Michelle Ioannou

Michelle Ioannou is a contributor to SNY

Aug 25, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) wears a patch on his uniform thanking his dad against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Aug 25, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) wears a patch on his uniform thanking his dad against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterMy father passed away from Multiple Sclerosis when I was 18 years old.

The Mets were one of our things, arguably our biggest thing. And that's why no matter how dark things may get with this team, it's more than just a game. At least for me. It's a connection back to my father. It's a reminder of all of the good times, talks, and laughs we had together. And it's a happiness that something my father and I loved and shared. I can still treasure that, despite him not being here.

My father was taking me to Shea Stadium from a very young age. We'd sit there, doing the book, and he'd explain to me what was going on. We'd get our hot dogs, our french fries, and ice cream. On extra special days, he'd even let me paint the Mets logo on my face (usually with my mother's eyeliner -- sorry if you're reading this and just finding out, ma)...

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Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) and left fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) celebrate a 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) and left fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) celebrate a 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterHey, remember that time this offseason when teams were trying to trade for Brandon Nimmo?

I remember it distinctly, as it was right before he was set to speak at the Queens Baseball Convention (QBC) last January. Nimmo was linked to the Pirates as the potential asking price for Andrew McCutchen or Josh Harrison. As we know, the Mets ended up not trading Nimmo, at a time when a decent amount of fans preferred one or both of the above players to him.

At the time, I could not really blame them. I saw their argument.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Michelle Ioannou
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New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

The Mets need to be winning the majority of the games that Jacob deGrom is starting. At the moment, though, the amount of those games that are getting wasted is absurd. The best pitcher in the National League is handing the Mets wins on a silver platter, but they're simply not closing the deal. 

Death, taxes, and wasting dominant deGrom starts has been the motto lately.

DeGrom goes out there and always gives it his all. Almost every deGrom performance is dynamite. It's exactly what you want from a starting pitcher. He gets the job done. Fans never have to worry. His teammates never have to worry. But deGrom? He has to worry. Because the bullpen lets him down. Or the offense doesn't score enough to support him...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Michelle Ioannou
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May 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an rbi single during the first inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
May 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an rbi single during the first inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterWhen the Mets opened their series in Philadelphia on May 11, Ron Darling and Gary Cohen spoke on SNY about how if Michael Conforto is hot, the Mets will be hot. In case you don't remember, this was the game where the Mets were losing to the Phillies, 1-0, going into the ninth. Conforto hit a bomb that just missed and landed foul. He then compensated for this by hitting a two-run home run, putting the Mets in front. He sparked a rally, with Devin Mesoraco knocking it out of the park right after him for his first homer after becoming a Met. The Mets, who were reeling at the time, desperately needed that come-from-behind win.

And Conforto needed that big hit, too, as he had hit a slump towards the end of April and beginning of May, to the point where he was kept out of the lineup twice in order to have mental health days off. That is not the Conforto any of us know, or ever want to see. Shortly before the Phillies series -- upon returning from being benched for two days, Conforto led off a Monday game against the Reds, going 2-for-5 with a solo home run, helping his team finally win a game. Not a bad way to break a slump, right?

Since then, Conforto has continued to heat up. Over his last 10 games, Conforto is hitting .333/.366/.590 with 13 hits -- including three home runs -- and seven RBI. To put things into perspective, from April 13 - May 6, Conforto was just 8-for-58, hitting .138. He's improved in a drastic, much-needed way.

Tags: Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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May 20, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; The New York Mets celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
May 20, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; The New York Mets celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets swept a series! The Mets swept a series! And there are more Mets babies to talk about!

It really has been quite the week in Mets Land. No, we're not back to our exciting start to the season, but hey, baby steps! (Yes, pun intended).

The Mets actually won four out of their five games this past week, which is pretty impressive with what we have been seeing recently. It wasn't the easiest week, though, filled with rain delays and more injuries...

