It’s an exciting time of year for baseball fans as pitchers & catchers reported this week, and position players report tomorrow. Hopes for the coming season are at an all-time high for fans and players alike. Those hopes will unfortunately come crashing down to reality for many, as Opening Day comes and goes and the dog days of summer drag on into autumn.
But for now, we’ll just enjoy the return of this yearly ritual, as players and coaches settle into their routines, and we all get to watch a few meaningless, sun-soaked games on TV. It sure beats staring out the window, watching snow piles melt here up north.
Similarly, it’s a time for hope and settling in here at 1986’d. Our official website is less than two weeks old, and so far we’ve gotten a great response from all you Mets fans. It was a daunting decision to leave the comfort our previous home (on the website that rhymes with “Metsy”), but one we doubt we’ll regret in the long run.
As the weeks of Spring Training pass, we’ll be releasing more fun, new designs, and continuing to interact with you on social media as we gear up to get things in full swing this summer.
As always, thanks for stopping by to check us out.
Now, let’s play ball! ⚾
Caught In A Rundown
All the news from this past week, which you’ve probably already seen by now
🟠 The Mets added to their organizational pitching depth, signing two veteran arms, LHP Mike Montgomery, and RHP Tommy Hunter to minor league contracts. Both will receive a Spring Training invite. Both also admittedly received a Googling by yours truly. They seem like solid pieces, whether they remain on the farm, or are pressed into big league action due to injuries.
🟠 This week on “Hoarders”, the Mets continue to stockpile veteran outfield bench depth, signing CF, Kevin Pillar, to a one-year deal. He’ll join Albert Almora Jr, Guillermo Heredia, and Jose Martinez as options to platoon against southpaws, or come in as late game defensive replacements. Almora Jr & Martinez have minor league options, so they could also spend time in AAA Syracuse if necessary.
🟠 The Mets also added another arm to their pitching staff on Friday, reaching a 2-year deal with Taijuan Walker for $20 mil, with a player option for a 3rd. He was once the #6 prospect in baseball, and is coming off a 2020 season where he started 11 games between Seattle and Toronto, pitching to a 2.70 ERA. Not bad considering he had Tommy John surgery in 2018 and missed all but 1 game in 2019 with Arizona.
🟠 RHP Corey Oswalt, who was DFA’d to make room for Albert Almora Jr, cleared waivers and will go to AAA Syracuse. He’s also been invited to Spring Training. Brad Brach, DFA’d for Jonathan Villar, also cleared waivers, but the Mets released him. Noah Syndergaard, who’s recovering from Tommy John surgery, was placed on the 60-day IL to make room for Walker. As of posting this, the Mets have yet to announce who they’ll be removing from the 40-man roster to make room for Pillar.
🟠 James McCann spoke to the media the day before pitchers & catchers officially reported. Mark Healy of the Rockaway Wave had a great question about the pressure put on a catcher to be a leader on the field, in the mold of Carter or Piazza. McCann responded by embracing that role, stating that defense will be his number one priority, that he shares responsibility with the pitchers for their performances, and saying “There’s no pressure anyone can put on me that I haven’t put on myself”. Love hearing all that from our backstop.
🟠 Luis Rojas held his first press conference of the year on Wednesday. He said that the Steve Cohen effect can already be felt at camp with players showing excitement about the passion of the new owner. In addition, he spoke of a noticeable difference from the newly revamped and expanded analytics department that Steve & Sandy have implemented. Luis also talked about the versatility of several players while acknowledging the need to improve defense, so I’d expect some shuffling and platooning, at least early on in the year. Another choice quote from Luis is that the Mets will be open minded about using “openers”, which... umm, please don’t?
🟠 On the other hand, new southpaw reliever, Aaron Loup, made a case for being used as an opener, with plans to crack open a case of brews once his inning or two are through, offering this inspired soundbite: "Who wouldn't want to be the guy to start the game, and then sit in the clubhouse and drink a few brews on the back end of it?" Bottoms up, I guess! 🍺
🟠 Marcus Stroman had a brief press conference too, and he spoke a lot about his excitement to pitch a whole season for the Mets. A lot of fans were unhappy with his decision to opt-out last year, and while he says he tunes out the haters, he does seem like he’s eager to prove them wrong. Gotta love his confidence, and I believe that it translates into a strong year for him.
🟠 The best pitcher in baseball, Jacob deGrom, also got in on the press conference action. He said that winning a 3rd Cy Young is definitely a goal of his, but that he’s most excited by the new-look Mets roster, with eyes on winning a World Series. He also spoke about the good impression of David Wright being a lifelong Met, and the love and adoration he received from Mets fans for that. Maybe we should start working on another contract extension for Jake now. He'll turn 33 this year, but between the low mileage on his arm, and his tenacious way of working through tougher outings, he seems like a guy who will be pitching at a high level into his 40s. Prayers to the baseball gods for that to happen 🙏
🟠 Another pair of Mets go back to back in MLB’s Top 100 Right Now rankings, with McNeil at 35, and Conforto at 34. Our new SS, Francisco Lindor, comes in at 15. And finally, Jacob deGrom gets a well deserved number 3 spot on the list, the highest ranked pitcher, and only hurler in the top 10. That makes 7 Mets among the top 100 players in MLB, which ain’t bad considering only the White Sox (9), and Dodgers (8) have more players on the list.
