Tag Archives: Mets

New York Mets clinch first playoff spot in nine years

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@Mets

Believe it, Mets fans: there will be playoff baseball at Citi Field in October.

The New York Mets captured the National League Eastern Division title Saturday evening with a 10-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on the road, securing the team’s first playoff appearance since 2006.

Citi Field was empty Saturday, but it will be full of excited fans next month when it hosts postseason baseball for the first time in its history. The Mets are currently projected to face the Los Angeles Dodgers, leaders of the NL Western Division, in the best-of-five Division Series, though it has yet to be decided which team will get home-field advantage. The regular season ends on Oct. 4.

For the Mets and their long-suffering fans, this moment of euphoria has been a long time coming. Little had gone right for the franchise since they lost the National League pennant in 2006 to the St. Louis Cardinals. The last nine seasons had been filled with season-ending collapses, on- and off-field embarrassments, injuries to key players and one losing season after another.

Fittingly, David Wright — the team captain who had been with the club through it all — helped ice the proverbial cake with a three-run home run in the top of the ninth.

The team’s fortunes turned around this year on the strength of young starting pitchers Matt Harvey, Jacob de Grom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. After a hot start to the season, however, the Mets found themselves in late July with a 49-48 record and in second place behind the Washington Nationals.

Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson then made several trades to strengthen the team’s two weak points: the starting lineup and bullpen. The Mets picked up infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Atlanta Braves, then reliever Tyler Clippard from the Oakland Athletics and, at the July 31 trading deadline, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers.

The revamped Mets went on a roll in August, sweeping a three-game series from the Nationals at Citi Field, vaulting themselves into first place for good, eventually growing a nine-game lead. Despite a mid-September slump for the Mets that saw the lead shrink to six games, the Nationals couldn’t capitalize on the Mets’ losses.


Mets to host annual food drive at Citi Field

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

The Courier/File photo


Next weekend, Mets fans will have a chance to enjoy a ballgame and support those in need at Citi Field.

On Friday, July 31, and Saturday, Aug. 1, between 5 and 7:30 p.m., the Mets will be hosting their annual food drive for The River Fund New York. Fans who donate 10 or more items of nonperishable food will receive vouchers for one pair of tickets to a Mets home game in 2015.

Some of the most needed items are canned fruit, vegetables, plastic jars of peanut butter, packages of hot or cold cereal, and packages of macaroni and cheese. Items that won’t be accepted are unlabeled, expired, or dented cans; any open packages; products that need to be refrigerated; and any homemade food.

Mets personnel and wives of Mets players will be collecting food outside the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, Left Field Gate, and Bullpen Plaza. The donation drive takes place prior to the Mets games against their division rivals, the Washington Nationals.


Get into the stretch at special Citi Field yoga session

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

COURIER/File photo

Yoga Alliance is giving the seventh-inning stretch a whole new meaning this summer as they host Yoga Day at Citi Field.

Yogis are invited to purchase a $45 ticket to enjoy a one-hour yoga session led by Yoga Alliance-certified instructor Stephanie Armijo on the outfield grass of Citi Field on Aug. 15.

Included in the price of the ticket is free parking for the morning yoga class, plus a ticket for that night’s game as the Mets face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:10 p.m.

Participants should bring their own mat and bottled water, as the concession stands will not be open. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Bullpen Gate and the class begins promptly at 9:30 a.m.

At the end of the one-hour class, participants will need to exit Citi Field and re-enter the stadium at the normal game-day gate opening at 5:10 p.m.

For more information, please contact Christina Andrews of the New York Mets group sales department at 718-559-3069 or candrews@nymets.com.


Willets Point auto shop owners settle suit with city, moving to Bronx: report

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

File photo

After years of fighting, a group of Willets Point auto shop owners has reportedly settled its lawsuit with the city and developers planning to transform the land adjacent to Citi Field known as the “Iron Triangle.”

Crain’s New York reported on Thursday the landowners — operating as the Sunrise Cooperative — agreed to accept a combined $5.8 million from the city, Sterling Equities and Related Companies, then divvy up the funds to relocate from Willets Point to the Bronx, where an auto business co-operative will be created.