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New York Mets pitcher Seth Lugo delivers the ball to the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (AP)
New York Mets pitcher Seth Lugo delivers the ball to the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (AP)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterGive me Seth Lugo in the rotation. In fact, give me Seth Lugo in the rotation weeks ago.

Lugo was initially expected to begin the season as a starter, but it didn't come to fruition. In my opinion, he should have never been moved to the bullpen. And the Mets' rotation issues have been magnified with the performance of Matt Harvey prior to him being moved to the bullpen (and then traded), Zack Wheeler when he returned to the rotation from the minors, and Jason Vargas upon returning from injury.

Lugo has stepped up these past three seasons, including in the bullpen in 2018.

Tags: Jason Vargas, Matt Harvey, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, Michelle Ioannou
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May 11, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) watches his two run home run during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
May 11, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) watches his two run home run during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterThis week in Mets Land was the week of babies. Jay Bruce and his wife, Hannah, welcomed a son named Maxwell -- their second child. But that's not all. David Wright and his wife, Molly, welcomed their second child -- a baby girl named Madison.

In terms of on the field action... eh. There were two wins, a rainout, and three losses. One important and reassuring factor is that Michael Conforto has broken out of his slump, helping the Mets win in Monday night's game when he returned from his mental health break, and hitting a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning of Friday night's game.

Speaking of Friday night's game, it was a come from behind win, like the ones we saw in the month of April. And that was reassuring to both the fans and the team -- that the Mets still do have it in them; that they can rally and win. We even saw the Mets try to do this in Sunday afternoon's game, but it unfortunately didn't happen...

Tags: David Wright, Dominic Smith, Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Luis Guillorme, Michael Conforto, Todd Frazier, Michelle Ioannou
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New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterLast week in Mets Land was not a good one. I was at three games this past week... and the Mets lost all of them. In fact, the Mets didn't win a game their entire homestand. Six straight losses.

I know, none of you want to recap this past week I don't blame you. It was a horrible. But there was a move that does need to be brought up again, and that is Matt Harvey. Harvey refused a minor league assignment (to no one's surprise) and was DFA'd by the Mets. I already spoke about this more in depth, but it was a move that had to be made. And it was sad that it had to come to this. The irony of all of this, though? Hansel Robles was called up to replace Harvey in the bullpen. Yes, a sentence you likely never thought you'd hear (and likely never wanted to hear).

Speaking of Robles, he came back with a bang (and a point) by giving up a home run to Ian Desmond on Sunday in his first appearance back. The Mets went on to lose this game, but the biggest shockers of the game were that Noah Syndergaard walked in a run and Robles then somehow had a scoreless ninth inning despite giving up the above mentioned homer in the eighth...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Hansel Robles, Jacob deGrom, Jerry Blevins, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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Apr 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) celebrates his two run single against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) celebrates his two run single against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterI was not the biggest "bring Todd Frazier to the Mets" advocate during the offseason. Yes, I knew we needed a starting third baseman -- that was never a debate. I preferred Mike Moustakas over Frazier.

But now that Frazier is here, I love him. I am so impressed by what he has brought to this team -- on the field, off the field, and in the clubhouse. A former Yankee coming to play in Queens? Eh. I know the business of baseball and things like that happen, but still. It's not always a good fit (and yes, this can be said of any rivalry, or any team). Plus, the last thing I wanted was thumbs down being brought to Queens -- that is very much okay staying in the Bronx forever.

Now, Frazier has brought the Mets together in a way that's fun and has kept them loose. Frazier comes into the Mets clubhouse, and not only brings his skills, but comes up with a celebratory "salt and pepper shake" move for all of his teammates to do after a big hit so the entire team can celebrate together. Because that's what a team is -- not just one guy celebrating his big hit, because it's his, it's about a team celebrating the big hit, because it's all of theirs. You win by working together, and celebrating together, and supporting each other, and that is what Frazier has brought to the Mets...

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 (Jake Roth)
(Jake Roth)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

This week in Mets Land we had a couple of birthdays -- both mine and Gary Cohen!

