cliff ‘em all
What, you thought I’d forgotten or something?!
I sat down Thanksgiving week to write about Cliff Floyd and what his presence on the Mets meant to me, and hit complete and total writer’s block. Everything I wrote seemed stupid or pointless, and didn’t come anywhere near capturing why and how #30 became my favorite player on the Mets the first year I rooted for them.
He wasn’t the obvious choice, after all, for a girl who started rooting for the Mets for real in 2006. And don’t get me wrong, I love DW and when TBF and I bought each other jerseys at the end of 2005, although I wanted a Floyd jersey, I knew it was a better investment to opt for the one with WRIGHT on the back.
(And I had no spiritual conflict with buying it or wearing it – although this year I am happy I also own #7, but that’s mostly vanity, so I don’t look like That Girl [the one with the pink hat who doesn't know who anyone else on the team is].)
So before I understood those rows of numbers, I judged by how they hit and how they ran and if they hustled, and their dancing prowess in the dugout, how sportswriters talked about them, and how their teammates talked about them. In 2005, we got a window into Cliff Floyd via David Wright (and vice versa – but the media was giving us enough about DW at that point). Add to the mix that Mike Cameron, whose spirit I admired when he was playing for Seattle, counted Mr. Floyd as a good friend.
But I think it was the online chat that sealed the deal. Who wouldn’t love a guy with these kind of answers:
31yonkers5: What does it feel like to see a fan in the stands wearing your jersey?
Floyd: It feels awesome, it feels great! You should head out to the store and buy one, too!
Floyd’s answers were professional, but they weren’t patented MLB spin. He poked a little bit of fun at the dumb questions but he still answered them.
metsandsox: How could the voters snub you out of the Gold Glove last year? I’ve never seen a left fielder play like that!
Floyd: How could they? I asked myself that, too.
and the ultimate:
illflavored: What do you spend more time working on, hitting or defense?
Anthony_Cocuzza: Cliff, what kind of car do you drive?
Floyd: I have an S500, a Flying Spur Bentley, SL500, Range Rover, Dodge Magnum, Cadillac EXT and Phantom Rolls Royce. And that’s why I work so hard on the hitting.
As Greg from Faith and Fear In Flushing so succinctly stated, “Cliff Floyd’s wallet is the one that says Bad Motherfucker on it.” And it was true, but there was heart and soul in there too, or he’d just be an arrogant jackass. He wasn’t.
So today, as Deanna from Marinerds so kindly reminded me that it was Cliff’s birthday, I thought I would try to sit down and write about him and thank him and say goodbye and wish him well.
I’ll leave you with the saddest part of the online chat:
Paul_Mastrola: Are the Mets the favorite team you’ve played on out of the four teams?
Floyd: Of course they are!
CESAR_VALVERDE: Are the Mets a World Series team?
Floyd: Yes, don’t you think so?
I will applaud Cliff Floyd for the rest of his career, and thank him forever for being one of the big reasons I fell in love with baseball.