SEATTLE -- Hugs and handshakes were prevalent during batting practice Monday, given the extraordinary number of Mariners players and coaches with Mets ties. Seattle players Chris Young (the pitcher) and Endy Chavez both spent time in the Mets organization, along with hitting coach Howard Johnson, bullpen catcher Jason Phillips, infield coach Chris Woodward and third-base coach Rich Donnelly.
Johnson in particular will always be associated with the Mets, spending nine years in Flushing and winning a World Series title with them in 1986. But Johnson has had little contact with his old team since the Mets did not renew his contract as hitting coach following the 2010 season, replacing him with Dave Hudgens. Though the Mets left the door open for Johnson to remain with the organization in another capacity, Johnson declined and eventually hooked on with the Mariners.
"There's not a lot of contact," Johnson said. "I talk to those guys every now and then by text or something, but other than that … I really don't see them. It's a little bit distant, but it's still part of my history."
Johnson is particularly close with third baseman David Wright, whom he mentored for years in the Minors. The two planned to spend time with each other later this week.