December 2017

A new look for MetsPlus, but first…..

The last post about 2017 will be a reflection on one of our signature items, here on the blog, the logo.

The arched logo, pictured below, was designed by Robert Pimpser in 2015, and is known informally as the “2015 logo”.

mets-plus-2015-logo-5

I blogged about the NL Champion Mets with that logo, saw deGrom win a Rookie of the Year, watched Mike Piazza get inducted into the Hall of Fame and saw his number retired at Citi Field.

I truly did enjoy the logo, but it is somewhat hard to integrate with other designs and graphics I post, so, for the new logo, known as the 2018 Logo, we are simplifying things a little bit.

Check back a little later tonight (or tomorrow morning) and see our new look!

Oh, and Happy New Year’s Eve!

 

 

Will I be going to the Winter Classic at Citi Field

2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Press Conference

Let me be honest here. I’m not a huge hockey fan.

I don’t know a single player on a third of the teams in the league, and I don’t know who any of those people are in the embedded photo above. That being said, I still wear Islanders gear, and am a casual fan that goes to about 2-3 games per month. Additionally, I have some Sabres gear, and have gone to a few games up in Buffalo, and I get really into the game when I go.

So, I was pretty intrigued when the NHL announced that the Winter Classic is coming to Citi Field this New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2018.

Unfortunately, the prices have been inflated ever since the tickets have come out. As of today’s date, the 29th of December the cheapest ticket on StubHub is $137, up in the Promenade Outfield, which will be freezing cold in that wind channel on a January night.

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 5.16.37 PM

So, I’m probably not going to be going to the Winter Classic unless the ticket prices take a five, which I think will be fairly unlikely.

WATCH: Mets hold Christmas Party

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas from MetsPlus

I’ve been away from the blog the last few days since I came back from the Winter Meetings, not because I’ve been relaxing, I’ve actually been super busy with work and finals for college.

Now that all of the paperwork is complete, I wanted to take the time to wish all of the viewers and Mets fans out there a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May you spend the season with your friends and family, and make some special memories in the upcoming week.

I’ll be spending the season up in Fredericton, New Brunswick in Canada with my family, so I will be off the grid for a while, which I enjoy to do here and there. I’ll be back on December 28th, and we will start up again for the New Year.

Seasons Greetings! – Niko

Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 3.54.30 PM

 

Club Mets 2018 Memberships Available

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 12.45.17 PM

Since 2016, I’ve been a Club Mets member. The membership has cost $19 since I joined, and while there are a lot of pointless benefits, you do get two complementary tickets for any non-Saturday non-Opening Day game. So, if you use the ticket voucher wisely, that easily negates the $19 price tag, so a membership, in my opinion, is worth it.

This year, there is going to be a slight change for the Club Mets membership, instead of one membership, there will be two “tiers” of memberships. The regular membership, called the “Standard” membership, will cost $19.95, and will include all the basic amenities of the membership and will include Gameday Audio.

Additionally, there will be a brand new “Club Mets with At Bat Premium” level. This will include everything included in the standard level and a free At Bat subscription, for only ten bucks more at $30.95.

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 4.38.38 PM

I truly believe that the membership is worth it. You get a Citi Field Scoreboard message and two tickets, which is pretty much all you’ll get for the $19. I will renew for the $19 standard membership, as I already have MLB.TV.

If you do not have a Club Mets membership, I’d recommend getting one here.

Let’s Go to a (Trade) Show, 2017 Edition Part 1

This December at the 2017 Baseball Winter Meetings, MetsPlus was given an inside look at the 2017 Baseball Trade Show. Below is Part 1 of a series, Part 2 will come out tomorrow. 


Last year, the Baseball Trade Show recap was one of my favorite all time posts on MetsPlus, so I was delighted when I was given the opportunity to return to the Trade Show in Orlando, and see the new innovations that creators and exhibitors had prepared.

