January 2015

Batter Up For A Cause: Autism Speaks!

Batter Up: Autism Speaks is one week from tonight! Thanks to the incredible folks over at Metropolitan Hospitality and the New York Mets, an additional benefit will be added to the ticket! If we can get 5 tickets purchased through this MetsPlus exclusive offer, then a “bonus” ticket (to a 2015 New York Mets game) will be handed over to an autistic child. ( No Promotional code necessary, just use the provided link) This is a pure feel good offer, and a chance to make a kids day. I’ve worked with fellow kids that are battling with Autism, and it’s these small things that can put a smile on a kids day, especially a kid that has enough worries in front of him already.

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It’s a win win for you the fan, as you can help a child, and have fun yourself! Each ticket includes a once-in-a lifetime experience: Taking batting practice in the Citi Field batting cages! Meanwhile, light refreshments will be served and the best mascot in baseball, Mr.Met, will be there! Step up to the plate for a cause, and a good time, two ways in one!


Mets add another Foo Fighters Show

The Mets announced a Foo Fighters concert for July 16th back in November, since demand was so high (first time I’ve heard that and the Mets in the same sentence), they’ve decided to add an additional concert for the 15th of July as well. A lot of people are excited about the chain of events coming to Citi Field in 2015, like the Spartan Race, The Bacon & Beer Classic and maybe a Fan Fest????


I will not be attending this concert, as that’s All-Star Week, but, at least the Mets are bringing in the dough somehow right? Maybe now the Mets can be pro-active and get a Shortstop. Wait, that’s never happening, not until the trade deadline, but by then, we could be far out of the race.

This season should be a fun one in Queens, I’ve said that for a while, but if the Mets just pushed a little more with acquiring players, the team would be golden. Too bad Alderson is struggling to take that leap of faith, if you don’t take a risk, you don’t receive any reward.

The curious case of Cesar Puello


Cesar Puello was drafted by the Mets several years ago. At age 23, he has served multiple suspensions, and has been subject to many doubts and injuries. At 23, Puello has displayed his power, and while his defense lacks, he can defiantly be a power bat off a big league bat. So why has Puello not been promoted? It seems odd to me, especially since he has been at Triple A since the  Buffalo days. I don’t like Cesar, but if he is on the 40 man, what is the issue with giving him a September call-up? I remember Alderson saying that they are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with Puello, I, however, believe that that bottle is much bigger than the public believes.

BBA Live (S1-E3)

The BBA’s flagship radio podcast continued this past saturday with the show’s third episode. Enjoy! – Niko Goutakolis

Get to learn Michael Cuddyer: Magic Tricks

A magician entertained school kids at Citi Field this week, and this was no ordinary magician. It was Mets right fielder Michael Cuddyer, take a look for yourself:

Cuddyer is expected to play right field and some first base in 2015. Curtis Granderson is expected to shift to left field. Cuddyer spoke about 2015 here:

How should Josh Edgin be used out of the bullpen in 2015?


It’s a Saturday night at Citi Field in 2015. 30.000 spectators gaze upon a dicey situation. The sun has fallen, and the Dark Knight has risen…. at least until Terry Collins comes out of the dugout to pull Matt Harvey, because the bases are loaded, Freddie Freeman is up at the plate, and Harvey’s pitch count is in the triple digits. Edgin comes storming out of the bullpen, and, wouldn’t you know it, retires Freeman on one pitch. The crowd cheers, and as the top of the ninth appears with the Mets up 1-0, Parnell is taking the hill. Edgin hits the showers after throwing one 85 MPH fastball, and that one pitch determines if your getting beaten by the writers post game, of if the beat writers are brewing a positive scoop, in which, you get one half-sentence of recognition. That is how Josh Edgin will be used, and has been used since he was called up in 2012. If Edgin is the only southpaw heading north with the Mets, expect to see him in the game every day next year, as, a lefty is essential to a NL East pen these days….

MetsPlus Awards for 2014

Before we jump into the Pepper Prime Awards for 2015, we do one last award recap for the 2014 season. The three categories are: 1) Organizational Player of the Year. 2) Mets Sensation. 3) MetsPlusMVP.

