Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Josh!

Today, Josh Thole turns 26 years old.  He also reminds us he is still young enough to bounce back from a trying season and be a capable catcher for the Mets.

In 2013 Josh will look to regain his form at the plate.  He got off to a quick start this year, hitting .284 with a .356 OBP before he sustained a concussion in May.  Nobody knows how his season might have gone if he had stayed healthy, but I have faith.

I hope Josh had an awesome day!
Happy birthday and here's to a healthy and successful 2013 season!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The World Series

I can't believe there are only a few games left of the baseball season.  The Mets may not have gotten anywhere close to the World Series but that doesn't mean I don't have a rooting interest.  It is almost impossible for me to watch any sporting event and not root for somebody, even if the teams involved are completely irrelevant to the teams I like.  So, if I'm going to be watching the entire World Series, I have to root for some team and that team is the Giants.

When most Mets fans think of the Giants they think of the negatives.  Matt Cain beaning David Wright, Cain and Sandoval starting over R.A. Dickey and Wright in the All Star Game, Buster Posey not being allowed to catch Dickey's knuckleball.  But not everything about the Giants is bad.

Five players on the Giants World Series roster played for the Mets.  They could only have one of those players and I would still be rooting for them.  Xavier Nady is all I need to pledge my allegiance in this series.

Xavier Nady has been my favorite player since I started watching baseball obsessively.  He's the first player I ever followed off the Mets and it is beyond weird to think it has been over six years since I started rooting for him.  I also realize how special winning this World Series would be to him.  Many of the quotes from Nady about playing this year are about how thankful he is to have a uniform to put on. He almost didn't have a team this year yet he has somehow found himself on a World Series roster.  He is on a roster, ready to play for the team he cheered for as a kid.  This is the definition of "dream come true" for Xavier Nady.  He does already have a ring from the Yankees in 2009 but he was injured for most of that season and this is his first time putting on a uniform in the World Series.

I cannot imagine ever rooting for Xavier Nady to lose a game, much less the biggest games of the year. He may not get much playing time but he still has Giants written across his chest and number 12 on his back.  He is a part of that team.

One of my favorite players is in the World Series.  I have to root for his team.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Because I Just Want To Write

Sometimes I want to open a blank page and write.  In other words, sometimes I want to open a template for a new post and write, but that doesn't sound as elegant or refreshing or like anything fun at all.  But sometimes it's just what I want to do.  I'll open the new post and stare at it for a few minutes, trying to figure out what exactly I should write about.  I try to think of everything happening around the Mets and everything I might have a new perspective on.  Sometimes I come up with something interesting after those few minutes.  There are times I don't even need to think about it at all, and I just start writing.

Now is one of those times I stare at the page and cannot think of anything.  I don't know enough about the Mets finances to talk about next year's payroll or the offers they should make to David Wright and R.A. Dickey.  I could write about roster changes for next season but I'm still not ready to think about the Mets without Mike Nickeas.  I could add to the never-ending list of posts about why Dickey should win the Cy Young award.  I already wrote about the necessity for the Mets to sign Wright.  I could write endless posts about the awesomeness of Mike Nickeas but nobody wants to read that

I so badly want to write but I have nothing to say.  Some people might call it "writer's block" but I look up to the top of this post and wonder if I actually do have writer's block.  I mean, I seem have written plenty.  But have I really written anything?  I didn't say anything about which prospects must be on the 40-man roster before the Rule 5 Draft.  I didn't talk about who should play centerfield for the Mets next season, or right field or left field for that matter.  I didn't put myself in the shoes of Sandy Alderson and systematically explain the changes I would make to improve the team.

Okay.  Maybe it isn't that I can't think of anything to write about.  Maybe it's that I can't think about anything I want to write about.  If I don't want to read it, I'm not going to write it.  The online Mets community has been inundated with all the speculation in the world.  Between the beat writers and the blogs and the twitter world, there is so much I don't want to see any more of.

So instead of writing any of that stuff, I have this.

Let's Go Mets!

I'm Bored

If you're as bored as I am then you should look at my pictures from the time the Bisons played at Fenway because somehow they look really good and I'm looking at them and they're making me happy because that day was beyond awesome but they're also making me sad because it is actually the offseason for the Mets and also because the Mets aren't affiliated with the Bisons anymore but you shouldn't let that stop you from looking at the pictures so I'm going to end this sentence now and just post the link to the album with the pictures.

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Welcome To The Offseason

Is it the offseason?  I never know whether or not to consider October (and sometimes the first days of November) the offseason.  The offseason started for 20 of 30 teams a couple of weeks ago but the playoffs are still going on so technically there is still Major League Baseball being played.

