Dear Lucas Duda, I’m Sorry.
- Updated: September 25, 2014
You don’t know me, actually you might have heard some of my heckling in your sleep, but I owe you a serious apology. Ever since your arrival in the big leagues, I have been against you. The two major culprits for my dislike were your putrid outfield defense, and your being in direct competition with Ike Davis. Everyone who ever watched a Mets game with me knew- I simply could not stand watching you play the game. The way you would wiff at sliders or curves in the dirt seemingly every single at bat literally drove me mad. There was one time in a previous year where my negative feelings hit an all time high: there was a fly ball hit to the left center field gap and you clearly had no shot to get to it… But instead of taking a good angle towards the wall to play it you inexplicably dove and wound up about 30 feet away from where it bounced (completely face planting to boot). After that play I was demanding that you get traded that night. I didn’t want to see you on the team again. Despite all my pleading on social media and any other forum that I had access to, Sandy Alderson insisted on keeping you around. Honestly, it was really more my dedication and affection for Ike Davis playing first that caused me to dislike you so. You two had about the same power, and his defense seemed extremely superior. Ever since I saw Ike Davis in spring training in 2010 I penned him into our lineup for years to come and nothing could change that in my mind. I was securely on the “I Like Ike” side of the debate, all the way till the end on April 18th, 2014. I was actually on my way to Citi Field when the news came that Ike was headed to Pittsburgh and quite upset about it. Obviously I knew you had some pop in your bat but I just didn’t see any consistency in anything that you did and simply I had little faith. But slowly, game by game, long ball by long ball, nice pick after nice pick at first-base you turned me into a Lucas Duda believer.
Before Spring Training started this year I made the choice to cut as much emotion out of moves by Sandy Alderson as humanly possible. Cut all ties and affections for players; I just wanted to win regardless of who was wearing the jerseys. If he traded Murphy I would have accepted it. Even though I was shocked and upset that Justin Turner was non-tendered I got over it quickly, wanting to have faith in the system. So keeping with this new tradition of mine I forced myself to have faith in you (but I gave you a short leash). Although you looked slightly more competent at first than in left field during your career I did not like what I saw for an everyday player. And this was the first thing that started to sway my opinion of you, your defense looked much improved as your playing time increased (even though Keith constantly critiques your footwork). Then as you continued to feel more comfortable in the field you started to smack the ball. And I mean smack. Your 28 homeruns are tied for third in the National League, and you have become the exact thing that this team has been looking for since the last number 21 donned the Mets uniform. You have been very exciting to watch this season and your development has been both fascinating and extremely fast in 2014. I credit your newfound aggressiveness (under the tutelage of Lamar Johnson??) for a lot of your success this year and I hope you continue on this path. If you can put a pounding on the ball before those tough off-speed pitches even come into the equation you can become one of the most feared power hitters in the league. So in conclusion, I apologize for judging you too quickly and never having an open mind about you or your ability for the better part of four years. I apologize for taking out a lot of my aggravation and depression for the situation of the team on you. Simply, I’m sorry for not believing in you for no apparent reason. You didn’t deserve it and it wasn’t doing anyone any good. With your continued success and development I am very excited about what this team can do in the coming years and I hope you accept my apology.