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St. Lucie Mets dance their way to FSL title
St. Lucie Mets minor league prospect Corey Coles
St. Lucie Mets minor league prospect Corey Coles
By Chuck King

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla – The St. Lucie Mets danced their way to the Florida State League championship – literally.

Throughout the FSL season, the Mets kept the team loose by dancing away the stress.

“One guy will be in there kinda dancing and another guy will come in and he’ll throw a couple of moves and it will just start from there,” said Mets minor league prospect Corey Coles, who led the FSL with a .341 average.

“A crowd will gather around. Guys will come from all directions. They’ll be in the kitchen room making some food and the guy will start shaking a leg a little bit. Then another guy will come walking up dancing.”

Pretty soon everyone is involved, including hall of fame catcher Gary Carter, who manages the Mets.

“He calls it dancing,” said Coles, “I guess that’s how they moved in his day. (Hitting coach Nelson Silverio) can move a little bit, he’s pretty good.”

Carter doesn’t always participate, but he encourages the boogie wonderland because it produces team unity.

Silverio says joining the dance-off serves a couple of purposes. It reminds the players that the coaches were young once and they have not lost touch with what it’s like to be a minor league prospect trying to reach the majors.

He also feels he can teach the players a thing or two.

“I learned how to break dance,” a smiling Silverio said. “Back in the 80s I was a dancer. The guys will start dancing and I’ll say, hey let me show you what I can do right here. I’m 41 years old but I’m a popper, too.”

Rating the Mets minor league prospects

Who busts the best moves? Well, that depends on who you ask.

Most agree that Coles and second baseman J.E. Cruz are at the top of the list. According to their teammates, both players do spot-on impressions of the arm-swinging, rhythmically-challenged Carlton Banks from the TV show The fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Jamar Hill says minor league pitching prospect Blake Eager is a dark horse candidate.

“He keeps to himself, but every once in a while he’ll bust out a move just to show he’s got it,” Hill said.

Hill adds that Jose Coronado, whose 31 sacrifices was 10 more than any other minor leaguer, needs the most help.

“He’s got the same dance moves for any song that we put on,” said Hill, a .235 hitter for the Mets.

Mets closer Carlos Muniz recorded his fifth save in five playoff games by striking out Dunedin’s Scott Dragicevich, setting the Mets title celebration in motion. The Mets took their dancing out of the clubhouse and onto the field. As the champagne corks flew, a shower of ice-cold water aided Carter’s dance moves.

Following the on-field celebration, the Mets returned to their clubhouse and turned up the volume.

Not that they needed it, but the Mets achieved the ultimate reason to dance.

Check out my blog for more on Mets minor league prospects and Minor League Baseball.

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