With Wayne Randazzo accepting a position with the Los Angeles Angels, the New York Mets hired Brooklyn Cyclones radio announcer Keith Raad to join Howie Rose on WCBS 880 for the 2023 season. Raad was kind enough to agree to an interview to discuss his journey:
Congratulations on being named one of the New York Mets radio announcers for the 2023 season. Certainly, this must be a dream come true. Tell us about your journey from being a local boy and Chaminade High School graduate to being one of the radio voices of the New York Mets.
It’s a dream come true to make it to the Major Leagues and it’s even more surreal to do it in the city that I grew up in. New York City has always been a larger-than-life place for entertainment and of course that list includes sports. Growing up on Long Island, I learned about what kind of skills I had when attending Chaminade. The Marianist brothers and the teachers taught me how to write and the importance of public speaking — those things rung true within me. That led me to a degree in Communications in college at the University of Dayton where I jumped right in looking to combine my love of language, writing, speaking, and listening with baseball. I’ve spent close to 10 years calling games and eight years in the minor leagues. It’s so satisfying to pay my dues and jump into the Majors.
The Brooklyn Cyclones have the slogan “Amazin’ Starts Here!” As fans, we see that with players like Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo. However, as we see both you and Jake Eisenberg, now the Kansas City Royals radio voice, that applies to broadcasters as well. What is so unique about Brooklyn that it has served as a springboard to the majors for broadcasters like yourself.
First off, to be a Brooklyn broadcaster means you have to have a love — and a major respect — for history. In Brooklyn, Red Barber, Vin Scully, Connie Desmond, Ernie Harwell and many others called games for the Dodgers. Those voices came out of the origin of radio as a medium to deliver the game to an audience. By learning from how these guys did their thing in this borough, Jake and I were able to treat the job with great care and respect. The Cyclones enabled me to go from an up-and-coming broadcaster looking for his voice to being one who uses his voice and personality, trying to model it after guys like Howie Rose who I will now join in the booth.
Speaking of your time in Brooklyn, we are now well aware of the struggles for minor leaguers. Lesser known is all the duties and responsibilities of working for a minor league team. Personally, I’ve had the pleasure of working with you for group outings for various groups. I know I was shocked to be dealing with one of the broadcasters. For fans unaware, can you please share for us what a typical day is like for a minor league broadcaster?
Ha, so most situations are similar, but every once in a while as a minor league broadcaster, sales duties are part of the deal. That’s what enabled me to be a full-time member of the front office. In a typical day, I would arrive to the park at 10 a.m. and jump on the phones and email trying to sell tickets for group outings, season ticket holders, and sponsorships. I would do that until about 1 or 2 p.m. before jumping into my media relations duties, including writing our daily game notes, printing statpacks for the teams and the press box, distributing rosters and lineups. In the early afternoon, I would help the video staff grab players for social media videos. During batting practice, I tried to be around the turtle on the field just absorbing how the guys are acting and maybe asking a question or two to the players. Following batting practice, I would do about a five-minute pregame interview with a guest. All the while helping local media talk to any players or coaches they were interested in speaking to. Around 5:15 is when I actually can sit down, write in my scorebook and begin prepping for the game that night. Lots of work! I would leave around 10:30-11 a.m. an take the 75-minute subway home, rest, and get ready to do it all over again.
Obviously, that is a grueling experience. What was it that kept you going during those long days and undertaking so many responsibilities beyond just the broadcasting?
The minor leagues tend to ask you a question rather quickly: can you do this? And by that, I mean are you willing to “eat it” for years and years with low pay and long hours to make the majors? For me, I’m much more interested in going for the difficult things in life because we only have one go-around on Earth so why not? But I stuck with it because it is such a high-risk, high-reward pathway. And, looking back at all of those tarp pulls and low pay and feel so incredibly satisfied to now get to enjoy the reward of working in the big leagues.
What was your favorite moment as the broadcaster with the Brooklyn Cyclones?
