Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

WATCH: David Wright on Wanting to Play

Mets make Slight Alteration to 2018 Uniforms

Back in November, the Mets (as well as the rest of Major League Baseball) announced the new caps that will be worn for all non-regular season game events (Spring Training, Batting Practice, etc.)

I even wrote a blog entry about it, which you can check out here.

Well, I was fairly confident that we were done with the modifications for the 2018 Mets uniforms, but it turns out there is one additional change that no one seems to notice, and it involves the batting practice (3/4’s) jersey.

Last year, the uniforms were introduced league-wide, with some teams putting names and numbers on the back, and some others using some alternate combination. For the Mets, they chose to leave the names off the jersey, but also include the numbers on the side of the jerseys.

This year, the Mets have removed the number off the back of the uniform as well, which leaves the back of the jersey empty, with the side being the sole location of the numbers.

What are your thoughts of the alteration? Let me know down below or on Twitter @NikoMetsPlus

Sights and Sounds: Spring Training Edition

If you haven’t already, I’d highly suggest subscribing to SNY’s YouTube page. They’ve been producing videos that have been making me want to call the airlines and have them switch my ticket to tomorrow (even if I’m under the weather).

There is something so calming about the sound of snap of a catcher’s glove, all while seeing palm trees wave in the background. It’s essentially the baseball version of the sirens from Greek mythology.

While I’m not down there to see camp through my own lens, there does seem to be a new mentality that Eiland and Callaway are directing. Even small things like letting the players wear shorts during batting practice shows how the coaching staff is trying to make player-friendly moves.

How are you feeling about the players’ mentality early on this Spring? 

My Spring Training Plans Revealed!

Finally! The news that everyone has been waiting for this offseason has come out. After months of lobbying from the fanbase, we finally know……

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….. that I’m going to Spring Training later this month.

(** crickets **)

Ok, so, maybe this is totally meaningless to you, but like I usually do around the beginning of the Spring Training, I announce that I’m heading down to Port St. Lucie, to bask in the sun, hear the snap of the mitt and the crack of the bat, and just enjoy some Baseball.

It’s the definition of hope springs eternal, and I look forward to it all offseason.

This year, however, I want to make my Spring Training trip slightly more engaging. I’m thinking about using the new Instagram function Instagram Stories. Most of the readers of MetsPlus come from Twitter, but I feel like I should probably expand over to Instagram, since it’s more informal, and that’s what I’m going to be sharing from Port St.Lucie, more images, less words. Not a trend I like, but one that fits the bill for Spring Training.

Are any of you heading down to Florida to watch some Exhibition Baseball? 

Best Case Scenario, Where Does David Wright wind-up?

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Picture this: The Mets have signed Frazier, and plan for him to be in the hot corner for the next two years. David Wright, who now no longer has the pressure of being the everyday third baseman, performs well in Spring Training, and is healthy enough to start the year with the Mets. Not only that, he gets off to a hot start.

What do you do?

Sure, there is a lot, and I mean A LOT of wishful thinking here. The chances of Wright being ready to break camp with the Mets is probably less than 15%, and the chances of him preforming well are even less.

That being said, this is Baseball, and David Wright is still the captain, so what would you do?

Surely a captain with a resume as big as David Wright’s wouldn’t rot on the bench if he deserved playing time, would he?

Well, there is a precedent to this.

You may remember Jason Vartiek, a life-long Red Sox catcher, and the last ever captain to  wear a “C” on his chest. Varitek, like Wright, was beloved by home town fans, and, after the Red Sox went out and signed Victor Martinez in 2010, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2011, Varitek stayed aboard as the backup, guiding the pitching staff with his words of wisdom, and when his contract was up, he announced his retirement.

Now, will David Wright stay with the Mets for another four years? Probably not, but it isn’t a crazy idea for him to be that clubhouse leader, or player/manager type guy. Of course, a clubhouse leader is not worth 20 million, but if he is determined to stick around, I firmly believe he will always have a place on the Mets roster.

