Mets Blogger Round Table
After the Mets lost a brutal game to the Washington Nationals with an epic eighth inning meltdown, you’d be hard pressed to think of anything good about the 2018 Mets even with the team having a 12-3 record. Of course, last night, the Mets had their own eighth inning rally to remind everyone just how good this Mets team can be.
With there being so many different surprises this season, our Mets bloggers answered the question about what they believe to be the most pleasant surprise of the 2018 season:
I would have to say it’s all of the winning. Now don’t get me wrong – I didn’t expect a 1-161 season (the Mets always win Opening Day), but boy, all of the winning at the jump? It was an embarrassment of riches. I would *never* ask for 11 wins after 12 games. Yet the other shoe kept refusing to drop. My shoes just stayed on my beach blanket as I danced in the sands of glory. I have pneumonia now of course thanks to this weather, but boy was it fun. They say you never know when you’re living in a golden age, and I wanted to prove this ‘they’ wrong. Back to reality though. *Nyquil chug* Sorry, what was I saying? Oh right, the winning. Yes, the surprise was all of the winning.
I was going to say the bullpen… but maybe not.
Besides the bullpen, I’d say the DL. I do not want to say this too loudly and jinx things, but Mickey Callaway‘s handling of his players (especially pitching) has been great. Both catchers being out hurts, but it’s not too bad this early in the season. Unpleasant surprise: Jose Reyes not getting a hit. Did not see this coming.
Adrian Gonzalez. Everything else is a distant second.
The most pleasant surprise of the early season was that the ugly 8-6 loss to the Nationals fifteen games in was considered a total shock as opposed to business as usual. Wouldn’t have seen the status quo reshaping itself so definitively prior to Opening Day.
The Todd Frazier effect on everything Mets. He’s brought a winning attitude to the team. He’s become the upbeat clubhouse guy, and he’s started this fun friendship with Yoenis Cespedes. He also helped start that goofy grinder thing that has someone become not just a team bonding thing, but a thing Mets fans have come to actually like.
Speaking of Mets fans, Frazier is one of the good ones, like Wilmer Flores, who takes time to interact with the fans. He’s already making himself a fan favorite, and he seems like one of those players we will irrationally love for the next 40 years.
While the Mets have been a surprise this season, the excellent work from the participating bloggers isn’t. As always, I encourage you to visit their sites to get their unique, thoughtful, and interesting takes on the Mets.
One of the things that has made the GKR era of Mets broadcasts truly enjoyable is what Keith Hernandez has brought to the table. His sheer honesty, and his ability to make the occasional gauche comment makes even blowout Mets losses worth watching. Really, Mets fans cannot get enough of Keith Hernandez.
And in many ways, we want to see and hear what he is like when the cameras aren’t on. We did get a small glimpse of that the day SNY came back on the air earlier than the booth expected, and we all reveled in Keith’s comment that National’s starter Tanner Roark had been “getting his tits lit.” That and other Keith Hernandez moments made him the Mets personality most fans wanted to get a twitter account.
Well, it has finally happened to the great joy of Mets fans everywhere. In this week’s version of the Mets Blogger Roundtable, we react to Keith’s Twitter account:
Michael Baron (MLB)
Obviously, for us its very entertaining and its a great way for us to engage with someone we all admire. But for him, its an excellent opportunity for him to enhance his own personal and professional brand, which is both colorful and eccentric and allows us to see a different angle of Keith many don’t know and don’t get to see.
I have yet to feel “excitement.” Keith even tagged me in a response to someone else, yet all I feel is impending doom (more so than usual). My podcast partner perfectly described this situation as all too similar to the once beloved Milkshake Duck’s. Keith has already mistakenly tweeted out his phone number, before somewhat adorably thanking the first person to point this out and asking how to delete the picture. He has also yet to change the lowercase ‘k’ to an uppercase ‘k’ for his first name in his twitter bio. Even with 280 characters, nuanced thoughts can be expressed very poorly and problematically by the savviest of internet folk, so Keith tweeting something considered to be of poor taste is pretty much inevitable. But for now, yes, he’s showing *clears throat* good twitter fundamentals.
Having Keith officially join Twitter is akin to walking down the steps and seeing the presents on Christmas morning. You can see from his brief experience, his account oozes with his personality, and I for one, have set mobile alerts for when he Tweets. Why is he simply the most entertaining guy on Twitter? Simple. He’s Keith Hernandez.
I don’t get too excited about celebrity Twitter accounts, but he seems to be actively using it himself, so that’s pretty cool.
It feels as if a Rubicon has been crossed. All those fleeting thoughts of “what would Keith Hernandez be like on Twitter?” have come to “oh, so that’s how it is.” He’s Keith Hernandez.
A part of me was hoping he’d stay Tweetless, as if to maintain the mystique. I felt that way about R.A. Dickey, too, but R.A. was engaging and complex in any medium. Same for Keith.
