Q and A: – Radar Guns, Matt Cerrone, Brant Rustich, Jay Horowitz, Terry Collins

Conrad Youngren asked:

 
Mack, I have a technical question that’s been bugging me. Maybe you know the answer or can find out. (I’d prefer that to a guess 🙂 ) The Velo number that appears in the upper right of the SNY screen after every pitch–what EXACTLY is that? Is if an instantaneous velocity? If so where (at the mound, at the plate, in between–they will be different) or some average velocity over the 66 feet? A cop I know says his gun is “peak reading,” that is it captures the highest speed and holds it even though still training on a decelerating target. If THAT’s the case, the speed shown would, I think, be the pitcher’s hand, not the ball at all. In any case is the velocity measured the same way year to year and park to park? Thanks.

 
Mack:
Good question…
I thought I’d reach out to some of my Mets friends and see what they thought the correct answer to this is:

 
Matt Cerrone/MetsBlog:  –  “I have no idea. Never even thought to ask… Also, I was always taught (by scouts) not to care about the number, but to care about the relative range and consistency and variance between each type of pitch on that given day by that pitcher… because guns, distances, etc., vary so much.”

 
Brant Rustich/NY Mets: – “The radar guns lock on the peak velocity which is right when the ball (object) leaves the pitchers hand.The stalker guns can be read unlocked like if a police officer wanted to read cars and what not. I’m not entirely sure what the exact drop of velocity is of the ball when it gets to home plate, but its about 9% I believe or so. I suppose I could look up an old physics equation and figure it out. Like 100mph out of the hand turns to 91-92 or something at 60 feet because of resistance.”

 
Jay Horowitz/NY Mets: – Mack: I am not a technical wiz, but it is measured from hand and each park is different.

 

Jose asked:

 
Hey Mack, you seem to go both ways when it comes to the Mets. Do you believe in this team, or not?

 
Mack:

 
You’re not the first one to accuse me of that… and, sometimes it’s about the baseball team too!
First of all, I decided a few years ago that, if I was going to be a good Mets writer, I had to stop being a fan. You have to approach this objectively, though I did decide that the primary theme would be positive things, especially about the kids.

 
I believe in this team, and I especially believe in Mr. Alderson and Co., but I am not a big fan the current ownership. I was the first three Omar years, but not now.
Look, investments have risks and the recession wiped out a lot of us. I write sports because I no longer own radio stations. I lost most of what I had in the 80s and threw away the rest ten years ago in high risk investments. Shit happens. I can live with it because I did it to myself.
The Wilpon family intertwined their personal investments with their ownership of the team, and the fans will now suffer because of it. In the past, they just fielded teams that didn’t have enough to go all the way. Now, they don’t have the money to compete in the division, no less the league.

 
I try to write realistically. I have predicted the Mets to not make the playoffs for the past three seasons. So far, I’m batting 1.000.
Enjoy this year. It’s for grins.

 

Joseph Polini asked:

 
Do you think Terry Collins was the best choice for the Mets job at this time? It does seem to me from what I’ve heard that the players seem real upbeat about him so far….

 
Mack:

 
Hmm…

 
I think Terry Collins is the perfect manager for the 2011 Mets.
In my opinion, he was a better choice than Wally Backman. Collins brings the same personality without the hand grenades.

 
Was he the best choice? No. Joe Torre would have been better, but he wasn’t available.
Many feel that Collins is the perfect “interim” manager during these difficult times when the owners are broke, the team is handcuffed with contracts, and three new VPs have to be paid.
I expect TC to be the manager for 2011 and 2012. Beyond that will be determined on his W-L record.

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Q&A – Patrick Flood – patrickfloodblog.com

Mack: Good morning girls and boys. We’re talking this morning to Patrick Flood, national Mets blogger and owner/operator of http://patrickfloodblog.com. Hey Patrick, how’s everything today?

Patrick: Hey Mack, everything’s good. Getting ready to fly home after a week in Port St. Lucie.