 

Whereas I was dying on my couch with a 103-degree fever watching the Mets forget how to play defense and losing in extra innings for my birthday on Thursday, Gary was serenaded and blessed with a Mets win for his on Sunday. Happy birthday, Gare!

Tags: Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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Apr 10, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30), shortstop Amed Rosario (1) and center fielder Juan Lagares (12) celebrate defeating the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Apr 10, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30), shortstop Amed Rosario (1) and center fielder Juan Lagares (12) celebrate defeating the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterYes, this week did include a loss. But let's focus on how the Mets are in the midst of the best start in franchise history. Coming off nine wins in a row. Winning every series they have played so far this season. Not too shabby.

Of course, this excitement did take a hit on Wednesday, when it was announced that Travis d'Arnaud had a UCL tear in high right elbow. Tommy John surgery will happen and end his season, because as we all know, it's impossible to go an entire season without someone on the Mets needing Tommy John surgery.

Kevin Plawecki can easily step in for d'Arnaud, though, as we all know he's already had experience as a starting catcher, so not too big of a problem, right?! Well... Plawecki is injured as well, and will likely be out for roughly three weeks. Tomas Nido and Jose Lobaton it is then! Fortunately, Nido does have some major league experience from last year. And so far, both have looked good especially considering the unexpected roles they're currently taking on...

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Apr 10, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30), shortstop Amed Rosario (1) and center fielder Juan Lagares (12) celebrate defeating the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Apr 10, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30), shortstop Amed Rosario (1) and center fielder Juan Lagares (12) celebrate defeating the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterA 9-1 record. The best start in franchise history. Who would have thought that the 2018 season would start off like this? But here we are.

The Mets have won every series so far. They swept both the Phillies and the Nationals. They're not giving up. They're coming from behind and winning games. They're making contact and not solely relying on a couple of players hitting home runs. They're playing good defense. They are actually utilizing good fundamentals.

Rewind to last season and I did not think I'd be writing an article like this, or be in awe of the team's performance on the field. Forget that, even rewind back to December or January, and I did not think the team would be in this position. How far they have come, right?

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter | It was another good week in Mets Land. And no, it's not only because Michael Conforto is back, but let's focus on that for a bit.

We have our Scooter back! Conforto made his return to the lineup on Thursday, and he didn't disappoint. Mickey Callaway had made it known before the game that Conforto wanted to face Stephen Strasburg, and to put it simply, Conforto won that battle. In the fifth, Conforto hit a go-ahead two-run homer to left field off of Strasburg.

Yoenis Cespedes predicted this home run before the game, by the way, and took full credit for it postgame...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Hansel Robles, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, TJ Rivera, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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Mar 31, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) walks to the dugout after getting the final out during the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Mar 31, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) walks to the dugout after getting the final out during the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterI like Robert Gsellman coming out of the bullpen. Scratch that, I really, really like Gsellman coming out of the bullpen.

In the first two games he pitched this season, he looked absolutely fantastic, tossing 1.2 innings while striking out four of the seven batters he faced, and allowing just two hits.

On Opening Day at Citi Field, Gsellman was dominant, striking out all three Cardinals batters he faced -- Paul DeJong (who went on to hit a couple of dingers off of Steven Matz on Sunday), Kolten Wong, and Yairo Munoz. Gsellman's sinker was responsible for nine of these strikes. Yes, his sinker's back, and it looks better than ever...

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Michelle Ioannou
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New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, March 29, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, March 29, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

The season has begun. Ain't it glorious? You can feel the magic of baseball season in the air, the excitement coming from the players and the fans, and the hope that is already brewing within many.

It's been a great bunch of days of baseball so far. Here's a glance at everything that happened...

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Oct 13, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets fans cheer during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the NLDS at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 13, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets fans cheer during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the NLDS at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterBaseball. It really is more than a game. I'm sure you've heard that saying before. You may have even tweeted it before. Or you may have rolled your eyes while hearing it. But it's true. And it applies to our beloved Mets, who opened the season with a win over the Cardinals and take to the field again today on SNY at 1:10 p.m.

