November 2016

Want a free Piazza cap?

Mike Piazza got the recognition he deserved last summer, and now, you can go away with a free adjustable Mets Piazza patch cap that is not on-sale anywhere as it was a Citi Field collectable.

All you have to do is retweet this Twitter post, and make sure you are following @NikoMetsPlus:

Once I reach 1,000 Twitter Followers, I will giveaway the un-used brand new cap.

unnamed-24

Additionally, winners must meet the following terms & conditions listed below:

Winner must live in the Continental United States (or Canada with a substantially longer shipping time).

– To be in the drawing, the winner must RT the specific tweet from @NikoMetsPlus, and the Twitter handle selected must follow @NikoMetsPlus.

– Winner must not re-sell. (While I can’t stop that, I’d appreciate it)

– Winner must be willing to provide their shipping address, or a valid meeting place (and time) in Citi Field during an upcoming Mets game.

Neil Walker accepts Mets Qualifying Offer

image

Mets Second Baseman Neil Walker has agreed to a qualifying offer of $17.2 million dollars according to many reports, keeping him in Flushing for the 2017 season. This is the first major signing the Mets have made in this very young and very important offseason.

Walker will be one of six infielders on the Mets, including Wright, Cabrera, Flores, Rivera and Duda.

Overall, this was a good move. Walker exceeded my expectations by a long shot, and he could have helped us as we went down the stretch run in September and October.

However, I think it’s important to keep in mind that Walker isn’t the future, and he is very expendable once the season starts. I was very impressed by T.J Rivera, and if he is strong at second base, I wouldn’t want to see Walker acting like a roadblock and preventing Rivera from getting at bats. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough of a sample from Rivera for the Mets to commit to him, and that makes the Walker signing necessary, but ultimately, I don’t expect him to see him with the Mets after 2017.

#MetsPlus360: Inside look at a Citi Field Tour

For those long time viewers of my blog, you might have remembered when I went on a Citi Field tour back in 2014. For those that don’t remember, here’s a quick summary: Rainy Day, limited access, first time in a press box, first time in a suite, awesome tour guide.

b2goceviyaeviku-jpg-large

Mike and I back in 2014

The funny thing about that picture above is that Mike was there today (though not my tour guide, more on that later) and he was wearing the same exact outfit. Un-zipped blue jacket and an orange undershirt. What was I wearing today? A regular Mets cap and the same old black Mets jacket (however, I was wearing my Blue alternate jersey not my old cream pinstriped jersey).

Anyway, I know a lot of people are wondering why I would attend another Citi Field tour after thirty three stressful games in 2016. Well, for one, there isn’t much else to do on a Sunday in November, and secondly the tour is really cool. Even if know Citi Field inside-out, there are so many new things that one can spot when taking the tour, and it’s extremely family friendly, and at only $13 per ticket ($9 for children and seniors, and free for Season Ticket holders) it’s extremely reasonable and worth every buck. There are no more scheduled tour dates as of now, but if you keep on checking the website, I’m sure additional dates will come up before the offseason ends.

unnamed-16

Citi Field empty, no music playing, no action on MetsPlaza

On my tour, which started at two o’clock, there were a wide range of people. There were some families with young children, and some people that were adults that just wanted to learn more about the ballpark. Our tour guide, José, was very friendly, and knew the ballpark well. Our first stop was the scoreboard control room and the Foxwoods club. Both of which looked pretty deserted, which is expected in the offseason.

unnamed-15

Our next stop was the press box, which is always quite a thrill for me, as someone who admires the working press immensely. The press box has around a hundred seats, and they provide great views of the ballpark. Here’s me trying to fake looking official, despite not having a computer and wearing  Mets apparel both of which wouldn’t fly if this was an actual game.

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-9-58-10-pm

Besides the comfortable chairs, there were plenty of outlets, information placards, and printers, presumably to print stuff like Game Notes, which fans can get as a benefit of Club Mets, something I outlined in this post.

After we had seen everything in the Excelsior Level, we took the elevator down to the second floor, or the Delta Level, as many call it.

We went into a few of the suites, and that’s the first time I got a clear view of the field:

unnamed-17

Crazy how the shadows had already covered up the majority of the field and it was only 2:15pm. Definitely not Summer Time anymore…

One thing that did absorb my attention were the prices in the Suites. I know that these are bulk prices, but $130 dollars for ShackBurgers? $110 for Milkshakes? There better be a lot of burgers and shakes there to get your money’s worth.

unnamed-18.jpg

Next we went on the field, which the young kids were very exited about. The new backstop rollsign that was installed prior to the last homestand in 2015 looks nice, and they were advertising for 2017 Season Tickets. Before leaving the field, we stopped in the dugout, which was awesome. Unfortunately, the Mets appearance in the Postseason means that NL Wild Card advertisements were put up in the dugout (instead of the New Era Cap ad that is there during the regular season) and they were removed after the Mets got eliminated, so the dugout didn’t look as nice as it could have.

unnamed-21.jpg

Nonetheless, the dugout was very cool. And with that we went to the tunnel. The same tunnel where I ran into Al Leiter in a bathroom prior to Mike Piazza’s retirement ceremony (read this post if you are confused).

We then went into the Mets Clubhouse, and José informed us that photography was not permitted in the clubhouse, which we all respected. Before we went in, I snapped a photo of the clubhouse door:

unnamed-22.jpg

The clubhouse is a pretty cool place. There were two batting cages, a full length home to first mat, all of the medical offices you could ever dream of, a full service gym and a mailbox for all the players, which was empty, except for Travis d’Arnaud, who appeared to have some letters from Con Edison for whatever reason.

