MetsBlog.com is the featured Mets blog that im pretty sure all of you go to for your daily Mets news, and content. I was fortunate enough to ask some questions to MetsBlog.com’s contributing writer Micheal Baron. Micheal also owns his own Mets blog and photo site MetsPhotos.com (The link is in the blogroll ), in which Micheal takes his own Mets pictures! I recommend you visit his site because with the blog, and all those Mets photos, its a pretty cool website! When you view his photos, it feels as though you can see all the action in that particular picture, through the fans eyes. And that is pretty amazing!
Brandon Butler: Whats your thoughts on Ike Davis? He is a great player in my opinion.
Michael Baron: It’s funny – I WAS NOT a supporter of the Mets calling him up when they did. I thought he was probably ready to perform at the Major League level, but given his lack of overall professional experience, I was worried he would not be able to deal with failing in the New York spotlight, under all of the pressure that comes with playing in this market.
I watched him very closely in Port St. Lucie, and I was very impressed with him, not just from a performance standpoint, but with the way he handled himself with his teammates. That said, I wanted the Mets to give him more time to develop and enjoy success while in the minors. The issue was they were getting NOTHING from Mike Jacobs, and the organization needed to address that, and from that standpoint, it was hard to argue against the move to bring Davis up, given there was nobody else, and he was performing so well for Triple-A Buffalo.
I have to say, I didn’t expect Davis to be this impressive so quickly. I figured there would be an adjustment period for him, but I had a feeling he would hit at some point. What I like the most is not his prolific power, which we saw last week when he reached the Shea Bridge for his first career homer, but his ability to hit the ball where it’s pitched, and use all fields. You look at him and you see a big time, classic pull power hitter, which he has proven early on he is not. He is great at taking the ball the other way, and that makes it very difficult for the opposition to pitch to him.
Brandon Butler: What do you expect from the Mets this year?
Michael Baron: I’m cautiously optimistic about the Mets. People have been very critical of me for being so optimistic, but the way I see it, if I’m not going to be optimistic, whats the point in rooting for them and being a fan? I’d rather root for them and be disappointed, than just not watch or take interest.
I think anytime a team has a wealth of young talent, they are more exciting and have more potential than a team full of veterans. I think, the way the roster is constructed, they have the chance to be a special team this year, and certainly compete for the division title. I do think all of the teams in the division are improved from last year, so it’s going to be tough. I see the Mets as an 82-88 win team, which is what Ive been saying going back to February. It’s a realistic expectation given their roster and surrounding competition. I don’t know if they’ll make the playoffs, but they are very capable of doing so, although I think in order to do that, they’ll eventually need to address their rotation, because eventually they have to come back down to earth.
Brandon Butler: Does Mike Pelfrey surprise you abit, considering he is now on a roll on the mound?
Michael Baron: Mike Pelfrey has always had the tools to be a top of the rotation starter. The question surrounding him was his mental strength and approach. Until now, outside of a few months in 2008, Pelfrey was flat out lost on the mound. He has come a LONG way since last September, clearly. He seems to finally know what he’s doing – he knows how to induce groundballs and pitch to his defense, and be more efficient in doing so. He recognizes situations, and seems to have an idea of what he wants to do prior to executing a pitch. Thats the mark of a pitcher, and not a thrower which I think he was up until now.
Am I surprised? Yes, only because I lost faith in him last August. He is no longer a rookie, and so it was time for him to put up, or go away. He is proving with each start he belongs, and belongs at the top of the Mets rotation. Lets hope he keeps it up.
Brandon Butler: Any thoughts on the new guy Jason Bay? To me, he is getting his swing back.
Micheal Baron: I had the opportunity to meet Jason Bay in Florida this year. One of the things I was most impressed with was his demeanor. He has a quiet confidence to him – he is very relaxed and poised. He got off to a rocky start during the regular season, but I think it’s safe to say he wasn’t unlike most new free agents in New York – he clearly was trying to do too much and justify his existence, and got out of his game a little bit. It reminded me of how Mark Teixeira was with the Yankees last April, and the next thing we all knew, it was October 1 and he had 39 home runs.
Bay is a great player. Streaky, but great. He is better than people think defensively, and he is going to hit for a lot of power, especially when the weather warms up in New York. This is a solid acquisition.
Brandon Butler: What is it like contributing to the best Mets blog on the internet?
Michael Baron: I am extremely honored to be a part of such a great community on MetsBlog. Matt is a great friend and mentor, and has taught me so much about blogging and social media, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to write on MetsBlog and contribute my thoughts and feelings about my favorite team in sport. Writing for MetsBlog has allowed me to develop relationships with other great bloggers around the internet, as well as members of the mainstream media. I’ve also been very fortunate to meet many of the players, Mets alumni, as well as people associated with other teams. I enjoy every minute I spend on the blog and at the ballpark, and contributing as much as I can, when I can. I hope I can continue to be a part of it for a real long time.
Brandon Butler: And lastly, tell our readers about your Mets blog/photo site MetsPhotos.com? You do have some amazing photos.
Michael Baron: First of all thank you so much for the kind words. I appreciate that support, as without it, the photos aren’t possible.
MetsPhotos.com came into existence mainly for all of the photographs I’ve taken over the years. I decided I wanted to write about my pictures, the experiences I’ve had as I’ve gotten closer to the team, as well as providing tips and tricks of the trade which I have learned over time. It’s still a work in progress – everyday I try and do different things with the site, and my written posts in particular. I am constantly working with Matt on the direction of the site and he has been a great help. Right now, I try and make one or two meaningful posts per day, writing as I normally would for MetsBlog, but adding some spice about a picture, why I took it, why I like photographing particular situations, people, etc. I also try and relate my experience being on the field, in the dugout and around the players, things I might hear from people on or close to the team, which I think offers a bit of uniqueness.
When I write for MetsBlog and need pictures, I always try and use pictures from my library on MetsPhotos.com rather than use pictures from Reuters, Getty, or the AP, because I feel as though my pictures provide angles from the fan’s experience. My purpose on MetsBlog is to give an interpretation of the action, news, information etc. from the fan’s perspective. With MetsPhotos, I try and take it a step further by using my photos to help the audience visualize what I’m writing about.
The goal of the photographs is to provide unique angles or vantage points. It’s easy to take pictures of a guy throwing, hitting, pitching, etc. But baseball is a game of multiple moving parts, and most people can’t stop and think about all of those moving parts, and it’s the little things which I try and capture and present to the audience. Working with Matt has allowed me to expand the possibilities of my photos, and present angles previously unattained, and I am extremely grateful for that.