Moment in PSL: Chris Young talks to little boy after BP

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Today I met Mets fans Neil and Laura, both of whom are daily readers of MetsBlog.com. Their 4-year-old son is outgoing, confident and full of energy. He was hitting a small ball with his dad between fields and got the attention of a few players, all of who stopped and smiled watching him ‘work.’

Later, Chris Young finished batting practice and entered a dugout to get some water. The boy began talking to him. 


DSC_0818

“I play first place,” the little guy said through the fence. Chris Young sat down next to him. The boy proceeded to tell him how he hits. Chris Young explained that he plays center field. The boy said he played center field, too.

“I wish you could come out and shag some balls with us,” Chris Young said. Then, over his shoulder, down the cage, another fan barked, with a disgruntled tone, “I think we have enough average center fielders on this team.”

Thankfully, I don’t think Young or the boy heard what was said. It was a stark reminder of what baseball can mean through one set of eyes compared to what it means to someone else.

This little boy is everything I love about spring training. It’s a time to just watch baseball — no pressure — and enjoy the show. There is time for cynicism and analysis, but this child is a reminder that there is also a time to be innocent and have fun…


DSC_0823

67 comments
Evander Smart
Evander Smart

It wouldn't be a Mets game without a bitter, toolbag Mets fan sprinkling a little doom and gloom over a sunny day, and nice moment.  If that's your attitude, just stay home, loser.  It's Spring Training.  Shouldn't you be in your crypt?

philoso
philoso

I have found most players are pretty decent guys. Pete Rose and Bonds are exception among ML ballplayers.

Which One's Pink
Which One's Pink

That idiot's comment is a sad commentary on a disgruntled fan base.  I am not expecting to win every year, but if you want me to buy the expensive tickets, buy the shirts, vote for the guys for the All Star game, you have to give something in return.  We don't have to win every year, but management has to make a good faith effort to be competitive.  And for a number of years now the management of this team isn't making a real effort.  Maybe we'll spend a little money, do some dumpster diving for retreads, and be somewhere where we can see .500.  That ain't going to cut it.

Reading this website every day, there is a clear divide between older bitter folks like me, age 50, seen hundreds of games over the years, and the young "let's be happy and optimistic crowd" who have only been taking it on the chin for 5 or 10 years.

Management of ths team is truly an abomination.  Fred Wilpon will go to his grave with Bernie Madoff and ruining a wonderful sports franchise. His son's reputation in baseball at least will be even worse. If that's what they wants as a legacy not a whole lot we can do about it.  I for one refuse to pay my money to support the Wilpons.

whymets
whymets

Great moment for the kid obviously but come on people let's be real the comment from the guy is hilarious 

SuperDuper
SuperDuper

Too bad being nice doesn't mean you can hit the ball. Some of the best hitters have been jerks....Rose & Bonds too name two.

William Bonilla
William Bonilla

I know im crazy for saying this but...although I was against the Young signing when It happened and I still think they probably shouldn't have signed him for 7mms but for some reason I think he will surprise us and have a good year

Grove Peate
Grove Peate

Nice story Matt...I saw Satin doing the same thing today

11gilkey
11gilkey

An obnoxious New Yorker with an ill timed inappropriate comment.  Get outta here.  Still a funny comment. 

Zach Ripple
Zach Ripple

I was just watching the Loud Mouths debate of Young vs. Cruz. I laugh at their argument for Cruz. This guy is an awful defensive player, but they say its OK because he'll hit 30 homers in Citi Field. Except the guy has one 30-homer season in his career, which has all been in Texas, a great hitter's park, and that season was 5 years ago. What a joke. Young is the better buy.

Connie Nerrie
Connie Nerrie

What a fun thing to read.  Great pics.  The insensitive fan is a shame, but it's a true part of the sports picture.  Nice comment earlier by Tarheel11 with story of fans behaving better.

erin2anti
erin2anti

and then we wonder why everyone would rather play in St louis

gonzotgreat23
gonzotgreat23

@ronmarz Chris hasn't lived up to his on field potential, but he's an incredibly nice guy. You'll like him on your team.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

Consider this my public service announcement and I apologize for getting on the soap box. But as fans we sometimes get caught up in the game and don't realize the kids around.

Twelve years ago I took my 5 year old son to his first Mets game, against the Yankees. I was so nervous about the potential for a rowdy crowd. He was the only kid in our entire section. What blew my mind was how incredible the fans all around us (both Met and Yankee fans) were because a kid was there. The occasional slip of the tongue was met by someone else getting on them to watch their mouth around the kid. The people around us took the time to turn to my son and talk to him and high five him all game long! For whatever reason those fans made that little kid feel so amazing and he had the time of his life. He had the biggest smile on his face the entire day. I couldn't thank them enough when we left. But twelve years later that kid still talks about that day and how it was so special. He will never forget it and neither will I. That's the kind of power we as fans can have.

bugsy
bugsy

it's one thing to come onto a website like this one to make cracks; engaging in a little bit of gallows humor, cynicism, call it whatever you like, is perfectly healthy.