We then saw the Players Lounge and the Locker Room, which was surreal to see up close. I wish I had some picture to share, but rules are rules. Even working press are restricted when it comes to photography in the clubhouse. José informed us of how the system works. There are forty-six lockers in total, and as you grow in seniority, your locker moves closer and closer to the front, where Wright’s (two) lockers are.

Finally, we went into the conference room, where Collins’ gives his pre and post game addresses. Like everyone else on the tour, I took a picture with the Mets signs behind me.

unnamed-23

 

After we saw the old yearbooks which were placed all over the tunnel, we were deposited in the Mets Team Store, and the tour was over.

Verdict: There is no reason you shouldn’t take the Citi Field Tour. It’s fun, there are plenty of photo-ops, and makes for a cool gift. Unfortunately, getting to Citi Field can be quite difficult in the offseason, due to construction on the 7 Line, however, there isn’t much traffic as the tour doesn’t attract the masses like games do, and I believe there is free parking in Lot G.

Bartolo Colon signs with the Braves. Now what?

new-york-mets-bartolo-colon-shirt

You know that feeling when a guy is a free agent but you are certain that he is going to re-sign with the team, so you don’t even consider any other possibilities?

That’s what I felt with Bartolo Colon.

To be honest, I was un-inspired by the signing of Colon when we first signed him, but like most Mets fans, I began enjoying watching him pitch, and watching his personality.

So, I was kind of sad when I heard the news that he was heading to Atlanta on a one-year deal.

However, when I tweeted out that I was sad to see Colon go, I was met with criticism. Some said that it’s 7 million dollars that can now be invested somewhere else, and some said that it’s for the best, as he was holding up the younger talent.

While it’s crazy to suggest this, I’m worried that the seven (power) arms that we have, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo might not be enough, as we’ve seen injuries bight us one to many times the last few years.

Colon, in the three years he was with the Mets, never missed a start, and all of the guys above had some sort of an injury last year, and I’d feel much more comfortable if the Mets invested some money, doesn’t have to be a lot, to sign a Aaron Harrang-Carlos Torres type guy, just in case the injury bug comes back in 2017.

Gary Cohen on MLB Network’s Hot Stove

This morning, Gary Cohen, the Mets long time play-by-play commentator for SNY, appeared on Hot Stove, the morning show for MLB Network, to talk about his legacy as the Mets broadcaster, and his nomination for the 2017 Ford C. Frick award, an award that is presented on an annual basis “for excellence in baseball broadcasting”.

This prestigious award will be rewarded to one of the eight nominees on December 7th at the 2016 MLB Winter Meetings, in National Harbor, near Washington D.C.

Mets announce 2017 Promotional Schedule

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 6.03.59 PM.png

I always enjoy this.

The 2017 Mets Promotional Schedule was released today, and, it’s pretty interesting but it’s fairly noticeable that the Mets are out of ideas.

First, click here to see the schedule, and tell me how many promotions there are that are new and unique. I found one, the Starting Lineup Figurine (which sounds interesting).

Overall, I like the three day promotion scheme that is going into it’s fourth year. It’s effective and is a good incentive to go to the game. I’m looking forward to the Garden Gnome (hopefully Robert Gsellman) and the Long Sleeve T-Shirt.

What’s your favorite promotion? Let me know down below or on Twitter @NikoMetsPlus.

Article: Tom Goodwin managing to see game in whole new light

Here’s a good article from Kristie Ackert of the Daily News talking about how Tom Goodwin is looking at the game of baseball from a different perspective, as the manager of the Arizona Fall League Team that the Mets players that participate play on, the Scottsdale Scorpions.

New York Mets v Colorado Rockies

As his name suggests, Tom Goodwin is a very nice guy, and is fairly underrated and under-appreciated for the work he’s done as the Mets first base coach since he took over for Mookie Wilson in 2012.

Hopefully, after he’s done with the Mets, he becomes a manager with one of the thirty MLB Teams, I believe he’d be a good fit somewhere, maybe even New York after Collins retires.

 

Could the Mets be re-uniting with R.A Dickey next year?

Mets Plus

National League All-Star Dickey pitches during the sixth inning in Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Kansas City

Yesterday, a blog post appeared on the popular fan site Mets Merized Online entitled “Is a Dickey reunion possible?

In the article, the author talks about how while Dickey doesn’t have another Cy Young season in him, and that he might retire once the Blue Jays season ends, Dickey is an innings eater, and that with all of the Mets young guns battling some sort of injury, Dickey would be a good option if the Mets don’t re-sign Colon.

But the one true fact that hit close (a little too close after this year) to home was the last sentence of the entry. “You can never have enough pitching.”

Dickey would be a strong 5th or 6th starter in the beginning of the year, and he’d be a great middle man if we can have our five aces in the rotation at the same time. Dickey finished the…

View original post 82 more words

Binghamton Mets are now the “Rumble Ponies”

cwwjf46uoaazcxs-e1478185228132

One thing I always liked about the Binghamton affiliate is that they were called the “Mets”.

Don’t get me wrong, I love interesting names. The Columbia Fireflies and Brooklyn Cyclones are two of my favorite minor league teams based on ascetics and appearance, but there was something nice about the Binghamton team being called the Binghamton Mets.

Now, the team has been re-named the Binghamton “Rumble Ponies”, which according to owner John Hughes, “strengthens the ties between the team and the community. I want the community to really be able to identify with this team, as well as this team be a proud representative of the Binghamton heritage, the Binghamton name and have something the community can relate to.”

However, I’m not sure what connection the city of Binghamton has to a Rumble Ponie, whatever that is.

The only this that I kind of like about the new name is that it was chosen by the fans, (Bullheads, Gobblers, Rocking Horses, Timber Jockeys, Stud Muffins were among the other choices), and the colors are symbolic of the “Triple City Heritage”, so there is some symbolism in there.

What are your thoughts of the new name? Tweet me @NikoMetsPlus