“Sunrise is happy that they got to an agreement,” attorney Harvey Epstein of the Urban Justice Center, who represented the cooperative, said in the Crain’s report. “We look forward to building a large auto co-op, and to everyone in New York starting to use it.”

The Bloomberg administration first initiated action to redevelop the Iron Triangle into a new community featuring housing, retail markets, a hotel and even a convention center. Related Companies and Sterling Equities — the latter of which owns the New York Mets and developed Citi Field — formed the Queens Development Group, which the city selected in June 2012 to redevelop Willets Point.

At the time, Queens Development Group and the city were expected to pour over $3 billion into remediating contamination and then developing the neighborhood. The city touted it would create 12,000 construction jobs and another 7,100 permanent jobs once development is complete.

While the city viewed Willets Point as a chance to update a blighted area, property owners charged the blight was the city’s own doing, as it neglected to provide the zone with essential services.

The Sunrise Cooperative launched litigation when the city, after negotiations to purchase the land failed, attempted to acquire it through eminent domain. In the settlement, the city agreed to pay $4.8 million, while Sterling Equities and Related Companies will contribute $960,000.

Along with redeveloping the Iron Triangle, the Queens Development Group also plans to construct a large shopping center just to the west of Citi Field, on the parking lot where Shea Stadium once stood.


Street Talk: Who do you think has the better chance of making the playoffs this season — the Mets or the Yankees?

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo



“The Yankees, just based on their track record.”
Brooke Astaria


“The Mets, as long as Matt Harvey comes back healthy.”
Danielle Cazilas


“The Mets are younger and more hungry. Plus, they have six starting pitchers.”
Anthony Hassan


“The Yankees. They are the best team in baseball history and always overcome the odds.”
William Landon


“The Mets. I’m rooting for Michael Cuddyer to make an impact.”
Brian Cornil


“The Yankees. They will always be my team.”
Dominick Papasio


“I’m generally indifferent. I don’t see the point, philosophically, of baseball nowadays. Chess is my sport.”
Emilio Velez


“Both teams are boring. The Phillies are going to win it all.”
Luciano Lamour


Home run at the Flea

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


The LIC Flea & Food will hit a home run this weekend with a super sweet lineup.

First, the popular Long Island City market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will continue to celebrate the opening of the LIC Flea Beer Garden.
Beer will be available for $2 from 4:30 to 5 p.m. with an LIC Flea purchase. The beer garden, which offers selections from SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company as well as wine, is set up along the basin in the back of the market with views of the Manhattan skyline and outdoor seating. Beer enthusiasts will also have the ability to meet the owners of the local breweries featured and learn about the beer-making process.

For sports lovers, former Mets player William Hayward “Mookie” Wilson will be at the flea market signing and promoting his book “Mookie: Life, Baseball, and the ’86 Mets.”

HGTV will be making its return the LIC Flea to film another episode of its show “Flea Market Flip” with host Lara Spencer, co-anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Each week on the show, contestants, who participate in teams, are given $500 to explore items at different flea markets. The participants search for objects they can buy, fix and then “flip” for a higher selling price. By the end of each show, the contestants display their transformations and battle it out to win all the profits earned.

Finally, to end the weekend on a sweet note, the market will host a Sweets Festival with voting by judges and LIC Flea visitors to name the best sweets vendors. So far, participating vendors include A Spoonful of Brownies, Brookies Cookies, Bibingka-esk, Ice & Vice, Mom & Popsicles, Petalouda Bakery, Sweet Muse and Cassey’s Cookies & Cobblers.
LIC Flea & Food is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will run through the end of the year.

For more information visit www.licflea.com or www.facebook.com/licflea.


Citi Field to hold Ugly Sweater Run

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo


Put on your ugly sweater and run to Citi Field this winter.

The home of the Mets will host the fourth annual Ugly Sweater Run on Dec. 20 at 11 a.m., run by the Colorado entertainment company Human Movement Management.

All participants of the 5K, whether runners or walkers, are encouraged to don their ugliest sweaters to celebrate the holiday season.

Throughout the 3.1-mile course, holiday-themed stations will serve hot chocolate to the runners. Other attractions include inflatables, photo stations and holiday music.

After crossing the finish line, participants over 21 can pick up two Samuel Adams beers to top it all off. All runners will receive a vintage knit hat.