By far the best moment came in 2019 during the 48 hours of winning the New York Penn League Championship, celebrating that night, and then going to Citi Field the following night as VIPs. My call of “Brooklyn, you have your title” after beating Lowell on September 10th led right into a champagne celebration with the team as well as the front office staff who worked so hard that year. Then at Citi Field, the Mets were kind enough to celebrate everyone (players, coaches and our front office) with a double suite and a video board tribute to our championship.
You’ve seen a number of talented players pass through Brooklyn. Who were some of the best players you’ve seen during your tenure?
Francisco Alvarez has some incredible raw power. His fiery attitude of wanting to be the best and refusing to compromise with any limitations makes me think he’ll have an incredible career. I think Alex Ramirez is extremely talented and already plays with a tremendous about of confidence — which you need in this game. Brett Baty is the most polished hitter I’ve personally seen in a Cyclones uniform. And with Ronny Mauricio, he’s really, really close to figuring it all out.
Who has had the biggest impact on your career?
This is a really tough question because at different stages of my career, there have been several different voices who have been critical. However, my first MiLB boss Tom Nichols in Dayton with the Dragons (Cincinnati Single-A) believed in me before anyone else did. He not only took a chance on me hiring me as an intern in the middle of college, but he also called me one summer during junior year getting my mind towards a summer collegiate job and getting me going. Without him, I certainly would not have had the direction and the structure to this career.
Understanding you were a New York Yankees fan growing up (we won’t hold it against you), who was your favorite player growing up, and if you could indulge us, your favorite Mets player?
Yeah, I get this one a lot obviously. It’s New York. I have to be honest. I grew up a Yankees fan, but the last five years with the Cyclones and the Mets have built bonds within me that grow miles deeper than any childhood fandom. I love the Mets. I pull for the Mets. The Mets are my family. But to throw you an even larger curveball, Albert Pujols was by far my favorite player. I modeled my baseball swing after him because I loved the art of hitting. Growing up, my Mets fandom struck right around 98-99-00 when I would go to Shea. There were so many cool players like Fonzie and John Franco. But I remember Benny Agbayani — I thought it was so awesome that he wore #50 because he was Hawaiian and that was the 50th state.
Years ago, a former Cyclones player Nicco Blank, reached out on Twitter to try to get Taylor Swift to see him pitch in Brooklyn. If you could have anyone tune the dial to WCBS 880 to hear you call a game, who would it be?
Ha, this is a great question. The answer is actually someone who already might be listening whether I know it or not. But my answer is Jerry Seinfeld! I grew up watching reruns of the show and immediately connected with his humor and started to follow his career (even though it already started haha). I view him as a role model. Comedians are very much like broadcasters in a few ways: we feel our journey is alone, we cut our teeth doing games/gigs for little to no money, and we’re constantly trying to listen back and critique our work on a nightly basis.
As you embark on this job, what is the moment you are anticipating most?
This is an easy one: the roar of the crowd. It’ll be unlike anything I’ve ever experienced on the air.
What is your message to Mets fans?
Let’s laugh, let’s have a good time, and let’s win a World Series.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us and good luck during the 2023 season.
The last time a current New York Mets player was in the postseason, Jacob deGrom took the ball in Game One of the 2015 NLDS in the first step of their journey to the pennant. We saw deGrom set the tone with 13 strikeouts over seven scoreless to pick up the win.
It was part of a great postseason for deGrom. If they had an NLDS MVP, it would’ve been his. Overall, he was 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA that postseason racking up 29 strikeouts.
Believe it or not, deGrom is the only Mets player remaining from that 2015 team. The Mets made it to the postseason the following year, but Seth Lugo was left off the Wild Card Game roster. However, that does not mean deGrom is the only Mets player with postseason experience. Here is a look at how the other Mets have fared.
Stats: 1-0, 3.27 ERA, 1.455 WHIP, 0.8 BB/9, 7.4 K/9
Bassitt would receive two starts in the 2020 postseason for the Oakland Athetics. He was great against the Chicago White Sox picking up the win and evening the series. One note here is the Mets may be looking for him to pitch a Game 2 in the Wild Card Series again.
Stats: .138/.212/.241, HR, 3 RBI
This century, the Athletics have been defined by quick postseason exits. That is what Canha has experienced being part of teams who lost the Wild Card Game in consecutive years and never advancing to the ALCS.
