Spring Training is in full effect, with the first exhibition game against the Marlins tomorrow!
All the reports from Mets camp have been pointing to a common theme of good vibes among the players and coaching staff. Of course it’s that “hope springs eternal” time of year, and no one is gonna report that everyone is grumpy and doesn’t get along. But in this case, with big, positive energy personalities like Stroman, Smith, Nimmo, Conforto, Lindor, and the magnificently quiet confidence of deGrom, not to mention the awestruck look he leaves on everyone’s faces, the energy around this Mets team just feels like it’s on a whole new level. You can see the smiles in photos, and hear the excitement in players’ words when they speak to the press.
We’re ready for baseball, and we know you are too. So, rather than waste any more pixels on your screen, let’s get to it!
CAUGHT IN A RUNDOWN
All the news from this past week, which you’ve probably already seen by now.
🟠 Steve Cohen is back on Twitter! 🚨 (more on this below)
🟠 The deal for Kevin Pillar was finalized and the Mets designated outfielder Guillermo Heredia for assignment to make room for him on the roster. Heredia was then claimed by Atlanta on Wednesday, so he’ll definitely end up being a Met killer, and somehow hit 10 home runs against us from the bench 🤦🏻♂️
🟠 To celebrate Black History Month, MLB had Dom Smith interview Barry Bonds in an Instagram Live video. Bonds spoke highly of some former Mets greats he faced during his career, like Sid Fernandez, Jesse Orsoco, David Cone, and Doc Gooden. You can watch the video here.
Also check out the similarities between Dom and Barry’s swings here (swipe to see video) 👀
🟠 Francisco Lindor spoke to the media as position players officially reported to camp Monday, and he had some things to say about the direction MLB is heading. Recently elected to the MLBPA leadership, Lindor feels that analytics are taking too large a role in how the game is played. He also doesn’t like how some teams are rewarded for having losing seasons. I think most would agree that we want baseball to be more competitive, and not micromanaged with shifts and pulling starters way too early, so it’s nice to hear players speaking up for their love of the game.
🟠 Acting GM, Zack Scott, said he’s fully comfortable with JD Davis being the Mets’ regular third baseman. I’m ok with this. It seems like a lot of fans on social media underestimate his defensive skills. Plus we have one of the best defensive shortstops directly to his left, which takes some of the pressure off. So until JD starts making game-costing errors, I think he’ll be just fine at the hot corner. Zack also sounds eager to dive into negotiations with Lindor for an extension, saying “The sooner, the better”.
🟠 Taijuan Walker had his first press conference as a Met on Tuesday, and he spoke about how his time recovering from Tommy John surgery in ‘18/‘19 gave him the chance to work on the mental aspect of the game. He was able to learn to trust his stuff and the defense behind him, rather than trying to strike everyone out. He also mentioned that though he would’ve liked wearing number 00, he couldn’t because Mr Met rocks that already. He seems genuinely excited to be a part of this pitching staff, and I can’t wait to see what he can bring.
🟠 Edwin Diaz sat down for some questions from the media, and had a fantastic quote: “It’s not how you start, it’s how you end.” Couldn’t think of a better mindset for a closer. Here’s to hoping he can build on a very good 2020 season and regain his once dominant form.
🟠 Michael Conforto answered questions on Tuesday as well, and threw his support behind the return of the black jerseys. He also talked about stepping into a leadership role with the club, as well as his friendships with some of the guys. You gotta think Mike is gonna wear that C on his chest before long. He’s an underrated star and veteran with post season experience, so it’s a natural fit for the honor.
🟠 Luis Rojas told reporters that Jake was touching 99 on the radar gun ☄️ My goodness, it’s just the first week of Spring Training! He’s somehow increased his velocity the past couple of years. It seems completely unnecessary, but you have to wonder if he’s gonna somehow kick it up another notch. It’s just unfair to hitters, and I absolutely love it.
🟠 Mets hitting coach, Chili Davis, is in camp and feeling good, having gotten his first dose of the COVID vaccine. He’ll get the second dose during Spring Training. He told reporters that “Petey” [Alonso] is looking like his 2019, 53 home run, rookie of the year self. He also said that situational hitting, and base running will be a primary focus this spring, hoping to take better advantage of the deep lineup they have.
🟠 In other Davis-related news, JD also had a presser, and he spoke about his confidence in his ability to field 3B, and mentioned being immediately impressed by Lindor’s skill and work ethic. He also spoke about the benefit of having a set position with what he called “the comfort of failing”, meaning that you can grow by learning from your mistakes at that position without having to worry about focusing on a different position the next day. It sounds like he’d prefer to be the everyday third baseman, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. It’s gonna be difficult to leave his bat on the bench most days.
🟠 The most delightful Met, Dom Smith, sat down to answer questions too. He’s not focused on whether he’s a first baseman or not, he takes the criticism of his defense in the outfield in stride, and has confidence in his ability to improve his defense wherever he plays (most likely in LF). While Dom has one of the most happy demeanors on the roster, he said "I'm not happy, I'm not happy at all. I won't be happy and satisfied until we're walking away with that World Series ring". Dom also said “The Mets are gonna be a good team with or without the DH”, pointing to the depth of the roster.
🟠 Brandon Nimmo, our original smile guy, said that he knows he can play CF, and he’s been working on his defense all offseason. He also doesn’t care where his spot in the batting order comes up, because it’s a strong lineup top to bottom, and said his main focus is getting on base, no matter how he does it.