Mack: Kewl. Before we get to the team and ST, tell us how you got started doing this and how you hooked up with SNY?

Patrick: Well. Over a year ago, I started writing my blog, all about the Mets. I was having fun, I got some readers, and I kept working at it, trying to figure out the whole writing thing. After a while, SNY was like, “Hey, do you want to write your blog for us?” So I was like, “Hey, yeah, that sounds awesome.” It took a little while to get setup, but it’s been great. They’ve been helpful with everything.

Mack: Let’s get back to spring training. Tell us your general thoughts on how the camp was this year…

Patrick: That’s a tough one, because this was my first spring training as a media person. I don’t have anything to compare it to, really. That said, it seems to be a fairly relaxed atmosphere. The players are easy to approach, everyone appears positive. It’s just people working on baseball really. For example, I was watching Mookie Wilson work a base stealing drill with some of the outfielders — it really wasn’t all that different from a little league coach working with kids. He was showing some basic things, how to take a lead, not cross over your feet, and then the players worked on it. That was surprising, in how simple it was — it sort of made me realize that the game they’re playing really is the same game I was playing as a kid. Only they’re all way better. Way, way better.

Mack: Did anyone stand out, either on the mound next to the clubhouse, or in the batting cage?

Patrick: Actually, this is going to sound weird, but the only person who stood out to me was Boof Bonser. That guy can get a hold of one. Big dude. He hit some baseballs a long way when the pitchers were taking BP. I would be a terrible scout.

Mack: Ha ha…. curious… how much did the money problems come up in the newsroom?

Patrick: Nothing. Not at all — I actually almost forgot about it down here. A reporter will mention it occasionally, but that’s really it. I don’t think it’s on the mind of the players, the coaches, anyone

Mack: Good. Last question… what’s your thoughts on this team this year. Any chance for a playoff run?

Patrick: Here’s what I’m thinking: As they’re built right now, this is a .500 team. Maybe a little better, maybe a little worse, but if they played an infinite number of baseball games, they would win about half of them.

That said, they don’t play an infinite number of games. They play 162, meaning they could easily win somewhere between 75 game or 92 games as built, just thanks to chance. So if a few things go right, Beltran and Reyes have big years, the pitching staff is healthy, they win some close games, maybe they’re in serious contention around the All Star break. And if that happens, I could see them making some moves to improve the team for the stretch run and playing some serious October baseball.


But if things aren’t going well, then I assume they would consider trading Beltran — who can’t be offered arbitration at the end of the season, it’s in his contract — or Reyes, if they don’t want to resign him, to rebuild for 2012. They’re a high variance team, lots of player who can be up and down. So they easily could make the postseason, if those players are up. But they could also easily lose 90 games if those players are down.

Mack: Patrick, thank you for time and I hope some day we can eat that lunch together in the ST press room.

Patrick: Absolutely! Maybe next year. Take care.

Q&A: – Matthew Silverman – “New York Mets – A Complete Illustrated History”

 

Morning.

 
We’re talking today to Matthew  Silverman, author of “New York Mets – A Complete Illustrated History”, which is hitting the bookstores this week. Silverman is a veteran Mets author, including the books “100 Things Mets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die” and “Mets Essential: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Real Fan…”

 

 
The new book… New York Mets: The Complete Illustrated History… brings to life a half century of Mets baseball, from the lovable losers of the early years, through the championship teams of 1969 and 1986, up through the stars of today. Chock full of photos, memorabilia, and memories, New York Mets tells the complete story of the franchise, including season-by-season recaps, profiles of the great players and characters, and behind-the-scenes stories through the decades. Longtime Mets fan, author, and expert Matthew Silverman selects the Top 50 Mets players of all time, including current and future Hall of Famers Tom Seaver, Gary Carter, and Mike Piazza; superstar hurlers Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, and Johan Santana; powerful sluggers like Dave Kingman, Darryl Strawberry, and Carlos Beltran; slick-fielding glove-men Bud Harrelson, Keith Hernandez, and Jose Reyes; and fan favorites Ed Kranepool, Tug McGraw, Rusty Staub, Mookie Wilson, David Wright, and many more.

