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Mets got lucky with "babysitters" Blanco, Barajas

The Mets knew they needed to upgrade the catching position this offseason, given Omir Santos' game-calling issues and Josh Thole's inexperience. But the plan didn't go as expected when Bengie Molina spurned their two-year, $10-million offer and returned to the Giants. That left Omar Minaya with Henry Blanco, a 38-year-old backup, and little else, until Rod Barajas fell into their laps only hours before the start of spring training.

As it turned out, the Mets found exactly what they were looking for - a pair of catchers capable of making their pitching staff better. That's the subject of today's Mets Insider, where John Maine jokingly refers to Blanco as a "babysitter" for Mike Pelfrey. And Pelfrey doesn't have a problem with it either. From the Insider:

"That's kind of what he is," Pelfrey said. "Any time you can have a guy around like that to talk to you and let you know what you are doing, it allows you to learn and it allows you to get better."

Barajas and Blanco were comfortable with the "baby-sitter" label, too.

"If we have to do that sometimes, we'll do it," Blanco said. "They're the main guys on the field and that's our responsibility - to deal with those types of little things that probably nobody sees on the field."

Added Barajas, "You have to be like a parent. Get them back on the right path. Just try to steer them, whether it's in a tough way or an encouraging way or whatever way that person responds to."

New York Sports