PHOENIX – Wilmer Flores prefers a relaxed locale.
It’s why living in Arizona suits him well.
Yet, the former Met still has that New York City itch.
“I like the calm cities, but you definitely need some New York in your life. You can get anything you want at any time,” Flores said Saturday. “I hate traffic, I don’t like traffic, but New York is just a city where you can get anything you want.”
For the first time in his career, Flores is with a different team after the Mets chose to non-tender the beloved infielder this offseason.
Flores, who is currently on the injured list with a fractured right foot, has spent the first two days of the series catching up with his former teammates, including a video chat with Juan Lagares and Todd Frazier on Friday.
“It was definitely tough (to not be brought back). Mostly, you’re going to miss your teammates, that’s what you miss the most. You want to stay in one place, you don’t want change in your life. It’s what it is, it’s what life is,” Flores said. “I played hard, I did everything right. I’m happy with what I did because I always gave 100 percent.”
Flores will forever have a place in Mets lore as the kid who didn’t want to leave, with his tears showcasing his love for the franchise.
The trade fell apart, though, and Flores became a beloved Met from that point on.
Two days later, he hit a walk-off homer against the Nationals that began what would be a sweep. The Mets ultimately won the NL East, and played in the World Series.
Playing in the Fall Classic is what Flores will remember the most from his time in Flushing.
“I know the walk-offs were fun, and we didn’t win the World Series, I think I only got one or two hits, but you never know when you’re going to do that again,” Flores said. “I could hit a walk-off today or tomorrow, but to play in the World Series, that’s what I remember.”
The good times came to an end this offseason when the Mets opted to part ways with Flores, non-tendering him while was owed several million dollars.
Flores’ defense and health issues were concerns for new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen and his staff.
The 27-year-old latched on with the Diamondbacks, one of the last teams to show interest this offseason. He's hitting .281 with a .725 OPS.
The veteran still stays close with his old teammates, noting how so many current Mets were basically his family for his six years in New York.
He still receives support from the Mets fans, who always tell him about how much his vulnerable moment meant to them.
“It was meant to be. It was crazy. I like that I still get the support and love from fans like everywhere I go Mets fans always talk about it,” Flores said. “They say, ‘I cried with you, I was there with you, I was watching the game, I was feeling bad.’”
The fans will have a chance to show Flores their love and appreciation when the Diamondbacks visit Citi Field from September Sept. 9-12.
Flores surely will receive a standing ovation, and the video tribute should be an emotional one for the former Met who didn’t want to leave.
“Saw the old teammates last night, and I love seeing them. Brought a lot of memories back,” Flores said. “It was weird being on the other side. It’s definitely going to be weirder at Citi Field.”
He added: “I miss Citi Field.”