January 2017

Queens Baseball Convention 2017 Recap

In 2015, I made a recap post for the 2015 Queens Baseball Convention, which was held two years ago in McFadden’s Citi Field.

Two years later, I’m writing another review for what may be my last (for good reason) Queens Baseball Convention for a few years, more on the reason later.

Unfortunately, I was fairly late to this Queens Baseball Convention, due to my volunteer work during Saturday mornings. Because of this, I arrived at 2pm, just when the Uni Watch Panel (my favorite panel) began. Paul Lukas and Phil Hecken from Uni Watch were present, in addition to Russ Gompers of Stitches, Todd Radom and more.

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Like usual, they discussed the uniform changes for 2017, the state of Mets uniforms, gave us some neat historical facts, and even got the crowd involved with a Q&A.

As far as Mets players, there were three. Tim Teufel was on a panel with Michael Baron of MLB, Bobby Valentine was on a panel with MetsBlog founder Matthew Cerrone, and Art Shamsky promoting his new book.

Mr.Shamsky, who I interviewed a few years ago, was very gracious and happy to take a photo with me.

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Aside from the panels, there were many other distractions, like meeting people from Twitter in real life (which is always a strange experience) and seeing the smaller crafty merchandise stands around the QBC.

The venue itself, “Katch” which is located in Astoria, was a little small compared to McFadden’s was, but it was good for what it was worth and the “main room” allowed for more people to watch the panels, compared to McFadden’s, where the panels were beyond seating capacity.

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All in all, I really enjoyed the Queens Baseball Convention. Unfortunately, this might be one of my last QBC’s for a few years. The reasoning behind this is as I’m narrowing my college search as a senior in high school, I’m becoming increasingly interested in schools in Toronto, Ontario, which would mean I wouldn’t be able make future QBC’s for a few years.

Of course, I’m not committed to Toronto, but I’m becoming increasingly interested. I’ll be sure to write a personal post on that when I know more.

 

 

 

QBC 17 Preview

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Tomorrow’s the big day Mets fans!

The 2017 Queens Baseball Convention, taking place from 12pm to 6, in “Katch” a restaurant in Astoria, New York.

For those not in the know, tickets are still available, provided you are reading this prior to the afternoon of Saturday, January 28th. Currently, there is a “no-frills” ticket available for $40. Additionally, there are more combo tickets available, like the $55 dollar ticket that comes with two autographs and a commemorative QBC pin.

Also, for those that use public transit, Katch is fairly accessible, the (N) train (no (W) trains, which doesn’t run on weekends) stops at the nearby 30th Avenue Station, and there are lots all around. For those used to taking the (7) train to Mets-Willets, you can take the (7) to Queensboro Plaza, and transfer to the (N) across the platform. There are a lot of weekend service changes, so I recommend clicking here to see if your line is affected.

The QBC is supposed to be a “Fan Fest meets ComicCon”, and, as you see from the lineup below, there are a lot of cool panels.

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I won’t be arriving until 2pm, but when I do arrive, I’ll be looking forward towards the Uniform Discussion, The State of the Mets and the closing awards ceremony.

The QBC is extremely fan friendly, and there are fun giveaways, prizes, memorabilia for purchase and entertainment, like the Cyclones mascots.

Food and Drinks should be available like they were in previous years, but I never actually heard anything definitive about that.

If you see me, be sure to say hello. I’ll be wearing the new home alternate cap and a blue uniform with “MetsPlus.com” on the back. See everyone there!

 

Some clarification on the Batting Practice uniform…..

A few days ago, I was doing some shopping on the Mets team shop, and, hidden in the youth section was a cap that was labeled as “on-field authentic”. A few tweets with Mr.Michael Baron later, and we knew for sure that it was going to be replacing the orange brimmed home alternate.

Later, I started to look for the Spring Training/Practice uniform, and after finding it by searching with keywords (yes, I got that into it) I eventually found what I was looking for.

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Immediately a lot of feedback was ushered at me. From Doug Rowan asking what I’ve been thinking since I saw it a few weeks ago for the first time.

To Nicholas Schiavo, who tweeted what the uniform will look like with a player’s number (no name on the back & number above the Majestic logo Philly style)

To this guy, who thinks that these are batting practice jackets. Which is fair argument, because that’s what the MLB shop is advertising them as.

