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Michael Cuddyer of the Mets talks ball with Kidsday

New York Mets player Michael Cuddyer in the

New York Mets player Michael Cuddyer in the Mets locker room at Citi Field with Kidsday reporters Matthew Stein, Troy Fiume, Ryan McMurray and Isabella Snyder, all from Centereach on Jan. 22, 2015. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We spent some time with Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer in the locker room at Citi Field recently. Before he talked to us he entertained a lot of kids with his amazing card tricks.

So do you prefer being an outfielder or an infielder?

That's a great question. I think I'm going with a cliche and say wherever the manager feels like we're going to win that day, that's what I like doing. I definitely like the run from the dugout to first base a lot better than the run from the dugout to outfield. I definitely don't get as winded when I just have to run five feet compared to about 100 feet.

As one of the leaders of this team can you carry the Mets to major playoffs this upcoming season?

That's the plan. The plan is to go out there and get us to the postseason. I think you guys are ready to see us in the postseason, right? So that's the goal. . . because we want the same thing. So we're going to go out there, we're going to play as a team, we're going to have good chemistry, it's going to be exciting, it's going to be a lot of fun to go out and watch what we're going to do out on the field. And hopefully after 162 games we get to play a couple more.

We know you're friends with David Wright. Are you excited to be playing with him?

I am. I'm excited. David is a good guy. He's been the leader of this franchise for a long, long time now. I'm excited to hop on board and hopefully help him and the rest of us out.

With being a major league baseball player do you get to spend time with your kids?

That's a great question too. I don't get to spend enough time with them. I get to spend time with them and we're very fortunate to have 4 months off when I can go home and hang out with them, but during the season, once I leave for spring training, especially now I have a 6-year-old son who's in first grade, they don't get to be around me as much. That's the hardest part of our job -- not being around our family as much as we'd like to.

If you didn't play baseball what would you be doing for your job?

That answer has changed a lot in the 18 years since I graduated high school. I think the answer that I have right now is probably I would like to be a high school guidance counselor. I think so many people have shaped my life and helped me realize my dreams and my goals that I think aside from the paperwork that high school guidance counselors have to do, they get an opportunity to do that. They get an opportunity to help kids figure out what it is they want to go and do in the future after high school. So I think that would be something that would be pretty rewarding, hard and fun to do.

Do you think you're going to have the same success as you did for the Colorado Rockies?

I hope so. That's the goal. I don't measure the success of the season based on individual numbers or individual goals. I think that's selfish for one, and number two, you get to a point that I'm at in my career and it's about winning baseball games. In Colorado, we didn't win as many games as we felt we should have or hoped to.

When you were a kid did you imagine you would be here in life?

When I was your age and even younger I always believed I was going to be a major league baseball player. It was a dream of mine. My parents always encouraged me to chase that dream, but at the same time I was going to have to do everything in my power to achieve that dream. I had to pay attention in class, do my homework, listen to my teachers. That went on top of being an athlete and that has allowed me to be well rounded and ultimately have the success that I've been able to have at this level.

Are you going to do anything different at the plate being that Citi Field is more spacious than Colorado?

Great question and it's a myth. Actually Colorado has a bigger outfield than Citi Field does. But no, I don't think so. I've been able to hone and approach that has worked for me these last three years that I've hit better than on the road then I've ever have in my career, which tells me that this approach works no matter what stadium I'm at. So hopefully I can continue that approach, continue that thought process at the plate and hopefully that success will carry over here.

We know you have received many awards. Which one are you most proud of?

Like I said, I don't base much of success on individual things, but sometimes individual things are what happen and I think winning the batting championship in 2013 was probably my favorite because it's not necessarily an award, it's not something that somebody votes on or somebody thinks of. It's something that you earn. It's leading the league in something that's pretty special.

Can you hear the fans screaming at you on the field?

You can and surprisingly when there's less people in the stands is when you hear more of them. I think you can hear the individual yelling when there's less people in the stands. When the stadium is full you definitely hear the roar of the crowd, but it's more like elevator music. When you're on the elevator you hear the music, but you don't really hear the music. Does that make sense? It's kind of the same way when you're on the field. You hear the crowd and you definitely can know when the excitement level is up, you can feed off of that roar and you also know when you're not doing too well and that quiet kind of calm, stir about the ballpark.

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