‘We’re not going to forget what happened,’ Jon Niese said about the collision…
Both Daniel Murphy and Jon Niese are playing in their first postseason in their careers, and both of them reminisced about their journey to get to this point in their talk with reporters at Citi Field on Monday.
“It’s a lot of fun for me, you know, Niese said. “It’s been fun, but it’s been a long time not being able to win and get to the postseason. Going through all the work that we’ve done this year, being able to get to the postseason and win, it’s a lot of fun.”
Said Murphy, “Since I’ve been here, [the organization] has been through a lot. It’s nice to see the fruits of the labor from top to bottom, I think from ownership all the way down to the players in Spring Training. This was the goal in Spring Training to put ourselves in this position. There’s a great group of guys in that clubhouse. I think we’ve all jelled really well. It’s been a great deal of fun. I think we sincerely pull for each other, and it’s made this season exciting.”
As for the collision between Chase Utley and Ruben Tejada in game two, Murphy believes the league and the players association will be able to come to terms on a reasonable agreement over Utley’s suspension, but his focus right now is to win on Monday night.
“Major League Baseball and the Players Association will come together to try to come to some sort of agreement with this,” he explained. “The people [the league] have working for them are far superior in knowledge than I am. So I have the utmost luxury tonight to just go out there and play baseball.”
“I think about player safety,” Murphy went on to say. “Like I said, the Players Association, Major League Baseball, and the owners as well have a huge stake in this. [They] are going to come together and see if we can find the best resolution going forward for the integrity of the game.”
Murphy said there’s some awkwardness in the situation between Utley and Tejada since they’re in the same union.
“You do have Chase and Ruben within the same union, but on opposite ends of this,” he said. “It’s going to allow everyone to [discuss] eliminating as much as we can the gray area that exists in baseball. Even though it’ll always be there, is this an opportunity to try to narrow that a little bit more.”
While Terry Collins has told game three’s starter Matt Harvey not to retaliate in a critical situation on Monday, Niese warned the Mets themselves will not forget what took place on Saturday in Los Angeles.
“We’re not going to forget what happened,” the left-hander said. “It’s a shame. I think for me personally, I think you should be able to review that play. I think in the NFL they’re able to review targeting, same with college. I think you should be able to review a play like that and get it right.”
Murphy was very complimentary of Matt Reynolds, who will serve as Wilmer Flores’ understudy for the remainder of the playoffs.
“I remember in Spring Training he really, really had good at-bats,” Murphy explained. “He was better at shortstop than I thought. I didn’t think he was bad, but he was very good at the routine plays. He made some plays in Spring Training that actually surprised me, not that I could have made them myself.
“I’m excited that he’s here,” Murphy continued. “I’m sure he’s nervous and excited. What a way to make your debut, Game 3 of the National League Division Series. But we’re excited to have him, and I thought he handled himself very well in Spring Training in the games that he played in.”