I had the amazing pleasure to chat it up with former Mets catcher and current SNY analyst Anthony Recker. During this Q&A we talked about his career, as well as his current standings with the Mets and his future plans.
Recker was the Mets backup catcher for part of three years and was catching some top tier young arms coming through the organization. Although Recker didn’t hit that much in the majors, he was praised for his work behind the plate. The backstop also provided some big time clutch hits, as most of his home runs were either giving the Mets the lead or tying the game.
These days, Recker is part of the BNNY crew on SNY showing why exactly why he was a main stay in the Mets organization, his knowledge about the game of baseball.
I hope you enjoy reading this Q&A with the former backstop for the Mets.
Q: First of all, thank you for doing this. You have been out of the game for a few years now. How his life after baseball treating you?
A: It’s going well. I definitely hoped, by the time I was done playing, that I’d be in a different position and able to take more liberties… but hey, I have a beautiful wife, 3 awesome boys and I get to talk baseball for a living!
Q: You now work for SNY as an analyst. How does it feel that your opinion is broadcasted to a lot of Mets fans around the world?
A: It’s really fun to be able to breakdown the things I see going on during the season or to be able to analyze off-season moves and trends. It’s just great to still be involved in the game and to try to bring a different perspective to those who watch the shows.
Q: Has the atmosphere and approach at SNY changed since Steve Cohen has purchased the Mets?
A: No, as he hasn’t purchased SNY it’s been business as usual. However the general positive feel and buzz of excitement for the team is definitely floating around the office. It has certainly led to some great content!
Q: Do you see yourself having a future as a coach in professional baseball? Future manager?
A: Absolutely a future manager. I don’t know how I’ll get my shot or what route I’ll take to get there but I would be very disappointed if that wasn’t in the cards for me down the road. I watched and studied and played the game so much that it would be a shame if I couldn’t use what I’ve learned to help a team, organization and the players reach that ultimate goal. I know I will always be learning and couldn’t think of a better way to broaden my knowledge than to be trusted to lead men down a championship path.
Q: Back to your playing days. Who were your favorite pitchers to catch during your playing time?
A: I won’t specifically give you names but the guys who could locate well. Of course the better the stuff the more fun but if you couldn’t hit your spots it made calling a game much more difficult. I loved knowing that I was swimming in a batters head while he was up at the plate. That part of the game I miss the most, that chess match.
Q: How has the analytics grown in the years you played the game. How do you feel about the big influence of analytics in the current game of baseball. How did you adjust to the analytics during your playing days? Was it difficult to get behind the idea of analytics?
A: When I came in (drafted ‘05) it wasn’t something I had ever heard of. It took years before the term ever reached my ears as it pertains to baseball. Now that it has I think anyone would be remiss if they didn’t use the numbers to their advantage. Now there is definitely a place in the game for pure baseball instinct, but now you have some solid statistical data to help guide you and help players continually improve themselves. It was easy for me to make any adjustments because I understood that some of the numbers I could access could help me get better.
Q: This year there are 42 minor league teams that were cut. What kind of effects does it have for the players and the game in your view?
A: This is a very sore subject for me. I spent more time in MiLB than I did in MLB. I had a blast coming up through the stages and definitely learned a ton in the process. Not just about baseball but about myself and about how to be a professional. I may not have had the opportunity to make it to the big leagues without those extra affiliates and I hope late bloomers like myself don’t get turned away now because of this. It’s devastating for the communities that will be impacted by these decisions. Not only that but I have to imagine there will be tens if not hundreds of thousands of kids who will no longer have the ability to learn the game through a more easily accessible means. I can’t help but think that this decision will be felt years down the road when far less youth will be as interested in the game.
Q: How did you keep yourself busy during the off-season?
A: Oh that’s simple, I worked out…. a lot! In my early days I’d go hunting and work to make ends meet. Later I found my future wife and we’d do a little traveling in between training. I definitely miss the off-season schedule!
Q: Thoughts about the McCann signing?
A: McCann signing is fantastic. It give the team the defensive catcher it’s been sorely missing the past couple years.
Q: How do you think the Mets off-season will go? Can you give a prediction who the Mets will sign or trade for?
A: Well so far they’ve signed 2 players I’ve said would be good fits in McCann and May. I don’t think Bauer will be a Met unless Springer falls through… although I will say I’ve been rooting for JBJ because the commitment would be much less and would give the team greater flexibility down the road. Not to mention I’m still not over the Astros cheating scandal. Would love to see them move a DH/one position type guy to create more lineup versatility as well as add a more versatile player in a Kike Hernandez type. Also think adding at least one more nice piece to the pen makes sense. I like the upside of Rosenthal. And of course they need at least one more starter… I’d like to see two.
I want to thank Anthony Recker for taking the time to talk with me! Hopefully some
Photo from GETTY IMAGES