 
I had a chance to throw some questions his way after reading the book:

 
Mack: I love the way you designed the book and the photos are just great. Were there any specific photographers that worked with you directly?

 

 
Matt: There weren’t any photographers we specifically worked with, though there are a few photogs with several images in the book. I spent about two weeks going through several online archives, jotting down image numbers for the ones I though appropriate. The list was about 500 photos and maybe a quarter of that number got in. MVP Publishing came up with images I didn’t even know existed. And the final design blew me away. I didn’t know about the “pull-tab” Home Run Apple on the cover until I opened the box this afternoon. (I had been wondering how they could not have Seaver on the cover.) I just finished looking through it with my son five minutes ago. They put as much work into creating its look as I did in putting together its contents.
 

 

Mack: I see that you listed your top 50 Mets of all time. Do you see any of the current kids being added to this list over the next three to four years.
 

 

Matt: I have to be careful which names I say because I have a bad track record of going on and on about players who don’t pan out in New York (Carlos Baerga and Roberto Alomar come to mind among acquisitions; Mackey Sasser and Jerrod Riggan among farm products). But throwing caution to the wind, I have to say I really like Ike–and not just because the phrase sounds so retro. I also like Josh Thole as a contact-hitting catcher who bats lefty and has really come along with the glove and the pitch calling. I think of Jon Niese and Mike Pelfrey as being on permanent start-by-start basis: you never know if they’re going to go on a tear or have six straight starts that the team doesn’t win because they dig too deep a hole–but they’re young and may yet become more consistent. I also like Daniel Murphy. I like that even though Murph’s been supplanted at first base and is no longer a flavor of the week he’s still in their plans. I’ve always seen him as a–if I can turn back time–Dave Magadan kind of hitter, who goes gap to gap and knows how to play the game. Murph’s career may be starting 80 games a year and being ready off the bench the rest of the time–those guys are valuable, especially on good teams. Ed Kranepool and Wayne Garrett, guys on my top 50 from another era, were like that.

 
Mack: Mathew, this isn’t your first Mets book and I’m sure, it won’t be your last. Do you have a new project in mind for your next one?
 

 

Matt: I’m working on a book with another publisher that’s not a thorough history like this, but it has more rating of teams and players and such. I think it’ll be fun book that fans will enjoy. I’m calling it Best Mets, but the title isn’t set in stone yet. Thanks for asking.

 
Mack: I wanted to thank you for your acknowledgement to Mets bloggers that worked with you. Do you see a day when the Mets management will fully recognize the blogging community?
 

 

Matt: I think the day is almost here. It may eventually become like newspapers, where the team is selective with which bloggers get credentials. The bloggers have sort of broken the concept of the too typical baseball newspaper story: lead/observation/quote/observation/quote/observation/quote/quote/conclusion. Sandy Alderson has gone out of his way to make a select few bloggers feel accepted and part of the extended Mets community. (Disclosure: I’m not one of them.) Maybe the day will come when there will be more bloggers than newspaper guys in the locker room, though some bloggers are better for the distance they keep from the subject. Faith and Fear in Flushing’s Greg Prince, for one, writes better than anyone I’ve read, blog or print. He puts the package together of fact, history, and making you care. Even Matthew Cerrone at MetsBlog, who has more access than most, seems to want to take that step back and not become jaded and taking the experience for granted like a lot of newspaper guys have over the years. My goal was once to be a beat guy, but after reading The Worst Team Money Could Buy when I was a reporter at the lower levels of the trade, I started wondering if being a beat guy would really make me happy. Sorry to get philosophical and ramble on, but I’ve thought about this subject often.

