First of three ‘Must Reads’ for Mets Fans, starting with Mets Insider’s Q&A with Steven Matz.
“Q: What was it like getting drafted by the Mets?
A: It was awesome. Being from New York, I had a lot of family who were Mets fans and my uncle threw a big party at his house. There were probably 20 or 30 people there to celebrate. I wasn’t sure where I when I was going to get drafted, but I knew I was going to get drafted. It turned out to be the Mets and it was really exciting for everyone.
It was a roller coaster. I had a good idea that the Mets were interested in me, but I did not know if they were going to select me. I was sitting there waiting for my name to be called on the computer, the draft wasn’t aired on TV yet.” –Steven Matz [Mets Insider]
Full Disclosure, I own the 2014 Binghamton Mets Championship DVD [Fuller Disclosure: I do not own a DVD player.]
“Q: What was your favorite baseball memory? Both personally and as a fan?
A: One of my favorite memories was winning the championship in Double-A with Binghamton in 2014. I got to pitch the deciding game and it was awesome. It wasn’t a big stadium, but it was standing room only. I started the game and I think I threw a no-hitter going into the eighth. We ended up winning on a walk-off. It was exciting and fun. You grind out the minor league season and you end up winning the championship. It was really exciting time.” –Steven Matz [Mets Insider]
“Q: Did you always think you would be a pitcher or was the role forced on you because you were a lefty?
A: No, when I was going into my senior year of high school my dad signed me up for a showcase. I didn’t know that I was going to be drafted at all up to that point. I went to the showcase to play first base, and hopefully get seen by some colleges. I ended up pitching in that game too. I had never been clocked before then and I was throwing 87–89. That’s when everything started snowballing.” –Steven Matz [Mets Insider]
It’s astonishing to travel outside the Tri-State area and realize the rest of the country has to rely on Subway or Jimmy Johns or whateves.
“Q: What’s your favorite part about growing up on Long Island?
A: The deli sandwiches. We’ve got the best delis in the world in my opinion.” –Steven Matz [Mets Insider]
Second must read, SNY’s chronicling of Alonso and Smith’s love for each other.
“[Dom Smith and I] played together in Vegas last year (in Triple-A). That’s kind of when we were first teammates. We saw each other before, but we were never at the same level for an extended period of time. He was kind of up and down in Triple-A last year, so we never really got to be in the same locker room for more than a couple weeks at a time. Really, it was in spring training where we started to become good buddies. Me and him are kind of in the same boat, two young kids, following a dream, working hard to help this team, whichever role that is that day. We push each other.” –Pete Alonso [SNY]
Seriously, this is THE story of the season no matter what happens.
“[Pete Alonso is] just a fun guy to be around. He’s been such an amazing teammate. He’s not just supportive of me or himself, he’s supportive to everybody and that’s infectious. I haven’t seen him ever be in a bad mood or get down on himself or anyone else. Coming into spring training, we knew all the hype and what was at stake. We also know we’re young, both two talented players. We knew we could help the Mets win games and we wanted to make it tough on the team and that’s what I told him in spring: ‘Hey, let’s make it tough on them. At the time, you’re not on the 40-man, so it’s going to be kind of tough to break with the team, so you’ll have to do something special.’ For me, as well, I’m coming off a bad stint the last year and a half. I knew it was important for me to do well in camp. We just kind of fed off each other and had a good time.” –Dom Smith [SNY]
J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil also make appearances in the Alonso/Smith piece, click to read McNeil’s thoughts on cookies.
“You can go along with saying the natural instinct for any human being, if you’re competing against someone, is to hate that person. But at the end of the day, both those guys have a skill set that this team needs.” J.D. Davis [SNY]
Quote of the Year.
“I love playing FIFA. Some of them have MLB The Show, which is kind of funny. I played that with Jeff and I’m the worst MLB The Show player ever. Thank God I can play baseball.” –Pete Alonso [SNY]
All pitchers must feel the same way about the increase of Home Runs.
”Every fly ball I was standing out there on the mound because I didn’t know if it was going to go out today. A couple questionable home runs but obviously can’t say anything about it. Try to pitch and get outs. You try not to blame it on the home runs, but when you make pitches and guys are putting the bat on the ball and it’s going a long way, you get kind of frustrated. You can’t let it get to you mentally, you have to say it is what it is and try to make your pitches and get ground balls.” Zack Wheeler [Yahoo]
If the Mets were willing to put J.D. Davis in left field (26.3 Feet Per Second), I’m glad they changed their mind to let Dom Smith give it a shot (25.8 Feed Per Second).
“[Dom Smith has] done a professional job preparing to go out there. He still hasn’t had a ton of attempts out there in left, but the one’s he’s had . . . We know he’s going to catch the ball if he can get to it.” –Mickey Callaway [Newsday]
Glad the Mets appear to handling this second stint on the IL cautiously.
“In my mind, I want to play right now. Everything feels good today . . . It felt good, but this was the first time that I ran 100 percent. They just want to wait and see. We don’t want to take a chance.” –Robinson Cano [Newsday]
Ian Desmond with a reasonable response to being hit by a pitch…
“[Drew Gagnon] hit me and I said, ‘What are you doing?’ And he said it wasn’t on purpose. And at that point, I just put my head down and kinda started walking up the line.” –Ian Desmond [New York Post]
…Drew Gagnon also with a reasonable response…
“I can see where they’re coming from, but I wasn’t throwing strikes all day. The ball slipped, a two-seamer. It was a complete accident.” –Drew Gagnon [New York Post]
…but Murph was not happy.
