Mets Fandom, Mets History, Mets Life with Long Island’s Own Greg Prince and Jeff Hysen
Tournament of Poses
The World Baseball Classic was played to wide acclaim, but forgive National League Town if we’re not joining the chorus of media voices insisting the 2023 WBC was the greatest thing since sliced pepperoni. With Edwin Diaz’s patellar tendon a casualty of a postgame celebration we can’t imagine having taken place amid players going through admittedly humdrum Grapefruit League routines, let’s just say a little humdrum goes a long way in setting up your ninth innings. Greg and Jeff take their...
Turn and Embrace the Strange
Change is in the baseball air this spring, and some of it is no doubt daunting to lifelong fans who fell in love with what seemed like a perfect game as kids. Then again, as Greg and Jeff will attest, change has always loomed over the game we’ve thought of as “ours,” and we’ve never necessarily welcomed it with open arms. Yet somehow, some changes set in to our satisfaction. On this episode of National League Town, we remember what was once new and a little scary and consider how a good bit...
A Taste of Spring
What can a Mets fan tell from one night at one Grapefruit League game? Jeff made the trek to West Palm Beach to take in the Mets who weren’t off to the WBC as they faced members of the defending World Champion Astros. The National League Town scouting report says some Mets are better than no Mets, and baseball being played right in front of you is always a welcome sight. Jeff also shares his thoughts on the Mets' failure to broadcast every spring game.
Ghost Runners and the Great Beyond
As we grapple with the permanent implementation of the unnatural placement of a runner on second to start the tenth inning (and any inning that accidentally occurs thereafter), we look for ways to make the rule designed to cut games off at their knees more palatable — and we pay homage to what life was like in “real” extra innings, when you had no idea when a game might reach resolution. You know, before the “Manfred Man” began trampling on intermittent marathon madness. National League Town...
Do You Know the Way to St. Lucie?
There’s always something there to remind us baseball season is on its way: Spring Training. These National League Town guys are in love with the Mets’ chances on the cusp of 2023. What our world needs now is every player in camp focused on learning the new rules, but the WBC is a magnet that will pull some far away from home. Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ won’t get us back all our arms until that tournament is over, so we say a little prayer for good Met health, because come...
Extra Cinematic Innings
In our previous episode, we shared National League Town’s Favorite Baseball Movies. In the sequel, we talk about the films that constitute our viewing experience’s bench strength. They’re the baseball movies we like a lot if don’t wholly love; the baseball movies we like enough to keep watching as long as a game isn’t on; the movies with just enough baseball in them to merit our attention; and maybe a baseball movie we don’t ever need to see again.
The Balcony Is Open
With Pitchers & Catchers still a little ways away, that means it’s time for Directors & Actors. National League Town turns its attention to its Favorite Baseball Movies, as Greg and Jeff take turns counting down the five films that most put them in the mood to bolt from the theater and toward the ballpark. Like baseball itself, these are movies that make us laugh, make us cry, make us think and make us want to keep watching.
Party of Five
National League Town celebrates the announcement of a quintet of new entries for the Mets Hall of Fame: Inductees Al Leiter, Howard Johnson, Gary Cohen and Howie Rose along with Hall of Fame Achievement Award Winner Jay Horwitz. Greg and Jeff recall what made Al of the most important pitchers the Mets have ever had; how Hojo made himself into a superstar; why Gary and Howie emerged as the ideal heirs to legacy established by the franchise’s original announcers; all that Jay has done to...
The Dog Days of Winter
As if signing Tommy Pham isn’t enough to get a Mets fan through the January doldrums, National League Town presents an invitation for Scott Boras to grab a bite; some timeless advice regarding audio cassettes and ticket stubs; a call for day baseball every day; and a couple of voices from Jersey determined to set us straight about baseball in the Garden State. We also pay tribute to a true Met legend, the Original Frank Thomas. "The Greg Commandments": 3:42 "Jeff's Brilliant Idea":...
Expanding Our Horizons
It’s been 25 years since Major League Baseball added any teams. Perhaps we’re overdue for some new company. National League Town thinks out loud about what modern expansion might look like, where relocation might come to pass, what we want out of a bigger MLB and, ultimately, how any seismic changes might affect us as Mets fans. New franchises? New cities? New divisions? A new league? For the sake of conversation, it’s all within the realm of possibility.
