Author Archive

Thank YOU, Everyone.

This postseason marks five years since I launched this blog (then known as Pepper: a MLB Blog) with two of my friends, Borja and Pablo, as a freshman in High School. The blog started on Blogger with a super-generic theme, but we had a lot of fun with it. That December, we launched a video podcast series, titled the “Pepper Show”, and we had a whole season of over 30 episodes.

Later on in the Spring of 2014, to coincide with the Australian Opening Series, I made the decision to move the blog to it’s current home, MLBlogs, and eventually, that May, we became a dedicated Mets blog, called “Pepper Mets Blog” and was all by myself (and continued to be for the next four years).

We did a lot of cool things with the blog, we got credentials to the Winter Meetings three years in a row, covered plenty of Minor League ballclubs, and got to peek into the Citi Field press box every once in a while. The blog was prominently featured when I was the Baseball Bloggers Alliance president in 2014 and 2015.

I’ve had the time of my life sharing my baseball life with 750,000 of you over the last five years. And while I won’t give that up anytime soon, this blog will (continue to) take a pause, for a good portion of the offseason.

As some of you who know me personally are aware of, I have around three hours of free time on an average week. Between a job, an internship and being a college sophomore full time, there just isn’t a sufficient amount of time to devote to this blog.

I’ll still be active on Twitter, on my refreshed account, @NikoGoutakolis and sharing stuff on Instagram @NikoGoutakolis. If you were already following @NikoMetsPlus before, you need not do anything, my feed will automatically roll over to the new account.

So thanks, everyone, see you real soon, Mets, Transit, Aviation, NYC or whatever, Let’s Go Mets, Let’s Go MetsPlus.

Thank you, David Wright.

david-wright-92918-getty-ftr_15nnc0h366dmw1pc6919qicv6t

One thing that not many folks know about me is that when I was very young, I was actually a Yankee fan.

It could be due to the fact I never had the opportunity to make a choice for myself, or that the elementary school I went to in Westchester was filled with dads sending their kids to school in oversized Yankee caps, but for the first two years of my baseball fandom, I appreciated the team from the Bronx, as crazy as that sounds.

However, in 2005, I went to the first Mets game that I can remember (technically a Marlins-Mets matinee in 2002 was my first game) and was quickly swept away by the atmosphere of Shea Stadium, the energy of the crowd, and the talent on the field.

Since then, I’ve been a loyal Mets fan. So dedicated, that I started this blog back in 2013, and decided to go to over 35 games this past season.

Sure, I’ve had my favorites throughout the years. Pedro Martinez quickly became my favorite because of his infectious personality, Johan Santana took that spot for me after Pedro’s departure, followed by R.A Dickey, Daniel Murphy, Jacob deGrom, and now I’m starting to get attached to Jeff McNeil.

There was always that one constant through all of that, and that’s David Wright.

I met David Wright for the first time in 2008, I got him to sign my oversized glove that I still use today when I play catch, and while the signature might have faded away, the thoughts I have on the player himself sure haven’t.

David was a leader, but not in the way he spoke. He commanded the clubhouse based on his presence, his work ethic and his intelligence. Even by the year 2007, it was already clear that David was going to be a mainstay with the Mets for years to come in a leadership role, and he had only been playing for three years at that point.

I’m going to miss David Wright.

In many ways, this is the end of the era of my first generation of Mets fandom. I love this team and always will, but the Reyes, Beltran, Delgado, Santana, Wagner, Familia, Santana, Harvey, Wright generation (known informally as Generation Wright) has officially come to a close, and I will never forget the fun I had rooting on that team.

Best of luck going forward, Captain. we all had just as much passion for you as you had for us, and Mets fans will remember that for a long, long time.

Now, how many days until we retire #5?

 

David Wright Pinch-Hitting Tonight; Taking a few at-bats Tomorrow

Meet & Greet Tomorrow At Brooklyn Book Festival: Art Shamsky

There’s an exciting opportunity coming up tomorrow for any Mets fans looking to meet sports legend and World Series champion Art Shamsky! Tomorrow, at the Brooklyn Book Festival in Borough Hall, Art will make an appearance in booth 634.

Borough Hall is accessible by using the 2, 3, 4, N and R trains.

If you are unable to attend, feel free to learn more about upcoming events and about Art’s book “The Magnificent Seasons” on ArtShamsky.com

953ec880-a945-4ffb-95c9-3cc97480f436-original

David Wright Will Play Again

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 8.50.03 PM

After nearly two years of countless trips to the doctors, second opinions, rehab assignments and false promises, David Wright will finally be able to return to the Citi Field diamond at the conclusion of the season.