Stats: 0-1, 3.86 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 4,.5 BB/9, 10.3 K/9
Carrasco would miss Cleveland’s pennant run with a broken right hand. Cleveland would lose in the ALDS in each of the ensuring years, but Carrasco did what he could to prevent that pitching well in his one start in each series.
Stats: .357/.357/.429, 2B
Escobar’s postseason experience is all of five games. While he amassed five hits, he didn’t have much of an impact for two teams that were quick exits.
Stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.0 BB/9, 11.6 K/9
Givens lone postseason appearance came in that epic 11 inning Wild Card Game against the Toronto Blue Jays forever defined by Zack Britton not appearing in the game. Givens was brilliant in the game helping save the Baltimore Orioles by pitching 2 1/3 scoreless after Chris Tillman was knocked out in the fifth.
Stats: .000/.000/.000, 5 SB, CS
Gore is known as a lucky rabbit’s foot having been a part of two World Series winning teams. However, he has been more than that. He has been a pinch runner extraordinaire stealing five bases. One interesting fact is his one caught stealing was upon review when it was determined he slightly came off the bag against the Houston Astros in the 2015 ALDS.
Stats: .263/.327/.463, 4 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, SB, 3 CS
Lindor has had huge moments in the postseason. In 2016, he had a .979 OPS in the ALCS, the only LCS he has played in his career. In his last postseason appearance, the 2018 ALDS, Lindor was great against the eventual pennant winning Houston Astros with a 1.273 OPS.
Stats: .167/.231/.306, 2 2B, HR, RBI, SB
Like Canha, Marte played for a Pittsburgh Pirates team known for not being able to advance in the postseason. What is remarkable with Marte is this is the second straight postseason series he will not be able to appear in his career due to injury.
Stats: 0-0, 0.333 WHIP, 0.0 BB/9, 6.0 K/9
May was part of those Minnesota Twins, so you knew they weren’t getting past the New York Yankees. That Twins team also didn’t get past the Houston Astros. May was not remotely to blame pitching three scoreless innings in two separate postseasons.
In the 2020 season which led to McCann getting a big contract with the Mets, he did not have an impact in the inaugural Wild Card Series.
Stats: .161/.188/.226, 2 2B, 3 RBI
As a rookie, he was part of that Cleveland team who came as close as any team could to winning the World Series. Unfortunately, Naquin did not do much that postseason or in his postseason career.
Stats: 0-1, 5.40 ERA, 1.714 WHIP, 5.4 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
Ottavino really struggled in the 2019 postseason; however, Ottavino was overworked. He would appear in seven straight games to diminishing returns. In his postseason, with the 2021 Boston Red Sox, Ottavino was terrific allowing just one earned in five appearances.
Stats: .091/.091/.364, HR, RBI
Ruf’s first postseason experience came in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. The highlight for Ruf was hitting the game tying homer in the sixth off Julio Urias in a game the Giants ultimately lost. It should be noted Ruf will most likely not be appearing in the Wild Card Round due to injury.
Stats: 7-6, 3.22 ERA, 1.104 WHIP, 3.6 BB/9, 11.2 K/9
Remarkably, this will be the ninth postseason series for the Mets Game One starter. In his young days with the Detroit Tigers, he had flashes of brilliance. In 2019, he had a 2.40 ERA for the eventual World Series Champion Washington Nationals. Last year, he was great for the Dodgers until fatigue set in during his last start.
Stats: .167/.286/.333, 2B
Vogelbach did not have much of an impact for Milwaukee Brewers teams who were quick outs in consecutive seasons.
Stats: 0-1, 36.00 ERA, 18.0 BB/9, 27.0 K/9
Walker has made only one postseason start, and that came in the 2020 pandemic season. The Dodgers jumped all over him in the first, and he and the Arizona Diamondbacks never recovered.
Showalter will always be defined in the postseason by not using Britton in the American League Wild Card Game. Previous to that, he had been defined by his teams doing better with a different manager in the ensuing postseason.
Much of the reason is Showalter has made a number of curious to baffling decisions in the postseason. It’s not just Britton.
