Results tagged ‘ Mets ’

My fear with the 2017 New York Mets

MLB: World Series-Kansas City Royals at New York Mets

The Mets are heading into Texas to play a two game series with the Rangers, and for the first time in a while, I actually enjoyed Monday’s off day. Call me crazy, but there was something enjoyable about not watching four hours of disappointment and realization that this team that was destined to get to the World Series is a 24-31 team with a 15% chance at a Wild Card.

Sure, not every team that is built to win pulls through, but in the two short months of the Major League Baseball season, one can’t help but feel the lifeless atmosphere that surrounds this team. There is little chemistry, anything that can go wrong seemingly is going wrong, and despite the upcoming remedies in Seth Lugo and Steven Matz for the rotation, and Yoenis Cespedes in the lineup, there is this odd feeling that’s being emitted from the ballclub that none of these players will be the solution.

And in early June, two weeks away from my high school graduation, my greatest fear is creeping closer and closer, one that hasn’t prevailed since 2009, which, in all of it’s simple glory, is boredom.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post called the Mets “suckers”, talk radio is ripping the team to shreds, and frankly, I don’t want to listen to all of the negativity. Unfortunately, one of the key obligations of being a true fan is listening to it. I have to be there at Citi Field watching Neil Ramirez give up run after run, but the passion is being drained.

When watching the game changes from the enjoyable part of the day to an obligation simply because you’re a fan, the passion thins out considerably. And, I’m not saying bad baseball is always un-enjoyable. Every Met team from 2010-2014 finished in the bottom of the NL East but the storylines and likability of the players and the idea that the players are devoted to making things better made you want to stick around and commit to the players in return.

The 2017 Mets, at least so far, have not evoked a similar reaction to me. Every story line is depressing, players are putting themselves before the team, and there is a lack of leadership that is so evident.

So, sure, promote Amed Rosario, promote Dominic Smith and add the injured reinforcements, but unless something major changes to create a new culture, fans are going to change the channel real quick, if they haven’t already.

Hurry up, Mets, the sun is setting fast.

Citi Field Facts, Figures and Thoughts

One of the most popular questions I get on a daily basis from Mets fans is what to do at Citi Field. While most fans live in New York, a lot of fans live outside of the Metropolitan area or simply do not have the time or the means to visit. So, I decided I would write a small post, a beginner’s guide of sorts, with some brief history, facts & figures, and my personal opinion on the stadium that is turning eight years old this April. 


The first thing I will say about Citi Field is how every fan has a different opinion on the stadium. Some fans hate the stadium, citing a plethora of Dodgers references, and some fans love the stadium, stating that it’s family friendly activities make it a great experience for a Sunday afternoon.

This is a trend among stadiums in the 2000s, starting with Oriole Park in Camden Yards, is the movement of “Retro Modern” stadiums, something Citi Field follows to a tee, where a stadium will look rustic and display heritage on the outside, but look pristine on the inside with all of the modern amenities.

One of the biggest examples of this is the facade, known as the Jackie Robinson Rotunda:

unnamed

Like the title suggests, this rotunda, designed by POPULOUS (or HOK Sport like many call it), is designed after the history of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Some of Jackie Robinson’s best quotes and pictures are adorned inside a replica of the Dodgers fifth and most popular stadium, Ebbits Field.

So why is this entrance criticized so heavily? Well, Citi Field is the home of the Mets, not the Dodgers. When you walk into Citi Field, a lot of Mets fans would have preferred statues of Tom Seaver and Keith Hernandez, even the press has written about it at length.

And while the Mets haven’t added statues yet, they did listen in 2010, when, one year after the ballpark’s first game, they opened a “Mets Hall of Fame and Museum” with commemorative plaques, jerseys and even the World Series trophy.

mets_02_469x327

Another tactic the Mets have done to try to make the outside more Mets centric is the addition of fanwalk bricks, which is very cool to see in practice, as I’d much rather see quotes from Mets fans than Geico advertisements,  but is very costly for the fan.

