Discover more from Bedtime Baseball
The Baby Mets
(who aren't actually babies)
Introduction (For the Grown Ups)
Tonight we have a story about some of the newest Mets, and what it’s like to root for rookies. If this is your first time reading Bedtime Sports, (or you need a refresher) check out our "How To" post.
Questions in italics are designed to spark a conversation. Encourage your audience to participate, but also feel free to answer the questions yourself and incorporate answers into the story.
The man dancing emoji (🕺) indicates a section where you can add kinetic elements to the story. Mime an action and encourage your audience to join in.
Happy story telling!
The Story: The Baby Mets
(4 minute read)
If you have been watching any Mets games this month, you may have recognized some new names and faces. You’ve already met Brett Baty🤟 and Kodai Senga 👻 (and if you haven’t, well, tonight’s story time might be a little bit longer than usual). You may have also started to hear about Mark Vientos and Francisco Alvarez. At the beginning of the year, Brett, Mark, and Francisco weren’t on the Big League team and instead, started the year with the Syracuse Mets, one of New York’s Minor League teams. But injuries and opportunities on the Mets meant that one by one, they came down south to New York to make their debut. Because they are so young, Francisco Lindor came up with the name “The Baby Mets,” and it looks like it has stuck.
What are some things you think of when you think of babies?
The Baby Mets don’t wear diapers, they don’t eat baby food, and I certainly don’t think they spend much time crying. So how come Lindor named them “the Baby Mets?” Well, Brett Baty is 23 years old, Mark Vientos is 22, and Francisco Lindor is 21.
Do those ages sound young or old to you?
How many years old does someone need to be in order to be “Old?” (or when do they stop being young?)
Brett, Mark and Francisco are half as old as the Met’s oldest player (Justin Verlander, 40 years old) and as much as eight years younger than Francisco Lindor (age 29).
How old would someone be if they were eight years older than you?
Do you know anyone eight years older than you?
Even though they aren’t really babies, these new Mets are still pretty young. And while they are different from real babies in a lot of ways, there will be some things that are pretty similar.
For example, sometimes babies make messes. In a game against the Washington Nationals, Francisco Alvarez took a lead off of first base that took him a little too far away from the base. The National’s catcher saw him, and whipped a throw to first where the first baseman tagged Francisco out. After all that work getting on base in the first place, he was out, and the inning was over.
Babies are also always learning. Right after he got called up, Brett Baty was chasing a fly ball that was drifting out into the outfield. Looking high into the sky to track the ball while running can be tricky, because it means that you aren’t looking where you are running.
Have you ever run into something when you weren’t looking?
Good baseball players will use their voices, and sometimes even wave their arms like wild to let their teammates know that they are trying to catch the ball and avoid running into each other. In the minor leagues, with smaller stadiums and quieter crowds, this is easy to do. But in the big leagues, you need to be loud and persistent. On that flyball, Brett wasn’t loud enough - he almost crashed right into the left fielder, who had no idea that Brett was so close. After they play, they had a quick chat, and Brett talked with his coaches and made some new goals. The next time he was chasing a pop-up he called the ball with authority. Everyone gave him his space - no more fly ball accidents.
And sometimes, babies do things that makes you say wow. For his first couple of weeks on the team, Francisco Alvarez wanted to get a hit so bad, that sometimes he swung at pitches way out of the strike zone. It felt like watching a baby try and walk, but continue to stumble. But he just kept at it, and as he settled in, and settled down, and got his feet under him, he started to wait for the pitcher to throw him something to hit, and let the bad stuff fly by. Down three runs, in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs against the Tampa Bay Rays, he didn’t chase a pitch high and outside. The next pitch was right where he wanted it. The Fans went wild. The dugout went crazy. And Francisco’s bat flew high into the night sky. And I don’t know if that home run ball has landed yet. Wow.
When it comes to babies, if you are patient with the messes, you’ll be able to watch them learn. And if you can enjoy watching them learn, you’re really going to enjoy when they make you say wow. Watching the “Baby Mets” grow up is going to be a lot of fun.
Can you guess another baby that I watched make a few messes, learn a lot of new things, and who still makes me say “wow?”
Thanks for reading Bedtime Baseball! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Sources and Videos
Art & Illustrations
Francisco Grinning via incredible designer and illustrator Kevin González and his comic book style Met’s art
Baty Baseball via Gene Vester. Check out his Orioles art and don’t be afraid to ask for commissions!
What is young, and what is old? Does it depend on the people around you? The table below is from Francisco Alvarez’s time in the minor league, with his age, and how it compared to each league that he was in. Since his “AgeDif” is negative, it meant he was younger than the average player in his league. What do you think the size of the AgeDif means? Are you younger or older than most of your friends. What does that mean?
Big League, Major League and Minor League. Baseball is hard and it takes a lot of work! The Big Leagues are all the teams (and two leagues) that make up Major League Baseball (the Mets are in the Big Leagues) But each Big League team also has a handful of Minor League teams of younger (and sometimes not so young players) who are practicing and trying to get good enough to make the big league team. We will do a whole story on the Minor Leagues soon :)
"Mark Vientos was called up from the Minors to make his Big League Debut”
Track means to follow something or someone. It comes from when we use to look at animal tracks or footprints to try and hunt animals, but is now used to mean following all types of things.
"Brett Baty tracked the pop-up through the sky"
Persistent means to keep doing something, even when it is hard.
"Persistent practice will make you better"
Think of something that you are still kind of a baby at (maybe you are making mistakes, learning, and wanting to make people say wow. Draw a picture of you doing it amazingly, and hang it in your room to help remind you about what you are trying to accomplish. Have your grown ups share your picture and tag us!
More Story Ideas
Babies are a great source of stories. You could tell a story about...
What is a story you have heard from when you were a baby?
What is the biggest mess that your baby ever made?
What is something your child did or does that makes you say “Wow”
We are always looking for ways to improve what we are offering! Please share your feedback at bit.ly/BB2Mets