May 2016

The Plus In MetsPlus: Culinary Citi (Part 2)

This week in “The Plus In MetsPlus” , we conclude our two week tour of the “Culinary Citi”. If you missed part one, click here

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Sometimes, ballpark classics are superior to new age craft, and at Citi Field that’s fairly possible. Burgers are a staple in all ballparks, at at Citi Field, one can get a burger at Shake Shack, Pat LaFrieda kiosks and Keith’s Burger (located in Left Field, on the Field Level). Named after Mets First Baseman and broadcaster Keith Hernandez, Keith’s Burger comes on a pretzel or sesame roll, chips and a tootsie pop, something unique to Keith’s Burger.

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Overall, it was a slow moving line with only one cashier and one cook, which severely slowed down the line. The quality of the burger was far superior to a Pat LaFrieda burger, though, as it was tender and tasted like a steakhouse burger. For a price of $12 dollars, this is one of the best premium meal options available that gives you value.

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The only downfall was the Wise Chips as an accompaniment. Personally, I prefer Fries with my burger. However, since it was Culinary week for Mets Plus, I didn’t Fries, I got Frites.

Keith’s Burger: 8.5/10

Fries can be paired with anything. Chicken, Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, and even fish. At Citi Field, Nathan’s famous crinkle cuts are prominent throughout ballpark concessions. For me, I prefer Shake Shack’s Crinkle’s, as they are greasy like Nathan’s. However, I have always wanted to try an option that has been available since the stadium opened, Box Frites. 

According to Dictionary.com, “Frites” is just short for French Fries, and the “Frites” are supposed to come in a box, thus the name “Box Frites”. However, they didn’t have boxes on the day I went, and while I normally wouldn’t take off points for that, “Box Frites” should be in a box. It’s like paying for a Mets helmet cone of Mister Softee, and getting a paper cup. Same amount of substance, but for a one-time experience, esthetics count.

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Container Frites sounds more appropriate

As a replacement accompaniment for the Box Frites, I have to say I wasn’t very pleased with the Box Frites. For $8, they weren’t any better than the Nathan’s fries (other than the shape), and they were considerably inferior to Shake Shack’s fries.

I didn’t hate Box Frites, it’s just the only place I ate (so far) that I wouldn’t try again.

Box Frites: 6/10

Last but not least we have a desert option, and other than club fare or ice cream, it’s a option that isn’t extremely present in Citi Field. Thus, when I heard cookies from the “Milk Bar”, a popular New York attraction, were coming to Citi Field (located in between Fuku and Catch of the Day in right field), I jumped at the occasion and bought a “compost” cookie. This cookie, featuring a mix of pretzels, marshmallow fluff and other goodies might have been the worst thing I ever put in my mouth.

I don’t mean to trash Milk Bar, they are successful and will be regardless of my review, but please do yourself a favor and don’t eat this.

Milk Bar: 1/10

Mets Memorial Day Apparel on sale

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Today, the Mets wore special Memorial Day caps and uniforms to celebrate Memorial Day, and to honor America’s military.

Most people give the look a thumbs down, but some like the camouflage, and if you do like it, both the caps and the uniforms have limited availability on the Mets online shop (even if you don’t like it, all proceeds go towards an unknown fund, so your money goes to a good place).

Caps are available HERE in all sizes, for $37 dollars. Cool Base uniforms are available HERE for $99.

Happy Memorial Day from MetsPlus.com! 

Watch LIVE: Mets 1986 Pregame Ceremony

If the above video does not load, please go to Mets.com

It’s 1986 weekend. Share your stories!

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It’s 1986 weekend at Citi Field, and everyone is super excited to see their favorite all time Mets step in front of the 42,000+ in attendance.

Tonight, the Mets are giving away a replica “racing stripes” uniform, and on Sunday fans are going to receive a replica ring.

While everyone recollects their memories of 1986, I continue to learn about the excitement and the stories that un-folded that famous summer.

