Results tagged ‘ New York Mets ’
A few weeks ago, I went to Atlanta, Georgia to see the Mets in SunTrust Park, and after three consecutive wins, I pre-maturely called things “right” in the Mets-world, before the Mets failure of a homestand and a sweep by Los Angeles.
Now with things a little better (five wins in the last six days), I wanted to write a small post on my analysis of what the Mets chances are for the rest of the season.
Looking at the month of July prior to the All-Star Game, the Mets play a three-game series home versus Philadelphia, before heading to Washington and St.Louis.
Best case scenario, they sweep the Phillies, take two out of three from both the Nationals and Cardinals and head into the All Star Break with a 43-44 record, nearly at 500.
Worst case scenario, they only win one from the Phillies and Cardinals, and the Nationals sweep them, which would bring their record to 38-49, something that would be next to impossible to come back from.
As you can see, this is as crucial of a juncture as the Mets can have, things go right, this team contemplates becoming a buyer, and with a series win versus the Rockies after the break, this team is right back in the Wild Card hunt. If things go bad, the team will be fairly un-recognizable after the Trade Deadline, as they will have traded all of their upcoming free agents.
The only time it becomes interesting is if the Mets preform well over the next nine games, but not that good. Do the sell of the veterans to help out the 2018 Mets, while at the same time forfeiting their Postseason hopes in 2017, or do they stick it out this year with their veteran core, and have a few more question marks going into next year?
Last Tuesday, I had the chance to go down to Coney Island to attend the Brooklyn Cyclones Opening Day.
This experience, which is always a great one, was the first time I was in Brooklyn since 2015, and I was interested in what’s changed over the last two years, and give the fan experience a proper review.
I arrived into Coney Island and immediately turned right onto Surf Avenue, which, in the last five years, has gone through a significant restoration. The sidewalks are cleaner, brighter at night, and a more welcoming atmosphere for families.
The Thunderbolt, which I had seen on my 2015 trip, looked very nice just feet from MCU Park.
Upon arrival, I quickly picked up my tickets (always go for the commemorative ticket stock), and waited on the long rope line, that wrapped around the ticket office three times.
I was surprised to see Metal Detectors at every gate, something you don’t see at Citi Field, but due to the extreme lines, the routed me and anyone without bags to a temporary line with one guy with the Garrett Wands, which took less than five seconds.
The Cyclones, rather impressively, were waiting on the steps of the ballpark to sign autographs from eager fans, a nice touch that you can only see in the Minor Leagues!
There was a spin to win for five dollars, similar to the set up at the Mets Spring Training Facility in Port St. Lucie.
I won a phone charger, which I’m currently putting to good use on my vacation;)
The ballpark was cramped, which is always the case during any stadium’s opening day, so I give them a pass. What I do not give them a pass for was the state of their concessions.
All but a few of the main stands only accepted cash transactions, as their new credit machines weren’t installed in-time. This led to massive confusion for the workers, long lines, and complaints from fans who waited in the lines, only to hear that the credit/debit machine isn’t working.
I must have seen five fans throw a total fit at the employees (which one shouldn’t do, as it isn’t the kid’s fault) for the inability to use a credit card, which is troublesome in the increasingly cashless society we’ve adapted. However, one of the employees I spoke to said the machines would be ready in the not-to-distant future, so, that’s a positive.
I got a traditional meal consisting of Chicken & Fries, with prices slightly lower than at Citi Field.
While not everyone was glued to the game, the Cyclones always to entertainment well, and they’ve changed a few things. First, while King Henry continues to do his thing with charm, the Beach Bums have been re-named the Surf Squad, consisting of both girls and a few guys, and are a step in the right direction in the family-friendly department.
Additionally, a lot of the fans were wearing the giveaway of the day, the t-shirt schedule (a better take on the magnetic schedule that is ubiquitous on Opening Day).
And, as always, the Cyclones looked like an exciting, young bunch. I loved how they were all on the top step of the railing, ready to go at any moment’s notice. I was that mentality carried over to the major leagues.
By and large, the Cyclones are an affordable exciting alternative to Big League baseball. It’s a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, and you can get a field level ticket and an autograph or two for under twenty bucks, which is an amazing deal.
It’s no major leagues, but in the summer time in the minors, it’s the experience that counts, and the Cyclones do that very well.
The Mets have been introducing a lot of new traditions this year, Free Shirt Fridays, Family Sundays, Military Mondays and more! One of the best new features that the Mets have introduced are permanent in-game hosts. These guys energize the crowd and make a Mets game 10x more enjoyable! One of the Mets in-game hosts, Branden Wellington was nice enough to answer a few of my questions for Pepper Mets Blog. Enjoy the interview!
