Results tagged ‘ Mets ’

The Subway Series Has Lost it’s Luster? I Don’t Think So….

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Yesterday, I went to a Subway Series game with one of my friends (who happens to be a Yankee fan). We were sitting up in section 516, a section typically dominated by Mets plan holders, but was instead taken over by Yankee fans, causal baseball fans, and the corporate “suits”.

The game was a pitchers duel, and a great one at that, with deGrom getting no run support (per usual), dealing through 7.2 IP, until he threw a flat curveball to Brett Gardner, who turned on it and drove it out of the park.

Immediately afterwords, I heard some of the worst language from fans (of any sport at any game) of the Yankees, which motivated me to tweet this out:

Now, don’t get me wrong, every team has a few bad apples, and I’ve seen Mets, Marlins and Rockies fans get ejected for bad taste in their language, or simply being inappropriate in a family atmosphere.

The problem with Friday nights game, however, was how the heckling wasn’t an isolated incident. All around me, there were people that should never be allowed in a ballpark, let alone consume a drink in one, and it ruined the gameday experience for me.

There was, however, one other effect this had on me. It renewed my deep rooted hatred for the men from the Bronx. I’ve always hated the Yankees, but I loathe their fanbase even more, and there was nothing I wanted to do more in the bottom of the ninth than to give the orange and blue a standing ovation after they walked it off, instead I got more trash talk from the intoxicated Yankee fans.

So, no, I don’t think the Subway Series has “lost it’s luster”. There is still something special about these games, and there always will be.

The Mets and Yankees, wether it be in a friendly exhibition game, or Game 7 of the World Series, will never go together, and nor should they.

 

 

Why I’m Not Interested in the MLB Draft

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Today is day one of the Major League Baseball first year player draft. The draft, which is ceremoniously held in MLB Network’s Studio 42 (the one that looks like a baseball field) every year, is a most interesting time for teams, who have meticulously planned out their future seasons from some of the scouting and legwork, all leading up to this draft.

The Mets alone have drafted David Wright, Ike Davis, Matt Harvey and Michael Conforto,  among others, in the first year draft since the turn of the century.

There has also been a fair share of duds in the first year player draft, like flamethrower Bradley Holt, Nathan Vineyard and Eddie Kunz.

It’s safe to say, like in the game of baseball itself, you win some, and you lose some. Basically, the MLB Draft is a strategic coin flip. 

And that’s the story. Don’t get me wrong, I think the draft is important, and I respect writers and fans that get really into it, but the implications of the Draft itself are not as important as the development of the player itself, unlike the draft in some other sports, where a player spends minimal time in minor leagues.

So, enjoy the draft. I’ll tune in for the Mets pick, and then quickly change the channel…

Mets Hire Two New Public Address Announcers; One Female!

 

 

This is very, very interesting news from the Mets.

After Alex Anthony (the longest tenured Mets PA Announcer, from 2003 until 2017) firing at the beginning of the year, it was PA Announcer Rob Rush who took over the helm as the voice of the stadium.

Rob’s voice was very similar to that of Anthony, and he had a similar style of voice. I had assumed that Rob would just slide in as the replacement, (he was previously the back-up) but he has now been reassigned, to make way for two brand new public address announcers, that will debut during this weekend’s Mets versus Cubs series.

The New York Mets today announced Marysol Castro and Colin Cosell as public address announcers for the 2018 season. Castro and Cosell will split duties for the team with Castro making her Citi Field debut tomorrow night and Cosell on Saturday night.

Castro will become the Mets’ first female public address announcer. She has spent the last two decades as a television journalist and host. Castro has previously worked at WPIX-TV, News 12 The Bronx and served as the weather anchor on Good Morning America for seven years. She has also anchored weather at CBS’s The Early Show and spent two years as a host and sideline reporter for ESPNCastro attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City and Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.

First off, I think it’s absolutely phenomenal that the Mets are letting a female do the PA duties, and Cosell seems like a good fit as well; that being said, I’m curious to see how they are going to break up the time. It’s already a part-time gig, so breaking it up seems like an odd choice.

Also, was anything wrong with Rob Rush? I knew he was the interim to start, but is it really necessary to hire two new voices? I guess we will see this weekend…..

Looking at the Mets Mother’s Day On-Field Gear

This Sunday, May 13th, on Mother’s Day, Major League Baseball will celebrate by showcasing their thirty MLB clubs in commemorative gear. Unlike previous years, where the team wore special uniform tops and pants, it’s just going to be commemorative caps, socks and personal gear as an option (bats, cleats, batting gloves, wristbands, gloves, etc)

Here is the special cap the Mets will be wearing:

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 6.24.29 PMHere’s the Mets uniform top, the regular road uniform with a small ribbon:

 

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And here are the optional socks, which will hopefully be seen by many players electing to wear high socks:

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What’s your thoughts on the Mets Mother’s Day gear, do you like it, or think it is overkill? Let me know if the comments below or on twitter @NikoMetsPlus.

 

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.

#MetsPlusMeetings: Should the Mets Trade Harvey

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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.

