I Believe In Lucas Duda
2015: The Year of the Dude?
As a man who considers himself a die-hard New York Mets fan, I get emotionally caught up in the action. I know here on Legends On Deck, I’m meant to be a fair and unbiased journalist; however, I truly have a point I must address and if I don’t get this off my chest on a major forum, I will regret not saying it when it DOES happen.
I honestly believe that Lucas Duda will have a monster 2015 season for the New York Mets.
Now, I am a man that will admit when he’s wrong. I will gladly go and say that when the Mets chose Duda over Ike Davis at the beginning of the 2014 season, I was 100% AGAINST IT. In fact, this feeling was posted from me on Twitter back in April of this year when I stated this once Ike was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates:
IKE, you will be missed. DUDA, you BETTER be worth this possible mistake. @mets
— Jon Harder (@TheJonHarder) April 19, 2014
Well, I take it back. Last season, “the Dude” lived up to what Mets GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins thought he could, and that was a solid power-hitting first baseman. Although his batting average was .253, he had a career best 30 homeruns and 92 RBIs. Combine that with 130 hits, 27 doubles, and THREE stolen bases from the big man, I was thoroughly impressed last season.
Two instances in particular really stood out to me however, on why Mr. Duda showed he was 100% the man the Mets needed last season. The first was back on May 12th against the Yankees in the first game of the Subway Series. In the bottom of the 9th, with one out and runners at the corners, Kyle Farnsworth gave up a groundball to Brian McCann. What should have been a sure hit, DUDA made the stop, threw to second for one, and got it back from David Wright (the shift was on) for the double play to win it! Howie Rose was ECSTATIC on the DP to end it and I remember saying to myself, “Duda is clutch defensively,” which I never imagined myself thinking.
The other was on the second to last game of the year against the Astros on September 27, 2014. With Eric Young, Jr. on third and down to their last out, Duda hit his 29th homerun of the year in WALK-OFF fashion off Tony Sipp to beat Houston 2-1. On a night where I dealt with screaming girls going berserk for pop singer Austin Mahone, they had to deal with me jumping up and down in celebration for the win.
Now, I truly enjoyed hearing about all the positives about Duda from the Japan Series the MLB All Stars participated in. It is a testament to his character and performance in 2014 that allowed him to go overseas. I’ve also enjoyed seeing how prominent his role was on the Mets in 2014. They took a leap of faith on him and he proved his worth. Now, as he stated in a press release prior to going to Japan, “I already have put what happened this year out of my mind. I just want to keep on improving and getting better. I just want to do my part and help us get into the playoffs.”
As a die-hard Mets fan, I can safely say that I hope that is the case. The ultimate positive would be for Lucas to get an extra 5-10 homeruns in 2015 via the fences moving in at Citi Field. I think the Dude can do something special in Queens next year. Most of all, I think Lucas can do something that he can do to a fan base that have been frustrated for years when it comes to the Blue and Orange Brigade: help make them believers.
“Ya Gotta Believe!” Tug McGraw coined the phrase back in 1973. I think it holds true for today’s Mets. Honestly, it holds strongest for Lucas Duda. I BELIEVE IN THE DUDE.