The process of picking up my pass wasn’t hard at all. Since the venue wasn’t a labyrinth like it was last year, the registration counter was fairly easy to find. Folks from MiLB run those counters, and they are extremely friendly and welcoming. It took a few minutes to find my pass since my last name was mis-spelled, but they were so apologetic about something so small, and they went as far as to come around the counter to point out where the Trade Show was.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 12.57.16 PM

Niko Go(u)takolis

As a mentioned earlier, the venue was separated in two different hotels. The World Swan and the World Dolphin. The Trade Show was located at the end of the World Dolphin resort, downstairs in the Atlantic Ballroom. To be admitted, I simply had to scan my ticket at the top of the ballroom escalator.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 1.18.35 PM

Nearly, everything in the Trade Show was branded with the logo, and the representatives were wearing cool Purple baseball uniforms with the Trade Show logo.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 1.18.43 PM

Even the escalator got into the Trade Show Spirit!

When I got to the bottom of the escalator, I got my first taste of just how big the Trade Show was. There were two rooms being used in the Trade Show, one in the front, and another one around 400 feet behind it. I took a panorama with my phone, and I could not see the back of the first room.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 1.32.41 PM

Every section of the Trade Show was divided into an area to make it easier for potential buyers. The basic premise of the Trade Show is a venue for companies to highlight their products to buyers who are looking to implement their product. Most of the buyers were representatives from different Major and Minor League clubs, and even some colleges.

Every attendee gets a “Buyer’s Guide” which highlights the location and description of every kiosk. So, if you were looking for Tyson Foods, you’d go to the “100” section, by looking at the placards hanging from the ceiling.

I was amazed by all of the new technology on offer at the Baseball Trade Show. I’m pretty sure everyone has seen the infamous Blast Baseball commercial featuring Carlos Correa.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 1.36.56 PM

Their representative explained the technology to me, and it is actually quite simple. Basically, you apply the Blast sensor to the knob of your bat, at as you swing, the sensor loads tons of analytics to your connected device.

Also in new technology were the advances in ballpark technology. I first talked with the representatives from Ceia, who produces metal detectors for all thirty MLB teams, and select  Minor League parks. Rather refreshingly, the reps admitted, that their detectors are not and probably will not be implemented at every minor league ballpark around the league, but Ceia can still work with teams to develop security plans.

When I told them that I attend the Triple-A All-Star game every year, and about my surprise to see detectors at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, WA, when they aren’t at Citi Field in New York City, they reaffirmed their position of being at the best place for each and every team. While it might sound naive, it was reassuring to have such welcoming reps being insightful about something the people despise.

Another cool innovation was POS systems for ordering food at the ballpark. I tried out a few of them, which allows for quick processing and customization. How awesome would this be at Citi Field?

Personally, I have some doubts if this could fully be implemented at Citi Field, and I wish those prices reflected the actual prices, but it was a really neat idea. NCR, which manufactures a lot of those kiosks you see at airports, was behind this technology.

Another area of advanced technology was ticket scanning, which the Tickets.com booth displayed. This new self-service (non-turnstile) scanner, processes tickets in less than a second, and was pretty efficient when I tried it out:

On Part 2 of the Trade Show recap, we look at some of the more classic and retro exhibits at the Baseball Trade Show.

#MetsPlus360: Day One at the Winter Meetings

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 1.12.16 PM

On Monday, once I got out of the plane and into an Uber towards Buena Vista, I knew it was going to be a good week.

The first thing I noticed is how we were not in a colder destination, like Nashville or National Harbor (Washington D.C). Walking out with a simple polo shirt was far superior to a thick coat, and is a fantastic escape.

Additionally, while the Meetings are all inside, they are in two separate buildings. The Trade Show and Job Fair are in the Disney Dolphin Resort, and the Meetings and Registration are located in the Disney Swan Resort. To get between the two properties, you have to walk over this bridge (of sorts). I’m told that this bridge is usually a hotspot filled with families and kids, but is instead filled with reporters and young hopefuls for the meetings.

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 1.12.35 PM

The registration counter was a breeze, and everyone from Minor League Baseball who was running the show was so helpful and kind. Within a few minutes I was all set to go.