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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.

History & Legacy: The Mets Snow Whites

In their 55 year history, the Mets have had some of the best uniform designs in pro sports. That being said, there have been a lot of subtle small changes to the Mets looks that have kept it evolving throughout the history of the ball club.

Today, we are going to take a closer look at one of the more under appreciated uniforms, the all white pinned uniform, known informally as the “Snow Whites”

The History

 

The Snow White Uniforms debuted back in 1997, 20 years ago, on April 15th, during the first ever “Jackie Robinson Day”. Prior to the game the Robinson Family and Bud Selig proudly proclaimed that the #42 would never be issued to another player that didn’t previously wear #42. To honor the special occasion, the Mets trotted on in their Snow Whites, which resembled a classic Dodgers look, and were matched with a predominantly white cap (with a blue brim).

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The cap was not a hit, and was discontinued at the end of the year. The uniform top also had a subtle invisible white outline around the “Mets” word mark for the 1997 season, which was replaced with the black outline (known as the drop shadow) for the 1998 season. The drop shadow was invented by  Bob Halfacre (Uni-Watch did a whole story on this, so check out the full article here) Bob described his design in a way that I think most Mets fans had never even contemplated. “City of shadows” he told Paul Lukas in a 2015 interview. “You have all these skyscrapers, so everything has shadows. City of shadows.”

In 1999 and 2000, the snow whites were worn during the two famous postseason walk-off blasts at Shea Stadium, by Todd Pratt and Benny Agbayani, the only difference between the two tops were the lack of a name on the back of the 1999 version.

Paired with the more appropriate black hybrid cap, this uniform looked pretty good around the 2000 NL Championship year. The Mets even lost the World Series in their snow whites, technically an alternate at the time, instead of their pinstripes.

However, the most historical moment in a snow white uniform has to be Mike Piazza’s 9/21/2001 blast, giving the city hope after the tragic 9/11 attacks. I asked my Twitter followers which Mets game (in snow whites) was their favorite, and it’s no surprise that Piazza’s heroics in 2001 won-out:

If you’ve never seen Piazza’s homerun (how?), it’s worth checking out:

This home run, an example of how sports can aide at the worst of times, is undoubtably the best 30 seconds of any Met in a snow white uniform, and probably will always be, even if they decide to bring it back in the future.

However, I want to go back to something. Remember when I called the snow whites “technically an alternate?”

That’s because, in every season that the snow whites were around, the official home jersey was an identical white jersey (or cream after 2010) with blue pinstripes. However, the Mets rarely (if ever) took the field in those pinstripes, and the style guide (the internal design book of MLB Uniforms) listed the snow whites as “club preferred”, and was typically worn the the black trimmings (undershirt, helmet, socks etc.)

In 2007, following some use in the 2006 Postseason, the Mets pinstripes made a comeback, and returned to it’s real “primary home” title. However, the Mets still brought out the snow whites for big games, like the Home Opener at Citi Field:

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Even in the 2011 MLB All-Star Game, Mets hitters Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran trotted out in their snow whites. Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 11.49.29 AM

This all changed in 2012, when, for the first time since 2000, the Snow Whites changed. This time, the drop shadow was cut (as it was for all uniforms to commemorate the 50th Anniversary season of the Mets).

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This was one of the best looks the snow whites ever had; unfortunately it ended up being the last, only worn from 2012 to 2014, before being cut in a “merger of designs” between the cream pinstripes and the snow whites. This version was typically only worn during dame games, with the only exception being night games when Johan Santana requested the snow whites. One of those days was June 1st, 2012. The day when Johan threw the first no-hitter* in Mets history:

Santana’s no-hitter wasn’t the only Mets moment in 2012 where a Met pitcher celebrated in snow whites. R.A Dickey got his 20th Win in Snow Whites during his CY Young season:

In 2013, the Mets introduced two blue alternates, and in 2014, camouflage was introduced for select Monday home games. This meant that, including the black, which wasn’t worn regularly since 2011 but remained in the internal uniform set, the Mets had six uniforms. So, after the 2014 season, in effort to simplify their looks, the Mets did away with the snow whites. They were last worn on September 28, 2014, when the Mets played the Astros.

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The Legacy:

The Mets snow white tops were a good look and were used during some of the most important games in Mets history, they never looked like the perfect Mets uniform, but in 2012, with only one alternate, they were a nice weekend shakeup. However, with the blue alternates, they became unnecessary, and led to poor use of the cream pinstripes.

I do think the Mets will bring back the snow white uniforms, unlike the black alternates, but it won’t be for a while. There is something very calming about the plain nature of the snow whites, which worked well during lazy summer day games. That being said, there isn’t a pressing need to revive them, so I doubt we will see them come back anytime soon.

#ThePlusInMetsPlus Introduction: A Weekend In Cooperstown

This past weekend, to celebrate the end of the 2017 season, my family and I went to Cooperstown, NY to see some early foliage and get out of New York City.

However, this trip wasn’t going to be a normal one, instead, I documented my experience into a series of journals for #ThePlusInMetsPlus. The report will be broken down into three unique features, which I will talk about briefly here.