Since I’m only 16 years old, I have no memory of 1986 other than the countless stories and documentaries I’ve watched, but, I do want to commemorate the championship team on MetsPlus, so I challenge you to share your 1986 stories with me, and I will feature most of them on a post on Sunday.

Here is how you can share a memory:

  1. Tweet me @NikoMetsPlus. If you want the story to remain private until it’s posted, follow me and send me a Direct Message.
  2. Email me Niko@MetsPlus.com
  3. Leave a comment on this post below.

Thanks, and I look forward to your stories!

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New Socks coming to Major League Baseball next year

As if hats, uniforms, gloves and cleats weren’t enough, now we will have custom and team-specific sock designs thanks to a new partnership with sock making company “Stance”. This partnership was first announced by Chris Creamer of SportsLogos.net.

According to ESPN, “The multiyear deal, whose financial terms are not being disclosed, will start in earnest with the 2017 season, but some signs of the partnership will appear as soon as this year’s All-Star Game, when Stance will offer a Home Run Derby sock and a sock for both the National and American League rosters.”

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The aforementioned socks that will be worn during the All-Star Game.

 

ESPN also sat down with Noah Garden, the executive vice president of business for the league. He said that “We wanted to give teams the chance to express themselves creatively in a nontraditional way,” said Noah, “Socks are an often-overlooked but very important part of our game, and when Stance came along, it seemed like a logical extension for us.”

While this is cool, and 95% of the time players will wear their socks down (which would cover up any creative sock, I don’t want to see a lot of action on something that is supposed to be covered up. Imagine Mr.Met and weird orange stripes going up and down a uniform? Yeah, I don’t want to picture that either. While it’s cool to wear for fun, it’s not an on-field look.

Thing is, I’ve only seen three socks (from the above image) so I won’t speculate what is going to happen next year, I just hope it wont be distracting and something that we frown our heads upon in twenty years.

The Plus In Mets Plus, Culinary Citi: A look at the new food options available at Citi Field (Part 1)

Citi Field is still a relatively new stadium. Entering it’s eighth season of baseball, Citi Field is known for it’s amazing food offerings, like Blue Smoke on the Road, Shake Shack, Pat LaFrieda steak sandwiches, Nathan’s Hot Dogs, Two Boots Pizza, El Verano Latin cuisine, and restaurants like the Pat LaFrieda Chop House and the Acela Club.

However, these last two years, new food options have entered the ballpark, and after doing some tastings during last Saturday’s Brewers vs Mets game, we have composed a food review post for your featuring the new options at Citi Field, on The Plus In Mets Plus. 

Part of the catch of The Plus In Mets Plus is the fan interactions that go on to compose the article. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to come through with the tweet that I sent out. Rao’s eliminated their Lemon Chicken option, so that went out the window, and Papa Rosso turned out to be Pizza only, and it seems to be made from an identical oven that was used to make Two Boots, so I decided to try truly different options.

Other than Papa Rosso, a few other “new” options I didn’t try were “PRESSED” BY JOSH CAPON, Dan & John’s Wings, and new options in Mama’s of Corona inside the World’s Fair Market.

The first stop on Niko’s tour of Citi Field options was Fuku’s Chicken Sandwiches, which is a member of the Momofuku group. Fuku’s flagship restaurant is in the East Side, but their signature Spicy Chicken Sandwich has made the trip to Long Island, which is served with pickles and a certain special sauce thats adds spice. I was very pleased to taste the sandwich, and it’s comparable to a ChickFilA chicken sandwich. fuku521

The location of Fuku is good, next to the “Catch of The Day” in right field, and they also serve “Fuku Fingers” and regular french fries.

FUKU RATING: 9.5/10

The next stop on my culinary tour was perhaps my favorite. While it’s not enough for a full meal, PIG GUY NYC, and their now famous “Bacon on a Stick” is available for $7  without any toppings. PIG GUY is located in a kiosk near the World’s Fair Market in the corner near section 105.