We may not always like the Mets, but we always love them. To many of us, if not all of us, they are more than just a team. They have become part our of lives, integrated into our daily happenings.

We all have our own personal connection to them -- the reason we're fans, the reason we cheer for this team, the reason we incessantly tweet about this team. During slow and quiet offseasons, during disappointing seasons, and during crushing losses, it's really hard to remember the reason why we're still fans of this team. Let's face the reality -- if you're a Mets fan, you're not a Mets fan because you enjoy the thrill of winning.

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Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

How pumped are you for Opening Day?! Extremely, right? Well, the players are too, and seeing it has just made me even more excited.

Yesterday, the team left Port St. Lucie to make their return home to New York. Thanks to social media, we were all able to experience this travel with them. Click below for some of the gems for you to see for the first time if you missed it yesterday, or just to relive it and get even more excited for Opening Day against the Cardinals -- Thursday at 1 p.m. on SNY!

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, Jose Reyes, Juan Lagares, Noah Syndergaard, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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Mets pitchers Zack Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman (USA TODAY Images)
Mets pitchers Zack Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman (USA TODAY Images)

When I first started writing this article, the focus was on the fifth starter spot. Everyone was assuming that the role would go to Steven Matz or Zack Wheeler. But now, with the minor Jason Vargas injury, there are two spots in the rotation to fill. So, no need to discuss who gets these spots, right? 

If you're nodding your head yes, I think you're wrong.

I have seen a lot of people talking about how we're going to see the "dream rotation" this season -- a rotation that we have been waiting to for quite a few seasons now, made up of Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Matz, and Wheeler.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Michelle Ioannou
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Mar 1, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) grounds out in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Mar 1, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) grounds out in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

There are a few questions I have while sitting here basking in the fun of Spring Training. I know it's fake baseball and that the games don't count. But, still, there are some questions and thoughts, especially when it comes to first base.

I have been #TeamDom from the beginning, and I've already advocated about how he should have had a shot to contend for first base. But things aren't looking so good this spring for him. From not being in the lineup for the first game due to being late, to a strained quad, he's not getting the reps he needs.

This likely means Adrian Gonzalez is a shoe-in for the starting role at first. But, should Gonzalez be trusted to take on this role full-time? He says that he is, but what does his playing say? Is he too old for a starting role, or for handling first?

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores, Michelle Ioannou
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Feb 19, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (right) during practice drills at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 19, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (right) during practice drills at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterThere is something to be said about watching Mets baseball in February in 80 degree weather under the warm sunshine. It's a beautiful thing that everyone should get to experience.

I spent this past weekend down in Port St. Lucie solely as a fan -- no credentials, no interviews, no special treatment -- and I loved it.

I feel like for some there's this notion that you need to be a writer, part of a group going, or already in Florida to go and experience the Mets down at First Data Field, and this just isn't true. For those of you who have yet to go, or for those of you who haven't thought that it was worth it to go, I'm here to tell you otherwise...

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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Todd Frazier poses at Citi Field following his official introduction by the Mets. (AP)
Todd Frazier poses at Citi Field following his official introduction by the Mets. (AP)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterIt's impossible for anyone to write a piece about Mets veterans and leadership without acknowledging David Wright. He's been the face of the franchise. He's been the guy in the clubhouse mentoring young players, both in on the field and off the field actions. He has been the guy who is great with the New York media. He has been our Captain.

But unfortunately, Wright isn't able to be the Wright we all want him to be right now. His presence is still extremely important. But his future is unknown -- he even admits this. And with the potential of Wright not being there (and having not physically been there these past couple of seasons) this is a huge void that needs to be filled.

It's been great seeing Wright in Port St. Lucie so far, training (as much as he can) with his team, and just being there with his teammates. But at the same time, it's been a bit bittersweet, as none of us know what to expect from him...