Swoop, There He's Not
No deal got done, no games were played and only questions are left in his wake, but the Carlos Correa Era in Flushing was a heckuva time for every Mets fan who lived through it. Greg and Jeff get together to remember it as well as they can, from that day in December it was reported Correa was about to become a Met (physical pending), to that day in January it was reported Correa was instead about to resume being a Twin (physical pending). What happened? What happens next? Who knows anything...
One Last Glance Back
The year we just lived in has suddenly become history. How will we remember 2022? We start 2023 by taking our first shot at putting last season in a little historical perspective. Greg and Jeff pick their bests and not-so-goods from the year that came up something short of satisfying yet has to rank as one of the ten best a Mets team has ever put in the books. Also, we hear what a few of the Mets who’ve been coming and going have had to say as the doorway to our near future opens wide.
Sometimes a Fantasy is All You Need
Have you ever been or thought about going to a New York Mets fantasy camp? Mets fan Kerby Valladares just went and he joins National League Town to tell Greg and Jeff what it’s all about down in Port St. Lucie. Kerby takes listeners through the entire process of trying to become a better hitter and a better fielder while trying not to be starstruck that he is learning his craft from coaches who, in the course of an unforgettable week, morph into more than pictures on baseball cards or names...
Big Hall Guys
Just in time for the holidays, National League Town reconvenes its New York Mets Hall of Fame review process and confirms its previous verdict that a lot — A LOT — more Mets and Mets figures deserve plaques in that charming room off the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Greg and Jeff revive their initial 2022 discussions on the Mets HOF with a fresh introduction and the hope that in the new year, we will see more Mets inducted where they belong. THE NOMINEES (and time stamps): Early Mets: Ron Hunt,...
Swoop, There He Is
Just when you think one of the free agent apples of Steve Cohen’s eye has eluded his grasp, the owner of the New York Mets swoops in and grabs Carlos Correa, the multifaceted star shortstop the San Francisco Giants had all but signed to an enormous contract. “All but” is the key phrase here, which is why Correa is headed to the Flushing Bay area instead of the one out west. Is Correa fully physically fit? Is a dozen-year commitment wise? Can he master third base despite never having played...
Everywhere a Signing
When Steve Cohen owns your favorite baseball team, you come to expect moves will be made in the offseason. Still, expectations are getting surpassed all the time this offseason, with free agent contracts for — deep breath — Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana, Brandon Nimmo, David Robertson and Kodai Senga having fallen into place between a Monday and a Saturday (on the seventh day, Steve rested). National League Town approves this barrage. Greg and Jeff also tip a cap to a former Met closer...
Jacob who? National League Town is suddenly all about likely Hall of Famer Justin Verlander. And former All-Star Jose Quintana. And lefty reliever Brooks Raley, even. The Mets are stocking up on pitchers who weren’t here last year now that Jacob deGrom has departed and Taijuan Walker has walked. Greg and Jeff are rolling out the welcome wagon for all of them. Also welcome: the opportunity to honor the memory of Gil Hodges and the great alumni relations work of Jay Horwitz at this winter’s...
The End of Jake's Era
UPDATED with the Justin Verlander signing! For better (which you can rationalize) or worse (which you can feel in your bones), Jacob deGrom is no longer a New York Met. National League Town processes the news; remembers the highlights of an unparalleled nine-year run in Flushing; wonders if there were more than 185 million reasons the Simple Man decided to move on; and tries to think about who could replace one of the greatest starting pitchers the Mets have ever called their own.
It’s the Time Between Seasons
December’s arrival indicates the Baseball Equinox is nigh. How nigh? Listen in and find out how soon we will reach the exact midpoint between the end of the previous season and the beginning of the forthcoming season — or when “next” year becomes “this” year (19:19) Also, Greg and Jeff attempt to put the Met career of non-tendered Dom Smith in perspective; wonder who besides Drew Smith will fill most of the bullpen roles (00:30); take apart the Manfredian machinations of the 2023 schedule...
Detecting Some Winners
Kevin Chapman, author of the Mike Stoneman series of thrillers, joins National League Town (30:23) to a offer glimpse inside his latest book, Dead Winner, and respond to speculation about why Detective Stoneman conveniently happens to be a Mets fan. Might it have something to do with Kevin being the same? Greg and Jeff also celebrate National League Manager of the Year Buck Showalter (00:27); revel in the new documentary examining the life of Willie Mays (12:48); and remember a ballplayer...