Proceeds will go to Save the Children, an advocacy nonprofit that provides resources for young.





Free Mets tickets for blood donors

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo


Bayside Assemblyman Edward Braunstein is hosting a blood drive on Thursday, Aug. 14 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center on 212th Street and 26th Avenue.

“Every donation helps to save up to three lives,” Braunstein said. “Our hospitals are in need of your help, so I hope you will take the time to share this lifesaving gift.”

Each donor will receive two Mets tickets by mail, thanks to the New York Blood Center.

To be eligible, donors have to be between the ages of 16 and 75, weigh at least 110 pounds and not have any new tattoos within the last year.

Donors are asked to drink fluids before arriving and to bring photo ID.

For more information, contact Braunstein’s office at 718-357-3588.



90-year-old Mets fan, WWII vet honored at Citi Field

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky


A veteran’s service to wounded soldiers earned him recognition with his favorite team.

Longtime Mets fan Leonard Merer, 90, was given a New York State Senate proclamation on the night of his birthday, Aug. 4, by state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky. The Mets selected him as its Veteran of the Night.

Merer was a medic during World War II. His notable service included tending to the many casualties in Normandy after D-Day.

For his service, French President François Hollande recently awarded Merer the Insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.




Watch ‘Sharknado 2’ strike Citi Field

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo


Watch out Mets fans—the Sharknado is back and it’s hitting Citi Field.

Sharknado 2,” the sequel to the fictional made-for-TV movie about a whirlwind so strong it lifts man-eating sharks into the city, will premiere on the Syfy network on Wednesday at 9 p.m.

In the movie, swarming sharks attack humans next to iconic New York City sites, including Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.

As sharks fall out of the sky and water floods the city streets, Ian Ziering, who plays the protagonist, goes around town killing the deadly animals.

“Sharknado 2,” also features Tara Reid, Vivica A. Fox Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath and Judah Friedlander.




Where to celebrate the Fourth of July around Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Macy’s

Friday makes the 238th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and, weather permitting, Queens residents can celebrate the country’s birthday with a boom.

The Macy’s fireworks extravaganza has moved back to the East River after a five-year hiatus, but the show is centered downriver in Brooklyn.

Still, there are many spots to view the fireworks — but not all of them are free.

Z Hotel in Long Island City is selling tickets to watch the fireworks show from their rooftop lounge. Tickets go for $66.56 for kids and $166.03 for adults.

On Center Boulevard, LIC Landing by Coffeed will be hosting an all-you-can-eat barbecue with a view of the fireworks for $100 a ticket.

The Starstream VIII, which sails from the Flushing Marina, is having a waterborne viewing party that includes dinner and a cash bar for $125.

Cheaper options include Resorts World Casino, which is hosting a free viewing event at Bar360 and on their sixth-floor parking lot.

Another free option is the Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City on the East River.

And baseball fans will be treated to a fireworks display at Citi Field as the Mets host the Texas Rangers.

But the baseball may be a washout and the fireworks may fizzle as Hurricane Arthur took aim at North Carolina Thursday and is expected to impact much of the East Coast.




Fan filming 1986 World Series Mets movie, running Kickstarter campaign

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Heather Quinlan

It’s been nearly three decades since the Mets won a World Series championship. So why not make a movie?

A movie on the 1986 World Series Mets team is long overdue, according to long-time fan and filmmaker Heather Quinlan. That’s why she’s begun working on the project, hoping to have the documentary of the legendary team completed by fall of 2015 in time for the 30th anniversary the following year.

Quinlan, who has already spoken to key members of the team including Darryl Strawberry, Lenny “Nails” Dykstra, Dwight “Doc” Gooden, and people from the era such as former mayor Rudy Giuliani, is pitching it as the movie “Every Mets fan on Earth wants,” although the organization isn’t as thrilled about the 1986 team.

“The organization doesn’t celebrate that team,” she said. “As a fan, I don’t understand why. One of the reasons why I wanted to do this [documentary] is to show the Mets and MLB that this is a team that the fans still love.”

’86 Mets: Lords of Flushing, as the film is called on its trailer, has already collected more than $2,500 on crowd funding site Kickstarter. She hopes to collect $50,000 to fund travel, editing and production and rights to certain footage.