Moving inside the stadium, we see another new ballpark trend. Team Stores. Two, to be exact, less than 50 steps from the entrance. This no-frills tactic, where you don’t pay much on a ticket, but are forced to pay a lot for merchandise and concessions is a truly brilliant move. If you are a fan that wants to watch the game and nothing else, you can buy a ticket for $6 dollars, and enjoy the game. If you want to have fun with your family, you can enjoy all of the concessions and fun games at Fan Fest (currently called Send In The Clowns Fan Fest, but that always changes….) like dunk tank, a fast pitch game and event  virtual simulator. Additionally, young fans can run the bases after Sunday Home Games (known as the Mr.Met Dash), which is extremely fun for the little ones, and is another example of how teams are becoming more accessible and interested in “opening up” their stadium. Ten or twenty years ago, when ballparks were considered “sacred” a post game dash would never be allowed.

19572008513_efb86964f0_b

Another ballpark staple is food, and Citi Field doesn’t disappoint there. The New York Post and other newspapers have often called Citi Field the best stadium in the world as far as eats, and I don’t disagree.

Last summer, MLB sent me to Citi Field to do a “Culinary Citi” feature. (Well, two actually…. I like ballpark food) And, I completely understand why people feel this way.

From Blue Smoke to Fuku to PRESSED, to Taqueria to Shake Shack (where people will miss 3 innings of a game just to get a milkshake) there are nearly infinite options for dining. Fans that want an elevated dining experience can dine at the Porsche Grille with excellent stadium views or the Pat La Frieda Chop House (again, it’s officially called the Pat La Frieda Chop House presented by Delta Airlines, but, I fly United, so I don’t mention that.)

chophouse_275x193

While the food at Pat La Frieda’s looks good, I kind of question the idea of an indoor steakhouse at a Baseball field, but, I digress.

The actual baseball field has evolved as well (and yes, it’s very ironic that we have made it so far in a ballpark review without actually talking about the field), in 2009 the left field wall and parts of the right field walls was 16 feet high, which is double the size of a standard fence, eight feet high. Another criticism in the wall was the color of the wall.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The above picture was taken in 2009. The black wall, a reversal from the Blue wall from the Mets previous home, Shea Stadium, was met with a lot of condemnation. In fact, the only similarity between the fields were the orange flag poles, something unique to the Mets.  Because of that, the Mets have changed the dimensions of Citi Field three times, in 2010, 2012 and in 2015.

citi-field-home-opener-2016-e1460144372469

Today, the wall is Blue, and has two interesting areas in the space between the old fences and the new fences, both of which offer un-parralled views of the stadium, come with free food and drinks, and come with a hefty price tag.

Another thing that Citi Field improved on with the new fences was their capacity, which is technically 41,922, but is actually over 42,000 when you consider club level seating. The record attendance was the sole All-Star Game that the Mets hosted in 2013. In that mid-summer classic, 45,186 went through the turnstiles, which included a lot of standing room tickets, something the ballpark was meant to include.

Another feature of the stadium that is ultra fan-friendly (and great for fans like me that still keep score in a old fashioned scorebook) are these new ginormous Daktronics boards:

cmz0fc5xaaa0ydw

These boards feature all of the statistics one could ever want, from batting average to WAR+, and yes, that is a baseball term.

Off the field, Citi Field hosts a lot of events through their Metropolitan Hospitality Division. A corporation that is owned by the Mets, and one that I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with in the past.

Some of these events include Tours, the Bacon + Beer Classic, The Color Run, various concerts and most notably the Meadows Concert, which, while it might have been fun for spectators, created quite a problem for the Queens Ballpark Company, which is the  company that owns Citi Field; and my hunch is the Meadows will be canned or re-located after this upcoming year.

Simply put, Metropolitan Hospitality does everything, from a birthday party to a lacrosse tournament, which, while un-conventional for a baseball stadium, is better than having the stadium stay closed all winter.

So, we’ve touched on all the elements of Citi Field. Most everything is positive, and all of the negatives have been rectified, but here’s the interesting thing. I personally wish Citi Field wasn’t built. 