Showalter’s teams have only won one postseason series. He had his best chance of going to the World Series in 2014 where the Orioles were swept by the Kansas City Royals.
Right now, none of this matters. He has a Mets team built to win the World Series. If this Mets team does in fact win, no one will care about his previous failures, and Showalter will have the last piece to what would then be a Hall of Fame managerial career.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article will also appear on MMO.
If there was an expanded postseason in 2007, perhaps history would’ve been kinder to Willie Randolph. That team would’ve had at least a three game series against the San Diego Padres giving them a chance at redemption.
That Mets team will forever live in infamy. That era of Mets history will be defined by a Carlos Beltran strikeout and collapses in consecutive seasons.
Well, this Mets era is so-far defined by consecutive collapses. No, it was not seven in 17, nor was it losing Game 162 at home to the Florida Marlins. That said, it was still horrid.
Last year, the Mets were in first place for 103 days. They’d set an MLB record for most days in first place and finishing with a losing record. That season will forever be defined by Javier Báez and Francisco Lindor giving Mets fans the thumbs down.
For the second straight year, the Mets have collapsed. Worse yet, they choked. Anyone saying different is lying.
They were 2-6 at home against the Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, and Miami Marlins. They were swept by the Braves. This is an absolute choke job.
However, that’s not how we’ll remember that season. Truth be told, we don’t yet know how we’ll remember this season. In some ways, this is 1999.
The 1998 Mets collapsed, choked, and were left for dead. The 1999 Mets seemed to be facing a similar fate. That was until the Milwaukee Brewers took 2/3 from the Reds allowing the Mets to force a one game playoff for the Wild Card.
Instead of failure, we remember Al Leiter’s two hitter in the one game playoff. Edgardo Alfonzo homered in that game and hit three in a roughly 24 hour period including a Gabe winning grand slam in Game One of the NLDS.
That 1999 season will be forever remembered for all of that as well as that epic Game Six which ended with Kenny Rogers. That 1999 postseason was a roller coaster, and at no point was anyone focusing or dwelling on the Mets nearly choking it all away in the regular season.
The 2022 Mets collapsed. They choked. In true Mets fashion, they’ve made 98 wins feel terrible. At this point, we can only say, “So, what?”
In the Wild Card round, the Mets will have Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Chris Bassitt lined up. While some might say, it didn’t work in Atlanta, others might say those three are about to make the next team pay.
If the Mets win the Wild Card Round, they get the Los Angeles Dodgers. As we saw at the end of August, they are two evenly matched teams with the Mets having a legitimate chance of winning that series.
If the Mets take out the Dodgers, no one is or should concern themselves with this collapse. Really, after first pitch in the Mets next series, there’s no need to mention this again.
The Mets collapsed. Fortunately, the Mets season won’t be defined by it. That part of the Mets 2022 season hasn’t been written. Anything is possible now. That includes winning the World Series.
What if I told you the game was on the line? Down one. Tying run on second. Winning run on third.
Even more unfatomable to go with Nido over McNeill. Well, it gets better.
Nido had to leave the previous game after a Max Scherzer pitch hit him in the wrist. The concern was such that the Mets traded for Michael Perez from the Pittsburgh Pirates, who is having a terrible tear framing and hitting.
It gets better.
Nido was a surprise starter. During the game, Nido’s injured hand was stomped on by Jake Cronenworth in the eighth inning.
So, Nido had a hand injury stemming from a Scherzer fastball. Then, a day later, it gets stomped on in the eighth inning. Somehow, Nido gets to bat with a game on the line.
Short of McNeil getting the Monty Python black knight treatment, it’s ludicrous to think anyone in their right mind would bat Nido over McNeil?
Nido has a 55 wRC+ against left-handed pitching, which is far better than the 38 he has against right-handed pitching. For his career, he has a 69 wRC+ against left-handed pitching.
Nido is only in the lineup because if his work behind the plate. He’s never thete to hit. That’s the case whether it’s the first or the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the tying and go-ahead runs on base.
But, that’s just what Buck Showalter did. He let Nido go up there and pop out to end the game while McNeil set on the bench.