He also says that Mets CF prospect, Pete Crow-Armstrong, is a great athlete after seeing him in team workouts.
🟠 Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Mets have signed veteran catcher, Caleb Joseph to a split contract, which means he’s paid a different amount depending on if he plays in the bigs or the minors. It also means they’ll have to clear room on their 40-man roster. They’ve already got 3 catchers on the roster, so Patrick Mazeika might be the odd man out, unless they opt to DFA one of the less valuable arms from the pitching staff.
🟠 SNY has announced their Spring Training broadcast schedule! ⚾️🔜📺
🚨 SAVE THIS FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 🚨— SNY (@SNYtv) February 25, 2021
Our full broadcast schedule for 2021 Mets Spring Training! 🌴 pic.twitter.com/AlXTvh3Rz3
🟠 Alex Cohen paid a visit to Mets camp on Friday to relaunch the Mets’ charitable organization as the Amazin’ Mets Foundation. She’s spent years heading the Cohen Gives family foundation, helping many various charitable and community organizations in the NY Metro area, so we can’t think of anyone better to take the lead for the ballclub’s philanthropic branch.
🟠 The Mets hired former player (and former LI Duck), Matt Den Dekker, as the minor league outfield and base running coordinator. Welcome back, Matt!
🟠 Pete Alonso seems to have traded places with Steve Cohen, deactivating his social media accounts, both Twitter and Instagram 😢 He answered media questions on Friday, and was asked about this, to which he replied that his life is fantastic and he just wants to “live in real life” and not take anything for granted. Good for him! But bad for us who remain online. He also spoke about his desire for “Friday night blackouts”, with Mets players and fans in the stands all wearing the famed black jerseys from the turn of the century, creating an intimidating atmosphere for opponents. He then signed off with a “LFGM”, in true Polar Bear fashion.
TWEET THE METS
🟠 Steve Cohen is back on Twitter, baby! 🎉 I’m loving all these good vibes as the new boss gets to spend time with the staff and players 🌴😎
I’m heading down to spring training this weekend again .You can feel the positive vibe amongst the players.LGM— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) February 23, 2021
🟠 Jay Horowitz laments the uniqueness of Turk Wendell’s jersey number, as Taijuan Walker opts to wear 99. We think it’s a great way to remind the younger fans of the uniqueness, and greatness, of Turk Wendell 🦷
It’s a sad day for Turk Wendell. He is about to be wiped out of the record book. Taijuan Walker will become the 2nd Met in team history to wear 99. Turk is not upset. He plans to send him 2 boxes of the lucky licorice he used to chew on the mound for get him off to a good start. pic.twitter.com/QIWcp2yc7E— Jay Horwitz (@Jay_HorwitzPR) February 21, 2021
🟠 Turk himself came through with a care package for the new number 99 🎁
🟠 Hawaii native, Jordan Yamamoto, speaks about a couple of Hawaiian Mets legends, and hoping to wear number 50 to rep his home state 🤙🏽
Jordan Yamamoto, a Hawaii native, talks about Sid Fernandez and Benny Agbayani:— SNY (@SNYtv) February 21, 2021
"I got a call from someone from back home and they were like 'so, you gonna get No. 50?' and I was like, rookie here, can't really do much about that" pic.twitter.com/Q7W3tcpYFp
🟠 Speaking of numbers, Kevin Pillar will rock number 11.
🟠 Let’s get to work!
Arriving for work. 💪 pic.twitter.com/Gmp4gGYGqi— New York Mets (@Mets) February 22, 2021
🟠 Sandy Alderson’s got jokes 😂
Asked if the Mets would be scouting Yoenis Cespedes’ workout/showcase, Mets president Sandy Alderson responded, “We’re going to rent horses and ride to the workout.”— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 22, 2021
🟠 The best of the Trevors shared some wholesome and hilarious Twitter content 🦏
Been messing around with Twitter search. Decided to share some of my best tweets from the past. This one is a gem from 2012. pic.twitter.com/57wd21C0tN— Trevor “IamTrevorMay” May (@IamTrevorMay) February 24, 2021
🟠 New OF Prospect, Khalil Lee, is pondering his appearance 🤔
🟠 The Francisco Lindor style show continues with him showing up to camp Thursday morning in Eddie Murphy’s Mets jacket from “Coming To America” 🎥🎬
And Uncle Steve is a fan!
Where can I get a jacket like that?— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) February 25, 2021
🟠 Dom Smith takes umbrage with his player rating on MLB The Show 🤨 and Str0 has his teammate’s back on this 🫂
79 @MLBTheShow .. 😂😂👌🏾— DOMINIC SMITH (@TheRealSmith2_) February 25, 2021
New merch for every Mets Mood
🟠 Between the new ownership, the Amazin’ Mets Foundation, the positive personalities, and all the potential this Mets roster has to succeed both on and off the field, the Good Vibes are flowing at camp this spring. We hope they’ll continue throughout the season, and far into the future. Hop aboard the Good Vibes express in this new t-shirt inspired by a titan of Mets Twitter, @sschreiber13
🟠 And building on that positive energy, we’ve got another new design that’s made for the sunshine. This one is also available on a tank top so you can capture that pure summer vibe. And it too was inspired by a Mets Twitter great @ernestdove Get it here!