Luis Rojas explains why Mets simulated World Series celebration during spring practice

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Scott Thompson
·3 min read
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Mets run World Series celebration simulation during practice
Mets run World Series celebration simulation during practice

The Mets didn't have a game or even live batting practices on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie. Just a typical camp day to work on fundamentals and make sure everyone is ready for the long stretch of games up ahead.

But there was sort of a game played at the end of the practice that manager Luis Rojas loved to watch.

The 27 out game is a typical one at any level of the sport. Don't make an error, get all 27 outs, and the drill is complete. The Mets, however, wanted to step it up a notch and give it a more real feel by making the setting Game 7 of the World Series. And when the final out was made, the celebration ensued.

"Once we finished the drills with the pitchers, the infielders and outfielders stayed on the field and we were doing a live fungo drill, which is coach tossing the ball to another and taking hacks," Rojas explained via Zoom. "We had a lefty hitter and a righty hitter, which was Luis Rivera the righty hitter and Tony Tarasco was our lefty hitter. So we put in some live situations and the guys wanted to make it a little more intense, which I love by the way, and they would play the 27 out game, which is a traditional drill in baseball. Just 27 situations without making an error. You got to get 27 outs and the guys did it.

"It got really intense and the guys were celebrating that last out because I think Tony Tarasco threw in a situation of a World Series Game 7 and all that and robbing a home run and Michael Conforto [catching it]. So they simulated that very well. I thought Michael did a good job going back there and simulating the catch and running back in and everybody just met and was celebrating. Fun times and it was an exciting camp day. Probably the best I’ve seen that drill done in my young coaching career.”

It's always good to make practice situations a little more intense to bring a game-like feel to it. But though Rojas said the team is always living in the moment, simulating a celebration like that does manifest the ultimate goal.

"I mean, that’s our goal here," he said. "We’re here because we want to win the championship. We want to win it. We want to bring it to the fan base. The organization, me being here 15 years, it would be a dream come true seeing it and watching everybody celebrate like that. But we’re living in the moment, living in the day, so it’s fun to have a camp day like that and see the guys ramping up the intensity at game speed and also simulating our biggest goal for the season.”

Maybe the team was thinking the same thing when they were throwing gloves in the air and having fun in the infield. They are a well-equipped team to get the job done this season.

So why not practice your World Series celebration a little, right?