I know, I know, that’s crazy, but I’ll explain.

Citi Field is infamous for being funded with $615 Million Dollars in Public Subsidies, and is privately owned. Furthermore, New Yorkers don’t have any attachment to something that they payed for, something that is very different from a lot of privately owned stadiums.

Citi Field was made without the fans input, and the owners paid for that. Attendance was very low the first few years, despite good transportation options with un-limited parking, the New York City Subway and the Long Island Rail Road. Many people were outraged by the lack of “Mets” in the ballpark, instead featuring nods to the Brooklyn Dodgers, the favorite team of Mets owner Fred Wilpon when he was a child.

Additionally, many people took objection to the naming rights deal, which was given to CitiCorp for $20 million dollars per year, the first major sports team in New York to have such a deal. T-Shirts were made reading “I’m Calling It Shea!”, and were worn by popular figures, like Jonathan Lethem, during occupy Wall Street.

Yes, Citi Field has grown on me, and has grown on many other fans, and I do realize that some children, teenagers and even adults need alternate forms of entertainment during a baseball game, citing the game is too slow, but there was something nice about Shea Stadium, a classic ballpark and a real marvel of it’s time.

It was no beauty, but with a renovation, I think it could have been a better solution. At the end of the day, however, Citi Field is a beautiful ballpark, and, you don’t even have to like baseball to attend a game, but wether or not that’s a good thing is something that has been bothering me ever since I walked into Citi Field for the first time in April of 2009. Unfortunately for me, owners have a different question nowadays: Wether or not an amenity is profitable.

My 2017 Club Mets Credentials have Arrived

Last year, I talked about the benefits of Club Mets, in my first year of being a member.

Ultimately, I cam to the conclusion that you are basically paying $19 dollars for two promenade tickets and a plastic novelty card, which, I believed was a good evaluation.

I also took criticism to the fact that they weren’t giving out Press Notes, but they did so after Memorial Day, so that became a non-issue.

And, while a lot of the other benefits were garbage, like “exclusive prices” and “members only forum”, which never surfaced, the tickets are worth more than $19 dollars, so I jumped at the opportunity to renew last January, and today the kit came in the mail.

The kit came in a regular envelope, with little fanfare, but was addressed to me correctly, which is better than what happened last year.

unnamed-110

Inside there were surprisingly few contents, just a basic leaflet informing me of the basic benefits, and a glued on membership card, which has a blue, basic design this year, with “Club” in a university style font, which I quite like.

unnamed-111

On the back of the card is the url that I had to go to for the ticket redemption, and, for the most part, it wasn’t much of a hassle.

Overall, this is a good membership, but has little perks. Stuff like priority security and space available seat upgrades would give this membership a higher yield, even if it was at a  more expensive price point. For $19 dollars, however, the Club Mets membership is a no-brainer.

 

MetsPlus Minors Preview: The 2017 Columbia Fireflies

Today, as we inch closer and closer to Opening Day 2017 (even though the Blizzard makes me think we are still two months away). I wanted to preview the seasons for some of the Mets affiliates, specifically ones that some people might know a little bit less about, but will still root for even if they don’t know the roster by memory. The Columbia Fireflies fit that criteria, and without further ado, here’s a preview of the 2017 Columbia Fireflies season: 
columbia-fireflies-logos

That logo is awesome, isn’t it?

Anyway, I first head of the Columbia Fireflies like most people did, during the announcement that the Savanah Sand Gnats, the previous incarnation of the franchise, was moving out of Savanah after 2015, and after seeing their name, uniform and cap combo, I was hooked, and wanted to see the team and feel the atmosphere up close.

I did so by attending one of their games and speaking to some of their folks last July, which I wrote about on the blog. Noticeably absent, however, were the Mets fans that one typically sees at a Brooklyn Cyclones, Binghamton Mets or even a St.Lucie Mets game.

