Young Mets spend leisure time at the rodeo

Young Mets spend leisure time at the rodeo

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Two months in Florida, spent thousands of miles away from friends and family, can force players to be creative with their free time. So when a group of young Mets -- including Jacob deGrom and Dillon Gee -- discovered a rodeo was taking place at the St. Lucie County Fair on Friday night, they did not need much convincing.

"They had ropin', saddle-riding broncs, bareback broncs, bull riding, barrel racing," said deGrom, who also attended last year. "Just a regular rodeo."

Though deGrom and Gee grew up in areas where rodeos are popular, some of the others -- including pitching prospect Steven Matz and reliever Sean Gilmartin -- did not. Gilmartin is a Southern California transplant who now lives in Georgia, where he attends similar events when he can.

"It's right up my alley," Gilmartin said. "I like that stuff."

Particularly in these early days of camp before Grapefruit League games begin, players are always looking for ways to spend their time. Many, such as Gilmartin, enjoy fishing. Gee, a avid golfer, attended the PGA Tour's Honda Classic last year, and hoped to make the quick drive down to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., again to watch what is typically a star-studded event.

Anthony DiComo is the Mets beat reporter for MLB.com. He has been covering the team since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.