Mack: OK, last question. Off the top of head, name the top all-time Mets by position.

Matt: 1B. Keith Hernandez, 2B. Edgardo Alfonzo, SS. Jose Reyes, 3B. David Wright, LF. Cleon Jones, CF. Mookie Wilson/Carlos Beltran, RF. Darryl Strawberry, C. Mike Piazza, RHP. Tom Seaver, RHP. Dwight Gooden, LHP. Jerry Koosman, LHP. Al Leiter, RHP. David Cone, RHRP. Roger McDowell, LHRP: Jesse Orosco, Long Man: Sid Fernandez, CL. Tug McGraw


Yes, there are two guys for center field. I used to list the position as Wilson and Dykstra. Now I guess it’s Wilson and Beltran. Beltran’s a better player than Mookie, but I can’t say he’s been a better Met. It killed me to leave off Jon Matlack. Darling’s pretty close as well. Really good questions, Mack. Thanks for your interest.

Observation: Buy this book. It’s a good one.

Thursday Q and A:- Mikie Mahtook, Luis Castillo, Pedro Feliciano, Sleepers

Jonnie asked: “Hey Mack, keep up the good work. My question is… are these new college bats really going to cut back on the stats this year?”

 
Mack: “Thanks Jonnie… it’s hard to tell at this point in the young season. Obviously, there will be less pop, and, as one scout said, “far less cheap home runs”. Production did seem a little down during the first college weekend, but don’t tell that to LSU’s Mikie Mahtook, who hit four homers in his first three games. I do expect to see more bunting this year and pitchers have been told to pitch more inside, but we’ll have to wait until the season is over to determine the full effect of the change.”

 

Mash said: “Mack, I agree with all that you said about Luis Castillo. He didn’t arrive late, he came on time but Collins sounded a bit like an ass the way he portrayed Luis coming on time. The media took it and ran with it and then everyone felt kind of bad i bet when they found out about his brother. And onto Luis being the best 2 bagger on the team, I also agree. As far as the glove is concerned. I watched a video not sure if it was Rubin or Cerrone’s, but Luis’ actions are so much quicker and smoother than the other guys going for 2nd. But Collins has come out to say it will be an offensive position first so Castillo look out.

 
Mack: No one argues that the best defensive second baseman on the team is Castillo. Collins feels he can sacrifice a little of that because of the range of Ike Davis. I fully understand where he’s coming from. I was a great defensive third baseman (only fair hitter) who moved much better to my left, so I would hug the line a little more than most. My shortstop, Paul Altruda, knew I could cover 1/3 of his position, so he went deeper in the whole plus closer to second base.
A lot of what’s coming out of Collins mouth right now is motivation; however, it’s too much. Today it was adding Ruben Tejada to the mix. By the time this prints, it might be Ron Hunt.

 
If there was no bullshit here and the best second baseman would win the job, it would be Castillo.

 

Harry C. asked: “Mack, I know the Mets changed general management and replaced Jerry Manuel with Terry Collins, but they still have the same pitching coach that seemed to be lost sometimes last year. What is this guy going to do without Pedro Feliciano starting to warm up in the sixth inning?”

 
Mack: That’s funny. I too share your concern with the return of Dan Warthen because I really don’t know who was responsible for suck bad bullpen management last year. It could easily have been Jerry Manuel. The one thing that the Mets pitching staff has been acking the past three years is an innings eater and you have to wonder if that is the pitching coach fault. Are the pitchers being pulled too fast?

 
I don’t happen to think they were but I do think that the general staff didn’t seem to be ready to go past the fifth inning. I seemed to start holding my breath every time a starter went into the sixth inning.
 

Yes, the Mets did replace Rick Waits as the minor league pitching coach… and yes, there were huge disappointments last year (Robert Carson, Jeurys Familia, Brad Holt) at the prospect level… but I never understood why R.A. Dickey kept being pulled early. He’s a knuckler! He could pitch all week.