“I don’t think it’s a great look. The first one was up and in. I think it was a changeup and then Desmond got one in the middle of the back. I will say, there are a lot of guys on [the Mets] that I trust in this industry, that I value their opinion and they were all saying they didn’t think it was on purpose. I don’t think it’s a great look.” –Daniel Murphy [MLB]
Finally, an heir apparent to Turk Wendall.
“[Jake Mangum] walks in with his bat [last weekend] and he says, ‘Hey, just so you know, I’m taking the bat home with me, I’m going to bring it back tomorrow’ and I said, ‘Oh, OK, that’s fine.’ He was going to sleep with it. I think he was trying to get the bad Ju-Ju off of him. He kind of jokingly said, ‘Maybe we should sacrifice a live chicken.’” –Jalen Stone, Jake Mangum’s Equipment Manager
As rough as Frazier’s season started, he’s currently sporting a 113 RC+ compared to a career RC+ of 109
“I’ve been talking about it a lot. Pitch selection is huge, knowing situations and just being relaxed, keeping your mind set at the task at hand. My preparation has been key and my focus has been key.” –Todd Frazier [New York Post]
Who’s this Lowrie guy Mickey is referring to.
“You never know what would’ve happened if Lowrie came back. The good thing is Frazier is getting it done. It’s off the charts good.” –Mickey Callaway [New York Post]
After a rough opening to the Subway Series, the Mets somehow came out of it perfectly cromulent.
“To lose like we did in the first one and kind of get beat around a little bit and to come out in the second one and do what we did, kind of beat them up, you’ve got to give it to the players. They did a great job.” –Mickey Callaway [New York Post]
While this may be the end of the baseball road for Tim Tebow, I really think he proved to be a much better baseball player than skeptics thought (myself included).
“I think the effort, the energy, all those things, I don’t think anybody can question. [Tebow] has struggled. I think he would be the first one to tell you that. We are trying to continue to work on approach, get him in a good position to hit, that’s an ongoing thing.” –Allard Baird [New York Post]
Your 1969 New York Mets
“I think our mortality is more apparent with all of us in our 70s, some of us in our 80s, some of us aren’t here anymore. You feel fortunate, those of us who want to be there and can be there. It’s a smaller number. And maybe because of that, it’s more poignant.” –Ron Swoboda [MLB]
“It seemed like a time when everything could happen, and probably the least predictable thing to happen was the New York Mets winning the World Series. But it did. And so in the context of those times, it’s overwhelming to think back to what was going on, and how you had a little piece of that, and how it sticks in peoples’ minds all these years later. Half a century is a long time.” –Ron Swoboda [MLB]
“I can’t wait to see the fans react to it. A lot of them never saw these guys. But a lot of them did. And the ones that didn’t have read about them. The Met fans are Met fans. There’s nothing like it in baseball.” Gil Hodges Jr [MLB]
The third must read is Newsday’s piece on the Mets utilizing Virtual Reality for their hitters.
“It’s an advanced visualization tool, because you’re programming your mind ahead of time to what that guy might do to you. If you use it the right way, I think there’s a lot of benefit to it. It’s sort of the next level of looking at video. Last year with the Cubs, I saw it with a shadow image of the pitcher. The motion matched the pitcher’s motion, but the pitcher himself, you didn’t see him or his jersey. Now, you’re seeing the pitcher.” –Chili Davis [Newsday]
Really happy the Mets are among the one third of teams using this program.
“It’s helped me a lot to be honest with you — see how the slider moves, see the zip on his fastball. It’s not 100 percent, but it’s close to it. Especially a guy like [the Yankees’ Masahiro] Tanaka, he throws four-to five different pitches, so you want to see them all. I’ve seen him a bunch of times, but to see it again live, kind of, like that, it’s really nice.” –Todd Frazier [Newsday]
“Once we got all the pitchers, I think everybody uses it at least once during the day.” –J.D. Davis [Newsday]
“With software-and-services packages having annual costs ranging from $25,000 (minors) to low six-figures (majors), clubs get daily assistance from WIN Reality’s developers and engineers. If a team really wants to pay up, it can buy exclusivity rights within its division. An AL East team does have exclusive rights as a WIN Reality client, freezing out the Yankees.” –Tim Healey [Newsday]
Mets Tweet of the Week
If you're looking for a feel-good way to end your night: Wilson Ramos' wife came down to tell him that she's pregnant with their third child while he was in the on-deck circle— SNY (@SNYtv) June 14, 2019
(via @JakeBrownRadio) pic.twitter.com/oSgjb7CyPD
SiteBot FacePalm of the Week
“One of the few good things about this botched and lost season...is seeing Tebow fail spectacularly against actual near-to-major-league talent, to the extent that even the fawning press that once helped pretend he was a baseball player (in hopes it would push clicks and newspaper sales) is finally turning on his mawkish arrogant ass. Leaving only Tebow’s messiah complex and the Wilpons’ desperation for making money off it still believing the dream... [This goes on for another 360 words].” -Mike Cecconi
AA Quote of the Week
[Everyone’s Response to Mike Cecconi’s Comment] -Everyone