Part 1: Cooper Inn Hotel Review

The Cooper Inn was my choice for lodging during this trip, a sister property of the Otesaga Hotel & Resort. In this review, I discuss the features of the property, it’s rooms, breakfast, and why it’s good for your money.

Part 2: The Leatherstocking Tale of the Otesaga Hotel & Resort

One of the most prestigious resorts anywhere in the United States, the Otesaga Hotel & Resort is a must visit for anyone in Cooperstown. We spoke to the Otesaga and toured the property.

Part 3: Outside of the Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown.

While the Hall of Fame is a staple of the village of Cooperstown, there is so much more that makes this town a hidden gem in New York.

Hopefully, this will be the first of many of these #TPIMP Trip Journals, something I plan to do in the Winter Meetings in Orlando this December.

If you have any comments or questions on Cooperstown, feel free to tweet me anytime @NikoMetsPlus, or, for a formal response, you can email me at Niko@MetsPlus.com.

The Mets Ownership is Pulling a Cheap Trick……

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I don’t usually talk about ownership here on MetsPlus, but after watching the drama over Terry Collins impending departure, I feel like I have to at least share my thoughts, even if it’s not pro-Mets in the least.

First, as I’ve stated many times to Twitter, I’m not a huge Terry Collins fan, I believe he makes many questionable in-game decisions, frustrates fans, answers some questions the wrong way from the media, and does make your head spin. Despite that, Collins has been able to rally the team to two postseasons, including a NL Pennant. On top of that, every player I’ve spoken to and everyone around the team has spoken extremely highly of him and his personality in rallying the troops.

However, if you were new in town and saw the media coverage and “leaks” you would think that Terry Collins is the worst person to ever step 100 feet from Citi Field.

In brief, the Mets seemingly blamed Terry for Familia’s injury, and also reported that they seriously considered firing him during multiple points in his tenure.

Quickly, the media seemed to back Terry:

So look, here are my thoughts in a nutshell via an analogy: When you own a bus, and the bus driver has been working the same route for seven years, and, despite some shortcomings, you don’t stab the wheels of the bus driver THREE DAYS before his tenure is over. And, to add insult to injury they are quietly doing it without saying that they are doing it.

Maybe I shouldn’t be this upset, but my frustrations with the Mets have been through the roof, and I question rooting for a team with owners of such poor morals.

 

Top 5 All-Time Posts on MetsPlus

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MetsPlus.com will officially be leaving MLB.com, in two days. And before that happens, I wanted to share with you my Top 5 all-time posts on MetsPlus.com, since we joined MLB.com in April of 2014.

There are a LOT of posts that I’ve written over the past few years that I’m extremely proud of, but after an extensive review and a lot of decision making, I believe I’ve settled on five posts that I’d call my favorite.

#5: Culinary Citi, Parts 1 and 2 (May 2016)

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Yes, after interviewing some of the games best, doing some amazing things, eating my way through Citi Field was one of my favorite memories. While, the PIG GUY NYC Bacon on the Stick was very memorable, I also enjoyed the Fuku Chicken Sandwich, Box Frites, Keith’s Burger and all the other places that we went around to see.

I might do a Part 3 of Culinary Citi in 2017 if the Mets add some new options to the ballpark fare this Spring.

4. 11 Questions with Branden Wellington (September 2014)

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This pick is most likely a sympathy pick, as over the years I have interviewed people a little more well known than Branden Wellington, however, I was amazed by the professionalism and the willingness of the first person I ever interviewed for Mets Plus, and, it was truly an exciting interview. In the interview, Mr.Wellington shares his game day routine, favorite experiences, and on-screen moments.

#3 – NL Wild Card Game Picture Blog (October 2016) 

Had the Mets actually won the NL Wild Card game, this would have been considerably higher on the list, maybe even at #1. This was the first time for me doing a personal recap of a game I attended, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Looking back at that game two months later, I realize how amazing that game actually was, and how close the Mets came from playing the Cubs at Wrigley in the NLDS.

#2 – Top 5 Winter Meetings Experiences (December 2016)

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You have to give me some credit for putting a Top 5 List in a Top 5, huh?

Well, the Winter Meetings truly was action packed, and there were a lot of moments that were extremely unforgettable. The Trade Show was probably at the top of that, but meeting some of my favorite TV Personalities, speaking to Job Fair candidates, and interviewing a guy that was holding a sign in the lobby. This was truly a memorable and amazing week.

#1 Piazza Induction & Number Retirement (July 2016) 

 

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I mean, how can meeting Mike Piazza not be at the top of the list? This is actually two blog posts, the first part was my time in Cooperstown, New York for the induction ceremony, and part two was the actual number retirement, which I enjoyed a little more.

This, without a doubt, is my top Mets related memory of all time.

Honorable Mentions:

1) Citi Field Tour Recap (November 2016)

2) Fall & Winter Fest Review (Fall and Winter 2014) 

3) 11 Questions with Art Shamsky (November 2014)