Not only is Tom Gamboa anxious to return to manage in Brooklyn, but also he can hardly wait to get back in uniform this week to finish overseeing the Mets’ extended spring training camp in Port St. Lucie Florida.
After a freak accident that gave Gamboa a concussion on a ricochet by the pitching machine, the veteran manager has been restricted to his room for the past month. “It’s been a tough month for me staying in a darkened hotel room, but I’m finally seeing the light at the end of tunnel,” quipped Gamboa after complying with his doctor’s orders to get absolute rest.
Now with clearance to return to the diamond this week, Gamboa is ready to lead a team that will make up this year’s edition of the 2015 Brooklyn Cyclones from the 100 players under his watch. Players not selected to go north to Brooklyn will be assigned to either the Mets’ Rookie League in Kingsport Tennessee, or to the Mets’ Gulf Coast team at the backfields of the Port St. Lucie minor league complex.
Commenting on the long, three-month extended spring training camp, Gamboa stated, “I’m here to teach and baseball is a game of repetition. We start early in the morning and are done by one o’clock so the guys can rest and have time to themselves before the afternoon heat.”
Besides looking forward to escaping the hot and humid weather of Florida, Gamboa is anticipating the cooler nighttime games in Brooklyn. Noting that only an occasional fan or family member watches the team’s extended spring training games, Gamboa, as well as the players, is more than ready to play in a front of a few thousand fans. “At this point, I’m looking forward to everything in Brooklyn both on and off the field,” said Gamboa.
Some of the players from Gamboa’s 2014 Cyclone team are beginning to stand out in the Mets’ minor league system such as right-handed pitcher Casey Meisner who is one of Savannah’s top pitchers with a record of 4-1 and a 1.95 ERA. Additionally, shortstop Ahmed Rosario was moved to High-A St. Lucie, while the Mets’ 2014 top draft pick Michael Conforto was also promoted to Double-A Binghamton after leading St. Lucie with eight home runs.
This year, the Cyclones open the season in Staten Island on Friday June 19 against the Yankees and return on Saturday June 20 for their own home opener also against Staten Island.