being from Jersey, you know, that’s what I grew up around, so it didn’t faze me one bit. It’s a little bit slower but the weather’s great and it’s a major market as well, so it’s great.

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