Breastfeeding at Citi Field

The Mets are in a pennant chase with the first place Washington Nationals coming into town.  I know the last 36 hours have been rough between the blown trade and blown save, but the Mets are still in this thing . . . even if they do nothing else at the trade deadline. 

If you have a little one, it is a great time to bring them to their first Mets game.  The Mets will be throwing their stud muffins out there.  Citi Field should be electric.  This is a great opportunity to get your little one hooked on baseball.  However, when you go to the ballpark with little ones, you have to be extra prepared.

When we brought my son to his first Mets game, my wife tasked me with one responsibility.  I had to make sure there was a place to breastfeed our son.  Now, if you have $10,000 laying around, you can always get a suite at Citi Field and have all the privacy you want.  If you’re like me, that’s not an option, so I had to find a real solution.  If it couldn’t be done, we were not going to the game.  I love the Mets, but I wasn’t going to let my child starve for the better part of the day to watch the Mets get pummeled by the Nationals (they did lose 3-0 and it wasn’t that close).  

Now if you go the Mets’ website, there is nothing there about breastfeeding at Citi Field.  I was undeterred, and I did my research.  I visited every mommy site there was.  I was fairly confident I found the area where a mommy can breastfeed at Citi Field. We got tickets, and the whole family went to the game.  Unfortunately, the mommy websites were very wrong. 

I’m not going to link those websites because I do not want to embarass them because I’m sure they meant well.  They did, however, leave us in a lurch. We had to find a solution and fast.  We first went to the Nurses’ Station as instructed by the mommy blogs.  There was no room at the inn.  First of all, they cannot permit you to breastfeed in there if the rooms are full.  Secondly, they are not enthusiastic about allowing you back there because someone may need to come in and use the room.  That means your child will have to stop feeding immediately, and your wife will be exposed to the public.  Not exactly a recipe for marital bliss.  Now, I know there are family restrooms.  However, they are always locked, and you can never find someone who can open them.  Jimmy Hoffa can be in there for all I know. That eliminated the family restrooms.  We were at a loss, and we were on the verge of going home. 

With seconds remaining before going home, we stopped at Fan Assistance.  They were as baffled as we were about where in Citi Field you could breastfeed a child.  To their credit, they were very helpful.  They arranged for us to use a small ticket office in the Promenade section (not the ticket windows, it’s in the opposite side) to breastfeed.  An employee stood guard while my wife and I went in.  This is not the ideal situation, but at least we were in private. It was an acceptable solution. This prevented my wife from having to feed our son in public, and it permitted us to stay for the game.  It was also nice an employee stood outside making sure no one entered while we were in there. 

So my recommendation to you is if your wife is breastfeeding, immediately go to Fan Assistance once you enter the ballpark.  They will be very helpful.  If not, please advise them that you were able to breastfeed in the ticket office in the Promenade section before, and you wish to go there again.  It is the best of a series of bad choices.

As to the other issues a parent may have, Citi Field is accommodating for parents with infants.  Each and every restroom has a changing table.  They permit you to bring formula and bottles into the game.  If you do choose to bring formula, I suggest you might want to get the travel pouches of formula as security might have a problem bringing white powder into the stadium. You can bring bottled water into the park to mix the formula.  You can bring an umbrella stroller, which Fan Assistance will make you check with them.  

When you stop by Fan Assistance to check in your stroller make sure you ask for a certificate for your child’s first Mets game.  If you do, make sure you write very carefully and neatly otherwise you’ll have a misspelled name on your certificate like I do.  

Overall, if you are better prepared than I am, you can have a fun filled day at Citi Field.  In the end, it turned out to be a reasonably nice day, and my son was able to stay for all nine innings.  It looks like he was born a Mets fan just like his “Mets Daddy.”  If you go the game this weekend, I wish you the best of luck.  Have fun at Citi Field and Lets Go Mets!

Trivia Friday 

The failed Carlos Gomez deal is something we’re going to talk aboit for a long time especially now that Gomez was traded to the Astros. This week’s tongue in cheek quiz looks for the players who changed teams in the Mets-Brewers trade. Good luck!

Gomez is ASTROnomical Risk

As I wrote earlier, I don’t know who to believe in the Carlos Gomez trade fallout. After reflection and news of the trade to Houston, I’m surprisingly finding myself believing the Mets. 

I know I’m shocked too. If you’ve read my prior thoughts on the Mets ability to add payroll, you know I’m firmly in the Jerry Crasnick Camp that the Mets can’t do it. However, in my opinion, Carlos Gomez wasn’t adding salary to this team because of Bartolo Colon expiring contract. 

