A fans may not recognize Mark Kanha in the New York Mets jersey he will be wearing at the Colosseum this weekend. But the bruises should look familiar.
No one in the big companies hit more stadiums than last season (27) by winning the first class. The descent hasn’t stopped since Canha became a free agent and signed a two-year agreement with New York over the winter. Canha has hit 24 MLB pitches, and his new team just set a modern-day record by taking 106 pitches this season. And they still have 11 games left to fill in those stats, starting with a three-game streak in Oakland starting Friday night.
“It’s like a record is broken at this point,” Kanha told reporters on Wednesday after suffering a loss twice in Milwaukee. “We kind of roll our eyes when that happens now and we move on. There’s nothing you can do but take advantage of it, make it hurt, and all you can do.
“We’re definitely disappointed. It’s not, like, something great happening to your team.”
But Kanha, who has been beaten 104 times in eight seasons, isn’t about to change his style, telling reporters, “I’m closer to the plate and I don’t move.”
Canha might not change his approach to the batter box, but after seven seasons with the A’s, the former Bay native and Cal star has found a new home in Flushing Meadows.
But Canha isn’t alone in landing the Mets in the wake of the recent purge of the A-list.
Also returning to the right is ‘House’ Chris Bassett, who traded during a spring practice flurry that also saw Matt Olson (Braves) and Matt Chapman (Blue Jays) send in packs while A players overhauled their roster. Another free agent success story for the Mets this season was Starling Marty, who shone brilliantly in his short stint with the final season of the A and was doing the same with the Mets before suffering a broken finger after being knocked out on September 6. The injury will keep him out of this series and likely sideline him until the final week of the season.
Eric Chavez hasn’t played for the A-Team since 2010, but longtime Oakland third baseman is the main reason the Mets have won a playoff spot for the first time since 2016 and are a serious threat in the world championship, helping turn New York into one of the best The teams are in the league in his first season as a batting coach.
That was a lot of the previous green and gold at the visiting club this weekend – in fact, parts of 27 Auckland seasons in between. It will be shown before all fans get to their seats tonight.
Before the game, Chavez, who played 13 seasons in Oakland, will get his green jacket to be elected earlier this spring to the A. Hall of Fame. The rest of the 2022 class – Sal Bando, Joe Rudy, Ray Voss, Keith Lipman and Steve Vucinic – were honored ahead of the Bay Bridge Series game against the Giants earlier this summer.
Bassett will then start the series’ opening game against the A-Team as the Mets continue to try to fend off the Atlanta Braves for the division title while trying to push their old team close to a 100 loss for only the second time in Oakland franchise history. (Players A need to go 8-4 in the last 12 matches to avoid this questionable distinction.)
They were playing a part in the Mets’ squad on Friday night and playing somewhere on the field. The San Jose producer and Cal producer have played all three outdoor spots—and first base—and have made it everywhere in the New York standings except for third and eighth.
Kanha, 33, spent his first seven seasons with the A-team and signed a $26.7 million two-year deal with the Mets over the winter. It was a great deal for both parties. Canha is back in the playoffs, and it has been very productive, with a .264/.368/.401 slash line that includes 12 home runs and 56 RBI.
Canha’s consistency and reliability have been evaluated by the Mets. As A fans know, he can also take center stage. Canha was the hottest of the Mets in August as New York beat Atlanta. During this stretch, he jumped in two runs in a decisive victory over the Braves, and three days later, he struck a powerful home blow against Velez.
Manager Buck Showalter recently told reporters that Kanye is “a pro, he’s a baseball player. That’s my greatest compliment when I talk about players. He’s a baseball player.”
Showalter added, “He is very trustworthy. … He is always preparing for the next need and wants to be there and eliminate all the things that might challenge some players.”
Bassett, 33, is also rising to the challenge in his first season at Flushing Meadows.
The right-hander has won 14 games at the highest level in the 3.32 ERA. Last season he was 12-4 with a 3.15 ERA when he and Olson were representatives of the All-Star Game. After six seasons with the A’s, and twice finishing in the top ten of the Cy Young ballot, he was traded in March to bowlers JT Ginn and Adam Oller.
The Mets will make that deal again. Bassett is 7-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star break, and like the Kanha, he was at his best in August, when he went 4-0 with 1.62 ERA.
It is also reliable. Five of Bassett’s wins came after the Mets lost.
“Have you seen those westerners turning away from someone?” Showalter asked reporters after Bassett’s last start. “Then one man gets shot off the horse and everyone keeps going? One man always comes back to help. We call these guys the ride. I think Bassett is one of those guys that comes back.”
Chavez, 44, gave the Mets a boost in his first season as a batting coach.
The six-time Gold Glove winner wasn’t just a defensive tackle during his 17 seasons. He was the third starting player in the 2002 Silver Slugger Championship, hitting 20 players in seven straight A seasons and earning over 100 RBI four times, and the Mets offense thrived under his supervision.
Last season, Rangers, Marlins and Pirates scored fewer runs than the Mets. But this season they scored the fifth most in leagues, fifth in batting average, and eighth in OPS.
The return of the former champions will undoubtedly be nostalgic for fans – this is the last “Auckland first series” of the season for players who have been traded or given up after 2021. Players are looking forward to it too.
Bassett told the New York Post that he plans to take his teammates on a sightseeing tour of the Coliseum/Arena complex.
“You can go to the top of Mount Davis, that’s cool. Maybe go see the oracle – the old oracle,” Bassett told the newspaper. “Not much, but show them some fun stuff.”