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    By Ari Hirsch

    Last August the Mets traded Jay Bruce to the Indians, and he helped them win a division title and a gain playoff berth. Bruce returned to the Mets in January when he agreed to a three-year, $39-million free agent contract. On Chol Hamoed Bruce hit a grand slam against the Nationals and is off to a very hot start.

    Name: Jay Allen Bruce

    Nick Name: Bruuuuce or Bruce Almighty

    Born: April 3, 1987 (age 31), Beaumont, TX

    Height: 6’ 3”

    Salary: 3 year / $39,000,000 contract with the New York Mets, including a $3,000,000 signing bonus, $39,000,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $13,000,000. In 2018, Bruce will earn a base salary of $10,000,000, while carrying a cap hit of $11,000,000.

    2018 Opening Day Walk up music: Bruce- Public Service Announcement by Jay-Z

    Favorite Ballplayer Growing Up: Ken Griffey Jr.

    How are you feeling these days? How does it feel back with the Mets? A: Great. I’m all excited about starting off the season with the Mets. We have a great group of guys and new management. I think this season all goes back to health and if we’re healthy, I’d put us up against anyone. I think we just have to do everything we can to stay on the field, stay healthy and just play baseball.

    What do you think about your new Mets manager, Mickey Callaway, who was the Indians’ pitching coach when you were in Cleveland last season? A: He’s great. He’s a normal dude. A straight shooter. He’s not going to micromanage you.He understands that it’s a game of ups and downs, and there are things that are gonna happen that are positive and there are things that are gonna happen that are negative, and he’s gonna be very good at controlling his emotions and continuing to kind of keep his eye on the prize. He was great to get know in Cleveland, and I think he’s going to do an amazing job here as manager.

    How do you compare playing in Cincinnati all those years verses playing in New York?

    A: It’s definitely different.There is much more attention on you in New York. In Cincinnati there are 7 or 8 reporters while in New York there are 70 or 80. Everything is a lot more sensitized but its great here. I love playing here so far. The people in New York love their teams. We have a great chance of making the playoffs and I’m looking forward to it.

    Being a Texas guy, how is it living in NYC?

    A: It’s only a short time in my life and so I want to get the most out of it when it comes to being able to experience what I consider the greatest city in the world.

    Rumor has it that you cut off your pinkie when you were in high school. Is that true?

    A: Not the entire pinkie but when I was a sophomore in high school in shop class I cut through the bone, the ligaments and tendants and shredded the blood vessels and had to get it completely repaired.

    Favorite Mets moment? A: Making the playoffs in 2016. I’m looking forward to going back this season.