The press conference, which took place earlier today with Wright, John Ricco and Jeff Wilpon made it official: On Tuesday, September 25th, David will be activated for the series against the Braves, and on Saturday, September 29th, David will start for the last time at third base (the game is already sold out, and standing room tickets are going for $100 on StubHub).

Wright was extremely emotional during the press conference, and broke out in tears various times during the broadcast, and also announced that he doubts he will play again beyond this season.

He’s played in the second-most games in franchise history, leads in hits, RBI’s, at-bats and many other offensive categories, and is a philanthropist by all accounts off the field. Many regard David as the ideal baseball player, given his repertoire and how he conducts himself.

Personally, I’ve already got my tickets for Saturday, and I’ll be sure to root on David and give him a huge standing ovation, and while I understand that many will be watching from home or listening on the road, I’m looking forward to being with 40,000+ fans celebrating Wright’s incredible accomplishments.

WATCH: David Wright Presser

Are the Mets Bringing Back the Old Giants “NY”

Earlier this afternoon, the Mets tweeted out this picture, wishing fans a happy Labor Day. Innocent enough at first glance, but it then occurred to me that there was something a little odd at the bottom of the baseball.

DmLbAzWXsAA8rXv

As you can see, instead of the traditional interlocking “NY”, we saw the 1940’s era New York Giants-esc cap logo.

Could this be a simple mistake? The wrong logo file?

Yes and yes, but a certain part of me thinks there is a secondary meaning behind this, because unbeknownst to me, this is the second time this week that the Giants cap logo has appeared.

Our good friend Shannon from MetsPolice found this on the MLB Shop page earlier this year, with a title of “Mets Batting Practice”.

Screen-Shot-2018-08-28-at-1.54.38-PM

Now, I don’t think that is the cap the Mets will use for batting practice anytime soon, but the fact that the 1940’s Giants logo has been coded as a “Mets logo” twice makes me believe that there is an ulterior motive to this, and that we might see this cap logo again soon….

 

mets-orange-jersey

The season is almost over, and all of the media is (rightfully) focused in on David Wright.

Being the uniform guy, however, I received to questions today about the state of the Mets looks, specifically the orange uniform, so I figured I would take a pause from regular programing and talk about it.

In 2013 and 2014, the Mets “Los Mets” uniform was in Mets orange with Blue lettering, and frankly it looked awesome. However, the Mets decided to retire the Fiesta Latina promotion, and the Los Mets Orange went into storage.

So here’s the question: Should the Mets make an Orange jersey for next year’s uniform set? 

Well, to be honest, I’m intrigued.

I think that the Mets have enough uniforms, to be honest. I wasn’t a fan of when we had five uniforms (or six, looking at you, 2014). And, I think that having an odd number of uniforms, is, well, odd. The jersey would probably only be restricted to home games, and it would diminish the amount of times the blue uniforms would be worn.

I would like it if it was worn on Sundays, but I’d kind of prefer to see the blue’s become the Sunday specials.

So, no, readers. I don’t want an Orange uniform right now,  but in the future, I think the Orange has a place in the Mets set.

Mets: Do the Wright thing and call-up David

usa_today_9421641.0

Come on, Mets.

This is so obvious, so why do you continue to pinch your finances?

Earlier today, it was announced that David Wright had been promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas as he continues his rehab assignment.

The news sounded very promising, and there was a thought that he could be even closer to re-joining the team, perhaps during the west coast road-trip after the Triple-A season concludes.

Then, out of nowhere the good news was sidelined with this tweet from Anthony DiComo:

In other words, if we are going to pay for David Wright out of pocket (instead of the insurance) he better be major league ready.

To me, this is extremely bad optics. The way I see it, this is a “last-hoorah” from David Wright, and to thank him for his dedication over the last decade-plus and the work he’s put in for rehab the last two years, it’s only fitting to promote him, and instead, the Mets are being stingy with the insurance policy.

Are. You. Kidding. Me? 

 

UniformLineup.com Mets July 2018 Uniform Recap

First, let’s take a look at the graphic provided by UniformLineup.com:

18-new-york-nl-july

Here is a breakdown of the Mets July uniforms:

  • Home White Pinstripes: 10 games out of 24.  Paired with Primary cap.
  • Blue Home Alternate: 4 game out of 24. Paired with Home Alternate Cap
  • Road Grey: 8 games out of 24.  Paired with Primary cap.
  • Road Blue Alternate: 0 games out of 24  paired with Road Alternate cap.
  • Holiday: 2 games out of 24 (July 4th)

And here is a breakdown of the Mets July Caps:

  • Primary Mets cap: 18 games out of 24
  • Home Alternate cap: 4 games out of 24
  • Road Alternate cap: 0 game out of 24
  • Holiday Cap: 2 games out of 24 (July 4th)