J.J. Putz Choosing Winning Over Saves

Dominick DiFucciAnalyst IDecember 18, 2008

Put aside the rumors that J.J. Putz does not want to set up for Francisco Rodriguez. Putz, at his press conference at Citi Field, said that setting up is fine with him as long as he wins.

"It would've been great closing," Putz said. "Now I'm setting up and it's fine." He added, "The bottom line is, I want to win. I didn't really have a chance to do that in Seattle."

Putz was Eddie Guardado's setup man in Seattle early in his career, so he says he knows the role. "I'm looking at it as my job to go out in the eighth and close the game in the eighth," Putz said. Guardado also helped Putz learn the split-fingered fastball, his out pitch.

"I have an aggressive style of pitching," Putz said. "I like to throw my fastball and put guys away with my split."

Putz is known as a practical joker, and his favorite prank is to put pies in people's faces. He even warned Kevin Burkhardt that he might be a victim too. "I think pies (in the face) are the funniest," Putz said. The Mets have not had a prankster in the bullpen since Roger McDowell, which is good because it keeps the team loose and the Mets need all the loosening they can get!

For all that want to know, his name is pronounced "Puts," but that might not stop many from calling him the Yiddish version of the word PUTZ.