Tags: David Wright, Jay Bruce, Michelle Ioannou
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A general view from the press box of First Data Field, home of the St. Lucie Mets (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))
A general view from the press box of First Data Field, home of the St. Lucie Mets (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))

Well this is it for our weekly adventures, Mets fans, as Spring Training is finally here! Isn't it great to have baseball back in our lives? I'm not going to lie though, I will miss conversing with you all once a week about the off-field shenanigans the Mets are up to -- yes, even despite those of you who would tweet at me asking if it was possible to do a weekly recap just of signings (it is, by the way, but where's the fun in just that?!).

What were the Mets up to this last week of no baseball? Well, for the most part, baseball, as most of them reported early to Port St. Lucie. No, I have no reports of Yoenis Cespedes riding into camp on horseback yet, but I will keep a lookout and hopefully can bring that update to you even without our weekly chats.

Dominic Smith did not report to Spring Training before some of the other hittersy (cue everyone making comments about how he of all players should've been there earlier). But don't worry, according to his Instagram story, he'll get there in time. It's also Bag Season, FYI...

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May 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
May 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterIt may have been a weekend of football, but here I am to bring you some offseason Mets happenings. I mean, obviously I enjoyed a weekend of football as well, but this is not the place for me to vocalize my football opinions. You can follow me on Twitter for that!

Anyways, back to the Mets.

Noah Syndergaard (who celebrated the end of football season) and Jerry Blevins look like they'll be the bromance of the season. Also, any excuse for a Seinfeld reference, right? Helllllllo, Jerry!

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jerry Blevins, Noah Syndergaard, Michelle Ioannou
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Aug 6, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) and infielder Jose Reyes (7) (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 6, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) and infielder Jose Reyes (7) (Wendell Cruz)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

Well, to no one's surprise (as I've already spoken about), Jose Reyes is back. Obviously, he took to social media to show his gratitude and excitement over staying with his beloved team.

His bestie Amed Rosario also took to social media to show his gratitude that his bffl is back.

Click below for more

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jose Reyes, Juan Lagares, Noah Syndergaard, Wilmer Flores, Michelle Ioannou
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GEICO SportsNite: Mets 00:00:39
Brandon Nimmo made an appearance at the Queens Baseball Convention and addressed the Mets' failed pursuit of Andrew McCutchen.

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

It was quite the week for Mets fans. Well, to be more specific, it was quite the weekend for Mets fans, as the Queens Baseball Convention was on Saturday.

For those of you who weren't there, those of us in attendance fell in love with Brandon Nimmo a little bit, myself included...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jay Bruce, Josh Smoker, Juan Lagares, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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Mets 1B Dominic Smith and Adrian Gonzalez. Credit: USA Today
Mets 1B Dominic Smith and Adrian Gonzalez. Credit: USA Today

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterThere are some mixed feelings about the Mets' signing of veteran 1B Adrian Gonzalez. Some think it's a great, low-risk move, and make valid points about that. Others think it's an unnecessary move, and I am one of those people.

I'd understand the move more if Gonzalez was going to split time with Dominic Smith and act like a mentor to him beyond Spring Training. But, that's not the case. There is no competition for the job, as Gonzalez confirmed on Thursday. Adrian Gonzalez, a 35-year-old first baseman who spent the majority of last season on the disabled list, has the job. And the young, up-and-coming first baseman, Dominic Smith, does not.

I know Alderson was not happy with Smith's performance last season. I get that. Mistakes were made that should not have been. But, last season was the time to make the mistakes and learn from them. The team literally had nothing to lose as they were so far out of the playoff race. It seems like the Mets are giving up on Smith for this upcoming season. They shouldn't be...

Tags: Dominic Smith, Michelle Ioannou
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Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

Happy Monday, Mets fans! Moves have actually been made, and whether or not you like both of them, things are at least happening, right? I for one am happy to have Jay Bruce back, and I'll just leave it at that for now and continue on to report this past week's off the field news.