Even a retail buyer/manager from the Houston Astros chirped in, confirming what is actually the truth:

Mr.Gallow is correct, they will not be worn during Spring Training games, just during all other non-game action, but…..

Let me clarify a few things. 

First, this is an official design, and it will be the batting practice uniform during the 2017 season. MLB is internally calling them a “Batting Practice Uniform” that will debut in Spring Training. So basically, during warm-ups, pitchers and catchers, and before regular season games, the guys will be wearing the above uniform, which is in 3/4th’s style.

But it says jacket! – That’s true. It might actually be a “jacket” because it’s so long in the arms, or the shop might be selling a separate article of clothing that is identical in length and design, but I wasn’t talking about what’s for sale, I was talking about the design, which are identical to the internal renderings.

You said this is the Spring Training uniform, is it? – It will be worn during Spring Training, just not during the exhibition games. Spring Training is more than just the games. The games will feature either the regular season uniform, this batting practice 3/4th’s, or maybe a separate FL/AZ themed uniform like last year. So, to answer the question, yes and no. It will be worn during Spring Training just not all the time.

How can you be so sure, you are a blogger! – That’s 100% true. Aside from the Minnesota Twins uniform story back in 2015, I’ve never “found” an un-released uniform before, and since I’m a neophyte in this area, you should just wait to see MLB’s official release, see that it’s the same as my report, and then trust me more in the future.

Why is MLB switching to a long-sleeved design for Batting Practice?  – I’m sure there is a scientific explanation, but I honestly don’t know. I’m not a huge fan of the design.

When is MLB going to release this design? – Now that the cat is out of the bag, soon. Also, offseason time is running out, so I’d assume in a few weeks.

Thoughts on all the uniform changes for 2017? – I’ll write a separate post on that in a few days, but overall they are an improvement. I caught wind of Mr.Met getting removed from the uniform a while back, but the cap was a total surprise. Both are improvements, but the alternate cap, while nice, now looks a tad bit un-necessary and redundant with the white underline being the only difference between it and the primary cap worn with the home pinstripes and road grays.


I hope this post clears up some of the confusion, any other questions tweet me @NikoMetsPlus or email me at Niko@MetsPlus.com

Mets release new Alternate Cap

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Pretty good looking, huh?

I noticed this on the MLB shop today while looking at the new caps with the newly added “New Era Flag”, and this particular cap caught me off guard, as according to the MLB Shop, this cap is “Official On-Field Alternate”. Further confirmation from MLB.com’s Michael Baron suggests that this will replace the home alternate cap, with the orange brim.

Mr.Baron also suggests that the road alternate will remain a part of the Mets uniform set.

Overall, this is a really cool addition, and the orange really pops out, just like it does on the Blue uniform. It’s basically just the old home alternate with a blue brim instead of an orange brim, but it’s an improvement nonetheless. Another thing to note is the use of Authentic Collection fabric as opposed to Diamond Era.

What are your thoughts on this change?

UniformLineup.com Mets September/October 2016 Uniform Recap

Here’s the final Uniform Lineup for 2016. The months of September and October will be combined for this one.


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Here is a breakdown of the Mets Sept/Oct Uniforms:

  • Home White Pinstripes: 9 games out of 12. (5-4 record) Paired with Primary cap.
  • Blue Home Alternate: 0 game out of 12. (NOT WORN) Paired with Home Alt cap.
  • 1986 Throwback Alt: 3 games out of 12 (3-0 record) Paired with throwback cap.
  • Road Grey: 14 games out of 15 (10-4 record) paired with Primary cap.
  • Road Blue Alternate: 1 games out of 15 (0-1 record) paired with road alternate cap.

  • And here is a breakdown of the Mets Sept/Oct Caps:
    • Primary Mets cap:  25 games out of 29 (15-8 record)
    • Road Alternate cap: 1 games out of 29 (0-1 record)
    • Home Alternate cap: 0 game out of 29 (NOT WORN)
    • Original Mets Throwback cap: 3 games out of 29 (3-0 record)

 

My Mets Spring Training Plans

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In my seventeen year life, I’ve gone to Spring Training three times, in 2013, 2014 and 2016. This year, I’m going during the first week of Spring Training, more specifically to the February 26th game versus the Tigers, and the February 27th game versus the Astros.