If you thought he had a good explanation fir it, well, you’d be sadly mistaken:
There were articles upon articles last year demanding Luis Rojas be fired, and he never did anything this dumb. We won’t see the same with Showalter.
What’s odd was the clamoring for him. He’s won nowhere, and he keeps doing things like this. There’s a reasons he’s won nowhere.
This time, it was Nido over McNeil. Given his track record, we should all shudder over what it will be next.
It used to be in order for a New York Mets player to have their number retired, they needed to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a New York Met. That is why Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza had their numbers retired, and why Gary Carter didn’t. Had the Baseball Hall of Fame not treated Carter differently than every other Hall of Famer in baseball history, his number 8 would be in the rafters at Citi Field.
Somewhere along the way, perhaps not coincidentally coinciding with Steve Cohen’s purchase of the New York Mets, the Mets changed their policy on retiring numbers. First, it was Jerry Koosman. Then, it was Keith Hernandez. Certainly, we anticipate David Wright will be next followed by a massive argument amongst the fanbase as to who gets their numbers retired.
Therein lies the problem. When the Mets had a stringent policy, there was at least one. A player wasn’t slighted by not having their number retired, and they weren’t having their career or impact on the Mets belittled. Rather, there was a policy in place, but there was a Mets Hall of Fame available for some of the true Mets greats.
Now, there is admittedly a quagmire. While you can argue Koosman and Hernandez tweak the standard to impactful and great Mets who have won a World Series, Wright’s eventual number retirement will throw all of that out. What follows is really just chaos, and more importantly, a need for explanation on a number of players.
John Franco is the all-time leader in team history in saves, and he was the third team captain in history. You can argue his number should now be retired. If it should, do you double retire 31, or do you retire his 45? If you opt for 45, why not Tug McGraw too?
What happens to Edgardo Alfonzo? By WAR, Alfonzo is the Mets best middle infielder, and he ranks ahead of Hernandez in the rankings. He was part of the best infield in Major League history, was a clutch hitter, won a pennant, and he won the New York-Penn League championship as a manager.
Bud Harrelson was the first Met inducted into the team Hall of Fame, and he’s the only man to win a ring with the 1969 and 1986 teams. Howard Johnson was the first Met to have a 30/30 season, he’s the only Met to do it twice, and he was part of the 1986 Mets.
Of course, you have Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. Both symbolize all that was great and went wrong with those 1980s teams. To this day, you could argue they’re also two of the most beloved Mets ever.
Everyone is going to have their line and opinion. Without clear standards, each and every one of these players will be slighted by not having their number retired. There are and will be more.
Yes, honoring Koosman and Hernandez is great. They deserve to be honored. It feels good to honor them.
What doesn’t sit right is all those who won’t get that honor now wondering why they haven’t.
When looking at a bench coach, you have someone responsible for running QC during a game. They’re making sure batters bat in order, keeping tabs on who is available, and chatting strategy with the manager.
The entirety of Beltran’s coaching experience is 76 days as the Mets manager. In that time, he had zero team meetings and managed zero games. Put another way, he has zero experience.
Putting him in a position to be Showalter’s right-hand man makes little sense. He’s ill equipped. Moreover, there’s no pre-existing relationship where they’re able to have a synergistic relationship.
It would also be bizarre to have Beltrán in place as a manager in training. Showalter wasn’t just hired to win in 2022. He was hired to be in place and win for as many seasons as he’s capable of doing the job.
The Mets hired the then 62 year old Terry Collins in 2011. He would manage seven more years with the Mets.
Tony La Russa managed the St. Louis Cardinals until he was 66 years old. After being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he returned to the Chicago White Sox in 2021 as a 76 year old.
Showalter is 65. Looking at Collins and La Russa, he has as many years as he can do the job. With Showalter taking the job, we can presume he’s in for the long haul.
That’s just the thing. Showalter wants to win. He’s been in this game as a manager for 20 years. He knows people, and more importantly, he knows who he wants for different roles.
Maybe he likes Beltrán. It would make sense with Beltran being a noted leader and hard worker who is very intelligent. However, no one knows if Beltrán can coach.
