It’s safe to say this past offseason has been quite the rollercoaster ride for the New York Mets and its fans. Some of the high points were when the team seemed to finally get its collective act together by bidding farewell to the Omar Minaya administration.
It led to a transition of power when the team hired Sandy Alderson as it’s newest General Manager. However even with his arrival an air of uncertainty still lingered over this team as has been personified by the mess that the infamous Bernard Madoff left in his wake.
It’s enough to make the most loyal of Met fans wish for days gone by. That is unless of course you’re a Met fan who’s barely a foot tall and has a seemingly voracious appetite for cake and chicken nachos.
I’ve always said it takes a mental toughness far greater than anything imaginable to be a Met fan. Apparently it also takes quite a digestive system. That is what led me to interview perhaps the most influential Met fan the five boroughs has known. A legend in his own time, a bear amongst men with his very own Facebook fan page, Studious Metsimus’ own Joey Beartran.
Before you roll your eyes just keep in mind, Joey isn’t your average Polyfill cotton stuffed bear my friends. Oh contraire, this bear is primed and ready to tackle 2011 for the Mets with the fervor of a chicken nacho deprived anorexic. I feel for those who would stand in his way or slow down the line at Shake Shack. As history has shown us, some of the most influential interviewers of our time have shared the stage with some of Joey’s closest and most trusted friends. Not that he would ever name drop, ever the modest bear.
I got a chance to catch up with Joey recently here in this exclusive interview – enjoy.
Joey, thanks for taking the time to catch up with us here at MMO, I realize I have a small window here since it’s past breakfast and not quite lunch. Normally I would ask how was your winter but being you’re a…bear…how was your hibernation? Are we well rested for the upcoming season of chicken nachos, I mean New York Mets baseball?
Joey Beartran- I really didn’t get a chance to hibernate. I was too busy meeting current and former Mets players and getting a scoop for future installments of Joey’s Soapbox on Studious Metsimus. However, the one time I did try to catch some z’s, I was rudely awakened by my sister, Angel (named after Angel Pagan), who was complaining about world peace, or something like that. I think she watches too much CNN when no one else is around.
Joe Spector- With Valentine’s Day around the corner, is there a special someone in your life Joey? Not to spread rumors but TMZ is circulating that you’ve been seen frequenting a Build A Bear? Care to shed some light on that?
JB- I have two sisters, a brother and a cousin who are Build-A-Bears, so if you saw me at one of those stores, it was just a family visit, not a romantic tryst.
JS – Hey, no judgements here Joey, bear’s gotta do what a bear’s gotta do.
JB- I did have a girlfriend once, but she turned out to be a Phillies fan. That would explain why I used the past tense in the last sentence.
JS- Now, on to the meat and potatoes of the interview. I’m not sure if you’ve heard Joey but your Mets have some pretty big issues going into the 2011 season. What’s your take on the whole Bernie Madoff scandal and how it affects the Mets, from a bear’s point of view?
JB- I’m sorry. Did you say something? I’m still paying attention to the words “meat and potatoes”.
JS- I knew I shoulda framed that question better, we’ll move on.
JS- What is your prediction for the upcoming season Joey? Any surprises in store for us?
JB- The team will finish above .500 for the first time since 2008, but will not be good enough to be in a position where they can collapse in September. I also predict that Chris Young will finally throw the franchise’s first no-hitter, but I’ll miss the final out while standing on the line for chicken nachos.
JS- Funny you should mention chicken nachos. I hope you know that you’re infatuation of them transcends the baseball blogosphere. Are you aware of your popularity with the fan base in the blogosphere?
JB- Modesty prevents me from calling myself popular, but I have been told I’m the Gregg Jefferies of bear bloggers. I don’t know if they’re saying that because I’m the young kid destined for greatness or because the other bloggers think I’m bratty and don’t want me around.
JS- Well as long as you steer clear of Roger McDowell Joey I wouldn’t worry. Just to be on the safe side.
JS- On a side note, don’t you think Citifield should look into partnering with you to boost lagging chicken nacho sales?
(Disclaimer : the last question – NOT true but recommended by Joey. The price we pay for an interview people.)
JB- I actually have no problem with the lagging chicken nacho sales. The less chicken nachos people buy, the more there is left over for me. By the way, I’ve been trying to get Danny Meyer to hire me as a consultant (that’s a fancy term for “expert taster”). So far, I’ve passed along the idea of having a Cake Shack for Mets fans with sweet tooths, but they’ve soured on my idea.
JS- You’ve been seen around town with many current and former New York Mets. Of all your encounters which one would you say has been your favorite?
JB- It’s a toss-up between Ike Davis and Keith Hernandez. Ike was very friendly, but I was uncomfortable with how he was holding me for our photo together. (For all the ladies out there, Ike really does have soft hands, and I’m not just talking about how he plays first base). It was a dream come true for me to meet Keith. Ever since I saw him feed corn chips to a bear in the SNY TV booth during the 17-inning game in Houston in 2007 (the one in which Beltran made the game-saving catch on Tal’s Hill), I’ve wanted to meet him. However, when we finally did meet, I forgot to ask him if he had any leftover corn chips. I did get a photo with him and his autograph.
JS- Very interesting. However I’m going to try and forget about Ike Davis’ hands, no offense.
JS- We’ve come to the end of our time Joey and I want to thank you it’s been a pleasure. I think it’s safe to say that as a fellow Met fan, the last few years – decades – have had its ups and downs for us. Before we go do you have any pearls of wisdom for the beleaguered Met fan?
JB- Absolutely! As Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over until the chicken nacho stand closes for the night.” Wait, maybe that was Yogi Bear. Thanks for the interview, Joe! Always believe!
Thanks again to Joey Beartran. You can always catch his interesting take on all that is Mets along with his partner in fast food culinary crime, Ed Leyro over at Studious Metsimus.
I’m suddenly craving some Spring Training action and nachos. That bear has quite the influence!