🟠 Tim Tebow announced his retirement from baseball. Though he never made it to the big league roster, he did progress through the farm system decently for having taken so many years off from playing baseball. The Mets caught a lot off flak for keeping him around in the minors, with many claiming his presence hindered the development of other prospects, but by all accounts he was a genuinely hard worker, nice guy, and a good influence on those around him.
🟠 USA Today Sports dropped their standings predictions for 2021, and they have the Mets finishing second in the division, and earning the second wildcard slot with 86 wins, which seems more realistic, and definitely won’t jinx us, right? 🤞
🟠 Fangraphs also released their postseason odds, and the Mets are sitting atop the NL East at 81.2%. Much like the Baseball Prospectus standings predictions from last week, these seem awfully generous to the Metsies, and pretty harsh on Atlanta. But who am I to argue with stat-heads? 🤷🏻♂️
🟠 And in far more unsettling news, the Mets find themselves connected to yet another sexual harassment incident, as The Athletic reports three women made complaints of inappropriate texts and comments by former pitching coordinator, Ryan Ellis, back in 2018. The Wilpon regime had put Ellis on probation, but he kept his job until the Cohen regime fired him back in January, when they learned of his prior misconduct shortly after the Jared Porter news broke.
Tweet the Mets
🟠 Former Mets PR chief, and current head of alumni relations, Jay Horowitz, spoke to Davey Johnson, who’s thankfully recovering from COVID.
I had a great talk with Davey Johnson today. Wanted to congratulate him on the 35th anniversary of his 1986 #SpringTraining speech that set the tone for that championship season. pic.twitter.com/SD937IKAGS— Jay Horwitz (@Jay_HorwitzPR) February 15, 2021
🟠 Pitching Coach, Jeremy Hefner, speaks about his excitement for this Mets pitching staff.
🟠 Marcus Stroman can do this. Can you do this? I can’t do this. He reminds me of one of those Boston Dynamics robots, so I’m suggesting he add “Str0bot” to his nickname repertoire.
Bear crawl for stability and longevity. The backwards crawl is incredibly difficult. Shout to Nikki Huffman for getting my body/mind ready always. With you in my corner...we can’t lose. Best trainer in the world! pic.twitter.com/hf7TNavYVC— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) February 16, 2021
🟠 The Stro Show is also tuning into the Taijuan Walker signing 📺
🟠 And Tai is popping some HOF bottles from Tom Seaver’s vineyard to celebrate joining the Mets.
🟠 SNY has video of James McCann taking some early BP cuts. Dude looks sturdy on those trunks 🪵
🟠 Here’s a rare video of Noah Syndergaard fully dressed. And does he look great in those high socks, or what? 🧦
Noah looks good out there 👀⚡️ pic.twitter.com/edXepoutER— SNY (@SNYtv) February 17, 2021
🟠 Let’s hear from some pitchers and a catcher.
First day of the baseball season. I’m geeked. Hope y’all have an amazing Wednesday! 🗣— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) February 17, 2021
Day one, let’s get it. — Trevor “IamTrevorMay” May (@IamTrevorMay) February 17, 2021
Go time! #SpringTraining2021 @Mets— James McCann (@McCannon33) February 17, 2021
🟠 Thor is out here throwing lighting bolts Trevor Bauer’s way ⚡️ Trevor didn’t take the joke well. At all 😬
And then he said......”I’m sorry I chose another team but I’ll donate to your charities!” https://t.co/Kxkje5Uqn2— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) February 20, 2021
🟠 Behold the breathtaking mechanics of Jacob deGrom ⚙️
Perfection 🤩 pic.twitter.com/oujwvcMe3i— New York Mets (@Mets) February 20, 2021
🟠 The new boss reported to camp this weekend to meet the guys in person 🤝 He seems genuinely geeked out about seeing his favorite ball club up close, and learning about the business and analytics of the sport, and I’m 100% here for it 🤓
de owner greets de🐐: pic.twitter.com/MfqugJ3BXZ— SNY (@SNYtv) February 21, 2021
"It's just becoming more real," Steve Cohen says of his ownership of the Mets, now that he's down in Port St. Lucie.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) February 20, 2021
He adds: "I think we're going to be significantly improved." (This is via a brief Q&A with a member of the Mets' staff.) pic.twitter.com/HA4S1qxaaH
New merch for every Mets Mood
🟠 Now that Valentine's Day, and the offseason, are over, our mood is changing from red to green. For go-time on baseball season, and for St Patrick's Day, of course! If you're Irish, or you just have an affinity for Irish culture, or you just love the color green, well "faith & begorrah!" make your way to the end of the rainbow for this new shirt.
🟠 And while St Patty's Day is often messy for adults, we can't forget the wee ones, who love to cause a ruckus all year round. Embrace the mess here.