Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bears Gone Wild: Port St. Lucie Edition

Studious Metsimus decided to send one of its bloggers to Port St. Lucie to cover the Mets and their activities. Since Joey is cuter and stands a much better chance of getting away with things that might cause other bloggers to have their Blogger Union membership revoked, he was sent to Tradition Field. We now turn things over to Joey (seen in the picture to the left with Slider) with his PSL report.

Thanks, esteemed colleague! This is Joey Beartran reporting for Studious Metsimus. I had a great time covering the Mets in Port St. Lucie during Open Workouts. From sampling great breakfast dishes to delicious lunches to sumptuous dinners (and an occasional Mets player here and there), I did my best to bring you the most complete coverage of what the fan experience is like at Open Workouts. So sit back, turn on your favorite sports radio station to listen to the latest Mets pitcher getting rocked while throwing strikes and enjoy what I like to call "Bears Gone Wild: Port St. Lucie Edition".

I woke up at the crack of dawn and to my surprise, I found myself greeted with breakfast in bed. I love the smell of Corn Pops in the morning!

Then it was off to Tradition Field to see batting practice. However, there was not much action going on in the batting cages. Is it possible that Daylight Savings ended and I was the only one who didn't get the memo?

One Mets player did show up and was kind enough to pose for a picture with me. Here I am with minor league prospect Eddie Kunz. I asked him if he felt he had a chance to make the team out of Spring Training and all he did was smile and hide his pitching hand behind my back. Apparently, he was nervous to meet me because he was covered in sweat. That's okay. When you meet the only bear blogger for the Mets, I can understand if you have a sudden case of the jitters.

Later on, I met a member of the 1986 World Champion Mets. He was the starting pitcher in Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS and Game 6 of the World Series. It was an honor to meet fellow lefty Bobby Ojeda.

I talked to Bobby about how he managed to make the transition from the pitcher's mound to the SNY studio in the hopes that someday I can make a similar move from blogger to SNY on-air personality. He just smiled as I overheard him say "am I on Candid Camera?" to our Studious Metsimus photographer.

After a long day of interviewing, photo ops and wondering whose hand was where, it was time to sample the fine cuisine in Port St. Lucie. There was no shortage of fine Floridian food to partake of. Take a look for yourself...

After a wild night of hot wings and brownie sundaes, it was time to hibernate for the evening. Fortunately, Studious Metsimus had enough funds available in the budget (a.k.a. the piggy bank that serves as our petty cash tin) to allow me to stay for another night. Our photographer had to stay in the car, but I promised to share my breakfast the following day as compensation for the room.

As the sun rose and the roosters cock-a-doodle-doo-dooed, (I should know. I accidentally stepped in some of it.) it was time to get back to the field. This time, I arrived a little bit late and the players were already doing some running. Just watching them perform their drills made me tired so I decided to take a load off and rest on the warning track. Had it been batting practice at Citi Field, I would have been in a perfect position to catch a David Wright just-short-of-the-wall double.

After players were done running around (no truth to the rumor that Angel Pagan was messing up the rhythm of the drill by running too aggressively), it was time to meet some more players. I went after a few more lefties and ended up with the motherlode. (sorry, I didn't get to meet my hero, Keith Hernandez. He's the ultimate lefty and the reason why I became a Mets fan. How can any bear not love him after he was caught by the SNY cameras feeding corn chips to a teddy bear in the TV booth during the 17-inning marathon in Houston during the 2007 season? Ah, but I digress...)

First I met the man known as Perpetual Pedro. He's the Mets' all-time single season leader in appearances by a pitcher. He was also the first Mets player, past or present, to actually talk to me when he told me that I looked a little like him. Personally, I didn't see any resemblance other than the two of us wearing a "Mets" on our chests and the fact that we're both lefties. Here I am with Pedro Feliciano.

Finally, I met up with my Aunt Coop and together we were able to attract the attention of the man with the most home runs in Mets history (no, not Tim Bogar). The "Coop" de grĂ¢ce of the entire trip was getting this picture with the Straw Man himself, Darryl Strawberry!

If I looked like I wanted to be somewhere else, it's because we were about to miss Happy Hour! Fortunately, we were done with our meet and greet session with Mets players, so we headed out to Duffy's for an hour of liquid happiness.

I had to stow away in the bag because I left my "special ID" at home. Fortunately, I was able to partake in Duffy's 2 for 1 offer, although I can't say I remember much after that. I don't even remember being photographed in the picture you see below to the right.

I was told we didn't do anything else after Happy Hour, so we packed up our belongings and headed back to New York. I was hoping to fly over Citi Field to get some overhead shots of the new additions for 2010, such as McFadden's, the reconstructed bullpens and the Mets Museum and Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, the pilot was a Yankee fan so I couldn't convince him to change his flight pattern so that we could land at LaGuardia Airport instead of Newark Liberty.

It's okay. When he wasn't looking, I unbuckled my seatbelt and left him a surprise in the lavatory (and I'm not talking about the iPhone in my lap, if you know what I mean).

Thank you for reading about my experiences as a bear blogger gone wild in Port St. Lucie. With your continued support of Studious Metsimus, we hope to continue to bring you more exclusive content such as this year's Late Winter Training escapades. Maybe next year, our budget will increase. You can never have enough meal money.

For Studious Metsimus, this has been Joey Beartran reporting. Hope to see you all at Citi Field this season!

Special thanks go out to Sharon Chapman and Taryn Cooper for their wonderful photographs and their credit cards. Oh wait, they don't know about the room service I ordered, do they?


Sollywood said...

The best part of this post is seeing the tags at the bottom. Ojeda, Coop, Straw, Joey. Awesome.

DyHrdMET said...

Nice work Joey. That was a lot to see in 3 days.

Joey Beartran said...

It sure was quite a bit to see. I just wish I could remember those missing hours after Happy Hour. I hope there were no alien abductions involved.