Not that it is a bad thing, as the attendance was about right for a minor league game, so I was perplexed about what it was about the Fireflies that made them a unique minor league team that appeals to a wide demographic. Being a college town, there were way more than 20 year olds at the Fireflies game I went to, so I decided to get in contact with the Fireflies to ask them some questions.

Brad Shank, the Executive Vice President of the Fireflies was nice enough to answer some of them, from a question on Solar Eclipses, Tebow, to being in the ballpark in the Winter. Here is a condensed transcript:


 

Niko/MetsPlus: What was your favorite part of the Inaugural Season?

Brad Shank: Well, we didn’t really know what to expect, going into it, you have your goals and I think we were really able to hit some of those in a big way, but also some room for improvement down the road. A highlight for me was the July 4th game, in Famously Hot Columbia, with temperatures over 100 degrees, but we still had our largest crowd of the year with over 9,200 people in the ballpark. We were also able to honor four active duty military personnel before the fireworks with them and their families, and they were able to kick off our fireworks.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 5.44.24 PM.png

Sprint Communications Ballpark on July 4th, 2016

N/MP: I took a look at the Promotional Schedule for 2017, what are some of the highlights this year?

BS: Well, you know, we have some of the classic promotions, like the days of the week promotions, which have started to really kick off down here. Thirsty Thursdays, which includes a happy hour, which, being in a college town, should be pretty popular. As far as the unique promotions, we have some theme nights coming up, the biggest one of the year will be August 21st, a 1:05pm game, only because there will be a total solar eclipse, and Columbia just happens to be right on the path of the total solar eclipse, which will happen just after 2:30. The game will be delayed for five minutes to allow fans and players to enjoy the once in a generation sighting of a total solar eclipse. We will also have a NASA night with an appearance of an astronaut who grew up here in Columbia.

C6arEPZWAAAszYL

N/MP: A unique feature of Sprint Communications Ballpark (the home of the Fireflies) is that it is open 365 days a year, which is something I’ve never heard of before. Is there anything behind this? 

BS: It’s a community thing, but, as much as we try to get the word out on that, some people don’t realize that’s an amenity that they can come out and enjoy any time. The idea behind it is that this is a public-private partnership, and I’m sure everyone’s heard the debates over whether public money should be used on athletic venues, or if the ownership should pay for all of it. We are a public private partnership, so as we talked with the city of Columbia, we told them we don’t want this just to be a ballpark, we want this to become community asset. It’s also a marketing tool, as someone who might be doubting the ballpark, we can talk to them and invite them down, being open dawn until dusk. Fans can come out and check things out. Fans can also come out and have lunch, take a run, there are also even boot camps that have been coming down as the developments around us continue to grow.

N/MP: Why should a Mets fan come down to Columbia during an extended weekend to catch a game? 

BS: It’s one of those things where Columbia has a lot going for it. A family can come into town for a weekend, and it will be affordable, which is a big thing. Plenty to do, including a adventure-children’s museum, with a full sized fire truck, and all kinds of things for the kids. We’ve got the state museum, which has a lot of history. A great weekend can be made out of this town. And, for a Met fan, getting to see the stars of tomorrow. We just watched P.J Conlon pitch in the big-league game, and that’s a huge jump. Guys like him, David Thompson, and the other big time prospects that we are expected to have. You also get way more access when you are at a minor league park, so being able to get close, especially on Sunday’s when players sign autographs after the game. It just gives fans to have that access that you wouldn’t be able to have at a big league level.

pj-conlon-2016-tp

P.J Conlon

N/MP: How have the Fireflies been utilizing social media to captivate far away fans? 

BS: The power of social media for us is great. When we went on-sale with individual game tickets, we sold tickets to people in 15 different states, so, the majority of that is through social media. We have a full time employee that focuses on new media, social media, and as we got started with the grassroots campaign, social media was imperative to us. Getting those followers on-board when we were going around the community and selling merchandise after unveiling the logo was huge for us. The other thing being, in a college town, social media is very important for us, as they will go there when looking for something to do for the weekend.

allstargamelogounveil_small_4yvkm6lg

N/MP: Thanks Mr.Shank! Good luck with the All-Star game this year…

BS: Absolutely, it will, it’s going to be huge. Also, while the prospect watchers aren’t really to excited about it, but being in SEC county, people are going crazy asking us about Tebow right now, so we will see; we are ready to go, we’ve purchased some extra #15 jerseys.