 

Joshua asked: “Mack, are there any “sleepers” in the Mets minor leagues we should keep our eyes on this season?

 
Mack: Actually, there are.

 

Two pitchers, Eric Goeddel and Greg Peavey, signed late last year after being signed and should start the season at least at the A, possibly A+ level. Both were quality draft picks and could make an immediate slash.

 

Two catchers, Albert Cordero and Juan Centeno, both impressed at the lower levels last year and could compete against each other in Savannah next month.

 

And remember the name Tillman Pugh, a speedster that will probably start for Brooklyn.

Q and A – P – Guillaume Leduc

9-15-10 interview:


Mack: – Morning folks, today we’re talking with Guillaume Leduc, one of the up and coming relief pitchers the Mets are growing down on the farm. Bonjour, Guillaume.
Leduc: – Bonjour Mack, how are you?
Mack: – Good. Guillaume, take us back to that day when the Mets drafted you in the sixth round of the 2007 draft. How did that all go down?
Leduc: – It was an unbelievable day because I was given the chance to pursue my dream of playing professional baseball. I’ve strongly believed that hard work would always get rewarded and I’ve never given up on that dream.
I was very excited when my phone rang on the morning of draft day. The news of being drafted by the Mets came as a warm feeling of accomplishment for me. Hockey is a great sport for all my fellow French Canadian friends to have a chance to play at professional levels. Baseball is a sport that is under the radar in Québec. When I was given a chance to play a sport that i have great passion for, I was extremely thrilled about it. .
Mack: – I ask all you bonus babies the same question…. what was the first thing you bought with your bonus money?
Leduc: – The first thing I ended up buying were some electronics. Ipod, phone, just things like that. .
Mack: – FYI… 80% say it’s a new truck 🙂
Guillaume, you started out slowly, pitching in only six games for the GCL Mets in 2007, followed by two years for Kingsport, and this year for Savannah. Was there any injuries that held up your climb up the baseball ladder? .
Leduc: – Not too long after came a car though… ha ha.
Yes there were some significant injury set backs. I had shoulder problems for two years. In spring training of 2008 and also 2009, I was set back with right shoulder tendonitis, inflammation, and all together these two injuries pretty much sidelined me for those two spring trainings…also reducing my chances to make a long season team those years.
9-17-10: – 2011 Forecast: – Leduc pitched Savannah in 2010, going 1-2, 4.32, in 18 relief appearances. He also struck out 33 hitters in 33.1-IP. This should be enough for him at the low-A level and I expect him to start 2011 for Lucy. He will pitch 2011 as a 24-year old.
 
 
 

 

Mack: – You had a good season this year in Savannah and experienced your first professional playoff. I especially loved your K/IP ratio. Was there anything in particular that you did different this season? .

Leduc: – I spent a lot of time working on my curveball which helped a lot with the strikeouts. I think I also started to understand the ”game” in general this year; to understand the way hitters think. That knowledge helped me to coordinate my game in a much stronger way. I also improved my fastball, focusing on throwing it with a purpose. This concept again ties into the notion of understanding the hitter’s perspective.

Mack: – Last question. I’ve heard different theories on the “long toss”. Is this still the most effective way of increasing velocity for a pitcher?

Leduc: – I believe that it has to be the only way to help with velocity. You can learn how to pitch, you can learn how to throw strikes, but it is almost impossible to learn how to throw harder. That being said, I believe that having the opportunity to mix in a long toss here and there in your throwing program does have some positive results on the velocity. .

Mack: – I asked you that question because of the boys on our high school baseball team that read this… see guys!!!!!
Guillaume, thank you very much for your time and best of everything in the spring. I’ll see you in Lucy in March.

Leduc: – Alright, you are very welcome Mack. See you over in Florida.

Q and A – OF – Joey August

Mack:

Morning everybody. Today, we’re talking with the Mets’ 20th round draft pick in the 2009 draft, outfielder Joey August. Good morning Joey. Are you back home in SoCal?