The first thing I noticed is that tickets are considerably more expensive than they have been in previous years. More specifically, the prices are more expensive than prices at regular season games. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on your stance) MLB is trying to turn Spring Training into a “marquee” event, which entails special uniforms, commemorative baseballs, patches on the field and on caps, and a “Spring Training Collection” on the online shop. This, combined with the fact that the Mets are better these days, has led to a substantial increase in ticket prices, starting at $30 dollars for select games.

Looking back at these images of the last few years does make me want Spring Training more and more by the day. I do have my airfare booked, but I still have yet to settle on lodging, but I’m fairly certain I’m going to be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn, or I might stay at a full-service hotel in Palm Beach.

What are your Spring Training Plans?

Is there a problem with the Mets Mailing List, or is it me?

I really enjoy mailing lists. It’s the best way to get instant reminders for things that I’m interested in, like The 7 Line, The Points Guy, Ebay, exc.

However, the Mets Mailing List is probably one of the most important, considering great ticket deals are announced there at the last moment throughout the year. Unfortunately, the Mets seem to be confused about the frequency of what they send me.

Sometimes, I get two emails:

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And then, when the Mets send out actual mail via courier, I get three or four:

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Now, in fairness, I should be getting two letters in physical mail, as my home address is linked to both my personal and WordPress email, but that doesn’t explain why I get three emails to one account.

Initially, I thought it was a one or two time error, but when it started happening on a weekly basis, I started to contemplate if I was on the mailing list more than once, but that wasn’t the case.

While this might sound like an annoying problem, (or a non-issue, as it does only take 3 seconds to delete the email) I kind of like trying to figure out what exactly is going on with this, and playing “detective”. Hopefully I’ll figure out what the problem is….

Mejia signs a deal worth $2 Million, but there is a caveat….

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Two years ago, Jenrry Mejia was the Mets closer, today, he gets the ultimate tease.

Through salary arbitration, Mejia and the Mets “agreed” to a one-year deal for $1.9 million. Unfortunately for Mejia, he will receive none of that, as he’s currently enduring a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball.

While he’s not going to be in a Mets uniform (or any uniform for that matter) for a long time, he is still officially on the Mets “restricted list” which requires the Mets and Mejia to go through the technicalities that one would have to go through if he was an active player.

While Mejia’s ban is a lifetime ban, being an offender of Major League Baseball’s drug policy three times within two years, I wouldn’t be surprised if he get’s reinstated in a few years in good faith by Rob Manfred.

Will the 2016-2017 offseason go down as the most boring offseason ever?

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I’m not sure when the above picture was taken, but I really like it, and I’ve waited a long time to use it, and today seems like the best time to use it….

Anyway, my friend just told me that Saturday was the “official” halfway point from the World Series to the first Spring Training game (even though it feels like Spring Training is coming up really soon). And, it got me to thinking that so far, this offseason has been extremely boring.

Like, really boring.

So boring that if someone asked me what happened this offseason, or what the “big splash” signing was, I’d draw a blank, and Jose Bautista is seemingly the last major un-signed free agent.

For the Mets, the only players we’ve signed that weren’t in the organization last year that have played in at least one Major League game are Ben Rowen and Cory Burns, both of which have just had extremely brief stints, and aren’t expected to have a major role.

What’s weird is the Mets aren’t really looking for anything in particular. They’d like to re-sign Jerry Blevins or a similar left handed reliever, but besides that there really isn’t much out there that the Mets are looking for.

Hopefully Spring Training will be exciting, there should be some interesting battles for infield and outfield positions, and the World Baseball Classic will be happening, which should be fun.

Las Vegas 51s unveil Anniversary Logo

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Just thought I’d share this, because, well, I really like this design.

It’s interesting how strong the relationship between Mets and the 51s is, considering the Mets don’t want to be there (due to distance and field conditions), and Las Vegas knows that, however, this logo, while it does say Vegas, with the “Welcome Sign” stars and neons, is completely Blue and Orange, and Orange is not at all a 51s color or a Las Vegas color. I’m not an expert on principles of design, but the fact that “Las Vegas” is in Mets orange shows their commitment to each other.

Additionally, there are a lot of interesting nods to the 51s past, most notably the stars to the left and to the right of “Las Vegas”, as the previous name for the Las Vegas franchise was the Las Vegas Stars.

Overall, this is a great logo, and I’m excited to see how the 51s will feature the logo in their upcoming 2017 campaign.