I wonder if early in a previous century there was this much speculation over how so-and-so would come across over the phone. One more device by which to communicate is what it boils down to.
By far the best part of having Keith on twitter will be getting more of Keith, plain and simple. Keith already doesn’t work every game, and it’s noticeable when he’s not there. Gary and Ron are just a bit too grounded and serious when there’s no Mex between them. Even when Keith isn’t working games now, we’ll be able to get inside his head, and, of course, it’s rightfully easy to read his tweets in your head in a perfect Keith tone. Just because he’s not actually saying the words out loud doesn’t mean you can’t hear Keith’s implicit superiority to the guys on the field today, or the strangely emphasized words (Brou-HA-haa). Having Keith on twitter is our chance to hear from Keith far more often. And I don’t think there’s any need to be more specific: Keith on twitter means more Keith, and that’s something that all Mets fans should cherish.
What fascinates me with Keith’s Twitter account, and maybe it shouldn’t, is how right from jump street, he has already mastered how a celebrity should use a Twitter account. He provides the voyeurism aspect like his tweeting out pictures of him having dinner with his daughter and her friend.
He gives us a sense that he’s just like us in how he tweets out silly picture of himself (his profile picture is him wearing a mustachioed poop emoji), he uses the occasional toon response in a tweet, or how he adores his now famous cat Hadji.
And like with his Zack Wheeler comments, we get to see Keith not just as contemplative and not reactionary (as comes with the job) when something happens during a Mets game. More to the point, it shows just how closely Keith does pay attention to the team even when he is not actually working the game.
Lastly, Keith has mastered the job of advertising the Keith Hernandez Shop and his upcoming book, which may have been impetus for firing up the Twitter account all along.
On the other hand, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised by this. During the telecasts, Keith has shown himself to be far more than comic relief. He’s an intelligent and pensive man, who in many ways, is a modern Renaissance man. Keith was a great baseball player, has had great cameos (everyone overlooks his Mr. Baseball cameo), and he has been great in both the booth and the studio. Personally, I’m looking to see what a man with varied interests like Keith Hernandez has tweets during the offseason.
While Keith has only recently been on twitter this group of Mets bloggers have long had twitter accounts which we all use to promote our own writings and thoughts about the Mets. While you are checking in on Keith’s tweets and the things he is selling, I encourage you to check in on the excellent things this group of writers is writing about this amazingly 10-1 Mets team.
On Sunday, I published a tongue-in-cheek recommendation as to what promotions the Mets should have during the 2018 season. The original concept of the post was the Mets promotional schedule feels like it is lacking this year, and the team should be looking for better ways to honor their players.
With that in mind, I asked the Mets Blogger Roundtable what promotions they would like to see the Mets institute during the 2018 season:
The Mets should re-introduce Old Timers Day. Promotions are nice, but they generally consist of things which either break, get lost, forgotten, or all three. Old Timers Day can be traditional and memorable as fans connect emotionally with the players. Sure, there’s no sponsored bobble head doll, hat, or a fidget spinner that goes with it – sometimes the greatest souvenir can be reconnecting with the past, which is why what such a day would be so great for everyone involved.
There was a character on “Rick and Morty” called “Mr. Meeseeks.” He lived only to fix one problem of yours before ceasing to exist. He wanted to cease to be, is the thing – his catch phrase is “Existence is pain!” Naturally, some unknown hero on the internet created a “Mr. Metseeks.” My interpretation of Mr. Metseeks is Mr. Metseeks cannot die until the Mets win the World Series. We all started kind, then have only grown more bitter, and increasing irritated over the years, when the Mets did not fulfill their destiny. We are all Mr. Metseeks. Let’s have an action figure of ourselves some Saturday in 2018. Why? Because a “Jay Brews” shirt sends the wrong message to the youths.
Ernest Dove (MMO & MMN)
As a South Florida resident and fan of the High-A St. Lucie Mets, I can’t help but suggest the MLB Mets model the St. Lucie Mets with $1 beer $1 hot dog night. With ticket prices continuing to skyrocket, I think it would be a great idea for Mets to win over their fans with a night of cheap food and drinks. I’m not suggesting bottles of beer. I’m talking $1 plastic cups here. It might pack the place. And along with the obvious on the alcohol, this would also allow for parents to ensure all their kids are fed. Do it!
Old Timer’s Day; as a kid I always loved Mets Old Timer’s Day, and frankly, I miss it dearly.
In 2009, the New York Times quoted then-Mets executive Dave Howard: “It was particularly unpopular as a promotion. We didn’t see an increase in ticket sales or interest from sponsors or even from people who already had tickets. It died of its own unpopularity in the early ’90s. We felt we were better served by bringing our alumni back over several days instead of one day.”
Now, I liked Dave Howard, nice guy, but that statement was crap. a) outside of a rare 1986 tribute when the hell do the Mets ever “bring their alumni back?”