August:

Good morning, thanks for having me. I actually am all done with school and I am currently back home in Salem, Oregon. It’s really nice to be back in the northwest.

Mack:

Kewl. Joey, let’s go back to 2009 and the second day of the draft. Tell us what it was like to get drafted into professional baseball?

August:

It was an unbelievable feeling, I went through a surgery my junior year that kept me from getting drafted and there were times I didn’t think it would ever happen. I know it sounds cliche but this is something you dream about your whole life and to finally see your name next to a major league teams logo on that draft tracker was very exciting to say the least.

Mack:

Joey, I fully understand. Very few people ever get even that far.

Last season, you played in Savannah, but for whatever reasons, management slotted you in as a part time player. Tell the readers out there just how hard it is to put up numbers when you aren’t playing every day?

August:

It can be frustrating for sure, you would like to get consistent at bats to really show what you can do. But you’re not going to make it very far in this business if you complain every step up the way. Those were the cards I was dealt my first season and I just tried to be the best I could in that situation. I really believe I learned a lot from that situation and was able to use what I learned to make me a better player and a better person. You really find out what you’re made of through adversity like that.

Mack:

And you definitely became a better player this year for Lucy. In fact, you improved in every single offensive category. Anything different this year or was it just more at bats and myuch more practice and experience?

August:

I think getting more at bats and experience played a large part in my improvement. I also think this was the first year I really felt I could prepare for physically; I had back surgery two years ago and never really got back to where I wanted to be physically until this last off-season. I really think feeling good physically gave me a lot of confidence coming into this year and gave me a drive to try and prove myself.

Mack:

Joey, going to AA is a whole new experience. What are your goals for the 2011 season and what will you be doing in the off-season to help get ready for the spring?

August:

I would like to continue to prove myself as a hitter and an outfielder. I plan to continue to work hard in the weight room and in the cage to make sure I give myself every opportunity to have a very good productive year. I don’t like setting number goals, I have a good friend who plays as well who always tells me to just worry about preparing the best way you can and trust that the numbers come. You can sell yourself short with numbers, say you want to get 50 rbis but have a great first half of the year and do it in the first 70 games, are you just supposed to shut it down? So I have always tried to listen to his advice and just work hard in the off-season and prepare well and trust that the numbers will be there when it’s all said and done. Just worry about the stuff you can control I guess. So I guess I would say that my goal is to prove myself as a productive offensive threat and a quality defensive outfielder and let the chips fall where they may.

Mack:

Sounds pretty solid to me.

Joey, thank you and I wish you the best next season. I’ll see you in Florida in March.

August:

Sounds great, thanks a lot Mack.

2011 forecast: – It’s really tough to try and figure out at this point what the starting outfields will be. Eric Campbell will most likely play one of the Binghamton positions, and Carlos Guzman will be given a chance to win back his job that was interrupted by a season-ending injury. My guess is August will move on the the B-Mets, but primarily as the 4th outfielder/DH behind Pedro Zapata.

Q and A – MetsBlog’s Matt Cerrone

Mack: – Morning everybody. We’re talking to Matt Cerrone, of http://www.metsblog.com fame. Hey Matt. My wife is on Long Island right now. How’s the weather shaping up?

Matt: – It’s getting to a point where I’m starting to wonder if it will ever not be snowing. I can’t wait to get to Florida for pitchers and catchers, at which point it will almost inevitably become warm and sunny for my wife in Connecticut.

Mack: – Let’s go back for a few minutes… I responded on one of your early posts at MetsBlog, basically calling you a horse’s ass and predicting you would never last long in the Mets blogging world. Remember that one?

Matt: – I do not. No offense, but probably got lost in my mind along with the thousands of other people who told me the same thing at the time, from people who worked for the team to beat writers to other fans to people in my own family.