Thanks to Brad Shank and Kevin Fitzgerald for their time and the insightful responses. 

 

 

Citi Field Facts, Figures and Thoughts

One of the most popular questions I get on a daily basis from Mets fans is what to do at Citi Field. While most fans live in New York, a lot of fans live outside of the Metropolitan area or simply do not have the time or the means to visit. So, I decided I would write a small post, a beginner’s guide of sorts, with some brief history, facts & figures, and my personal opinion on the stadium that is turning eight years old this April. 


The first thing I will say about Citi Field is how every fan has a different opinion on the stadium. Some fans hate the stadium, citing a plethora of Dodgers references, and some fans love the stadium, stating that it’s family friendly activities make it a great experience for a Sunday afternoon.

This is a trend among stadiums in the 2000s, starting with Oriole Park in Camden Yards, is the movement of “Retro Modern” stadiums, something Citi Field follows to a tee, where a stadium will look rustic and display heritage on the outside, but look pristine on the inside with all of the modern amenities.

One of the biggest examples of this is the facade, known as the Jackie Robinson Rotunda:

unnamed

Like the title suggests, this rotunda, designed by POPULOUS (or HOK Sport like many call it), is designed after the history of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Some of Jackie Robinson’s best quotes and pictures are adorned inside a replica of the Dodgers fifth and most popular stadium, Ebbits Field.

So why is this entrance criticized so heavily? Well, Citi Field is the home of the Mets, not the Dodgers. When you walk into Citi Field, a lot of Mets fans would have preferred statues of Tom Seaver and Keith Hernandez, even the press has written about it at length.

And while the Mets haven’t added statues yet, they did listen in 2010, when, one year after the ballpark’s first game, they opened a “Mets Hall of Fame and Museum” with commemorative plaques, jerseys and even the World Series trophy.

mets_02_469x327

Another tactic the Mets have done to try to make the outside more Mets centric is the addition of fanwalk bricks, which is very cool to see in practice, as I’d much rather see quotes from Mets fans than Geico advertisements,  but is very costly for the fan.

Moving inside the stadium, we see another new ballpark trend. Team Stores. Two, to be exact, less than 50 steps from the entrance. This no-frills tactic, where you don’t pay much on a ticket, but are forced to pay a lot for merchandise and concessions is a truly brilliant move. If you are a fan that wants to watch the game and nothing else, you can buy a ticket for $6 dollars, and enjoy the game. If you want to have fun with your family, you can enjoy all of the concessions and fun games at Fan Fest (currently called Send In The Clowns Fan Fest, but that always changes….) like dunk tank, a fast pitch game and event  virtual simulator. Additionally, young fans can run the bases after Sunday Home Games (known as the Mr.Met Dash), which is extremely fun for the little ones, and is another example of how teams are becoming more accessible and interested in “opening up” their stadium. Ten or twenty years ago, when ballparks were considered “sacred” a post game dash would never be allowed.

19572008513_efb86964f0_b

Another ballpark staple is food, and Citi Field doesn’t disappoint there. The New York Post and other newspapers have often called Citi Field the best stadium in the world as far as eats, and I don’t disagree.

Last summer, MLB sent me to Citi Field to do a “Culinary Citi” feature. (Well, two actually…. I like ballpark food) And, I completely understand why people feel this way.

From Blue Smoke to Fuku to PRESSED, to Taqueria to Shake Shack (where people will miss 3 innings of a game just to get a milkshake) there are nearly infinite options for dining. Fans that want an elevated dining experience can dine at the Porsche Grille with excellent stadium views or the Pat La Frieda Chop House (again, it’s officially called the Pat La Frieda Chop House presented by Delta Airlines, but, I fly United, so I don’t mention that.)

chophouse_275x193

While the food at Pat La Frieda’s looks good, I kind of question the idea of an indoor steakhouse at a Baseball field, but, I digress.