There was a reunion of former Mets players in White Plains on Saturday -- just look at this iconic trio below...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Jerry Blevins, Josh Smoker, Juan Lagares, Noah Syndergaard, Wilmer Flores, Michelle Ioannou
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Aug 23, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) and right fielder Michael Conforto (30) and center fielder Juan Lagares (12) celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
Aug 23, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) and right fielder Michael Conforto (30) and center fielder Juan Lagares (12) celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterIt's risky for the Mets to not acquire another outfielder. Duh, right? But it's so much more than that. Here are three reasons why the Mets' need for an outfielder is so glaring:

Michael Conforto is still recovering from his shoulder injury

Conforto is not expected to be ready for Opening Day, and his injury is a punch to the gut that I don't need to re-live. He's supposed to be the kid who can be placed anywhere in the outfield without us having to worry. He got experience in center field last season just for this reason. But the Mets are likely not going to have him on the roster when the season begins, and we're not sure for how long after that...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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Sep 30, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Sep 30, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterHappy second week of 2018, Mets fans. I wish I had more to report, but things have been quiet both in terms of on the field news. I'm happy to sit here and ramble about my week, though, but none of you care about that. I do hope that you all have survived the below-freezing temperatures and the bomb cyclone (aka blizzard).

Now on to the Mets...

Josh Smoker showed much excitement over Travis d'Arnaud. It's rare to see excitement over TdA, so this was obviously important to note...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Josh Smoker, Juan Lagares, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Travis d'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, Michelle Ioannou
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Citi Field fireworks (Andy Marlin)
Citi Field fireworks (Andy Marlin)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

Happy New Year, fellow Mets fans! You know that saying "new year, new me?" Well, unfortunately our team is not living the "new year, new team" life yet.

There was some happy Mets family news, though -- Jerry Blevins is going to be a father! 

Click below for more

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jerry Blevins, Josh Smoker, Noah Syndergaard, Michelle Ioannou
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Jan. 7, 2017: Citi Field covered in snow (Credit: @Mets on Instagram)
Jan. 7, 2017: Citi Field covered in snow (Credit: @Mets on Instagram)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterI hope you had a Merry Christmas, fellow Mets fans! Unfortunately, we were not gifted with the big bat we wanted, or the outfielder, second baseman, or pitcher we wanted, but maybe Santa Sandy is just a bit late this year...

You'll have to follow our favorite Mets to see how they celebrated this holiday, but here's some things you may have missed from the past week, and yes you guessed it, more Mets weddings!

Steven Matz walked down the aisle, and I'm hoping that his thumbs up is both over excitement of being married and a way of subtly confirming to fans that his arm is good to go for 2018....

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Michelle Ioannou
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May 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
May 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

Another Monday, another look at how the Mets spent their off time this past week. Just like the rest of you, I wish I was sitting here writing about the great signings and trades that happened at the Winter Meetings. But, we all know that didn't happen, minus the signing of catcher Jose Lobaton after the meetings concluded, and the signing of relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak.

Speaking of Swarzak, if his first tweet as a New York Met has any indication of the type of person he is, it looks like we may have another Jerry Blevins-esque personality on the team. And they're both relief pitchers! Maybe this is the start of a beautiful friendship, or at the very least, reliable bullpen guys...

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Josh Smoker, Noah Syndergaard, Paul Sewald, Michelle Ioannou
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Syndergaard (34), Matz (32) and deGrom (48) during national anthem at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Syndergaard (34), Matz (32) and deGrom (48) during national anthem at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterThe Mets have not put acquiring a starting pitcher at the top of their list, according to multiple reports. This is a bit of a tough pill to swallow after last season -- when the Mets went in banking on their starters, talking about World Series contention because of their starters… and then all of their starters (minus Jacob deGrom) went down during the season.

Having a new, solid starter coming into 2018 would only be beneficial - we need more reliability than just deGrom.

But let's remember that there have been several times where reports tell us one thing, and the Mets do something else (ie hiring Mickey Callaway when everyone else thought Kevin Long or Alex Cora was going to get the job)...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Travis d'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterCompared to past weeks, this week was a bit quieter in off-the-field Mets land. Noah Syndergaard, as usual, had most of the fun -- at least from the looks of it on social media.