Mack: – Matt, it took me years to master the talent of putting comments into a special place and not reacting to them. It always amazed me that all the people who hated guys like Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh could quote you every word they said, meaning, they listen every day. A lot of the newer bloggers out there follow one of both of us… any advise to them re: comments?

Matt: – I believe the one of the keys to connecting with readers is to be you, be authentic, don’t bullshit people. I write a lot about this on my personal blog,  www.MatthewCerrone.com , on which I answer questions about producing content and connecting with the audience. In the end, the blog is just a vehicle for a the relationship between the writer and the reader. I’m not friends with people who are full of shit, and the same connection applies to blogging and building an audience. It’s easy to write a sensational post and get linked to for one day’s worth of traffic. To build a large audience takes years, it takes time, you do it brick by brick, reader by reader, friend by friend, and that only happens through honesty and being genuine. Expertise is overrated. Honesty is what counts. In other words, be true to who you are, focus on the people who support you and don’t sweat the criticism.

Mack: – Matt, if you could take us back to the beginning. Tell us how all this worked out for you?

Matt: – I started the blog in Nov. 2003. To call it a blog is being glamorous, actually, because a) they weren’t called ‘blogs’ yet, they were still known as ‘weblogs,’ and b) it was just text on a Yahoo! GeoCities page. Seriously, no columns, no images, no color, just black text on a gray webpage and that’s that. It was a project for school that people kept reading, so I kept writing it, which was fun because I was living in Arlington, VA, away from the New York market, WFAN and my Mets fan friends and it was a great way to stay involved with the community. In 2004, John Keegan from PressHarbor.com approached me cold offering to take me under his wing, basically, and use me as a guinea pig for the blog hosting company he had started. He was a Mets fan, which I guess is the main reason I trusted him. He made the site a blog. He taught me most everything I know about the technical side of blogging, from RSS to widgets to basic coding. He’s become a trusted adviser and a close friend. From there, the site kept growing in traffic. I was working from home doing media relations work for a PR firm in CT, but, to be honest, I spent more time writing MetsBlog. I began using Blogads.com for ad revenue, then signed on with Pajamas Media, who, though now a conservative blog network, at the time was an ad network. They paid a flat rate to rent my ad space, so it was a small, but steady income. In 2006, I toyed with giving it all up to work as a communications director on a Gubernatorial campaign in CT. By then, things were looking strong and everyone I trust told me I should give MetsBlog one more year – commit to it – and see what i could make of it at 100 percent full steam. In 2007, I approached SNY about partnering. It took 10 months, but we hammered out a deal, and I’ve been connected to them ever since. In 2004, I did roughly 1,000 page views per month. Today, it’s 3.5 million.

Mack: – That’s a great story. So now you’re like the Mark Zuckerberg of the Mets world, only in your case, there’s no one in second place. Have you thought about the next evolutionary process for your site and the millions of hits?

Matt: – I have. And that’s about all I’m gonna say on that… but you’ll find out what I mean soon enough.

Mack: – Matt, I purposely stayed away from asking you any Mets questions, because you get enough of that. However… one observation with a follow-up question. You and I seem to share the thoughts that… it’s not the amount of money you spend, it’s the people you spend it on. The Mets are a big market team and, based on the revenue their operation produces, can easily have a six-figure salary picture. Do you agree with me that the right of passage of big-market teams is to sign a big name or two every year?

Matt: – I think the right of passage of big-market teams is to make their product fun to watch and to win, and to do everything possible to make that happen. How that happens makes zero difference to me. I mean, sure, I love a good Hot Stove rumor, and free-agent signings or blockbuster trades are fun in the cold of winter, but so is watching my team play in October, especially if they’re the last team standing. Spend, don’t spend, Spend more, spend less, sign a big free agent, use stats, don’t use stats, whatever… but win, make me smile and give me something fun for my Dad and I to do together, and I’ll be happy.

Mack: – Can’t come up with a better ending for a great interview than that. Thanks Matt, and LGM.