The actual baseball field has evolved as well (and yes, it’s very ironic that we have made it so far in a ballpark review without actually talking about the field), in 2009 the left field wall and parts of the right field walls was 16 feet high, which is double the size of a standard fence, eight feet high. Another criticism in the wall was the color of the wall.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The above picture was taken in 2009. The black wall, a reversal from the Blue wall from the Mets previous home, Shea Stadium, was met with a lot of condemnation. In fact, the only similarity between the fields were the orange flag poles, something unique to the Mets.  Because of that, the Mets have changed the dimensions of Citi Field three times, in 2010, 2012 and in 2015.

citi-field-home-opener-2016-e1460144372469

Today, the wall is Blue, and has two interesting areas in the space between the old fences and the new fences, both of which offer un-parralled views of the stadium, come with free food and drinks, and come with a hefty price tag.

Another thing that Citi Field improved on with the new fences was their capacity, which is technically 41,922, but is actually over 42,000 when you consider club level seating. The record attendance was the sole All-Star Game that the Mets hosted in 2013. In that mid-summer classic, 45,186 went through the turnstiles, which included a lot of standing room tickets, something the ballpark was meant to include.

Another feature of the stadium that is ultra fan-friendly (and great for fans like me that still keep score in a old fashioned scorebook) are these new ginormous Daktronics boards:

cmz0fc5xaaa0ydw

These boards feature all of the statistics one could ever want, from batting average to WAR+, and yes, that is a baseball term.

Off the field, Citi Field hosts a lot of events through their Metropolitan Hospitality Division. A corporation that is owned by the Mets, and one that I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with in the past.

Some of these events include Tours, the Bacon + Beer Classic, The Color Run, various concerts and most notably the Meadows Concert, which, while it might have been fun for spectators, created quite a problem for the Queens Ballpark Company, which is the  company that owns Citi Field; and my hunch is the Meadows will be canned or re-located after this upcoming year.

Simply put, Metropolitan Hospitality does everything, from a birthday party to a lacrosse tournament, which, while un-conventional for a baseball stadium, is better than having the stadium stay closed all winter.

So, we’ve touched on all the elements of Citi Field. Most everything is positive, and all of the negatives have been rectified, but here’s the interesting thing. I personally wish Citi Field wasn’t built. 

I know, I know, that’s crazy, but I’ll explain.

Citi Field is infamous for being funded with $615 Million Dollars in Public Subsidies, and is privately owned. Furthermore, New Yorkers don’t have any attachment to something that they payed for, something that is very different from a lot of privately owned stadiums.

Citi Field was made without the fans input, and the owners paid for that. Attendance was very low the first few years, despite good transportation options with un-limited parking, the New York City Subway and the Long Island Rail Road. Many people were outraged by the lack of “Mets” in the ballpark, instead featuring nods to the Brooklyn Dodgers, the favorite team of Mets owner Fred Wilpon when he was a child.

Additionally, many people took objection to the naming rights deal, which was given to CitiCorp for $20 million dollars per year, the first major sports team in New York to have such a deal. T-Shirts were made reading “I’m Calling It Shea!”, and were worn by popular figures, like Jonathan Lethem, during occupy Wall Street.

Yes, Citi Field has grown on me, and has grown on many other fans, and I do realize that some children, teenagers and even adults need alternate forms of entertainment during a baseball game, citing the game is too slow, but there was something nice about Shea Stadium, a classic ballpark and a real marvel of it’s time.

It was no beauty, but with a renovation, I think it could have been a better solution. At the end of the day, however, Citi Field is a beautiful ballpark, and, you don’t even have to like baseball to attend a game, but wether or not that’s a good thing is something that has been bothering me ever since I walked into Citi Field for the first time in April of 2009. Unfortunately for me, owners have a different question nowadays: Wether or not an amenity is profitable.