Either way, these are the most frustrating days of the year for me.  It is the time of the year when it's too early for any moves to be made but without any Mets baseball to watch.  This is when all of the armchair GMs are firing away with their ideas to improve the team.  Some of them involve trading franchise players.  Some of them involve throwing money at fringy free agents.  Most of them are completely absurd.

In recent years this has become the time for people to dissect the Mets finances.  When they declare they refuse to give more money to the organization until they start producing a product worth their hard-earned pennies.  This has become the time of year when fans declare whether or not they are going to renew their season ticket plans, and proudly share that decision with the entire world.  It's when people arbitrarily decided how many games they will attend next season, without any knowledge of what the team is actually focusing on for the offseason and the performance of next year's team.

October 15 is way too early to know how the offseason is going to shape up.  It's too early to know what players the Mets are going to sign, trade, re-sign, or release.  Front office officials can say anything they want, they can say they aren't going to increase the payroll or they aren't going to trade big prospects.  When the moves are actually made (or not made) I'll react to them.

Right now I don't know what to believe and I don't really feel like listening to anyone who may or may not have special "sources."  There are still four teams playing baseball right now.  There are still teams whose seasons haven't ended and therefore teams that aren't close to thinking about offseason moves.  This is the awkward in between time when baseball fans are anxious for news when there just isn't going to be any news for a few more weeks.

So maybe we shouldn't be joining the offseason just yet.  Maybe we should enjoy playoff baseball while we have it, because it'll be over in the blink of an eye.  Instead of deciding how we feel about the offseason now, let's enjoy the baseball we have and not freak out until something actually happens.

Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Just Don't Like It

Since the moment plans for a certain calendar of Mets fans was announced I was against it.  I made it clear on twitter that I didn't like one of my most despised aspects of society invading my favorite baseball team.  It's relevant again today so I thought I'd expand on my feelings in a setting that allows me to use more than 140 characters.

Girls and women are still facing an uphill battle when it comes to equality in the sports world.  Tremendous strides have been made and there are now plenty of female athletes and writers and other figures in the sports community.  However, there is still a ways to go for all females to have the same credibility as males, be it as a fan, athlete, writer, or otherwise.  It's something I think is ridiculous.  It's also something that I have a hard time ignoring when I see people make the situation worse for female fans.

This calendar is supposed to be a calendar of female Mets fans, representing the fanbase and also the brand associated with the calendar.  This year anybody could apply to be in the calendar.  You just had to submit a picture or two and a short piece about yourself as a Mets fan.  It seemed harmless enough but it still bothered me.  This year's calendar was all about sexy Mets fans and the one being created for next year would be the same, just this time the public had a voice.  Yes, the requirement for a piece about being a fan makes it seemingly necessary for all applicants to be actual fans but the main thing was clearly the pictures.  Some of the entries only had one sentence in the fan description part.

Why does this make the situation for female fans worse, you ask?  It's another layer added to the pile of "females would rather look cute than be taken seriously" crap.  This isn't a calendar of 12 of the most-dedicated female fans, it's a calendar of 12 of the most attractive females who have the ability to wear Mets clothing.  It's not saying that females can be huge Mets fans too, it's saying females can look hot if you put the right ones in half a shirt.  It's saying if you don't look like these 12 women you're not going to get attention from male fans.  The most bothersome thing is that these 12 women may not even really be fans.  There's nothing about which games they've been to or how many times they change plans so they can follow a game, it's about how sexy they can look in a certain piece of clothing.  Sure, they could be die-hard fans, but it's just so hard to believe when all they really want to do is flaunt their looks, not their dedication.

Instead of this calendar I think it would be more fun to have a calendar of fans having fun at games.  Don't single out certain people to represent an entire demographic.  Show fans together, enjoying being a fan.  I want to see people having fun being a Mets fan, even in the times when it's hardest to be a fan.  Those fans will truly represent the fanbase and there is no shortage of female fans that could be included.  If you insist on promoting your brand, show off the pictures you took of people in your gear at games all season, everyone knows you have plenty. I just don't get this calendar.  I wouldn't get it if it were a calendar of attractive men showing dressed in Mets gear either.  Give me real fans in a real environment or give me the players.  Show me the fun of the game, not a staged photo-shoot.

Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I Have To Say It One More Time

Yesterday I basically listed what I loved the most about the 2012 baseball season.  However, there is one aspect of not only this season but the 2008, 2010, and 2011 seasons that has made my dreams as a 14-year old baseball fanatic come true.  Every baseball fan has that one player they root for unconditionally, no matter how they play or who they play for.  Everybody dreams of being able to meet that player.

2012 wouldn't have been so cool if I hadn't gone to Spring Training in 2008 and if I hadn't gone to that B-Mets game in 2010 and all the Mets games and the Bisons game in 2011.  2012 wouldn't have been my favorite baseball season if Mike Nickeas wasn't the coolest person on the face of the earth.

