Sunday night in New York, the Mets took the rubber game from the division rival Nationals at Citi Field (NY 5, WAS 1). The Amazin’s are 8 1/2 games out in the division, though they’re only one back of the Cardinals for the second wild card spot.
During Sunday’s game infielder Wilmer Flores debuted a new walk-off song: the Friends theme song, “I’ll Be There For You,” by The Rembrandts. You’ve heard it. I know you have.
That’s an uncommon walk-up song choice, I’d say. Not bad, necessarily. I just can’t think of any players who use the theme song of a sitcom as their walk-off song. Hey, whatever floats Flores’ boat.
After Sunday’s game reporters asked Flores about his new walk-off song, and his reason for using it is simple: he loves the show. He’s seen every episode. It does go a little deeper than that, however. From Marc Carig of Newsday:
In 2009, Flores began the season with Class A Savannah. Once there, he resolved to speak more English.
“You have to learn,” he said. “If you’re smart enough and you really want to, you will . . . I really wanted to understand what they were saying when the coaches were talking.”
Flores took to watching the local news with a dictionary in his hand. In the clubhouse, he read whatever he got his hands on. But his favorite lessons came through “Friends,” which he stumbled upon on television one day in Savannah.
Flores was only a 17-year-old kid in his first full season of pro ball back in 2009, and he was feeling homesick. He would watch Friends, which aired from 1994-2004, religiously in the minors to help him learn English. He’d also watch the local news with a dictionary and read newspapers, magazines, whatever. Basically whatever he could get his hands on.
The trade fell apart because the Mets found something they didn’t like in Gomez’s medicals, and, a few days later, Flores swatted a walk-off home run against the Nationals. A fan favorite was born. Fans loved the raw emotion Flores showed on the field and they’ve been behind him ever since.
Now Flores is a very productive player — he’s hitting .262/.318/.459 with 15 home runs while playing all four infield positions — and fans at Citi Field clap along to the Friends theme song each time he comes to the plate. That is pretty darn awesome. Flores has come a long way since he was a 17-year-old in Single-A ball trying to learn English.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Why Mets fan favorite Wilmer Flores uses ‘Friends’ theme song as walk-up music