Q&A: Cliff Floyd (Part I)

The Mets received a boost of positive energy when effervescent Cliff Floyd returned to Shea Stadium after a lengthy stint at the Mets' rehab facilities in Port St. Lucie, Fla. <P> Floyd has escaped "that hole," as he and teammate Mike Cameron call Tradition Field, and is ecstatic to be back where he belongs. He joined Bryan Hoch this week for an exclusive Q&A. (Premium Content)

I know you've only been here for a couple of weeks, but a lot of people in this room have said that it feels different to be a Met in 2004. What's changed?

I think it's because we're able to feed off one another. It's not just everybody coming in and thinking they've got to do it all in one day. Everybody does their thing and whatever happens, happens. The great thing about that is, we're not saying, 'Come on, come on, come on.' No. You do your job, I'll do my job, and we're going to win.

It ain't all on Mike [Piazza], it ain't all on Glav [Tom Glavine] to pitch a shutout. Everybody just has to take care of their own responsibility. I think we're all coming together and realizing we all can play this game. That's the difference.

And you know what, we're starting to get some breaks, whereas in the past we were always on the short end of the break. If something could go wrong, it did, and you're not going to win enough games like that. You need those breaks.

Kind of like on Tuesday, with the comeback against Jason Isringhausen. Last year, the Mets probably lose that game.

Exactly. We fired it up. When we get two outs, nobody [in the Mets dugout] is saying, 'Oh, it's over, let's get 'em in the next inning.' Hell no.

We've scored a lot of runs with two outs. We've got to take advantage of the little things like that, and that's one of the things I think we're doing better this year. That's what it's all about, having a team that's set up to do the little things to win some ballgames.

You're wearing a supportive bandage on your elbow, you're not running at full speed and then, to top it off, you get hit with a pitch Thursday. It's just one thing after another, isn't it?

I know, right? But I'm used to it right now. I've got a higher pain threshold. There are some things that have been bothering me for two weeks now a little bit, but of course that's not going to stop me from going out there. I mean, hell. I was going out there last year with those Achilles [tendons], so I mean, come on.

How are the legs holding up?

Before I even got back up here, I scored twice from first base [in Port St. Lucie]. That's what I needed to see. I felt good. If I could do that, I knew my leg had healed.

I took off [on stolen base attempts] a couple of times [in Wednesday's game] and that was my concern, taking off. They asked me about that, and I said, 'OK. I can do this.' And Matty [Galante] asked me how I felt, and my answer was 'Good. Good.'

But I ran with Piazza at the plate, and in those situations with Mike hitting, I don't want to run. With Piazza up there, you're in scoring position from first base. He's going to put the ball in play, hit the ball to right, left, center. They can give me a green light when I'm feeling good, but with Mike up there, I don't see the need to run.

After the second stolen base attempt Wednesday, you took a lot of time getting back to first base. Was something wrong?

I was taking it easy. I was like, 'Man. Now he can hit the damn ball in the gap, I'm tired, and I've got to score for him.' It's going to be tough. So I just told the umpire to give me a break, give me a minute. I just ran twice, you know?

Part II of Inside Pitch Magazine Online's exclusive Q&A with Cliff Floyd will appear on Saturday, May 22.

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