Maybe be creative? Maybe call it “Amazin Day,” and combine the old Photo Day with an autograph day, have the former Mets like Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry, Art Shamsky, Mookie Wilson, Rusty Staub, Edgardo Alfonzo, Mike Piazza, Felix Millan, etc. gather at Citi Field and have a Mets fan’s dream of a day? Yeah, it would cost money, but it’d be sold out and there are a thousand marketing ideas that would make it a must-have ticket (and memorabilia money maker) every year!
The idea that Mets fans wouldn’t embrace a day to celebrate their team’s history is ridiculous.
I wish it was only a cost-effectiveness issue. But it’s not. Frankly, the Mets can’t even send out a promo video without doing something dumb like trying to avoid the existence of a 20-game winner who just won the organizations first Cy Young Award in almost 30 years. It is the fear of ridicule, of blowback, and of honest feedback from a fanbase that’s tired of the losing and the stupidity. In 1989, Davey Johnson was omitted from the list of some two dozen people invited to Old-Timers’ Day.
Why? If the Old-Timers’ Day crowd cheered Johnson, would the Mets’ front office and Harrelson be embarrassed? If the crowd booed him, would he be embarrassed? Like many, many, many others have said many, many, many times, the Wilpons and by extension, their PR and Marketing departments lack a cohesive link to their smartest and most loyal fans. Maybe it’s time to listen to a few of them.
After the positive feedback we received after our first Mets Blogger Roundtable, the Mets Bloggers have decided to come back for at least a second week. This week, we tackle the question “Which Mets player are we most excited about watching this Spring Training?”
Dominic Smith is the first player that comes to my mind, although there are several interesting stories to watch this spring. Here’s a guy who has spent a number of years now battling weight issues, and therefore reputation issues, and it’s no secret the organization has concerns with him. And, obviously, signing Adrian González clearly indicates that as well. I am looking for him to step up and look like the player and prospect everyone expects him to be, similar to howMichael Conforto performed last spring. If Dom does that, he’ll make for a tough decision a month from now, which is always a good internal conversation for Mets brass to have.
Do we all remember when Bret Booneabruptly retired a few days into Mets spring training camp in 2006? He admitted Jose Reyes “just kind of stared” at him “with that smile on his face” and realized the joy of playing baseball in himself was long gone. Well, I’m hoping Adrian Gonzalez looks at Dominic Smith, smiling and loving life with his old and new svelte physique, and realizes his future as a full-time top sub sandwich enterprise ambassador should be his present. Smith did not earn the full-time first baseman gig last season, but he’s already earned it before the first ST game. He wasn’t even in this good of shape last spring, so I’m looking forward to seeing the Dom Smith everybody warned with a smile was about to enter our lives last summer.
The player I am most excited to watch at Spring Training might surprise a few people. It’s Brandon Nimmo. I am by no means trying to say he’s an all-star, but I think he is often overlook for the value he brings to a team. First of all, his defense in center field (while not as good as Juan Lagares) is good. For me, I am more impressed with his approach at the plate. He’s one of the more disciplined hitters on the team, especially when it comes to his knowledge of the strike zone. Sure, his .260 batting average last year is not too impressive, but his on-base percentage was more than 100 points higher at .379. Despite not looking like he’s going to have a starting spot out of the gate, Nimmo is going to be an important piece on this team coming off of the bench. And knowing how hard he works, if there’s an injury, he’ll be ready to go in a pinch. It’s hard not to root for the kid.
Player I am most excited about? Great question. I know if the Mets had been smart enough to sign Joe Smith, he’d have been my answer. I guess I have to let that one go, though. Steven Matz is the other. There are certain guys I love to watch pitch, and Matz is the latest version of that.
The Mets player I’m most interested in seeing this spring is Yoenis Cespedes. The slugger is coming off a season that saw injuries limit him to only 81 games. He’s trained differently this offseason including doing yoga to make sure he is more agile and not simply bulked up like in 2017. It will be interesting to see if his offseason training can help him regain his decencies prowess that helped him win a gold glove in 2015. Also have to see if he can make it through all spring without a muscle injury which seemed to be a weekly occurrence for him last season.
When healthy, Cespedes has been everything the Mets hoped for when they traded for him and signed him to a four-year deal. The Mets are not going to be contenders in 2018 if Cespedes plays only 81 games and spring will be a good time to see if anything has changed for Yo.
With the Mets signing Todd Frazier, the organization has yet again went out and brought home a local boy to play for the hometown team. It is something we have seen from the organization throughout their history starting with Ed Kranepool, and it is a new focus we have seen with this organization with them drafting Long Islanders Steven Matz, Justin Dunn, and Anthony Kay.
With the Mets illustrious, and in the case of Bobby Bonilla, infamous hometown players coming home to play for the Mets, in a new feature on Mets Daddy, Mets bloggers have come together to answer the question about who is their favorite hometown Mets players: