Writing something that people want to read is no easy task. In fact it is extremely difficult to do. I started what was then known as Pepper in 2013, and, two years later, I’m still having a great time. And while I look forward to my third season and fourth postseason writing on MetsPlus, I’m having a hard time thinking about what would make this blog exciting, and a better read for you.
This blog isn’t a daily blog that people come on to check the latest updates and rumors, and frankly I don’t think that the best blogs out there like JustMets and MetsBlog are anymore. Twitter has replaced that. Anything that can be expressed in under 140 characters, like a photo or a quick thought is better captured on Twitter because it is a platform that everyone is on.
So, I’m going to go to the Winter Meetings next week, I’m going to do my thing, share some thoughts on the blog, and then pause to find the best direction for my blog. It will also be beneficial to myself. This isn’t a for-sure thing, it’s just the feeling I have at 1:2o on a cold Saturday afternoon.
MetsPlus is a fun way for me to express my thoughts on the Mets and pass them on to anyone who wants to read them. It’s not the best sports blog out there and most probably never will be. But is that important? What is writing if it’s only about statistics and page views?
There are terrible blogs out there that provide no insight, that male you feel tricked when you clicked on their made-you-look advertisement link, and since they are so popular, quality is compromised. On the flip side, there are A+ caliber writers that get no recognition because they write on a Google Blogger page with a bag url, and barely get 5-10 page views a day. Why should a writer like that care? Because he won’t have any motivation to continue writing, and most probably will stop once he sees this.
I’m not sure where I am in this twisted and convoluted game.
Technology continues to evolve and change the way we express information. I’m lucky enough to have a good following of some kind, and I truly appreciate it. I’ve given away hats, t-shirts, bobble heads, all for the enjoyment of you. Yet that’s not enough, and I’m never going to argue that it is. So Happy Thanksgiving, have a nice relaxing weekend and get ready for 2016. Let’s hope the year takes us somewhere good.
Recently, trade rumors have been discussed and the name Zack Wheeler came into play. Wheeler underwent the infamous Tommy John Surgery in the Spring, and was said to be out for a twelve month span. Now that he’s recovering, his name has been tossed around.
Even though he hasn’t played for us in a while, there are a few things I know about Zack Wheeler regardless of performance. He tries really hard, gives his best every time he goes out, and knows how to battle. The funny thing is, though, those adjectives can be used to describe a lot of good pitchers, including some on the Mets rotation.
I think (barring any trades) that the Mets rotation will be:
Looking at that you would think that I don’t believe that Wheeler is a great pitcher, but with this A+ caliber rotation, he fits in perfectly in the five spot, with Jon Niese filling in for him in the early part of the season until his return.
Of course, all of this is in jeopardy if Wheeler can’t come back and succeed. Coming back from Tommy John isn’t a given. Johan Santana, one of the most popular names in Mets history thanks to his no-hitter in 2012, still hasn’t made it back. However, Wheeler is considerably younger, and a direct comparison wouldn’t be fair. Nevertheless, you can’t help but hold your breath when a key component to a team’s pitching staff comes back.
While it is only November, we can’t help ourselves by looking ahead to 2016. Opening Day for the 2016 season is on April 4th. The Mets will be opening the season on the road in Kansas City, facing the same team they ended their season with this year in the World Series. After 161 games, the Mets will wrap up the regular season in Philly on October 2nd.
While we will still play 81 home games, we don’t get to say hello or goodbye to the Mets in 2016. This is the first time this has happened since 2006, and the first time we haven’t ended the season at home since 2006 with the exception of 2012, when we ended the season at Miami.
I honestly don’t really care about this, but I would prefer that we at least get Opening Day or Game 162. Even though it is meaningless, Opening Day means more then the “Home Opener”.
Anyway, I have more important things to talk about Mets-wise. Let’s Go Mets….
There is now an incentive for the Mets not to re-sign Murphy. The 2015 NLDS & NLCS most valuable player has turned down a $15.8 million qualifying offer for the 2016 MLB Season. Murphy had until 5 p.m. on Friday to accept the Mets’ offer. Now, that he has declined, the Mets will receive a first round “compensation” draft pick from the team that signs him.
Last year, we had to forfeit our pick to the Rockies when we signed Michael Cuddyer. This year, if we do not re-sign Murphy (which doesn’t make much sense at the moment), we will have two first round picks.
Murphy will always be a very special Met on a personal level. I met him in-person at a cafe in 2013, and I remember watching his first game in Houston back in 2008. Sure he has made me pull my hair on various occasions, but there is something very special about his legacy and what he brought to the Mets over the years. He’s played in Shea Stadium, old-Citi, new Citi and World Series Citi. He was a 2014 All-Star with the Mets, and he was a postseason hero. I will buy a Daniel Murphy Mets shirt after he signs with an opponent. It will be on clearance and it’ll be dirt cheap. The memories however, will be priceless. I’m confident the Mets won’t pursue Murphy, as signing him practically forfeits eight years of team control of a potential superstar in the first round pick. While I like Murphy, I also like that pick. Sure, Citi Field won’t be the same without him, but he’s helped us grow. And who knows, he might not be gone, stranger things have happened….