One reason I believe the Mets here is their team doctor is David W. Altchek, MD. He is the preeminent Sports Medicne doctor in the country. If he truly said there was a hip issue, there was a hip issue. If you don’t agree with me or believe the Mets (which I understand on both counts), keep in mind:

  1. Gomez had an MRI on his hip earlier this year, 
  2. Gomez said he’s afraid to run because of his hip, and 
  3. Gomez is having a down year

In the prior two seasons, Gomez was named to the All Star Game. He averaged a .284 average and 24 homeruns. This year?  He’s afraid to run and his triple slash line is .262/.328/.423. His OPS+ the previous two years was 128 and 129. This year it’s 105. This is a precipitous drop. He went from an All Star caliber player to an average player who complains of hip issues. Normally, I would say you could have a down year, but there are too many red flags to believe that. 

I presume the Mets saw the medical reports from the doctors and were left with two options: 1) call it off, or 2) try to salvage it. It’s possible they believed asking the Astros for money in the deal was a way of insulating themselves from risk. They might’ve thought if Gomez is healthy, great. If not, we have the money to get someone else. It’s also possible the financial rumors were made up to salvage Gomez’s value so the Brewers could trade him to someone else. 

We know the Astros had no problem with Gomez’s medicals. As Sandy Alderson correctly said, “[i]t’s simple, our doctors thought the health risk was too great; Houston’s doctors apparently felt otherwise.”  It could be that simple. Doctors disagree all the time. That’s why we get second opinions

Therefore, I don’t think the Mets necessarily owe everyone an explanation. There shouldn’t be any beat writers taking a victory lap as if they were a member of the Brewers’ front office (especially when he reported Gomez’s hip issues). The Mets gave us an explanation, and they might’ve avoided a huge mistake.

I wish Carlos Gomez the best of luck. He may be hurt; he may not be. All I know is Zack Wheeler is too high a price to risk. 

This Game Recap is Delayed

Initially, the Mets seemed poised for a laugher powered by a Curtis Granderson three run homerun. Juan Uribe joined the fun with his first Mets homerun. However, the bullpen completely unraveled. 

Bobby Parnell couldn’t manage pitching two days in a row or a 7-1 lead. When he loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, Terry Collins made the first of his two fateful decisions. He brought in Hansel Robles, who gave up a grand slam to Derek Norris. 

Two innings later, Jeurys Familia came in for the save, and he got off to a terrific start. He quickly recorded the first two outs, and he had an 0-1 count to Derek Norris (who as of right now is 5-5).  Of course the umpires called a rain delay. 

This brings us to Terry Collins’ second fateful decision. He had Familia come back in after sitting for over a half hour. He then allowed a bloop single to Derek Norris. Matt Kemp followed with a single to the left side. Finally, Justin Upton hit a three run homerun to put the Padres up 8-7. Familia blew his third save in a row. I’m still shocked Familia does not have a save since the All Star Break. 

Of course after approximately 10 minutes of play, the umpires saw it fit to call another rain delay. Understandably, the grounds crew had trouble getting a rain soaked tarp on the field. 

I don’t disagree with either of Collins’ bullpen maneuvers. He should be able to reasonably anticipate his relievers can hold a six run lead. He should reasonably anticipate that his closer save a game with a two run lead. He should’ve sent Familia out there. Think about it?  Who is he going to warm up?  Tyler Clippard already pitched. Familia was your best shot. 

However, I have to say the umpires did a horrible job. You CANNOT delay a game with two outs in the ninth and then delay it again after the end of the top of the inning. It doesn’t excuse Familia’s performance, but it may explain it.

I’m not anticipating them to restart this game anytime soon. Not only is it still raining heavily, but the field also needs a lot of work. It’s very possible this game is suspended. Even if it isn’t, they will not be playing for a while. 

Analyzing Wilmer Flores

Last night when I thought a huge trade was consummated, I wrote Wilmer Flores needed his own post.  While I have been wrong from time to time, I was prescient on this one. 

First, we should address his performance this year. To be fair and objective, he hasn’t been good. His has a triple slash line of .249/.281/.378 with an OPS+ of 83. This is a fancy way of saying he hadn’t been hitting well. We could go into advanced statistics on Flores’ defense at SS, but it was a small sample size for statistics. What we saw on the field he was a fish out of water, who had trouble turning the double play. To be fair, he was better at second. 