Todd’s (On) Point

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This offseason, over 60% of declared Free Agents remain un-signed mere hours before pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report, the players union is threatening to strike, and teams are being as conservative as ever.

For the Mets, however, what was a slow start to the offseason has turned into a nice one for Alderson, capped of with the signing of Todd Frazier. In fairness, the Mets grabbed Frazier for just $17 million over two years, a steal in the overall scheme of things, but a reality in the hot stove that has truly crawled.

“Profligate,” “I think we’ve tried to be opportunistic,” said Alderson during the press conference introducing #21 (Frazier) “Some opportunities arose for us that probably would not have been expected right after the end of the World Series.”

I’m a big signing of the move, and I think that this truly is the cornerstone player that the Mets needed. It’s not a long-term commitment, and Todd was not the best ballplayer on the free agent market, but for the Mets, this was a fantastic pick-up.

The Mets could have very easily budged a little earlier in the offseason and signed Nunez to a comparable deal in terms of financials, but Alderson rolled the dice and was patient, like he always is, and it worked.

I still have hope that the Mets can pick up a Lynn or a Cobb, but if they don’t, I’ll still feel comfortable with the team we have going in. Health is always the most important caveat in Baseball, but if the Mets can stay relatively healthy, they have a complete team as is.

 

Citi Field to Feature a new “Home Plate Lounge”

Citi Field is entering it’s 10th Baseball season this Spring, and to celebrate that, the Mets have announced an all new “Home Plate Lounge” space. The new space looks to be just to left of the current Hyundai Club, and will feature All-Inclusive Food & Non-Alcoholic drinks.

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The Dugout Exterior

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The Dugout Community Tables & Space

At first look, this doesn’t look like a ballpark, as much as it does an airport lounge. The tentative name, as you can see from the above photo, is “The Dugout” though I’m sure the Mets will have a corporate sponsor sign-on to this.

Here’s how the Mets explain it:

Housing ticket holders sitting in the first 8 rows behind home plate, the Home Plate Lounge’s exclusivity is a perfect fit for companies looking to entertain their current or prospective clients, while enjoying the best seats in the ballpark.

What’s interesting about that is there are only six rows in front of the “moat” at Citi Field.  Everyone else (formerly Delta Silver) only got access to the SkyClub, with no complementary options. It’ll be interesting to see how the Mets manage to include the front two rows of the back area, while excluding everyone else.

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Back to the press release:

So basically, they are matching Yankee Stadium, and comping the Delta in-seat service that has been offered since the stadium opened in 2009. This seems like a smart move, when I sat there in 2017, I noticed that most people ate from the limited set up at the Delta SkyLounge, which is where (I believe) this new set-up will be.

On gameday, access your seats via an exclusive, private entrance to the Home Plate Lounge. In addition, ticket holders will also have full access to the Delta Sky360° Club along with complimentary concessions and ballpark fare around the ballpark*.

*Includes all concessions/club concessions where credit cards are accepted (Delta Market, Delta Coffee/Dessert Bar, kosher stand, gluten free stand, Mama’s Corona, Daruma of Tokyo, Nicoletta, Papa Rosso, Bash Burger, etc.). Does not include Pat LaFrieda’s Chop House or Porche Grille.

This is quite nice. I’m assuming the Mets will be using a POS system that can scan your ticket, which will comp concessions at most Citi Field food retailers. So, if you have a ticket behind home plate, you can get Shake Shack, Daruma of Tokyo, Fuku and more.

This seems super expensive and hard to pull off. What would stop me from buying Shack Burgers for my friends up in the Promenade? Also, if it’s just your ticket that needs to be scanned at a ballpark POS, couldn’t I just print out another email copy, and give it to my friends so they can get free premium food up top?

Not saying I would do this, but I’m sure many would try to find a loophole, which appear to be prominent.

At the end of the day this is nice, but the details are still rather limited. I’m sure this will be further explained in the Mets annual “What’s New?” event, but until then, we will have to wait and see.