It's also perfectly fine, I think,  to give the brass a hard time, especially in light of some of the cracks they themselves make ("What outfield?")..

But Chris Young, like just about every other guy in uniform, is just doing his job to the best of his ability, and the fact that he actually takes time out for a fan is something to be celebrated (as has been done here) and should not be seen as an opportunity to make dopey wisecracks.

The Jerk in The Crowd should be embarrassed.

Wrong time, wrong place, wrong message. 


Laura Brower
Laura Brower

Thanks Matt. My son is the boy in your article and he will be thrilled to see this when he wakes up from his nap!

Anthony Fiore
Anthony Fiore

No truth to the rumor that it was Alderson shouting “I think we have enough average center fielders on this team.”

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

Kudos to CY for taking the time to talk to that kid. That 30 seconds meant the world to that kid and his family. That's what baseball is all about. And for the knot head yelling, I only wish someone would have told him to shut his mouth. Disgusts me when people ruin things for kids. Let them be kids don't act that way around them, try to have just a little class

Eddie_Dean
Eddie_Dean

Geez, I wasn't a fan of the Young signing either, but what a d-bag that guy in the crowd is. It's one thing to make all the snide remarks on message board, or even from the stands during a game. But when a professional baseball player is actually taking the time to talk to a little kid in Spring Training, which is exactly the kind of thing the cynics moan and complain never happens anymore with "today's athletes", give a rest for a minute.

owlnut
owlnut

Kids are the future fans. It's a shame that baseball is no longer a game but a business. These kids will never watch a full game because they start and/or end too late for them.

Mike Dupp
Mike Dupp

whats with that miserable jerk mouthing off....

Shawn Sparks
Shawn Sparks

That 2nd pic is the new desktop background on my laptop.

Starz31
Starz31

Great story Matt, and others here. It's a nice reminder of the pure joy of baseball that Spring Training brings out, and not just for the children but for us adults who can forget about the toils of being a Mets fan. I love this time of year because it lets you wonder at the potential of our young players and to hope for the best as the season begins anew. 

hankincolo
hankincolo


Thanks for posting Matt, much better to read this than that silly Ike versus reporter nonsense.

hashburry
hashburry

That is an instance where I totally condone player violence against a fan.  I find fans that boo and scream at players, or scream profanities even if it is the other team to be pathetic and a waste of skin and air.

mrmet5744
mrmet5744

This made me think of taking my 3 yr old to Pt. St. Lucie a few years ago.  Carlos Beltran was taking batting practice on the Field shaped like Citi.  As we were watching (Sandy and J.P. were also watching)  Beltran proceeded to rip a few homeruns.  As they sailed high into the air and over the fence my son yells "Wow, thats Awesome!"  loud enough that Beltran, Sandy and JP are started to chuckle and smile.  It is a great memory


Adam Slater
Adam Slater

Great story Matt, and thank you! Always great to hear stories like this. Forget the outlandish fan... I'm sure he's the type of guy that screams during little league games. I truly love this part of the GAME.

Bob Stevenson
Bob Stevenson

Had a similar experience at Shea years ago with Derek Bell....I was there with my 4 year old son at his very first game.  Derek finished stretches in the OF and was on his way into the dugout when people started asking for autographs.  Derek actually hopped up on top of the dugout and stayed there signing, taking pictures and just generally speaking with EVERYONE that approached him.  He had to be there at least an hour !

My son was the last to get an autograph, and Derek must have spoken to him for at least 10 minutes just laughing and joking with him before heading inside.

I agree with Matt....THESE are the reasons why I love this game.

Laura Brower
Laura Brower

@matthewcerrone @Lauraimmed   I got the pictures from the post and wanted to print them out to put in Austin's room.  The resolution wasn't great to print.  Would you mind sending them to me after all?  Thanks again Matt!

Darren Delgado
Darren Delgado

@Which One's Pink  Actually, I have been a Mets fan for going on 40 years and I have still managed not to be a self-flagellating, miserable, angry, joyless prick.  Maybe it's not an age thing.

crafalko17
crafalko17

@SuperDuper It'll be interesting. We'll have just as many K's as we've been having, but I feel we added a bit of power that we were missing last season. Matt Holiday didn't hit at all in Oakland either, so I am going to hold my judgement on how good he is going to be this year til I see him.

ken1010
ken1010

Choo was the right player for the Mets outfield, to go with Granderson, not Cruz or Young. They should have paid up for Choo.

Victor Triguero
Victor Triguero

I agree with your assessment of Cruz but young has been in such a bad decline and he is in his prime. He shouldn't be declining yet

ronmarz
ronmarz

@gonzotgreat23 I'll like anybody who's an actual major-league outfielder. We hardly had any last year.

DIY Degree
DIY Degree

@Anthony Fiore  Have to admit, this was funny. Otherwise, totally agree with Matt's sentiments in the original post :-P

ken1010
ken1010

Despite my preference for Choo, Young is a great guy and I'm glad he is on the team. I hope he plays well and stays a few years.

gonzotgreat23
gonzotgreat23

@ronmarz Between Young and Granderson, Mets outfield defense is going to be very much improved. Pitching will love them both.