Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mets To Host 10th Annual Autism Awareness Day

The Mets announced today that they will host the 10th annual Autism Awareness Day at Citi Field on Sunday, May 6.

According to the team,
"The Mets will take numerous steps to ensure fans participating in Autism Awareness Day have a special day at the ballpark. Based on recommendations from Autism Speaks, the Mets have created a private, secluded area in the Bullpen Plaza where fans can go if they need a break from the crowd. The ballpark's sound system will be turned down in the Left Field Landing and Citi Vision and the rightfield scoreboard will have reduced use of strobe lights or similar pulsating special effects. The club also collaborated with Autism Speaks on a 'Guide to Citi Field' that teaches children what to expect at the game."
This is fantastic. I love that the team is going out of its way to accommodate those on the autism spectrum. (For those who don't know, I work with students with autism during the summer).

Why are all of these accommodations so great? Why are they making them? I'll break it down for you.

It can be very difficult for those with autism to ignore any background noise or visuals like you or I. As a result, bright flashing lights, and loud booming music can lead to sensory overload. This sensory overload can be overwhelming and lead to stress and anxiety.

Hence the private, secluded area in the Bullpen Plaza. This quiet space will help people decrease their sensory overload, and essentially take a break from all the chaos around them.

As for the "Guide to Citi Field," people on the autism spectrum benefit from knowing what to expect. They will need to know what to expect once they arrive at the park (e.g. going through security, getting their ticket scanned, going to their seats, etc.), as well as what will happen and what they will see once they enter the park.

Good for the Mets for taking the time to make sure that everyone who attends Sunday's game, can do so comfortably.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

So Long, Big Pelf

Mike Pelfrey underwent Tommy John surgery today and odds are good that he will not pitch for the Mets again.

I can't say I'm terribly upset by that.

I don't mean the surgery. I don't wish injury on anyone, and I hope that he has a speedy recovery. I'm talking about his playing time with the Mets.

Yes, he had some success during his time here, but for many fans and myself, we only remember last season. The ugliness. The hand licking. The wiping of the forehead. Then back to the hand licking.

So gross.

He's been labeled a head case by some. Maybe they're right. Maybe they're wrong.

Either way, I don't think New York was the best setting for him.

Assuming all goes well with the surgery, I'm guessing that he will recover and go on to pitch for a smaller market team and find most ex-Met pitchers do.

Good luck, Pelf.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Interview With Tim Byrdak

Tim Byrdak 
Here is part of our conversation with reliever Tim Byrdak from the Blogger Event.

Talk about this team from last year to this year. Is there a different atmosphere?

Terry's done a great job, last year, even this year. I think the biggest thing about this year, with this team, is Johan Santana. He sets our rotation up where everyone kind of falls into place. You can use R.A. as your number two and Niese, it sets everybody up in a rotation so nicely. Without him last year, we had a couple of injuries, trying to keep guys in the rotation and fill spots. It's a little tough, but the atmosphere he brings around the clubhouse keeps things loose and we go from there.

Losing Pelfrey and having Jason Bay out to the 15-Day disabled list, does somebody say just pick up the slack and go from there?  

There's nothing you can do during the course of the year. Guys are going to go down. It's a shame that it happened so quickly, and again, two or three guys sitting out at the same time, but again it's going to give the young kids an opportunity to come up here and compete, and show them what they can do. I think you've seen in in Nieuwenhuis. The role that he's played out there and stuff like that. It's make or break. Can you play up here or not? He's showing right now that he deserves to stay.