From what we’ve seen, Flores is a player who has been bad offensively and defensively. You may ask why should we care about someone who looks like a AAAA player right now. Well for starters, he’s a Met. You care about anyone they put in the field even if you love or hate that player. Also, he’s still only 23 years old with the ability to improve. 

And he does look to improve as a player. Even though he was handed the SS position by the team, he sought ways to improve at the position (unlike some players). He has shown flashes of offensive potential. He’s hit 10 homeruns and has shown that he may have the clutch gene. Also, he cares and wants to be a New York Met. 
We all saw it last night. He was crying while at his SS position. Despite being shaken up by the ordeal, he was a man and took questions at his locker. In the impromptu press conference, he described himself as being with the Mets forever. He effectively has been as he was signed as a 16 year old kid out of Venezuela. 

Just think about that for a second.  For those of us who went away to college, it was the first time we ever truly leave the house. You don’t see your mother and father everyday. You’re effectively on your own for the first time. Sure, you’re excited. Your whole life is in front of you. However, it’s also sad. When your parents go home, you won’t see them for a while. If anyone tells you they didn’t get the least bit emotional, they’re lying to you. 

Flores left his home and his country when he was 16. He went to a country with a different culture and spoke a different language. I don’t care what anyone says. This takes courage. He showed character in making his way to the majors even if he wasn’t ready; especially so with how the Mets have jerked him around this year. 

I dare say Wilmer Flores is a role model. He’s someone that works hard on his craft. He gave up a lot to pursue his dreams. He never publicly complained with how he’s been moved all over the infield in the two years he’s been in the majors. He cared enough about the team and his teammates that he was moved to tears at the prospect of leaving them all behind. In his most trying hour in the big leagues, he faced reporters and answered their questions. 

I don’t know if Flores will ever hit enough to cover his defensive problems, but I do know he’ll do everything he can do to improve. Now that he hasn’t been traded, I hope he sticks around for a while (for right now that should be on the bench). If he moves on, I will applaud for him when he returns. 

It’s possible that one day I will discuss this with my son as it’s a teachable moment. I’ll tell him to pursue his dreams.  I’ll tell him he needs to work hard everyday to perfect his craft. I’ll tell him we’ll support him no matter where life takes him. I’ll tell him that even in the most trying of times, you have to be a man. That means meeting your responsibilities (for Flores it meant playing the field and answering reporter’s questions). It also means you can be moved to tears when it’s time to pick up and move away. I know I’ll be in tears when he does . . . thank God that’s a long time away. 

This Story Won’t Gomez Away

Look the main purpose of this blog is my reflections on the Mets as I’m raising my son to hopefully become a Mets fan. Here’s some advice I’m giving my son in the future: 

  1. Stick to your guns;
  2. Don’t rush to judgment, and
  3. Hips Don’t Lie

We’re now beginning to find out Carlos Gomez’s hip issue was a “just a red herring.”  It appears the issues for the Mets might’ve been financial . . . as it always is. 

Apparently, the Mets wanted to include Juan Lagares in the deal, who is a better player than Wilmer Flores, due to financial concerns. For their part, the Brewers didn’t want Lagares because of his questionable health. So the Mets then relented and agreed to trade Flores until they didn’t. 

The Mets then called the Brewers to include money in the deal. Presumably because the was a fair value deal, the Brewers balked. They have Gomez under contract next year so they don’t need to make a rushed panic decision. Apparently after the overtures for more money were turned down, the Mets discovered Gomez’s hip issue. 

Who do we believe?  I do think there is some merit to the point that no one went on record. However, Tom Haudricourt is the Brewers beat writer, and accordingly, I presume he knows which sources he can trust and not trust. I don’t know his reputation or his work, so I’m not going to begin besmirching him now. 

There may be some merit this came down the next day after Boras is on the rampage over the hip issue. Keep in mind it was Haudricourt, himself, has reported on Gomez’s hip issues. However, if the hip was such an issue, why is Gomez playing everyday?  

Now, let’s move onto the Mets. Can they be trusted?  This should be met with a loud and resounding NO!  Time and time again, this organization has lied about its financial wherewithal only to not spend a dime. They have been so arrogant as to say they need more attendance to increase payroll. They’ve gone so far to question Mets’ fandom that they sent out a loyalty oath

Furthermore, the Mets needed the Oakland A’s of all teams pick up money in the Tyler Clippard deal. In exchange, the Mets gave up way too much value in a potential future ace in Casey Meisner. It’s absurd. The rumors of Lagares’ potential inclusion in this deal over Flores only fans the flames. 