1. How long have you been working with the Mets as an in-game host?
Branden Wellington- This is my 1st season with the NY Mets. I got my start in personality/hosting work on Travel Channel.
2.You regularly advertise various promotions for the Mets, which is your personal favorite?
BW- My favorite promotion was the replica batting helmet, but that’s mainly because the commercial shoot day was hilarious! Christina and I had some pretty funny takes and came up with a bunch of quirky stuff that I believe were too silly to make the final cut. However on the fan side of things Free Shirt Friday and Family Sunday I feel are the best. On Friday everyone in the ballpark is sporting their shirt and the whole crowd looks in unison, not to mention the pre-game party on Mets plaza! What makes Sunday great is the focus on families and kids. Mrs.Met makes an appearance, there’s a ton of fun activities pre-game on the plaza, and after the game it’s incredible to see the amount of joy radiating from the kid’s faces as they participate in the Mr. Met dash.
3.Often, during the games, you wear the T-Shirts or cap giveaways, do you keep them?
BW- I might have a T-shirt or two in my stash but most of the promotional items we wear are samples and go back to client before the final ones are given out to the public. The shirts we wear on game day usually come from the Mets Team Store and those are our personal work shirts that we keep.
4.What’s the biggest challenge being an in-game host and the literal 10th man?
BW- One of the biggest challenges I feel we all face in any profession is staying in the moment. Often times after you’ve done something many times it’s easy to fall into a repetitious spirit. That may be good for systematic math but that’s bad for TV and LIVE sporting events. So I coined a phrase I like to call “Day 1 Energy” and that’s where you do your best to show up daily with the same presence, focus, excitement and enthusiasm as if it were your 1st day at work. I do my best to never take working in MLB for granted because it truly is a privilege and an honor; I do my best to reflect that in my interactions with everyone I encounter at the ballpark.
5.What’s the most memorable Mets game you have attended?
BW- It was the April 5th Game against the Reds when Ike Davis delivered the pinch-hit walkoff grand slam! It was the first time I had ever seen a grand slam live and I shared the moment in the stands with fellow Mets fan Paul Tina and his son. The crowd was electric and it felt so surreal, I knew I was witnessing a moment that doesn’t happen everyday in baseball. After the game Paul emailed me a picture of his son and I and wrote some very positive words about my job performance.
6.If you could create a new idea for a promotion, what would it be and why?
BW- This is truly not my department so anything I say here is not indicative of any plans or promotions they may consider or are considering in the future and may not even be remotely possible. Now that disclaimer is out of the way lol….it would be cool to have something like “Meet the Team Tuesday’s”. Throughout the week fans get to vote on which player they’d like to meet (players can only be chosen once a season). The player that received the most fan votes would show up on Mets Plaza 3-4 hrs before the 1st pitch to sign autographs and take pictures. Maybe there would be a blank line on the ticket’s you purchase for that game where the player could sign. It would keep things organized and make the experience easier for the fan and the player. I once saw a fan trying to get a sweater signed but the material wasn’t a good match for the sharpie. lol
7.Between innings, you regularly appear playing trivia games with fans, which is your personal favorite? ( Mine is the Caesar’s Press Your Luck, I like how you give a t-shirt away even if the contestant strikes-out!)
BW- Coming from a film and TV background, I love when we play Mets at the movies. It’s not a game we play often but when we do it usually happens late in the game during a pitching change. A player reenacts a famous line from a popular movie and the fan has to guess which movie. It’s a fun game and even funnier to see the players use some of their acting chops.
8. What’s it like working alongside an esteemed mascot like Mr.Met?
BW- He’s the absolute best! He reminds me that you don’t have to say anything to be effective. Just be friendly and energetic.
9. All-Time, who is your favorite Met?
BW- Let me start by saying that I’m from Indianapolis, IN and we don’t have a professional baseball team. This is my first year being as actively involved with baseball and following a set team. So I can only draw from limited history…So far my favorite players this year have been Juan Lagares, Eric Young Jr, & Jennry Mejia. I can’t say which is my favorite but if there’s something they all have in common, it’s high energy.
10. What is your routine on Gameday at Citi Field? Do you try any of the food options at Citi Field?
BW- My day usually starts the same… I come in blasting music through my headphones, then I hi-five the security guys at the entrance, and say hello to Karen who works in the team store office as I walk past en-route to the locker room. Once I’m in the locker room, I cut off the music, say hey to everyone in party patrol using their last name or a nickname in my game show voice. lol Then I head upstairs to scoreboard to grab my scripts and see what we have in store for everyone that day. I would talk about the food options but this blog would turn into a book because I simply eat everything.
11. And finally, any predictions for the Mets short-term or long-term?
BW- The future will and has always taken care of itself. So I stay optimistic and live in the moment.