Brandon Nimmo’s trademark smile and effervescent personality were a bit muted Tuesday.
Nimmo’s subdued demeanor was not at all surprising after Mets general manager Sandy Alderson made an announcement in the team clubhouse about his immediate leave of absence after his recurrence of cancer hours before the Mets game against Pittsburgh.
“Something like this definitely reminds you that baseball is a game,” Nimmo said. “We definitely are heartbroken for him.”
Nimmo and Alderson will be forever linked in franchise history. Alderson was named the team’s 12th GM on Oct. 29, 2010. Less than a year later, the Mets chose Nimmo in the first round (and No. 13 pick overall) of the MLB Draft.
“He and I will always be tied together,” said the 25-year-old Nimmo, in his third season with the Mets. “He’s been great to me. He’s a great guy. He’s always been the same with me — a dry sense of humor; very friendly. He gets right to the point. He’s very direct in what he sees out of you and what he expects from you. I appreciate that.”
Nimmo and other Mets spoke highly of Alderson before the game and offered their collective support.
“His life and his family are much more important right now, and he definitely needs to take this time off and go spend it with his family,” Nimmo said. “I can only imagine what this kind of news can do on a family and on yourself.
“You hate to see bad things happen to great people,” Nimmo added. “But I’m hopeful and praying that he’ll come out of this stronger and come back to us with even more perspective and value on life.”
Nimmo had an ominous feeling when Alderson entered the clubhouse on Tuesday.
“It was tough news for him to say out loud to us and tough news for us to receive,” said Nimmo, who fouled out as a pinch hitter Tuesday. “There were a lot of tears in the eyes of guys around the clubhouse, and Sandy as well, as it should be. We are all human beings, and that’s the most important thing . . . It’s much more important than baseball right now.”
Nimmo recalled meeting Alderson after he was drafted in June, 2011.
”I went up into his suite, and he had his golden retriever and his son up there,” said Nimmo, who is hitting .283 with 12 home runs and 25 RBIs this season. “He was talking with me about how he thought of me as a player, and where he thought I could improve, and that he was looking forward to the next few years of developing and seeing me up here soon.”
Nimmo was extremely reflective in the Mets dugout late Tuesday afternoon.
“Obviously, we didn’t know what kind of path it would lead to, but we’ve definitely enjoyed our relationship together,” Nimmo said. “I’ve enjoyed my time with him.”
Notes & quotes: The Mets recalled righthanded reliever Gerson Bautista from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned infielder Luis Guillorme, who committed two errors in Monday’s loss against Pittsburgh. Bautista, making his third stint with the Mets, is 0-1 with a 12.46 ERA in 4 1/3 innings this season at the big-league level. Guillorme was hitting .172 (10-for-58) with four RBIs in 29 games. His last hit for the Mets came on June 2.