We found out that Thor -- who is now private on Instagram -- not only enjoys Christmas, but is quite the fan of Elf as well. But who isn't?

He went to the tree in Rockefeller Center, quoting the film in his caption: "Well, there are some things you should know. First off, if you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn't free candy. Second, there are, like, thirty Ray's Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one's on 11th. And if you see a sign that says 'Peep Show,' that doesn't mean that they're letting you look at the new toys before Christmas."

Tags: Amed Rosario, David Wright, Dominic Smith, Noah Syndergaard, Michelle Ioannou
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May 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
May 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

It was a very Mets thanksgiving this week. As Mets fans were thankful for the fact that the 2017 season is in the rearview and better times are ahead, Mets players showed their gratitude as well.

To no one's surprise, Noah Syndergaard gave a special shout-out to Mrs. Met...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jerry Blevins, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Wilmer Flores, Michelle Ioannou
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 (Troy Taormina)
(Troy Taormina)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

It was May 7, 2013. The Mets were playing the Chicago White Sox. Matt Harvey, a pitcher just starting to make a name for himself, was on the mound for the Mets. He retired the first 20 batters he faced, before giving up an infield single in the seventh.

That night, Harvey joined Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan as pitchers who went nine or more innings with one or fewer hits allowed and 12 or more strikeouts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau at the time, Harvey was the only modern era pitcher to toss nine innings with at least 12 strikeouts, all while allowing only one hit and no walks, to wind up with a no-decision. That was the dawn of the Dark Knight...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Michelle Ioannou
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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

This week in our offseason entertainment, we had quite some movement in terms of baseball. There's now a coaching staff, which is huge. Now, we just need a big bat, a reliever, an outfielder who can also play first base, etc etc.

Off the field, however, the Mets also kept us entertained. No, it was not another weekend of love like last weekend was with Travis d'Arnaud, Brandon Nimmo, and Mickey Jannis all walking down the aisle. But, weddings did come up this week.

Steven Matz. We all know he's engaged and getting married soon. On WOR this week when asked about which teammates he felt obligated to invite to the wedding, his response gave away two of his groomsmen, but was also a bit vague...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, David Wright, Jerry Blevins, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Travis d'Arnaud, Michelle Ioannou
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LM: You Think This Is a Game? 00:01:39
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein discuss the Mets players who were and were not in attendance at Travis d'Arnaud's recent wedding.

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterWelcome to the offseason, everyone. Most Mets fans were wishing for this after the injury-riddled 2017 season, and now that we're here, many of us are right back to missing baseball.

But in this time period between the season ending and Spring Training beginning, the Mets are staying busy off the field. Thanks to social media and the internet, all of us get to see what's going on and stay connected to our players (who we hope are also hitting the batting cages). This past weekend for instance was the weekend of Mets weddings. Travis d'Arnaud, Brandon Nimmo, and Mets Minor league knuckleballer Mickey Jannis all walked down the aisle over the weekend, inviting some of their Mets friends.

Click below for lots of pictures from this weekend's Mets adventures...

Tags: Amed Rosario, David Wright, Dominic Smith, Eric Campbell, Kevin Plawecki, Matt Harvey, Travis d'Arnaud, Michelle Ioannou
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Aug 1, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (39) (Isaiah J. Downing)
Aug 1, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (39) (Isaiah J. Downing)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

Jerry Blevins was the only Met to survive the 2017 season without missing time due to injury, without being sent down, and without being traded -- even Jacob deGrom missed a start. This of course wasn't the only reason they Mets rightfully picked up his option, but it was a strong reason as to why they should have.

Blevins has been the constant in the bullpen, the relief pitcher we can all rely on, even relied on too much by Terry Collins. It's actually pretty amazing that Blevins' arm hasn't fallen off after these last couple of seasons. And with the way the Mets' bullpen has performed, it's been good to have this sort of relief whenever we'd see Blevins come out. Plus, it's been entertaining to see his social media hysterics.