The Mets say there’s money to add a significant contract. I said yesterday adding Gomez doesn’t add a significant contract. First off, Gomez’s contract is a relative bargain. Second, if they acquired Gomez, it would’ve been an excuse as to why they can’t reinvest Colon’s $11 million coming off the books (oh and they’ll pocket $2 million). Third, they’ve said money from Wright’s injury and Mejia’s suspensions that they have not fully reinvested yet. 

At this point, I really do not know who to believe. While we have a million reasons not to believe the Mets, the fact remains Gomez had a hip issue that merited an MRI. Maybe the Mets saw a hip issue and thought if the Brewers don’t give us some financial support, we have to walk. I wonder if the Brewers are trying to preserve Gomez’s trade value. I wonder if there is an honest dispute over Gomez’s hip. I wonder what the Mets and Brewers do next. 

The one thing I know is true is the Mets are dangerously close to losing their good will with the fan base. 

Did the Wheels Really Fall Off?

Over the course of their history, the Mets have made some really bad trades that were indefensible at the time they were made. While this isn’t a complete list, here are some of my “favorites”:

  1. The Midnight Massacre
  2. Lenny Dykstra, Roger McDowell, and Tom Edens for Juan Samuel, and 
  3. Scott Kazmir and Jose Diaz for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato. 

Again, this is not a comprehensive list. Also, these were traded roundly criticized at the time, not ones that eventually turned out badly. 
It’s funny. Late last night into early this morning many people were joking about how people who went to bed early last night would react when they discovered the trade unraveled. It immediately made me think of the aforementioned Midnight Massacre. 

I thought about how people felt when they read the newspaper the next morning. We all know everyone hated the trade and vilified the Mets to the point that Shea was once known as Grant’s Tomb. The trade worked out as bad as everyone thought it would. I began to wonder if the Carlos Gomez trade would’ve joined the list of worst Mets’ trades ever. 

As I noted last night, Carlos Gomez was having a down year. Admittedly, I was unaware there were possible injury concerns. Reportedly, the Mets nixed the deal over Gomez’s hip issues. Gomez was reported that have said he’s stopped running due to his hip issues. 

The arguments started over whether there was a hip issue or not. Many pointed out that he was playing everyday.  Despite these opinions, the Mets believed Gomez had a degenerative hip issue. For what it’s worth, Gomez had trouble staying healthy this year. Regardless, the Mets seemed disappointed because they really wanted Gomez. 

Mets fans wanted him too. Would they have been as enthusiastic if Gomez landed on the DL with a hip issue?  Would they have booed him if he was ineffective due to his degenerative hip?  Would they be screaming same old Mets?  Yes to all the above, and part of the reason is they would’ve given up Zack Wheeler to get him. 

I’ve detailed before how the Mets could afford to part with Wheeler for a non-rental player.  However, it is dumb to trade him for a player that’s an injury risk even if he never gets injured and/or he would be a huge upgrade. 

As I’ve noted, Wheeler has been a league average pitcher with the Mets with a lot of potential. However, he seemed to turn a corner in the second half last year. He went 6-3 with a 3.04 ERA. He averaged 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings. He dropped his WHIP from 1.357 to 1.286. 

He was making real progress in his first full professional season. He’s under team control until 2020. This is a valuable asset and trade chip. You don’t give that up for a hope and a prayer especially when the Mets don’t have the best history dealing with injuries

While Sandy Alderson and the Mets may invite criticism from time to time, this should not be one of those instances. Initially, he made a good trade to improve the team. He made a better decision walking away from the deal. 

Stop Beating Up the Reporters

Times sure are different. I realized this when my Dad texted me that Jose Reyes was traded. He read about it in the paper. I knew about it much earlier because I checked Twitter for updates on trade rumors. My Dad is 68. He goes a twitter over using the Internet; not on the Internet. 

However, for the rest of us diehard Mets’ fans, you follow all of the best writers on Twitter. You do that because they get information and tweet it right out. They immediately give you the information you can not wait to get. 

Sometimes, things get a little out of whack. I’ve heard the criticisms about how everyone wants/needs to be first. Many believe this makes some people skip all the steps necessary to confirm a story. If you’re saying this occurred with the Carlos Gomez trade, I think you’re crazy. 

I can’t believe every reporter got the story wrong. The Brewers players were saying goodbye to their teammate. The Mets’ owned SNY reported the deal. MLB reported it on their website (article now changed after the deal fell through). 

