Kevin Pillar might be the toughest SOB to play for the Mets in a long, long time. After taking a fastball square in the face, the dude rolls up to the clubhouse the following day looking like he went 15 rounds with Mike Tyson and asks if he's in the lineup. The fact that he even showed up is mind-boggling to me.
The majority of us would be in a full-body cast after an accident like that. Not a single person would blame Pillar for hitting his couch and staying put for days, weeks, months, years or however long it takes to heal up from trauma like that. It's the type of pain I don't even want to imagine.
This is the type of guy who would run through a wall to make a play. This is the type of guy who inspires teammates. This is the type of guy who can play for my team any day.
Pillar is built differently.
Simply watching him come out with the lineup card had me jacked up. I cannot get over the fact that 24 hours after getting drilled in the freaking face with a fastball he shows up and calmly walks a lineup card out to home plate. That's some Rocky Balboa shit.
If that wasn't moving enough, Pillar's press conference was the icing on the cake. He wasn't even worried about his face. That will heal, he says, but his heart is broken for his teammates. The only thing on his mind is how he can't be on the field right now to help this banged-up roster.
That would be so far from the minds of the average person. But Pillar isn't the average person. It's a team-first mentality. That's why this team is built differently. In prior seasons, the Mets lose last night's game 100 out of 100 times.
Not this year. Not with this team. Not on Pillar's watch.
Whenever Pillar returns to the field, it's time for a standing ovation. Pillar is going to give us everything he's got, and the fans need to shower him with the same. This is a man who just might help led the Mets back to the promised land.
If you're already an avid runner, or just have "get off the couch" as something on your list this year, this sounds like a great time. The St. Lucie Mets are kicking off Spring Training with a 5K around Clover Park!