With a pair of walk-off dribblers last year and a game-winning homer last weekend, Patrick Mazeika has become a cult hero and fan favorite in Flushing. I caught up with the catcher, who is the Mets’ primary backup with James McCann injured, to see how he’s handled the attention.
What have these game-winning heroics been like for you?
“Looking back, having some time to reflect, it’s been pretty crazy. Having the opportunity to be in some big moments and come through in some of those moments, it’s been really exciting. It’s been a lot of fun. The comments [from fans] have always been pretty supportive. I think they enjoy it and they like the craziness of it.”
How do you stay locked into these moments given how frequently you’ve shuttled back and forth from the Minors?
“I think you just kind of openly embrace that you could be anywhere. You could be in Arizona, Colorado, Buffalo, Scranton … but trying to stay present where you are. Not trying to be here, not trying to be there, just staying present. That allows me to at least stay a little calmer and not drive myself crazy. Because obviously, I want to be up here. I don’t want James to be out with a broken hamate. Nobody wants that. But I’m going to take advantage of every opportunity I can get to help this team win.”
You have a running gag with Jeff McNeil where each of you hangs the other’s baseball card in your locker during interviews. Jacob deGrom is a friend who throws to you in the offseason. How have you managed to develop so many tight relationships within this clubhouse?
“We’ve had a lot of guys who have come up through the system or at least been here for a while if they were traded over. [Tomás Nido] was drafted by the Mets. McNeil was drafted by the Mets. [Pete Alonso] was drafted by the Mets. Drew Smith’s been here a while. He was traded over, but I’ve known him since 2017. So I think it’s a lot easier to come into a place where you’re comfortable with some of the guys, and they treat you like one of them and they kind of embrace you.”