We now know the Mets backed out of the deal because of Gomez’s hip issues. Surprisingly, Zack Wheeler’s medicals weren’t the issue. In any event, the deal was done until it wasn’t. This wasn’t a reporters fault. In fact, I’d argue they all did an amazing job on the story considering how static it was. I think you should also appreciate not only the work they did today, but the work they do everyday. 

What Just Happened?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Bartolo Colon is done. His 2.1 innings six earned run game is unacceptable. He pitches in a pitcher’s park, and his ERA is now 4.96. If MLB wants to improve scoring just make sure he pitches every five games. 

The Mets entered today one game back (two in the loss column), and Colon gave them no chance to make up ground or keep pace. In fact, the Mets lost ground. He even had his super secret weapon, Anthony Recker, and his .130 batting average. 

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the Mets don’t tell Wilmer Flores or Terry Collins about the Carlos Gomez trade. However because this isn’t 1925, he heard about the trade anyway (probably from someone in the clubhouse). Better yet, no one told Terry Collins. So he sends Flores out there crying at SS. Flores did get one last AB and a standing ovation. Collins finally pulled him off the field. After a big loss, Collins had a testy press conference. 

Wouldn’t you?  The man is facing the brunt of the blame for putting Flores in a tough spot. However, Collins had no idea about the trade. It’s insanity. 

Speaking of insanity – THERE WAS NO TRADE!   Let me say that again to let that sink in, THERE WAS NO TRADE!  Unbelievable. Only the Mets. There’s no one to blame, at least not now. I’m sure we’ll soon find out what happened. At the moment, we all feel like Collins watching his SS crying in the field: baffled, upset, out of the loop, and . . .


In other news, Lucas Duda is objectively awesome, and Collins is still using the platoon system. Colon is terrible and is possibly costing the Mets a playoff spot. Today was Flores’ last game for the Mets until it wasn’t. A lot of people, including me, wasted time with an analysis of a non-trade. 

It’s late. I’m confused. I’m going to bed. Maybe there will be some sanity tomorrow. 

Reunited and it Feels so Good

Since, I’ve started this blog, I’ve written a lot about trade rumors. I’ve written how trading Wheeler for an OF who’ll be with the Mets is s good idea. I’ve written how the Mets should pursue Carlos Gomez over Justin Upton. Finally, I’ve written about how the Mets were done making impact trades. 

So, here we are with Carlos Gomez, who is the perfect fit on this team. The Mets obtained him for Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flored. 

First and foremost, with Juan Lagares’ suspect health and offense this year, he can play CF (he won a Gold Glove two years ago). He’s got a triple slash line of .266/.332/.409 and an OPS+ of 108. This all means he’s been very average at the plate this year. 

However, he’s coming off two fantastic seasons that has been him with a .284 average and 24 homers. As you can see, Gomez’s main problem this year has been the power. It’s a gamble, but I’ll take the gamble. 

Speaking of gambles, Carlos Gomez was previously traded away from the Mets. At the time, Omar Minaya “gambled” that Lastings Milledge was the better player.  As a result, the Mets traded Gomez instead of Milledge for Johan Santana. 

It’s funny, the Mets traded away Gomez to try to win the World Series. In 2015, they trade for him to try to win the World Series. I pray for better results. Unlike 2008, there may be some asking if the Mets gave up too much. I’ll admit the trade hurts, but you have to give away value to get value. 

Before Zack Wheeler was injured, he seemed to turn the corner in the second half of 2014. Other than that, he was just an average pitcher with real promise. It’s a shame he needed Tommy John surgery. Now, he won’t be available to pitch until around the All Star Break next season.  Judging by Matt Harvey’s season, Wheeler won’t be right until 2017, which is the season he’s arbitration eligible. He’s under team control until 2020. 

There’s a lot to say about Wilmer Flores. Unfortunately, most of those things are about how he hasn’t been very good with the Mets this year offensively or defensively. However, he’s only 23, and he’s shown promise. He deserved his standing ovation. 

I will write more about Wheeler and Flores later. I think they each need and deserve their own separate deeper analysis. Also, it’s fair to say they will be missed. 

However, this deal is about Gomez and Sandy Alderson going for it responsibly. Gomez is under contract next season for $9 million. I’m not going to get snarky and say they still haven’t really took on money because that $9 million will be offset by Bartolo Colon’s $11 million coming off the books. 

This is a major move involving a very good player. The Mets still need a SS and a LOOGY. They kept pieces to go get them. They’re a better team now with Gomez. It’s a good day to be a Mets fan.