NEW YORK (AP) -Brian Schneider has no sympathy for baseball's steroid users.
``They're grown men. They have to deal with the consequences,'' Schneider said Thursday, when he was introduced as the New York Mets' new catcher.
Schneider, acquired with outfielder Ryan Church in a trade that sent outfielder Lastings Milledge to Washington on Nov. 30, was surprised by the some of the names he saw in the Mitchell Report.
``I think it was good that it came out, and I think it will help the numbers (of users) go down. Senator Mitchell even said that the numbers are going down.
``So I think it's getting better,'' he said.
The 31-year-old Schneider struggled at the plate last season, batting .235 with six homers and 54 RBIs. He's expected to be an upgrade behind the plate from Paul Lo Duca, whom the Mets didn't offer a free-agent contract.
Schneider is considered one of baseball's best defensive catchers and was given a lot of credit this season for holding together a ragtag Nationals rotation.
``I think I'm pretty good with handling pitchers and trying to protect them,'' Schneider said. ``Defense for a catcher, I think sometimes people don't know how important that is.''
Schneider has already spoken with Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson and met Wednesday with general manager Omar Minaya.
``They have a good mix here of experience and promising young guys. I'm going to get tape of all the starters so I can get something on paper, especially on guys we'll facing in our division.''
Schneider saw at least one big upside to the trade, even though New York failed to make the postseason after blowing a seven-game lead with 17 games remaining.
``We did some winning (in Washington) but this is a different caliber of winning over here. It's a chance to go to the playoffs every year,'' Schneider said. ``I have never been to the playoffs and I'm excited to have a chance to do it.''
And there's a practical reason:
``At least I won't have to worry about trying to throw out (Jose) Reyes,'' he said. ``Really it's two or three guys. David (Wright) had a lot of success in situations running in the right counts last year, and then there's (Carlos) Beltran.
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