The New York Mets have been strong in some areas so far in 2021 and struggled in others, but one area off the field in which they excel is having entertaining social media presences. Of course, being a fun Twitter follow does not necessarily translate into baseball success, but it can be an indicator of team chemistry, which the Mets definitely seem to have.
There are certainly many Mets players who are fan favorites and are not on social media. Pete Alonso recently deleted his Twitter and Instagram accounts, citing a desire to “live in real life” and focus on his craft. Jacob deGrom used to have a semi-active Twitter account that he abandoned for years and has since been deleted. And yet, we’re all aware of their personalities through pre-and postgame interviews, as well as their on-field success.
Aside from those two, who I of course used to follow back in the day, I currently follow many Mets players on social media and have gotten to know their various “schticks.”
In honor of the recent Academy Awards, I have decided to create my own “Mets social media” awards in various categories to celebrate my favorite Mets player social media follows. Without further ado, let’s present the first award.
The “Twitter Bromance” Award: Marcus Stroman and James McCann
Marcus Stroman is certainly one of the most active Mets players on social media, and ever since new catcher James McCann signed with the team last December and arrived in camp this February, the two of them have frequently hyped each other up online. They have mostly shown their appreciation for each other on Twitter, much to the delight of Mets fans who love it when their players interact on social media.
Even before the two had officially met each other at Mets camp, McCann and Stroman were spreading positivity with their Twitter interactions.
Just because the two of them appear to have a good relationship does not guarantee that either will have an excellent season. But, given that McCann has spoken publicly about his desire to get to know all of his pitchers on a personal level and understand who they are as people in order to build chemistry and help them succeed, I am certainly encouraged by how well he and Stroman seem to get along.
The “#influencer” Award: Noah Syndergaard
It seems like Noah Syndergaard had a huge Twitter and Instagram following as soon as he made his MLB debut in 2015. With 1.2 million Twitter followers and close to 300,000 Instagram followers, he has one of the largest combined followings on those platforms of any current Met. I’ve noticed that while Syndergaard has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery over the past year, he has been especially active with repping quality meats, his beloved ice bath, and his new book club on Instagram.
On Twitter, Syndergaard is less about showcasing his favorite products and more about posting entertaining gifs and occasionally sparring with fellow MLB players, but he does sometimes cross-promote these interests on the bird app.
I would much rather have Syndergaard back on the field for the Mets as soon as possible in exchange for all of this wonderful social media content, but the life of a pitcher slowly rehabbing from Tommy John surgery can be very tedious, and I appreciate that he is continuing to connect with Mets fans while he is out.
The “Proud Pet Dad” Award: Jeff McNeil
Sometimes, it is hard to know where Willow McNeil‘s Instagram ends and Jeff McNeil’s Instagram begins. Ever since McNeil and his wife Tatiana adopted the adorable Alaskan Malamute pooch back in the summer of 2019, she has featured heavily on his social media feeds, which aside from her mostly feature golfing videos.
Though McNeil is mostly active on Instagram, he has not shied away from displaying his affection for Willow on Twitter as well.
It is clear that McNeil adores both Willow and her feline brother Mac. Amidst the sponsored posts and casual ribbing that we often see from athletes on social media, it is very wholesome and refreshing to see an athlete post pictures and videos of their adorable pets. Though I am very happy that Willow’s cardboard cutout from last season will be replaced with actual fans in the seats this year, I look forward to hopefully seeing more Willow-centric social media content in some form from McNeil this season.
The “Professional Troll” Award: Taijuan Walker
Taijuan Walker had barely been on the Mets for a month when he essentially went “Mets Twitter viral” on the night that Francisco Lindor’s contract extension was announced. Late in the evening on March 31, when it seemed like pre-season extension talks between Lindor and the Mets might actually be dead, Walker tweeted something very cryptic that sent all of Metsland into a frenzy.
Immediately, Mets fans left, right, and center were sent into a tizzy, wondering if Walker somehow had inside information about the extension that the rest of us might not have been privy to. Approximately 30 minutes later, Walker followed up that mysterious tweet with another, seemingly anticlimactic one.
Mets fans aggressively sent angry eye rolls his way, wondering why he would bother angering his new fan base at such a sensitive moment with such a let-down. Then, about five minutes after that, the extension news officially dropped from national baseball writers and insiders. Walker essentially confirmed that his expert troll job from earlier came with a rewarding bit of truth.
I thought it was rather daring of Walker to risk alienating a fan base that had yet to see him throw a pitch in uniform, but once the extension news came out, it seemed like all was forgiven between Walker and the previously-incensed Mets fans on social media.
The “Master of Snark” Award: Tomás Nido
If you follow Tomás “#bob” Nido on Twitter, you’ll know what I’m talking about. He has really upped his game in recent months, gaining a lot of notoriety within the Mets Twitter-verse after the news of Trevor Bauer signing with the Mets was confirmed, then swiftly denied within a matter of minutes back in February.
He is also not afraid to call out any haters that dare to show themselves in his mentions.
Finally, Nido, like all of us, was confused by Taijuan Walker’s cryptic texts from the night of the Lindor extension and chose to express this publicly on Twitter. He later apologized for doubting his teammate.
Though Nido is certainly a quality backup catcher on the field, my appreciation for him has grown immensely thanks to his hilarious, no-holds-barred tweets from the past few months.
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As fans, we care most about how our favorite team’s players perform on the field, but there is nothing wrong with appreciating them as people off the field and enjoying their entertaining social media posts. Congratulations to these six Mets, all of whom have delivered award-worthy content for Mets fans on Twitter and Instagram. Luckily, this year’s “Mets social media” awards ceremony was only about 1,000 words long instead of 3.5 hours.