It has been quite a ride for Luis Rojas, now the New York Mets‘ manager, in the last few months. He went from being the team’s quality control coach to new skipper Carlos Beltran to taking over as the Mets’ boss following the latter’s distancing from the position after his involvement in the Houston Astros 2017 sign-stealing scandal became public.
He started his first spring training in charge and was doing just fine, but play had to be halted because of the coronavirus outbreak. Now, we don’t know when we will see the New York Mets take the field again.
However, Rojas is used to sudden changes. He spoke to Nathalie Alonso of MLB.com’s site in Spanish (Las Mayores) about the â€œmentality of the game of baseball,â€ which calls for making adjustments and keeping emotions in check. He thinks that approach has served him and his players well as they’ve navigated what he names as â€œabrupt turns.â€
â€œObviously, with whatâ€™s going on with the virus, itâ€™s something weâ€™ve never seen before, so weâ€™re swimming in unfamiliar waters as far as being able to anticipate whatâ€™s going to happen in the future,â€ Rojas said. â€œBut as far as adjusting and adapting, like weâ€™re all doing in our lives, I think [the baseball mentality] has helped us as a team.
“Everyone went where they needed to go depending on their respective responsibilities to their families. Theyâ€™re staying as active as possible to stay in the best possible shape depending on what they have available to them in terms of facilities. Yes, things have happened suddenly, but the game itself prepares you for changes.â€
The Mets’ boss preaches short, constant communication
The Mets are using the Zoom platform to stay connected via video conferences, as well as an app called Teamworks.
Thankfully, Rojas is very familiar with the Mets’ roster, as he worked 13 years in the organization. That helps him stay in touch with the younger guys.
â€œThe communication goes both ways,â€ says Rojas. â€œThe guys call me and text me. I text them, too. I try not to do it every day. The other coaches reach out, too. The communication has been really good.â€
Rojas also added that â€œthe messages are brief because weâ€™ve known each other for a long time and that makes things easier.â€
Rojas is spending quiet days in Florida with his wife Laura and Luis Felipe, the couple’s seven-year-old son.
For now, Rojas insists that heâ€™s not frustrated by the circumstances, which he says are â€œbigger than the game.â€
â€œI haven’t paid much attention to what might be lost on a personal level,â€ said Rojas. â€œI know at some point weâ€™re going to play baseball. At some point, Iâ€™ll have my first game as manager. But this is not the time to let emotions get in the way. Itâ€™s something we canâ€™t control.â€