Quinlan grew up a Mets fan in Staten Island and was just 12 years old when the 1986 team won the franchise’s second World Series championship. But she believes it resonated with her more because she wasn’t an adult.

“When it happens to you when you’re a kid it’s like the greatest thing in the world,” she said.

Her hope is not only to tell the story of how the team won its second crown, but also catch up on players’ lives today and compare the 80’s to the modern game.

For example, Strawberry’s life as a pastor, Dykstra as a convicted felon, and even personal notes such as “Bill Buckner saying he would call Mookie Wilson if he didn’t see him for a while because he really missed him,” she said.

During the era comparison portion of the film, fans can expect to see how baseball itself has evolved, which Quinlan believes has changed the focus away from the game.

“Baseball has changed tremendously since 86,” she said.  “What I don’t love is now the spectacle that’s being made of the game. Let’s get back to the game.”




Attend a Mets game to support the NYS Pavilion

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of New York Mets

The Mets are stepping up to the plate to help out one of their iconic neighbors.

In cooperation with People for the Pavilion (PFP) and to celebrate the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the World’s Fairs, a portion of each ticket purchased through a special online offer for the team’s Friday, August 1 game at Citi Field will help support the PFP’s initiative of preserving the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Purchasers will receive a Limited Edition Mets Pavilion t-shirt. Additionally, groups of 25 or more get welcomed on the Right Field Scoreboard and the group leader receives four tickets to the game of their choice (tickets subject to availability).

To buy tickets for the 7:10 p.m. game against the San Francisco Giants, click here.



Forest Hills restaurant makes the pitch for Citi Field

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A Queens restaurant is vying against two other New York City businesses for a chance to serve food in Citi Field this baseball season.

Corfu Grill has been serving Greek flavor for 10 years in Forest Hills and the owner, Georgios Aspiotis, hopes to bring the food of his hometown of Corfu to Mets fans. Citi Field announced the competition on May 23 and anyone can vote for one of the three restaurants. The competition ends on June 6 and the winner will be announced before the start of the July 5 home game against the Texas Rangers.

“I’m a winner,” Aspiotis said while drinking iced Greek coffee­—a stronger version of regular coffee with the coffee grounds in the cup­—in his Austin Street restaurant. “People will be coming to the games just to eat my food.”

Having created the menu himself, Aspiotis is proud of all of the dishes but for a baseball game, the gyros and chicken kebabs are his dingers.

“Most people eat hot dogs at a game,” he said. “I’m going to give them something better and it’s still portable. Gyros are like hot dogs. You have the bread on the outside and the meat inside.

But there’s also so much more inside our gyros that people will love.”

Sports fans are not the only people to declare the food a hit.

“I’m a big fan,” said Millie Lloyd, a Forest Hills resident. “I love the food.”

Lloyd spoke as she ate a chicken kebab plate in Corfu Grill. The meal, Aspiotis said, is one of the best sellers and if he wins, he plans to put them on a skewer at a stadium concession stand that will be provided for him free of charge for the duration of this season.

Aspitotis’ confidence isn’t misplaced. He is currently leading the competition with 44 percent of the votes. Lady M Confections, a pastry shop in Manhattan, has 30 percent, and Ceetay, a sushi restaurant in the Bronx, wis in last place with 24 percent.

To vote, click here.



Fresh Meadows middle school will walk to stop bullying

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

One Queens middle school is taking a stand against bullying with a walk-a-thon.

J.H.S. 216 George J. Ryan in Fresh Meadows is hosting its “Respect For All” walk-a-thon on Tuesday, May 13, on the school’s track, to celebrate diversity and discourage bullying.

“We are trying to get kids to stop name-calling, and do whatever we can to get this building the way it should be,” said Hal Fuchs, an academic coordinator in the school. “And something like this we feel could do that. It’s about respect. We want kids to have respect for each other.”

Three students from each homeroom, approximately 150 kids, will represent the school’s 1,400 students in the event. From 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. the participating students will lap the track four times, which is the equivalent of one mile, Fuchs said.

The New York Mets have donated tickets to the upcoming game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 21 for kids who take part in the walk-a-thon.

The school is also selling 800 “Respect For All” bracelets for $1 each. The proceeds from the event will be donated to an anti-bullying charity to be named.

Photo courtesy J.H.S. 216