Can he be a hitting coach? Can he be an outfield coach? Does he know how to interpret, apply, and communicate analytics?
No one knows, not even Beltrán. That’s why putting him on a staff makes little to no sense. Grooming an inexperienced coach for a role he may never be suited doesn’t make much sense.
Unfortunately, bringing Beltran back doesn’t make much sense. If Beltran does indeed want to come back and eventually manage, he will have to do the work and go to the minors much like Edgardo Alfonzo did.
When and if Beltran does that, then maybe Showalter can and should add him to a Major League coaching staff. Until that point, it just doesn’t make any sense.
When you look at the New York Mets 1999-2000 teams, Bobby Valentine carefully built in coaching staffs. Yes, he brought in the best coaches he could find (and/or were forced upon him), but he did something more. He specifically built a coaching staff dedicated towards winning.
Valentine’s first base coach was Mookie Wilson. Really, who better than Mookie to tell the players what it meant to win in New York. He was there for their transformation from complete and unmitigated disaster to one of the best teams in baseball history. He would even have the hit (alright, reached on error) which would help cement their status.
Valentine might’ve learned the importance of having that former winner on the coaching staff because he had the same experience. Back in the early 1980s, he was the third base coach for Davey Johnson. When he was hired as the Texas Rangers manager, Valentine was replaced at third by Bud Harrleson, who had been on the coaching staff with Valentine.
Fast forward to 2015, and there was Tim Teufel, who like Valentine and Harrelson, was the third base coach. Like the aforementioned, Teufel did bring his own level of expertise. Of course, part of that expertise was how to thrive in New York and how to win.
When the Mets build their 2022 coaching staff, that is something they should be atuned to in building their staff. Obviously, teams should hire the best coaches possible. In fact, the Mets already started that process by retaining Jeremy Hefner. In that process, there should be an allotment for a coach who can help players with the process of navigating New York.
Look, New York is a challenging place to play. It’s the most challenging in all of professional sports. To some degree, it is all the more difficult playing for the New York Mets. There is an added level of scrutiny, and after years of Wilpon malfeasance, there is just a certain portion of the media and fandom who just can’t let of the lol Mets mindset.
The best way to help the players mitigate against that is to bring in a coach who understands winning here. Looking at the Mets, there may not be anyone better suited to that than Edgardo Alfonzo.
Alfonzo, 48, was a Mets minor league coach and manager from 2014 – 2019. During that time period, he worked his way up from bench coach and roving hitting instructor to the New York Penn League Championship winning manager for the Brooklyn Cyclones. That was it for Alfonzo because Brodie Van Wagenen had no use for Mets legends who were winners.
As Alfonzo told Mike Puma of the New York Post, he actually thought he was going to get a promotion for winning. After all, that’s what is supposed to happen when you succeed in your job. Well, now presents the belated opportunity for that to happen.
The challenge for the Mets is determining how he could best help a coaching staff. In all honesty, his familiarity with analytics and willingness to apply and interpret them will be what ultimately dicates what job he could be offered. Whatever the case, there should be a job for Alfonzo.
After all, this is a player who played at a Gold Glove level at two positions in the infield. He was a terrific hitter and one of the most clutch players to ever wear a Mets uniform. He can just bring an immense amount of knowledge to the job, and he has the proven ability to communicate with players from all backgrounds.
Alfonzo can be an asset to the 2022 Mets if they are willing to let him be one. The team will certainly be better if he is a part of the coaching staff helping this team win their first World Series since 1986.
Look at the postseason landscape. On the American League side, you have the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros. So far, you have the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, and they are going to face one of the San Francisco Giants or Los Angeles Dodgers. While the series may be good, it’s not exactly an awe inspiring list of teams to root for to win the World Series.
Plain and simple, we know the Astros have cheated, and they have been unpunished and unapologetic about it. They are facing off against the Red Sox who have their own issues on that front, and they are led by Alex Cora, who was purportedly the ring leader of the entire operation. As we saw, Cora was fired for one year just for show.