The Super Bowl has me wanting Baseball Even More……

I’ll be frank, I’m not a big football fan. I’m writing a blog post on my baseball blog, while 95% of the nation is tuned into NBC, so that should put things into perspective.

When push comes to shove, I’m an Indianapolis Colts fan. I have fond memories of Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Bob Sanders, Dallas Clark and company defeating the Chicago Bears and winning a Super Bowl title.

With that being said, you know what sounds better to me (at least compared to Eagles vs Patriots?)

This:

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72 degrees and partly cloudy, that beautiful St.Lucie organ after a successful 6-3 groundout, two innings of deGrom followed by seven innings of pitcher #96, 84 and 91.

You know, the usual sights and sounds of Spring Training.

My plans for Spring Training are still somewhat up in the air, but I believe I’ll be going, and I have tentative reservations. I hope to head down during the last week in February through March 1st or 2nd. If things go to plan, I’ll be attending two Mets home games in Port St. Lucie, and checking out the new Palm Beach stadium, which the Nationals and Astros have been calling their Spring home since last year.

To make me want Spring Training even more, MLB just released the Spring Training collection, which I talked about at length a few days ago, which you can read here.

Are you excited for Spring Training, and if so, will you be going down? 

 

 

What’s your favorite Citi Field Burger?

SA few days ago, The 7 Line tweeted out a poll for their popular show, “It’s an Orange and Blue Thing Podcast”. The poll inquired about favorite culinary options at the ballpark.

As you can see, the four options were a burger, a hot dog, pizza and chicken fingers. None of those options are fairly healthy, and, in the case of the “burger”, it wasn’t very specific. I went on to reply that there are in fact five different burger outlets at Citi Field, and that’s not including the clubs with a la carte dining, which also include a burger called the “Miracle Met Cheeseburger”.

Of course, a conversation about the Mets and burgers isn’t complete without talking about the infamous bison burger known as the “Harvey Burger”:

So what is my favorite burger at Citi Field, considering that I’ve tried them all over the past 10 seasons at our new home? I’d have to go with Shake Shack as an old favorite. There is nothing more consistently good like a Cheeseburger from Shake Shack with crinkle cut fries. Of course, the borderline ridiculous liens that usually forms thirty minutes before first pitch makes Shake Shack a place to avoid once the game starts.

If Shake Shack isn’t your thing, then Nathan’s and LaFrieda’s won’t be either, and I’d head to Keith’s Grill. There, you can choose from two different styles of burger, which comes with chips and a tootsie roll. If one wants something even more opulent, then the Acela Club has a fairly good (but awfully expensive) burger.

What’s your favorite bite to eat at the ballpark, is it a burger? Let me know down below.

Here’s the Mets 2018 Spring Training Collection

Just like that first fifty degree day or the first time the Mets tweet an image of some random player suiting up in Port St. Lucie, the Spring Training uniform release is just another sign that we are one day closer to Opening Day in Queens.

Well today, we got our first look at those uniforms, and, while they are nearly identical to last year’s, there are some details that are rather noteworthy.

The cap is made of the new breathable Prolight material (which apparently costs $40). While I had high hopes for this material, I’ve had to go up a size, and it feels more like a rain coat than a nice cap.

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It’s safe to say this is not my favorite cap, and I’ll be sticking with the AC Polyester material.

The patch, on the other hand, is quite nice. Unlike the “roadsigns” theme from years past, they now have a “home plate” theme, with that beautiful Florida Teal Blue, fantastic!

The uniforms will retain that annoying white name pattern from last year, which didn’t look good on-field, and I was secretly hoping they’d ditch them, but apparently it sells well, and that’s what most important, right?

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As you can see, the patch will be a physically embroidered patch this year, like the Mets skyline logo, which is nice, even though I don’t mind chrome during Spring Training (but this would be nice in the Postseason).

So, nothing is really new, but in the uniform world, small and subtle is still interesting to discuss, and that sums up these designs perfectly.