Next up in our interview series is friend of the site, John from Albany. I first became aware of John around four years or so ago, when he was writing for Mack’s Mets. John brought something completely different to Mack’s site. Sure, he wrote about prospects like everyone else there does. But he also contributed a daily links column, giving readers a one-stop-shopping article that let you know what happened throughout the Mets system, from the parent club all the way down to the complex leagues. It had a lot of other stuff included, too.
John has since branched out and started his own site – Mets News & Links. If you’re a Mets fan who keeps up with what’s going on in the Mets blogosphere, you already know about that site. Earlier this offseason, John conducted an interview with me. Here, I return the favor.
How old are you? Under 25, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55+
Do you live within an hour’s drive of Citi Field?
No, Albany is a little over 3 hours away. I am 2 hours from Binghamton and 2 hours from Syracuse – plus 2 hours from Hudson Valley where the Cyclones will play away games. I try to go to one game each weekend during the Summer. I might make it Citi Field once a year, Brooklyn also once a year.
What are the memories of first Mets game you saw in person, whether Polo Grounds, Shea Stadium or Citi Field?
First game was at Shea, August 4th 1970. Nolan Ryan threw a complete game 3 hit shutout over the Cubs, 13 Ks, 5 walks. Mets won 4-0; Dave Marshall with 3 RBIs.
How did you get involved with Mets360?
I first heard about your site from MetsBlog back in the day and have always kept it in my bookmarks. I missed how blogs used to always mention the other blogs and tried to bring that back to Mack’s Mets. At one point we started including your posts on Mack’s Mets and it took off from there.
Did you write for any sites before Mack’s Mets?
No, Mack’s was the first.
Mets News & Links has an incredible amount of information available. About how much time each day do you spend on the site?
Probably about 2 hours or so. The biggest thing is that I needed to get the site organized so people could find the type of Mets News they want be it the Major League Mets, Transactions, Winter Ball, Minor Leagues, etc.,
You have news at the site about past Mets, the current team and the minor leagues. Do you believe there’s an ideal mix of the past, present and future for sites that try to cater to all three?
No. I just put what interests me. Anything Mets related interests me, so that is what I put. My latest version of the site lets me organize the different information so people can get what they want. Basically it is a lot of information that people can get other places – all in one place.
Ever since Chris Walendin stopped updating his tpgMets site, there’s been a hole in the Mets blogosphere of no one consistently reporting on options/transactions. Any thoughts to adding options/transactions to what you cover?
Yes, I have been doing that and now with the new layout you will see a transaction section with the latest transactions as they happen.
Do you believe that Mets fans have a realistic view on what a good farm system should produce?
No, the second a young player comes up and struggles – fans yell ‘get rid of him’. Most young players need time to get adjusted to the majors.
What is your view on what a top-five farm should be able to contribute to the parent team?
If the farm system can produce 1-2 solid MLB players a year that would be great. Also, they need depth like the Braves do – Ozzie Albies gets hurt – they bring up Vaughn Grissom (not a Devon Marrero as the Mets did when infield injuries hit last year). And good pitchers are always needed.
Steve Cohen seems like an ideal owner, one willing to spend, one willing to get involved but not one who’s overbearing on a day-to-day basis. Do you wish he did anything differently?
Not have two guys on a 13 player roster be DH only guys (Ruf and Vogelbach). That leaves you with 3 bench players, one who is a catcher. Mets played pretty much the same lineup day in and day out down the stretch in 2022 and they just looked tired at the end of the year.
From outside of the white lines, what do you think the Mets have to address, whether that’s coaches, executives, staff or any non-player role?
Bring back Fonzie (fired after he won a championship in Brooklyn) and Endy Chavez (fired last month) to coach a minor League team. They both preached the running game and Brooklyn was extremely fun to watch when they were there.
The next thing is that they need to “Buck” up the minor league managers. I see the minor league players make way to many fundamental mistakes that a Buck team would not. They need to clone Buck so the minor league players will be ready when they get to Queens and the Mets will have an heir apparent when Buck decides to hang it up one day.
Also, they have to do something with that Brooklyn site. As Ex-Dodger fans, the Wilpons desperately wanted a presence in Brooklyn but that stadium is right on the ocean. Fly balls hit to right field die on the warning track. Also, it is an astro-turf field and the Mets play on grass. Hmm, there was a team in Albany that was contracted with a similar size stadium and a great facility at a community college – maybe Steve can move the team there – oh and they play on grass as well.
Finally, who would you rather listen to – Gary Cohen or Howie Rose?
Howie Rose. Gary Cohen is great as well but Howie with his historical Mets knowledge and common sense Baseball smarts always is a great listen.
Mets News & Links is a tremendous resource. If you haven’t visited yet, you should check it out now.
5 comments on “An interview (with links!) with John from Albany”
Great interview! Several good points made about minor league players, development, and DH-only players!
Thanks Brian for the interview. Thanks Steve – glad you liked some of the points.
Enjoyed the interview. Nice to know I’m not the only one involved here from the Albany area. Have always appreciated the minor league/farm team insights as these are the players for the future, well at least we hope they will be. Would love the Brooklyn team to move across the river up here. And Howie always paints a great picture of the game which is why I often enjoy a radio broadcast over the talk over the action TV crew.
Grateful for John’s stuff & will definitely check out his site. He’s right about that Coney Is. Field too, but I want a team in Brooklyn.
Howie solo is the best, but nothing beats the trio with Gary lead singer.
I agree that med fans are not patient with their prospects and the NY media hype them too much before they get here.
The DH isn’t utilized correctly. I would rather see a “strong” fourth outfielder. a corner infielder , a middle infielder and back up catcher being substituted for a starter and being rotated as the DH. It is more versatile for the roster.
It was very telling that the fundamentals aren’t stressed more in the minors and are sliding by.
Thanks for your insights.