NEW YORK -- The Mets' season was only two and a half weeks old when Cliff Floyd heard the three-letter salute for the first time. Those who had paid their way into Shea Stadium that night, turned the Nationals-Mets engagement into a game of chants. "MVP, MVP, MVP," they said. "Music to my ears," he said. "It's nice to feel appreciated."

The Mets season may not evolve to a point where Floyd is a legitimate candidate for the National League Most Valuable Player Award, an award missing from the Mets' 43-plus season resume. But Floyd cherishes those moments when New York hailed the early-season stages of his personal renaissance season.

"My legs feel better, my whole body feels better," Floyd said then. "I can do things now I haven't been able to do for a long time. They're seeing me kind of the way I see myself playing in my mind. And it feels real good to have them appreciate how I'm playing. It makes it easier to play hard for them. You want to give something back for all the support."

Floyd makes another installment payment on that innocently-incurred debt Saturday afternoon when he fills a role different from Mets left fielder and cleanup hitter. He serves as the host of "This Week In Baseball," and in that role he reciprocates for the support and praise New York has directed at him this season.

"This Week in Baseball" airs on FOX at 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday before the telecast of the Game of the Week.

Taped in April when Floyd was clearly the Mets' leading man, the latest episode of the longest-running sports anthology series currently in production, includes Floyd's reflections on his seasons with the Expos, Marlins and, now, the Mets. "I got to talk about life as a professional athlete in New York City and how great it can be," Floyd said Wednesday hours before he hit his 21st home run and increased his RBI total to 53 in a game against the Phillies.

"It was cool. We taped some of it on the way to the park, you know to get a feel of what it's like. I got a chance to let New York fans know how much I appreciate them. They know what's going on. I've played almost everywhere now -- both leagues, big cities, smaller cities, Canada. And there's nothing like it here.

"They understand the game here. People here come to park to see baseball and see you win -- not just to be entertained. That's what it was like in Miami. Don't get me wrong. But the game was just part of the show there. Here, you come to play, and they show up to watch you play and make sure you play it right.

"You mke a good play anywhere, they cheer. You make a bad play anywhere, they boo. But here, they'll let you know if you don't make the play right -- whether you're successful or not. They like to see good baseball and when you give them good baseball, they give you their support. They force you to concentrate, and they can make you a better ballplayer because you're concentrating. No way you want to mess up with these folks watching. You want them on your side.

"It's cool that way. I don't know if everyone can play here. It takes thicker skin sometimes. But if you can play here, there aren't too many places you can't play. Probably none."

"This Week in Baseball" includes its regular features. "Beyond the Fence" looks at one of America's favorite backyard games -- Wiffle ball. In "Pepsi Pitch, Hit & Run," softball legend Jennie Finch learns to "play catch" with Tigers All-Star candidate Dmitri Young. The Mets-Braves 19-inning marathon game of July 4, 1985, is reviewed in "From The Vaults," presented by Chevrolet, and "How 'Bout That" presents the top moments of the week, set to the sounds of the single "Run Baby Run" by Garbage.

"This Week in Baseball" airs each Saturday on FOX and is repeated throughout the week on Comcast Sportsnet Chicago, New England Sports Network (NESN), Comcast Sportsnet West and Channel 4 San Diego.