After 2008 my dream was to get his autograph again, now that I actually knew who he was.  My dream wasn't to go to a game, take a picture with him, have him toss me a baseball during the game, and see my brother get a bat from him.  My dream wasn't to write to him after he finally got his first major league call-up that year and get a hat from him in return.  My dream wasn't to go to Spring Training and have him remember me and then remember me at every game I went to after that.  My dream wasn't for him to know who I am, outside of a random fan and autograph-seeker.  That was all beyond my dreams, beyond anything I could possibly imagine.

I don't know how to thank Mike Nickeas and feel like it's anywhere near enough for how awesome he has been.  I'll probably eventually grow out of the excitement that comes with my favorite player knowing I exist.  However, right now I still have kid in me that finds it the most awesome thing in the world.

Thank you, Mike Nickeas.  I've said it before but I'm saying it again because I can't possibly say it enough.

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thank You

This season may look like another failed year on paper.  But for me it was a season I'll never forget.  From seeing Mike Nickeas spend most of the season in the major leagues to having the time of my life at a minor league game at Fenway Park, this baseball season was a blast.  My highlights may not be the same as everyone else's but they will always be special to me.

Johan Santana's no-hitter, R.A. Dickey's 1-hitters, David Wright's first half for the ages.  Everybody enjoyed those.  Mike Nickeas's grand slam, the multiple times he laid down perfect suicide squeeze bunts, watching him tear it up in AAA, how he ended his season by throwing a runner out trying to steal, Zach Lutz getting his first major league hit, Rob Carson dominating during his September call-up.  We all have the moments that are only special to us and those are just a few of mine.  I still refuse to believe my favorite player knows my name and I still find myself wishing I could thank him for being so nice.  I find myself wondering how August 18 was such a perfect day and wishing the Mets could have the Buffalo Bisons for one more season, so I could really say goodbye.

This season was filled with days I will remember forever.  I finally met Joe Smith, and I found out first-hand how awesome my favorite minor league players are.  There was a month-long stretch during which I went to one game a week.  I went to Social Media Night and got to talk to Kevin Burkhardt, someone I look up to, at one my last games of the season.  I watched R.A. Dickey win his 19th game from the fifth row of my favorite section at Citi Field.  I went to a game with my aunt and a game with one of my best friends.

I don't think I will ever enjoy a baseball season as much as I enjoyed this season.  I have so many questions and there's so much uncertainty about whether I'll even get to see some of my favorite players again.  So for now, I'm just going to try to enjoy everything I loved about this year.

2012 may not have been a banner year for the Mets organization but it definitely was a banner year for this fan.  Thank you, Mets.  Thank you, Buffalo Bisons.  Thank you, Rob Carson, Dylan Owen, Zach Lutz, and Josh Satin.  Thank you, Kevin Burkhardt.  Thank you, Mike Nickeas.

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Worst Series Of The Season

The Mets could sweep this series from the Marlins.  They could score over ten runs in every game.  They could hit home runs in every inning.  Yet I would still despise its existence.  No matter what happens in these games the season will end once they end.  Once the final out of Wednesday's game is made the season is over.

This season shouldn't be ending.  The Mets should have more time to recapture the magic of the first half.  There should be more games to relive Johan Santana's no-hitter and R.A. Dickey's perpetual dominance.  Tomorrow is R.A. Dickey's last start of the season.  The last start of a season nobody wants to see end.  He will take his 20 wins and try to add one more.  After tomorrow his quest for the Cy Young award will be over, there will simply be nothing he can do to change his fate.

The last series of the season brings a helpless feeling to my fandom.  I want to keep rooting deep into October.  There is just nothing to root for.  Fans ten other teams will get to watch at least one more game.  They will have their pre-game and postgame shows with their favorite broadcasters.  But for Mets fans there won't be any more Gary, Keith, Ron, and Kevin until the first episodes of Mets Hot Stove in the dead of winter.

On Thursday night I'll probably be a little lost.  I'll turn on SNY at 6:30 looking for Chris Carlin and Bobby Ojeda.  Instead I'll see Jets highlights or another sign of a night without a game.  But I'll move past that because Thursday is a common off day, the Mets will just be traveling.  So it won't be until Friday when I fall apart.  When I get off the train and into the car and there is no Mets game to put on the radio, and no game on TV when I get home.

This series stinks because it is the last series of a once-spectacular season from David Wright.  It is the last series of Ruben Tejada's emergence as a more-than-reliable shortstop.  It is the last series Ike Davis has to bolster much improved second half statistics.

No matter how poorly the Mets do I always dread the last series of the season.  The series that has nothing after it on SNY's pocket schedule.  I dread it because I know once this abismal season is gone I'm going to miss all the little things I enjoyed.

Let's Go Mets!