Murphy most popular Met on Media Day
Harvey's pitch count, deGrom's 'do garner attention
KANSAS CITY -- The Mets are happy to be here. All of them. It's a cliché, maybe, but this group was as wide-eyed as any gaggle of third graders on a class trip to a candy store at World Series Media Day on Monday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
They gathered in the Royals' Hall of Fame club, under posterboard signs bearing their names, which, to a man, they later removed and carried through the stands and down to the dugout, posing for pictures along the way. But first, they answered questions ranging from the relevant to the offbeat.
Most popular topics of conversation?
Game 1 starter Matt Harvey bucking his pitch limit: "We realize that he's going to come back in four days and have to pitch again," said manager Terry Collins. "So he won't throw 150, if that's what you're thinking."
The Royals' top-ranked batting average against pitches over 95 mph: "We all have pretty similar stuff, and the game plan will still be to pitch to our strengths," said Game 3 starter Noah Syndergaard.
Daniel Murphy's home run streak: "What he's done is amazing," said Wilmer Flores.
Jacob deGrom's hair: "I have a lock of it taped up in my locker," said David Wright.
The crowd around Murphy looked as if he were handing out free flat-screen TVs rather than telling stories about off-day ice cream with his wife, Tori, at Cold Stone Creamery. Still, he is the guy who hit home runs in six consecutive postseason games.
So, Daniel, what's it like to be in that zone? "It's fun."
The humble second baseman deflected most of the questions about his performance and instead extolled the virtues of his teammates. When one reporter asked what it was like to play behind three pitchers who regularly throw over 95 mph, Murphy shook his head and held up four fingers.
"Four pitchers," he said. "Everyone always overlooks the fact that [Steven] Matz can throw that hard, too."
deGrom answered questions translated from Spanish and Japanese. Yoenis Cespedes said his shoulder is 110 percent, in any language. Curtis Granderson said his left thumb, jammed on a slide against the Cubs and wrapped in tape and blue pre-wrap, is good to go, despite the flutter of worry on social media after the Mets posted a photo of Granderson boarding the team plane in said tape and blue pre-wrap.
Granderson was asked his opinion of the celebratory bat flip, performed most notably by Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista after hitting a three-run homer in the American League Division Series clincher against the Rangers. "In a big moment, if you've done something good, celebrate it. Have fun and enjoy that moment. And if you don't like that as a pitcher, well, then don't throw him a ball he can hit out of the park."
Travis d'Arnaud was asked about his best costume, since Game 4 is Saturday -- Halloween night -- in New York.
"Last year, I spray-painted my beard and my hair and went as The Most Interesting Man in the World," he said.
If the Mets win this World Series, it's safe to say d'Arnaud will be a lot more interesting dressed simply as the Mets' starting catcher.
Michael Cuddyer, who, at 36, is one of the most seasoned vets on the Mets, deflected several age jokes before being asked if he is a fatherly figure on this team.
"Fatherly …" Cuddyer said as he squirmed a bit in his chair. "I prefer to be called a mentor."
When Wright was asked who on the Mets has the best hair, his answer was brief and authoritarian.
"Me," he said.
No one argues with the captain.
But you can't really argue with Flores either, because it's clear he speaks for all the Mets.
"A lot of us are here for the first time, and it really is the best," he said. "I really just can't wait for tomorrow to get here."