 

 

 

 

Asdrubal Cabrera’s Opening Day Status is in Limbo

cv-k760uwaadp-z

One of the key additions to the Mets this season was the signing of credible shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, however, he is the victim of the first injury of the Spring. According to the New York Times, will visit with the Mets’ medical staff and get an injection of platelet-rich plasma to speed healing, General Manager Sandy Alderson said. Cabrera, who agreed to a two-year, $18.75 million contract in the off-season, said he might get a second magnetic resonance imaging test.

Cabrera got injured in yesterday’s Cardinals vs Mets exhibition game, as he was diagnosed with a strained patellar tendon in his left knee after running the bases. He is expected to “remain idle” for two weeks and is questionable for Opening Day.

Mets bringing back Racing Stripes as a Sunday alternate

Mets, swapping Camo for 86 Racing Stripes was the best thing you ever did.

According to the Mets official press release, “The 1986 Mets made an indelible mark on the baseball and New York sports scene, capturing the hearts of fans like few other teams,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon. “This 30th anniversary celebration provides our fans a way to re-connect their excitement to the historic achievements of 1986.”

If your itching to buy one, (or to stop reading this post) you can buy one at the MLB.com Fanatics Shop HERE.

Now, this is a great idea that the Mets had. Along with 1986 Weekend and Piazza Weekend, we can finally see the Mets are honoring and commemorating their roots.

The only issue I can see with the racing stripes jerseys are that they are going to look a bit ugly this year, considering MLB is adding a “tucked in” feature to the lower backs of their authentic uniforms, and, as always they have to be 100% authentic, which means the “tuck in” (which fans are dubbing the “diaper”) looks band “un-tucked”. Here’s what it looks like, according to UniWatch.

6401986metsjersey

Buy and large I love the throwbacks. I might just get one, and you should too. It’s the thirtieth anniversary of the 86 Mets, and hopefully this year we will be raising a World Series trophy, just like the guys did thirty years ago.

 

My thoughts on Terry Collins

I’ve been a Mets fan since 2006. I know that doesn’t seem like much, but I’m only 15. It’s fair to say that a good portion of my day is consumed by the New York Mets. My entire evening is, six to seven days a week, and I spend a good amount of time reading my favorite Mets blogs out there, like Just Mets, Mets Merized, Mets Blog ESPN, Amazin Avenue, MetsBlog.com, and plenty others. And, of course, I have MetsPlus, which I devote a fair amount of time in to every day. Buy and large, the Mets are my team, and I’ve wholeheartedly invited them into a huge portion of my life. Since I’ve been a Mets fan, we’ve never been satisfied with a manager. Willie Randolph? People liked him in 2006, but the collapse of 2007 doomed him, I was surprised he was allowed back in 2008. Jerry Manuel was smart, but once the Mets moved into Citi, and the pieces didn’t come together, he too was doomed. Then came  Terry Collins, the man who has received more criticism then any Mets manager in a long time, and, come to think of it, a lot of it is justified.

My wise friend Shannon from MetsPolice.com wrote this amazing article before the Mets May collapse, talking about how the Wilpons got a “taste” of winning, and that the 11 game win streak could ultimately lead to Collins demise, and it could make them more anxious to pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade. I have to agree with Shannon on both of those fronts, for the former, I agree with him because I personally believe that Collins can be held accountable for the Mets slump as of late. Lets take a look at the Mets lineups. Ruben Tejada has somehow made his way into five of the last seven games starting lineups, despite batting an abysmal 205. Why is that? Why was Juan Lagares not batting leadoff, like he was all of Spring Training? If the Mets hadn’t had such a successful April, I believe there would be a much bigger debate on that. John Mayberry Jr and Kirk Nieuwenhuis have seven combined hits, double that number for one hitter and you still have an unsuccessful bench player.

The Mets have a lot of problems. And we are only half way through the list.

