Mark Sanchez is quite the charmer. It stands to reason that, providing he’s not a total and complete egg, he will be very popular in New York as the Jets new quarterback.
Of course, that’s based primarily on the fact that the doesn’t seem fazed by the media circus in the Big Apple (which is probably predicated on the fact that he was the most famous football player in Los Angeles for a year). So it shouldn’t be any shock that he’s tossing out the first pitch at the Mets game and readily acknowledging his tough media situation, which he covered in the following interview.
On throwing out the first pitch at a Mets game:
“I was pretty nervous for the first pitch. I’d thrown maybe 10 throws before that and I haven’t thrown a baseball since high school. Everybody there, it was so funny, I’m standing in the dugout and people near the dugout were calling for autographs so I went over there and kinda hung out with the crowd for a little bit and they were like, “Good luck in New York, yo!” with their New York accents. It was cool, and I’m soaking it up and having fun with them and somebody’s like, “Hey man, yo Sanchez, can you pitch or what? We’ll boo you right outta here.” I was like, oh my god. So I started getting really nervous so I was like, I’m gonna throw it at his head. If it’s higher than his head, fine, but I’m not throwing it low, that’s what I’m not gonna do. I can’t get booed outta here my first day. I kinda babied it and it sailed on me but it looked a little better than bouncing it.”
On meeting with the Jets before the draft:
“Just being with their staff and Mr. Johnson and Mr. Tannenbaum, I couldn’t tell you how comfortable I felt. Mr. Tannenbaum was the one asking the tough questions and I still felt like this is where I wanted to be and I’d be so lucky to get to play for Coach Ryan and it ended up happening. There’s actually a funny story — we were walking out of dinner and I’m saying bye to them and, just to get a feel for how loose I was with them and how much fun I was having, we’re walking out of dinner and they’re going to their car in the parking lot and I’m walking to my car and I see this big ol’ motorcycle right near their car so I pretended to go get on top of it and I was like, “alright guys, I’ll see you later” and I was gonna grab the helmet and put it on my head, and they started dying laughing. And I went to my car and went off, but when I came in on Sunday, Rex Ryan brought up that story and he said, “man, that was so funny, I knew we had to have you right there.” So that was pretty cool.”
On dealing with the New York media:
“Well, it’s a little different. Obviously it’s bigger and more intrusive but it’s been great so far. As long as we’re winning, that’s all I’ve heard, is you’ll be fine so we’ll just try and get some wins. It’s one of those things that you get used to and you adjust. But it’s also one of those things where you get drafted number five to a team, they expect you to be readily available and they want to know what’s going on and it’s your job to keep them informed and be the voice of the team as well. So speaking on behalf of the team isn’t new to me, but it’s such a new media market, and large media market, it’ll be an adjustment but I think I’m ready to do that.”