Oct. 27 Ned Yost pregame interview
Q. What do you remember about your time, start of your playing career in the Mets organization?
NED YOST: It was a great experience. I made it all the way to Triple-A, Tidewater at that time. Played with some great players. Got to play with Lee Mazzilli. Had some great coaches, Paul Tretiak and Billy Connors were guys I'll never forget in helping me get off on the right foot. Clyde McCullough was the catching coach back then. He was a real colorful guy.
Really enjoyed my experience. Got to play in Jackson, Mississippi in Double-A, met my wife there and we started a family. It was a great experience for me.
Q. Were there any feelings, positive or not, not getting an opportunity to play in New York?
NED YOST: No. I had a decent year in Triple-A, and ended up getting Rule 5 drafted by Milwaukee. And had a fun career there. Got to play in the World Series with Milwaukee. It worked out great.
Q. Can you take us through the thought process on Mondesi.
NED YOST: Flexibility for the National League series, that was it. It took a long time for me to think through this with the coaches.
Gore is a tremendous base stealer, but he's kind of a specialist at that. Mondesi can do a lot of things; he can play the field really, really well, shortstop, second base. He's a switch-hitter. He can hit a fastball, he can bunt, and he can run. All these situations come into play. It's just more flexibility in a National League game for us right there.
The coaches were on the idea before I was. We had to sit and we had to discuss it for a long time. And finally when I told Raul yesterday that he was going to be on the roster and he just looked at me and said, I'm ready. That turned the page for me.
Q. How much do you believe Cueto is going to benefit by the extended rest he got before his start? Secondly, he seems to add one extra movement. How much do you think it deceives the hitters?
NED YOST: I think it deceives the hitter a little bit. More than anything else I think it disrupts timing, which helps. And that's what pitching is. It's all about disrupting the timing.
I think that he'll benefit a little bit from the extra day, but more than anything he really feeds off of our home crowd. So to be able to pitch two games if needed in this stadium I think will benefit him, too.
Q. You mentioned the flexibility for the National League games, or the games in the National League park. You had that last year obviously with San Francisco. What makes Terrance maybe not as attractive this year?
NED YOST: Again, we've got guys that are kind of role specific. We like to have Paulo Orlando for defensive purposes late. Dyson we can use in the outfield and he can pinch run. Colon is our only infielder.
We've got Gore, and you use one of those other bats, you take a part of your game away that you've been used to playing all year long. It's just a fit. If we decide to use Christian Colon in a situation we still have an infielder. If we decide to use Dyson we still have an outfielder that we can put in the outfield. It just made more sense.
Q. Zobrist's situation is relevant or not relevant?
NED YOST: It was not relevant.
Q. What is the situation with Ben?
NED YOST: I don't know. That's the first I've heard of it. I asked Benny a couple of weeks ago when the baby was due, and I thought he said like the 12th or something like that. I'm not really sure.
Q. Back to Cueto a little bit. He seemed to get a little rattled up at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Did that impact the decision to want him to pitch two home games?
NED YOST: No, I feel like he's pitched great games here. He really draws on the energy of our fans. And again, I felt like you try to put everybody in a position where they can be successful. And he more than anybody else really draws that energy from our fans. We just felt it was the best move.
Q. Your thoughts on the weather situation tonight. What's it supposed to be?
NED YOST: No different. I can't control the weather. It's going to be the same for both teams. So you just go out and play. MLB keeps saying that they think we're going to be okay. There will be periods of mist and maybe some light rain. Hopefully not. But I think it's a much better alternative than playing five straight. So we just go out and play our game.
Q. Anything or perhaps anyone in particular that you take out of your early days in the Mets organization that's been somehow an influence over the years?
NED YOST: Oh, a lot of them. Billy Connors was one, was a huge influence. Paul Tretiak, who at that time was in charge of the instructional league that I went four years in a row. Nelson Burbank, who was the farm director, learned a lot from him. Clyde McCullough. Those are guys that really made an impact on my life, and guys that I'll never forget.
Q. What do you recall or do you recall anything about the first time you saw Lorenzo Cain play the game? What stands out to you of how he got from the player he was then to the player he is today?
NED YOST: That's kind of a dual question for me, because I thought the exact same thing, I thought about Lorenzo Cain as I thought about Alcides Escobar. They were in A-ball and played in Major League Spring Training games. They were fun to watch. They were athletic.
You could tell at that point that Lorenzo was real raw as a player. But you could just see him developing out to become a star. And that's the same way that I felt about Escobar. From the minute I saw him, I thought this kid is going to be a great player. And I thought the exact same thing about Lorenzo.
They needed time to develop and grow. Both of those kids were about as skinny as a broomstick. And you could tell they had good actions, they had good eyes, they were very athletic, both of them, and once they filled out and developed that they had a chance to be really, really good players and they both have turned into that.
Q. You just mentioned Jackson. A sports director over at WJTV that I'm friends at, he texted me and said you were a taxidermist there. Where?
NED YOST: Behind the bowling alley in Jackson. My uncle ran a bowling alley there in Jackson, Mississippi. And they had a storage room out back. And that was my winter job. We'd go deer hunting and we'd do taxidermy in the back of the bowling alley back there. It was a lot of fun.
The bowling alley is still there, but there's nothing in the back but old bowling balls and old pins there, I think.