The design of the logo features Red, Purple and Yellow as a color scheme, with surprisingly works extremely well, which was somewhat unexpected when I first saw the logo. The alternate logo features a wizard as a pitcher and as a batter, which is also cool.

To eat, there are about seven dining options in both venues combined. The most popular eatery was the Fountain, a casual eatery located right next to the Job Fair, which had a 30-40 minute wait.

I wasn’t lying in my tweet, there were at least 10-15 reporters that you would see on MLB Network there, but with an exorbitant wait time, and the beautiful weather, I ate at the Cabana Grill outside, and had a nice burger instead.

After lunch, I walked around, networked with a few individuals I met in last years meetings, and got ready for Tuesdays trade show with my Buyer’s Guide in-hand.

Tomorrow on MetsPlus, catch Part 1 of my inside look at the Baseball Trade Show. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 1.13.05 PM

 

#MetsPlusMeetings: Should the Mets Trade Harvey

618_348_c59b389fe

When Matt Harvey first bursted on the scene in New York, he was the talk of the town. He was on Kimmel one day, Fallon the next, and then starting the All Star Game the day after that. 2013 Harvey was the talk of the town, and even after his year long absence in 2014, there was so much energy in his 2015 return.

Just two years later, after Harvey botched the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series,  Harvey is at rock bottom. On top of a 6.70 ERA and a career high 21 homeruns allowed and 47 walks, Harvey was also accused of skipping games, showing up late to practices, which forced the Mets to bring names like Adam Wilk (who?) across the country on six hours notice.

Of course, late in the season, Harvey promised to clean up his image, and even attended events as a representative of the Mets, like the Syracuse Chiefs announcement.

mets-cuomo-3

Today, at the Winter Meetings, I heard a lot of rumblings about the possibility of Harvey being traded for a reliever, or a low-list position player like Jurickson Profar.

“They are willing to move him,” one CBS source said, “and they said they wanted to try and flip him for a reliever. They seemed more willing to move him then (Robert) Gsellman or (Seth) Lugo.”

Here’s @SNYtv’s reaction to the trade rumors:

Now look, I’m not a huge Harvey fan, and I don’t think he’ll be in a Met uniform long term. With that being said, I think with so much emphasis being put into this new coaching staff (Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland) it’d be a shame to not see if they can do something with Harvey that Warthen couldn’t do.

Of course, if the return was better than what it is, I’d be inclined, but right now there is no market for Harvey, so let’s not run him out of town….. yet.

Download the 2017 Winter Meetings App

Tonight, I’m sleeping in Queens, NY, with a college final looming over my head for tomorrow morning. Then, I’m jumping on a flight to head down to Orlando, Florida, the home of the 2017 Winter Meetings.

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 7.36.52 PM

Photo Courtesy @WinterMeetings

And, while some people are making the trip down to somewhat cold Florida (even though I won’t be complaining) I’ll guess most won’t come down, that being said there are still ways to stay involved with the Meetings and connect with the media and other distinguished attendees.

The official app, that can be found on the App Store or Google Play by searching “Winter Meetings’ is the go-to app for real time Winter Meetings information.

The app details all of the exhibitions, events, podcasts, photo gallery, links to important social media posts, a “what’s on now” tab, and interactive maps and images to make the experience realistic for a fan at home, and informational for an attendee visiting the meetings.

If that doesn’t convince you enough, you can get a free Winter Meetings goodie bag if you download the app.

Link: Mets Crowd Chants 2017

Here’s an awesome video from Matt’s Mets. As someone who loves ballpark music, chants and audio, I’ve been listening to these tracks for hours, it makes the season seem a little more imminent, even if there are four inches of snow on the ground right now in New York City.

If you have a YouTube account, I highly recommend subscribing to Matt’s Mets if you are into these kind of videos. He also posts walkup music intros, scoreboard graphic changes and a lot of other subtle things that a Mets fan with a sharp eye would notice.