Some baseball players experience declines upon leaving the friendly confines of Fenway Park, but to call this former Red Sox outfielder's first year in Mets blue and orange a "decline" is a gross understatement.
Jason Bay had a career year in 2009, when he spanked 36 homers and drove in 119 RBIs in what would be his last season with the Sox. After signing a four-year, $66 million deal with the Mets prior to the 2010 season, Bay was expected to keep those numbers up. However, the right-handed hitter belted just six home runs in 348 at-bats before his season was cut short due to a major concussion he sustained from running into the left-field wall at Dodgers Stadium in July.
So where did it all go wrong? Bay has been asked that question many times since calling Citi Field his home.
"A lot of people ask me a lot of things. Was your swing different? Was it the contract? Was it the ballpark?" Bay told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. "I wish I could pinpoint one thing, but there was nothing that was consciously weighing on me. I was just another guy who was struggling and trying to get out of it."
As Crasnick points out, this wasn't the first time he struggled after impressive MLB seasons. In 2007, Bay — then a Pirate — hit just .247 after making two straight All-Star teams in 2005 and 2006.
"I just had a bad year," he said. "I was the first to admit it as I was living it, and I'll be the first to admit it looking back on it. For whatever reason, I never got in a rhythm at the plate, and I felt like I was swimming upstream all year trying to catch up. The next thing you know, it's July and you're like, 'Wow, I haven't been able to piece anything together.' The question is, what did you learn from it? I feel like I learned a lot."
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