When it comes to the National League, the Braves are the epitome of evil. Putting aside the history with Chipper Jones calling Mets fans closet Yankees fans, everything John Rocker, and really, every soul crushing loss, this is a racist fan base eagerly doing the racist Tomahawk Chop chant every game. Rooting for them is like rooting for the hunter in Bambi.
We know all about the Dodgers. There was the 1988 NLCS, and there was Chase Utley. They’re the team who signed Trevor Bauer. We should also mention they’re the favorite team of the Wilpons. No self respecting Mets fan should ever root for the Dodgers.
Understandably, Mets fans probably aren’t too eager to root for the Giants. After all, behind Madison Bumgarner and Conor Gillaspie, they beat the Mets in the 2016 Wild Card Game. There is also all things Barry Bonds. There is also Gabe Kapler, and the heinous things he has been alleged to do.
That should leave a Mets fan wondering what is left in this soulless landscape. Who is the hero who can emerge from all of this dredge? The answer is old friend Wilmer Flores.
Wilmer is the same player who cried at the very idea of leading the Mets only to win a walk-off homer his next chance. In fact, Wilmer has more walk-off hits than any Mets player. That’s a list which includes players like Edgardo Alfonzo, Carlos Beltran, Mike Piazza, Darryl Strawberry, and David Wright. Really, Wilmer has brought us much more joy than we ever could’ve imagined.
Now, he’s the only player really worth Mets fans rooting for this postseason. While we understandably don’t have much reason to root for any of the remaining teams, that goes double for the Braves, there is every reason to root for Wilmer. Hopefully, he and the Giants outlast the Dodgers and the Braves en route to Wilmer winning a World Series ring. After all, if anyone deserves it, it’s him.
After the years of waiting, the New York Mets are finally bringing back the black jerseys on July 30, and they’ll be worn for all the ensuing Friday games.
Back in Black – July 30 pic.twitter.com/jZw7pi3P8Y
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 15, 2021
These are the jerseys Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alfonzo wore the last time the Mets captured the pennant at home. They’re the jerseys David Wright and Carlos Beltran wore the last time the Mets clinched a division at home, and they wore them again to open Citi Field.
Now, we’re going to see current Mets greats carry on the tradition. Certainly, we should expect to see Jacob deGrom, Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, and Pete Alonso accomplish similar feats to those Mets teams.
Friday nights are the perfect time for these jerseys. By limiting it, it prevents the issue fans previously had where the regular jerseys were almost entirely phased out for the black.
Of course, there’s also hope the Mets still embrace the blue alternates. It would be great to see Mr. Met return to the sleeve and have them worn on Family Sundays at Citi Field.
Overall, it’s great to see the Mets bringing back a fan favorite jerseys and treating them like a special event. Hopefully, it is something which stays well past this season.
During this series between the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals, it was announced Keith Hernandez will FINALLY be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame. It didn’t exactly go great:
The Edward Jones advertisement being larger than Hernandez’s name is embarrassing. Then again, at least the Cardinals are attending to their Hall of Fame.
The Cardinals have an official committee, and they have fan votes to determine who belongs in their Hall of Fame. More than that, they actually have a Hall of Fame.
When Citi Field first opened, there was some lip service to the Mets Hall of Fame. As time progressed, and the impact of Madoff continued, we saw the Team Store push into and completely overwhelm the Mets Hall of Fame.
Right now, 13 of the top 24 Mets by WAR have not been inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. Put another way, most of the best players in team history have not been recognized.
It’s more than that. Bobby Valentine led the Mets to consecutive postseasons. Johan Santana had many great moments including the first and only no-hitter in Mets history. There’s also Nelson Doubleday who purchased the Mets and brought in the right people leading to the best run in Mets history.
Point is, the Mets Hall of Fame is severely lacking. Case-in-point. David Wright has not yet been inducted. We can argue over retiring his number, but his not being in the Mets Hall of Fame is absurd.
The Mets need to have Wright and others in the team Hall of Fame. For that matter, there needs to be a real Mets Hall of Fame.
This is a franchise with real history and great moments. It’s well past time it’s celebrated and properly honored. The Mets need a real and proper Hall of Fame. Hopefully, it will happen soon.