A one-year, $7 million option on Blevins was a no-brainer. The guy wants to stay on this team, too, and he's a realist, even saying that the team needs another reliable arm (which is no secret). He knows the bullpen isn't perfect, he knows that his arm has been heavily relied on, and he knows he needs help if he wants this team to get to the level they should be at (and fans want them to be at).

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Michelle Ioannou
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Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterA fresh perspective is what we need in Queens. Let me rephrase, a young, fresh perspective who can better relate to players is what we need in Queens.

And the Mets have that right now with Mickey Callaway. Soon, they may also have it with their pitching coach, and with their head of training -- at least the fresh perspective part anyway.

Why is this exciting? Because after last season, changes needed to be made. And they have been. We will have new faces making decisions and calling the shots on the field. And that's part of what this organization needed...

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Oct 21, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees players look on from the dugout in the ninth inning during game seven of the 2017 ALCS. (Thomas Shea)
Oct 21, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees players look on from the dugout in the ninth inning during game seven of the 2017 ALCS. (Thomas Shea)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterA little over a week ago, Mets fans basked in the glory of the Nationals losing, or as many put it, still never having won a playoff series. Now Mets fans get to bask in another sort of glory -- the Yankees losing to the Astros and not making it to another World Series.

Thank goodness, right? I know I couldn't take seeing one more tweet from Yankees fans about how they were the underdogs or how they've suffered for eight years. I've pretty much suffered my entire life by being a Mets fan, but I'm so sorry you guys have gone through this eight year "rough patch."

Naturally, Mets fans rejoiced as the Astros won Saturday night, and #MetsTwitter did not fail. As you can imagine, there were a lot of "thumbs up" tweets -- a not-so-subtle reaction to the Yankees losing, in response to their "thumbs down" rallying cry that held strong throughout the playoffs. Besides thumbs up tweets, here's what you may have missed -- just a glimpse at some of the tweets from Mets fans last night...

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Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterSaying that Mets fans were happy to see the Nationals lose is an understatement. The thought alone of both the Yankees and Nats going on to the LCS drove Mets fans to the brink of despair, and the relief that this didn't become a reality is a common feeling amongst Mets fans.

Naturally, Mets fans didn't fail when providing their reactions to the Nationals losing. It was a beautiful thing to be in the midst of on Twitter right after Bryce Harper struck out for the final out of Game 5, or in my case, a beautiful thing to wake up to, as I'm currently writing this while out of the country.

Click below for a glimpse at some of the gems...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter |  The 2017 season was not supposed to go the way that it did. Mets fans were supposed to be basking in October baseball bliss, celebrating entering the postseason for the third year in a row. Instead, all Mets fans are doing is basking in some of the much needed changes that have been made in the mere 96 hours since the season ended.

That's not a bad thing. In fact, it's a great thing to be basking in, especially after all of the injuries and other questionable decisions that happened throughout this season. MRIs not being taken, minor leaguers not being ready for the bigs even though they should be, injury after injury after injury... I don't have to go into detail, you all know how horrid this season was.

It was the opposite of how any of us thought it was supposed to go, with literally everyone thinking this was a playoff team. The pitching was there and finally together. The big bats were there, especially with Yoenis Cespedes's extended contract. No one could have expected the season to go the way it did. And if you did suspect that, you really need to go and play lotto...

Tags: Addison Reed, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Neil Walker, Noah Syndergaard, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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 (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
(Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter |

This season is over and has been for months for the Mets. At this late stage, what's the point of Noah Syndergaard returning to a lost season? None. 

Syndergaard -- who threw a simulated game today -- did say that he does not want for "10 months to go by without me competing in a meaningful game." Well, to put it bluntly, there is no game from now until the end of the season that will be meaningful for the Mets.

Yes, I know, Syndergaard essentially meant he wanted to be back playing on the major league stage -- which I'm sure would give him confidence and make him feel good about returning in 2018. But is that worth it? Is it worth putting his health at risk just to return this season?

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Michelle Ioannou
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