By: Chris Blumenstetter

Met the Matz….


This past weekend, I traveled to Cleveland to watch the Mets take on the Tribe at Progressive Field.  This was the 24th stadium I have seen the New York Mets play baseball in.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, I happened to be at the same hotel as the Mets and it enhanced an already incredible weekend.  One of the many amazing experiences happened Sunday Morning at around 10 a.m. as I stumbled to breakfast.

My friend and I sat down at the hotel restaurant in what was a bar/counter setting. We ordered our coffee and juice and began to plan out our final day in Cleveland. Moments later, Steven Matz walked in and sat directly to our right, looking focused and pensive. Signs all around the hotel were posted to request the privacy of the guests and to not ask for photos or autographs. We abode by this rule but saw on many occasions fans not following protocol, making for some awkward exchanges that each player handled with class and appropriateness. We chose to go about our business and not bother the player.

About 10 minutes went by, and Matz noticed the “Stony Brook Seawolves” on my shirt and asked me about it. We had small chit-chat and went back to our respective meals. I did not want to be a bother,  so instead of yapping his ear off, I quietly asked the waitress/bartender to let me pick up his check. For the record, he had three tremendous pancakes! When he tried to pay, he was told that we had already taken care of it, and he was extremely appreciative and began more conversation. While I will not give specifics because I did not tell him I would be writing about it because I didn’t even know at that point that I would be, I can at least explain some of the topics.

We spoke about the importance of having a short memory in professional sports and not dwelling on any one moment in particular. Obviously, his last start was a concern but he was focused on the task at hand.  He trusts his stuff and has faith in himself enough not to let naysayers distract him.  After some Long Island small talk and some of the name game, Steven departed with a thank you.  In passing, almost half joking as he was leaving, I said “Hey Matz, I am sitting second row over the dugout today, and after you throw seven shutout innings I am going to be yelling ‘PANCAKES’ and you better tip you cap!” He laughed and walked away and I thought that was the end of the story.

Sure enough, after completing his masterpiece of an outing on Sunday, I jokingly started yelling “Steven, its all in the Pancakes!” as he walked off the mound. After meeting his battery mate Plawecki at the top step he looked up, gave me a smile and tossed me the ball.  Steven Matz, clearly, is a man of his word!

Check back later in the week for my comprehensive review of Progressive Field….


About Chris Blumenstetter

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