JBay_AP.jpg
Bay and the Mets parted ways in the offseason. (AP)

Mariners OF Bay back in NY after 3 tough seasons

By BEN WALKER
AP Baseball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Aboard the Mariners' team flight toward his former home, Jason Bay tuned in to watch the New York Mets.

"I cheer for all those guys," he said.

No signs or sounds of rancor from the Seattle outfielder in the Yankee Stadium dugout Tuesday night. Instead, he was looking ahead, preparing for his first game in New York since three disappointing seasons with the Mets.

"I've moved on and tried to enjoy baseball again," the Seattle outfielder said.

Bay was set to bat second and play left field as the Mariners took on ace CC Sabathia.

The Mariners signed the 34-year-old Bay in December. The three-time All-Star and the Mets parted ways in the offseason, with Bay getting the $21 million the team still owed him, although spread out over a longer period.

Bay is hitting .253 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 28 games for Seattle.

"It was a fresh start," said Bay, who was raised in British Columbia and went to Gonzaga in Spokane, Wash.

Plagued by concussions and rib injuries, Bay hit .234 with a total of 26 home runs in those three years with the Mets.

"In New York, it didn't work out," he said. "That's no one's fault but mine. I've said it 7 million times. I still wish I'd done better."

"Everyone can point to A, B or C. I can't tell you what it was," he said.

Bay had to earn a job in spring training with the Mariners. Even when he made the team, he knew his role would change on a regular basis – from starting to pinch-running to being a defensive replacement.

Bay said he spoke with another Seattle newcomer, Raul Ibanez, about making the adjustment from everyday player to part-timer. Bay said he's overcome some early-season struggles and is fitting in.

"I feel I'm comfortable with where I'm at," he said.

While watching a telecast of the Mets' game against St. Louis on Monday during the Mariners' flight, Bay said he'd heard his former team had signed recently released outfielder Rick Ankiel.

Bay has noticed the troubles the Mets are having this year, especially in the outfield. He's heard about them, too.

"I still talk to the guys," Bay said.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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