Mets Plus 2015 Logo

Ok, let’s start with Organizational Player of the Year, our three candidates are Matt Reynolds, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. Reynolds hit 343 and drove in 61 in Triple-A Las Vegas in 2014, he was a very impressive young shortstop, and could very well fit well into the Mets plans in 2015. Noah “Thor” Syndergaard had control issues in 2014, and combined with a late spring injury, Thor regressed slightly in 2014, nonetheless Thor is considered a top prospect. Steven Matz was an enormous surprise in 2014. I did a preview of him back in June, and I noted that his stuff could potentially be better than any other Mets prospect. Matz had a 2.25 ERA combined in AA-AAA for the 2014 season. Matz is 23, and he should make his first MLB appearance in 2014. Matz was recently named the 8th best LHP in Baseball, and is our 2014 Mets Organizational Player of the Year!


Next is Mets Sensation, in other words, a guy who came up and dazzled in 2014. Our three candidates are Travis d’Arnaud, Jacob deGrom and Jeurys Familia. Familia was great in the set-up role in 2014. In 76 games he pitched to a low 2.21 ERA, and even got around and saved five games. d’Arnaud struggled mightily in early spring, but after a quick stint with Wally Backman in Las Vegas, d’Arnaud got on track, and was productive. deGrom, our winner, had a low 2 ERA as well, was the NL Rookie of the Year and struck out 8 consecutive batters to start a MLB game (MLB Record).20141111-213011.jpg

Finally we have MetsPlus MVP. Our three candidates are Lucas Duda, Juan Lagares and Daniel Murphy. Three very deserving candidates, but only one ALL-STAR, and that’s Daniel Murphy. If Murphy didn’t get injured, he was most likely going to lead the NL in hits, among other categories. Since Daniel has only one year left of control, re-signing Daniel Murphy will be a hefty price to pay, but, if you have to spend money somewhere, you shouldn’t overlook Murph.20140610-222130.jpg

Thoughts on the Ian Desmond deal that fell through


I like Ian Desmond a lot. Probably more than Troy Tulowitzki, and when an All-Star shortstop like Desmond is available, I would pounce on him, regardless on the prospects that the Mets would be giving up. Desmond hit 24 home runs in 2014 with 91 runs batted in, and, in 2014, a pitcher dominated year, these numbers are very impressive, especially for a position that is lacking depth. Desmond was a part of a three team “blockbuster” trade between the Mets, Rays and the Nationals. The Mets were going to trade Noah Syndergaard and a minor prospect to the Rays, the Rays would ship Ben Zobrist (prior to his departure) to Washington, and the Nats would send Desmond to Queens.


So, why did the Mets balk? Did Sandy not want to choke up the money? That seems to be the case. It seems like most Mets fans would push the trigger, now, you come here for opinions, so, would I? The answer is yes to the Rays, no to the Nationals especially upon hearing the news that Max Scherzer signed a long-term deal to the Nationals that will give him roughly one million dollars per start. Send Thor to the Nats? Are you kidding me? Hey Nats, take assets after we lose our rental and make our run a one year deal that probably won’t even happen? NO. Just say that last sentence over and over, and you will realize how stupid that is. Anyway, I still have faith that the Mets will make it to the postseason, but, to do that, they will need to sign some big offensive names. Happy MLK Day- Niko

BBA Live S1-E2

Listen to my new episode BBA Live! at http://tobtr.com/s/7272931. #BBA With @PatMullin + @NikoMLB!

PITCH! Talks on Baseball Review

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The first NYC Pitch Talks happened this past Wednesday at the BB King Blues Club in Times Square. I went with my dad, and we were looking forward to this exciting night with a lot of very credible reporters. The venue was beyond horrible, as there was a huge wait in the freezing cold, as the doors opened 25 minutes later than announced, and we were cramped in a four-top, with seven other people. I had the Chicken & Waffles, and we had to ask over 6 people for maple syrup. I wouldn’t complain, but it’s maple syrup, something you don’t pass on if it breakfast, lunch, dinner or anything in between. Getting back to Baseball, the event started with a “MLB General” panel, which featured Pete Abraham, Buster Olney, Jay Jaffe and the man that is everywhere at once, Ken Rosenthal.


They talked about the Hall of Fame ballot, bashed on the Mets ownership, (even though it wasn’t the Mets panel). When the Mets panel got underway, it was a whole new set of arguments. This time, Adam Rubin, Matthew Cerrone and Buster Olney addressed the fans “concerns” about the Mets, and the shortstop situation. Astute comments from all of them but especially Mat Cerrone! However I was very sick throughout the duration of the Pitch Talk, so I didn’t ask a question, and, sick or not, I didn’t really enjoy it. Pitch did a good job, and I thank them, but they showed a stupid video before the Mets panel, and the horrible service at BB King ruined the experience for me. I don’t want to be picky, but please, pick a better venue. How many days until Opening Day?