Why is Curtis Granderson looking to walk in situations that call for a big hit? A 235 batting average is completely unacceptable for a man that has only hit three home runs and is payed $16 million dollars to do so. Why is it that Wilmer Flores makes an error in almost every game? Since MLB is the world’s biggest stage, you are telling me that Wilmer Flores is in the world’s list of 25 greatest shortstops? No, he isn’t, not even close.  Why has Daniel Murphy, Citi Field’s most consistent hitter, been bounced around in the lineup, and why was he benched on Thursday to accommodate Tejada, when the Mets had two days off the week prior? Where is Michael Cuddyer? Was he really getting a boost from Colorado, and is he ever going to hit above 250 again? When the Mets pitchers begin to slump, who is going to take charge? How many times are the Mets going to postpone David Wright’s date of resuming the slightest baseball activity? And finally, and most importantly why is it that Las Vegas, managed by acclaimed manager Wally Backman, maintains a league best 24-12 record, despite it’s roster being bounced around and being decimated to accommodate the MLB roster. Why is it that a lot of players happen to preform well under Wally Backman, but struggle under Collins? Well, one answer is that it’s the difference of AAA to MLB, but I think it’s something more, remember D’Arnaud last year? His problem was fixed the moment he went down to AAA. Are the #FireTerry guys right, and should we bring Backman here ASAP?

Well, let me truly scare Mets fans. Let’s say Backman comes up tomorrow after Collins screws up tonight’s game. Then, hypothetically, let’s say the Mets continue to slide after Backman is recruited. That will send Mets fans into total panic mode. But that could happen if Collins gets fired. The answer is simple. The Mets need to stop being stand-patters and become buyers, now. And when I say now, I mean before the Cardinals leave New York, and preferably before. The Mets have first place now, and they might not before the end of today, May 16th. We might be looking at a 15 month wait if the Mets don’t take urgent action. The blame does have to fall on the coach, but you also need good players. Operation Flores was a fail, and Cuddyer and Granderson have been as well. If I was the GM, I would get a big name in here, as well as Wally Backman. The Time is now for the New York Mets, they are blessed with great pitching, and it is a disgrace that they don’t back it up with proper hitting. I’ve never been so upset with this franchise, but I hope you believe that my reasons are justified.

Final Score: Mets lose 2-1

Jacob deGrom was good today, but when your facing Jordan Zimmerman, “good” just isn’t good enough. deGrom was a victim of a first inning two run home run, coincidently, it was the only time in the game the Nats would score.

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The game was delayed one hour because of an “impending” storm that never came. Honestly, this game was not good for the Mets bats. They barely hit on Monday, scoring on three un-earned runs. They stringed together a few hits in the second, and then, the game went into a stand still. The game only lasted 140 minutes, and there was little to no clutch hitting for either club after the second. The Nationals got runners on in three consecutive innings, and couldn’t get a runner to third base. The Mets only opportunity came in the 7th, with Wilmer Flores batting with Kirk on second base, this was an area that I wanted the Mets to work on, capitalizing on errors. They did this twice on Monday, but couldn’t come through on a Uggla mistake today. They are 2 out of three.

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Overall, I am a tad disappointed with the Mets bats so far, especially after all of this praise on Kevin Long. Cuddyer has looked “uncomfortable” like Keith Hernandez noted, Granderson is hitless, Murphy seems a bit tight, and Wright is over swinging a bit.
I hope that the Mets can still re-bound for tomorrow, Harvey returns to the mound on SNY a 1:10pm, he opposes Stephen Strasburg.

Juan Lagares and Mets agree to 4 year 20 Million dollar extension

Two days after the Mets said they were in negotiations with Lucas Duda for a contract extension, the Mets turn the tables with an absolutely great signing. A 4 year 20 Million dollar extension with Juan Lagares.

Lagares won the NL Golden Glove in 2014, and was a nice addition to the offensive lineup in 2014. Jim Bowden was first on this scoop, and all of the Mets fan base seem overjoyed by this signing. Lagares is the Mets first stable Centerfielder since Carlos Beltran, and he has a lot of room to improve, with his bat, his speed and maybe even improve his top-tier defense. 4 Years and 20 Million is a good deal for the Mets, and Lagares. Juan is now signed through 2019, with an option for the 2020 season.

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