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I had seen shots of the Bacon on the Stick throughout last year and this year on Twitter, Citi Vision and those who have been tweeting #NikonMets. I was always a little skeptical, as I was worried about how much meat I would get for seven dollars. However, this post was a perfect opportunity to see what the buzz was about, so I decided to get a piece of Bacon with the sweet & savory sauce ($1.50 extra) and I got a no-fat thick slab of bacon. I was amazed. I had some history with PIG GUY NYC, as they are very active on Social Media, and I’ve participated in one of their pig roasts prior to a The 7 Line Army outing in 2014, but I did not expect the taste that I experienced when I devoured the meat (Oh the power of bacon).

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PIG GUY BACON RATING: 10/10

Part Two of “Culinary Citi”,  featuring Box Frites, “Milk Bar” cookies and Keith’s Burgers will be published on next weeks The Plus In Mets Plus. 

So our aces haven’t excelled this year, is that OK?

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It’s no secret that our “aces” haven’t quite been “ace” like this year. Matz looks like he has potential but is inexperienced, Syndergaard looks dominant, but hasn’t had the lights out stuff that we saw in the Postseason last year, deGrom lacks a put away pitch, has had high pitch counts, and every inning seems to be a battle. And Harvey looks straight up lost. The bullpen, and Bartolo Colon however, have been robust, consistent and for the most part reliable, with the Mets having the lowest bullpen ERA in baseball.

The irony is that everyone thought the exact opposite would happen, with our starters being lights out, and our relievers missing location, showing their age, and lacking pitch location. But is this a good thing?

Obviously, the best minds in Baseball weren’t wrong. Harvey and deGrom (and even Syndergaard to a degree) will improve in the coming weeks, and, unless we sign the Royals back end bullpen from last year, the older guys in the pen like Blevins, Reed, Henderson and Bastardo will have bad outings, and the bullpen will become a problem, but until then one can’t help but worry for Harvey, deGrom and the gang (I actually kind of like that name, but Syndergaard has to be included in it… hmmm.)

One thing is for sure, Harvey will have a very important start coming up, against the Washington Nationals, who as of today find themselves 1.5 games up on the division. While the game is in Washington, “The 7 Line Army” (the supporters group that frequently sits in the big apple reserved) will be there in full force, and RallyBus is taking a group of Mets fans down to cheer on Harvey.

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For deGrom, he’s been in the middle all season, which is what is troubling. With Harvey, we’ve seen glimpses of the brilliance displayed in 2013 and 2015, but deGrom hasn’t had good stuff all year. Obviously, he had a small injury earlier this year, and he became a father after Opening Day, so it’s been a busy year, and his stats haven’t been terrible (he has a 3.07 ERA this year, which is respectable, but deGrom is capable of so much more).

Thing is, I don’t have a solution to present other than hope that the situation works itself out. The Mets have been good this year, and the “aces” haven’t been dreadful, but as previously mentioned, this isn’t half the dominance we’ve seen in the past from these young, skilled arms.

 

If it can happen in real life can it happen in a video game?

No, I didn’t mess up the title.

Here’s a fun video for you guys to watch before bed tonight. This MLB The Show video game reviewer challenged himself to get Colon to hit one out in the game.

His results are pretty funny:

I’m happy for David Wright.

Yesterday, during a tied game in the ninth inning, David Wright took a swing with the bases loaded and one out, with a 3-0 count. Even though everyone was yelling for him to take the pitch before it was delivered, there were only massive cheers for David after his walk off hit, something that he didn’t get after his first four at bats, those at bats were followed by boos.

Walk offs are always special, and while it’s just a base hit at a great time,  but David Wright really needed this. David already has 50 strikeouts, nearly half of the amount he had in a full season in 2008, and while strikeouts don’t share the whole picture, Wright has looked very poor in the field and in the plate, and while all Mets fans love him and wouldn’t want anyone else as the captain of the team, it’s become very obvious that he is dragging the team behind to a slight degree.

 

 

#MetsPlusPiazzaMoment: #1 Piazza’s debut

As part of Mike Piazza’s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, we will be highlighting certain Mets Moments that Mike Piazza had during his career with the Mets, and showcasing them on the blog.

Today, we have Mike Piazza’s debut with the Mets, in May of 1998: