Mets Pre Game Hug and Handshake Routine

Wendy AdairAnalyst IApril 7, 2009

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 27:  Johan Santana #57 and Endy Chavez #10 of the New York Mets celebrate after defeating the Florida Marlins on September 27, 2008 at Shea Stadium in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Marlins 2-0. Santana threw a complete game shutout.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Much has been made of the Mets and the way they celebrate their successes, minor and major alike, but yesterday before the game started, Johan Santana and David Wright shook everyone's hand in choreographed harmony and hugged each teammate. 

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Santana started from the first base side of dugout, and Wright started from the home plate side; they went from player to player offering a hug, a funky handshake, or both and ended up greeting each other before finishing their rounds on the way to the far end of the dugout.

This amusing ritual set the tone for the game. It was obvious that they both wanted to bring unity to the team and pump each other up and also create a little body heat as the weather was frigid.

Even though the weather was miserable and they were bundled up, taking part in this pre-game ritual sends a message that they are a team first and will behave like a family supporting each other.  

Philadelphia Phillies' and Florida Marlins' players and fans have all ridiculed the Mets for their celebrations, but my opinion is, they did it in the dugout, not on the field, and it was before the game, so no player or fan should have felt offended.

Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino of the Phillies actually put up pictures of Jose Reyes and company celebrating their home runs and minor victories as motivation for them to win and make the Mets look like children for "pimping" celebrations.

As everyone in New York knows, these players are under strong microscopes and the Mets are showing that they will be a close knit group and do not care what others think; they have to stick together and play like brothers for the next five months.

Wright and Santana are both established leaders on this team, and their teammates will and should respond to them probably better than anyone else.

Every player was more than happy to offer their hands and hugs in return to this ritual, standing or sitting, it did not matter.

Yesterday a message of team unity resounded in the dugout and the Mets won, so obviously this routine should carry through to every game in the hopes that a win will occur. If not, they show that they are there for each other like brothers.