Relieve the best Mets game this season. It’s do-or-die game 5 of the National League Division Series, here on MetsPlus:
The New York Mets might be changing their color scheme and uniforms after the upcoming MLB Season. Of course, the image above wasn’t anything more than a google search titled “Odd Mets hat”, but there has been some rumbling about a shift in brand image for the Mets after the 2016 season, due to the fact that the “new” pinstripe jerseys have been a bust sales-wise, but look great on-field.
Paul Lukas’ UniWatch.com elaborates on these issues here.
I have to say, this one doesn’t feel right. The infamous “Pepsi-Cola” sign is going to be leaving, and the naming rights to the right field porch (that doesn’t sound right) will change in 2016. This isn’t the only section of Citi Field undergoing a name change. Caesars, now bankrupt, has lost the right to it’s club on the excelsior level, which also means that the Caesars Box and Caesars Gold sections will also be changing. During the Cricket Match, the Caesars level seats were called “Excelsior Box” and “Excelsior Gold”. The Pepsi Porch, however, was called the Pepsi Porch during the Cricket match. Now, it doesn’t matter what the sections were called during a meaningless foreign game, but it does show us that this Pepsi news wasn’t planned.
A lot of Mets fans have taken it upon themselves to rename the porch using existing Mets sponsors that do not currently sponsor a section of Citi Field, or generic Mets names. Here are my top 5 names:
1. East Coast Power Landing
2. DraftKings Deck
3. Right Field Landing
4. Ollie’s Overhang
5. Amazin’ Porch
Besides those five, I’ve also heard ones like PartyCity Porch, and the Delta SkyDeck. However, since Party City and Delta already hold naming rights to existing areas at Citi, I doubt those two would ever happen.
I love New Era Caps. I think most baseball fans do. They are the official on field cap of America’s Pastime, and every year each team has a few variations of caps. A primary, an alternate or two (or three) and a batting practice cap. The wool like feel of the Authentic Cap is a staple that has been around for a long time, and if you ever look at the back of the MLB Authentic cap, you will see a little note that says “Made in the USA”. Complementing the Authentic Caps are the “Diamond ERA” caps, that came out in 2013. For the Mets, only the batting practice cap was a Diamond Era in 2013, but the home alternate converted to Diamond Era. I wasn’t to pleased because of it’s flimsy nonofficial look, but if the players were wearing it, I couldn’t care less. Then, when the Mets unveiled the road alternate cap, with the gray NY, I noticed that it too was a Diamond ERA cap. Again, no big deal. But after analyzing the four regular Mets caps (Primary, Home Alt, Road Alt, Digital Camo), I noticed that the Authentic wool caps are made in America, while the Diamond Era caps are made in China.
This originally perplexed me. I don’t mind things made in China, I wouldn’t boycott their merchandise, but I’d much rather see those caps being made in the USA. Think about it, all of those MLB caps were being made in the USA before 2013, when Diamond Era came along, they said it would be used for Spring Training use and “light” regular season use. However, in the World Series, the Mets used the China made Diamond Era caps in 40% of their games.
Again, I’m not completely against MLB’s Diamond Era caps, sure they look considerably more flimsy and is more prone to get worn out, but they do “breathe” better, and are probably preferred by some players in Spring Training, but that still doesn’t explain why we have to outsource those caps. Currently the Mets Home Alt and Road Alt are made from Diamond ERA in China, with the Camo’s on their way out, it could leave the Mets primary cap as the last on-field cap made in the USA.
I’m not really surprised by this announcement. Honestly, tickets can only go up after a team rises from the dead for the first time in nine years. What I want to see change is the price of stadium concessions, and I want it to go down. I mean, why would I pay $7 dollars for a water at the game when I can get it for $1.50 at the corner Duane Reade? Of course, the obvious loophole is going to one of the bars located throughout the stadium and asking for tap water. Since it is illegal to sell tap water, the bars at the various stadium lounges have no choice but to give you some, but they don’t do it reluctantly, they give it to you with a smile, so I’m never bashful to ask for some.
Now, let me get back on track, after all, this article is about the prices of the game tickets.
According to SI.com, ticket prices are expected to increase by about three percent. While we could have someone come in and analyze how this could add up after buying tickets throughout the season, the truth is an $11 dollar ticket will probably go up to $12, as they never charge $11.34 or anything else with cents involved. And, if the $11 dollar ticket has to go up, it’ll go up to $12 dollars. Which is why I find the exact percentage of 2.86% released by Mets executive Paul DePodesta a bit phony. Either way, the slight uptick won’t put a dent in my cheap seats buying wallet, and to be honest, someone playing $100 for a premium seat probably won’t notice that the bill for a ticket is a few more bucks anyway, as the people who sit in premium seats generally tend to be more “wealthy”.
So, buy and large, this isn’t big news. I’m happy we have an exciting team to root for.