Keeping up with the ins and outs of your favorite MLB team over a 162-game season is easy for only the most hardcore fans in baseball.
That's why 710WOR's New York Mets broadcaster Josh Lewin is dedicating every day of the 2018 season (yes, even off-days) to giving fans all the info they need to follow their beloved Metropolitans with The Daily Mets Podcast.
Just like the name suggests, Lewin says the podcast is a brief (10 to 15-minute), no-frills shot of everything that will make you "the smartest fan at the tailgate."
Lewin describes The Daily Mets Podcast as an extended version of the "What Did We Learn Here Today" segment that has been a staple of the 710WOR Mets postgame show.
"Sometimes there's so much more to unpack," he says, "to be able to do three of four minutes [on the podcast] and not just one minute [on the radio] on what we might have learned from the game is going to be really interesting."
The Daily Mets Podcast will publish early each morning of the 2018 season. You can listen and subscribe here or via the embedded player at the bottom of this page.
After Opening Day, Lewin spent some time doing a Q&A with WOR's digital staff about his goals for the new show.
You released the first podcast on Opening Day, how happy are you with it?
I liken it to the soft opening of a really good restaurant. The menu might change a little bit as you get some feedback from the customers but you have a basic idea of what you want to do and how you want it to taste.
I really like the idea of giving Mets fans, whether they're diehard or casual, just a little more meat on the bone.
How will the podcast balance what was covered on the 710 WOR broadcast and material that will be new to most fans?
I love the fact that we cover the Mets on WOR as well as we do. We really do a nice job already, alpha to omega, on the actual terrestrial radio side.
But there's always stuff that gets left on the cutting room floor. And that was my question: what do we do with this stuff that never quite made it to air. This project gave it a home.
It's a nice creative outlet for me as well.
The nice thing is that the episodes are short enough that if fans lose touch with the team for a period of time, they can go back and get up to speed quickly.
Yeah, and who knows: if this ends up being a special season in any way, that'll be really fun to have this 180-volume set of Mets memories.
You can go day-by-day and listen, 'Oh, I was at that game'...that's the nice thing about podcasts is that they live, if not forever, but for quite a long time.
The idea is for someone to consume it almost like a Cliff Notes. This is a way that in a 10 - 15 minute—four stops on the subway, basically—you're up to speed.
And diehard fans are always going to want to know more about their team.
Yeah, that's the thing too. If you sat there and listened to all three hours of the broadcast, hopefully these 10 minutes are kind of a fresh angle and some different voices and some things that you didn't hear.
The podcast comes out each morning, so fans can listen before the games. How are you setting the table on The Daily Mets Podcast for each matchup?
To me the big segment that I'm most looking forward to is "Look Ahead." We'll spend that last couple minutes of the podcast previewing what the game that night is going to be all about.
We give you a decent-enough look back at what happened. But people these days are always asking the question: What's next?
Letting you know what the promotions are at the ballpark that night. Who's pitching, injury updates, just anything that you feel like you might need to know heading in, we're able to give it to you in the morning if you want it then or on your way to the ballpark.
What's your plan for the off-day podcasts?
Those are going to be very interview intensive.
For example: during the All-Star break there's going be a few days in there where there really isn't a lot of Mets news. So that's where I'm having a lot of fun just compiling a bunch of evergreen interviews with everyone from older Mets, former Mets, to current players and staff, TV guys.
I'm going to run one with Gary Cohen, a little Behind the Music so-to-speak with Gary coming up sometime very soon.
We'll have Sandy Alderson, a little State of the State with the GM, for the podcast I'm cutting for [Saturday, March 31]. It becomes much more of a talk show [on the off-days or after an off-day].
Will doing a podcast every day change much about how you do your job?
I just have to pump myself up. I'm a night owl anyway.
Rather than just going back to the hotel or to my apartment and just unwinding with Sportscenter and reruns of Family Guy, just take that hour and a half where I'm veg’ing out and pouring my energy into getting the podcast ready.
That's something I'm looking forward too. I've watched plenty of Family Guy in my life. I've got no problem with that.
Who composed The Daily Mets Podcast theme song?
That's a great question and I'm glad you asked! There's a really awesome local band called Lawrence.
They've also already had one pretty significant hit called "Do You Wanna Do Nothing With Me." It got a pretty big push from some NBA players who really like it. It's got an almost throwback soul music kind of vibe to it. It's a great tune.
So I was a fan of Lawrence through that song and I ran into them at a Nets game in Brooklyn. I came to understand that they were all huge Mets fans.
I just kind of threw it out there...'I'm gonna be doing this podcast, it'd be great if you guys would do the theme music.' I had an idea for a late night talk show kind of theme song.
The next thing I knew, Clyde Lawrence, the lead singer and just a great guy sent me the demo and said, 'What do you think?' I loved it.
They're actually putting out an album right now. They're about to get really big. I really lucked into one of the next big things in music and we've got them doing our theme song. (Keep up with Lawrence here.)
Is there anything more you'd like to say about Rusty Staub that you didn't get to say during the Opening Day broadcast or the first two podcasts?
Yeah. It made for kind of an awkward broadcast because you really want to come on and celebrate Opening Day, but you have to temper that because Rusty just meant so much to so many people.
I really wanted to pay tribute to him, and respect that there are a lot of people in pain, knowing that he had passed, including me.
I thought he was a tremendous guy. He's the kind of person who I thought would be a regular on the interview portion of the podcast. He's just got so many stories and was just a raconteur. That was always his thing.
He was just able to tell these great stories and make people feel like they were there too. He'll be missed, no question.
How overblown has the whole “Mets doctors" thing been over the past few years?
I feel really bad for Ray, I always did. Ray was the trainer in Texas when I was working with the Texas Ranger. We’ve known each other for a very long time and he's a very sweet man and very well respected in the industry.
It became almost this bad running joke that anytime someone on the Mets got hurt, it must be all Ray’s fault. He was usually just the bearer of bad news.
He's not the guy who blew out Yoenis Cespedes' hamstring. Stuff like that happens.
In a weird way, that’s what Opening Day is all about: renewal and hope. You want to believe things are going to be great this year. It’s like when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
[New trainer] Brian Chicklo has simply been the assistant to Ray for years. By that logic people should have booed just as much if not louder…but they cheered the fact that it was something new.
I always thought that was a silly tradition to boo Ray on Opening Day.
Onto some obligatory Mets analysis. What do you think will be some of the strengths of this year's team?
If the pitching holds up, if this rotation is gonna stay in tact and Syndergaard and de Grom are you 1-2, there’s not a lot of teams in baseball that have that. And they’ve got a guy who can carry a club offensively in Cespedes.
They've got some known commodities, which I think is a total plus.
Where are they going to struggle?
They’re not close to being the most athletic team in the league. There are games when taking the extra base matters, or making that diving play in the hole at second base matters.
But I think that's masked by so many of the other things that they do well [like pitching].
I think it's going to still be a great year.
Which Mets are you most excited to watch?
A full season of a fully engaged Cespedes is obviously really exciting to ponder. He sometimes can be aloof and sometimes he's simply not on the field because he's hurt. But so far he seems both very healthy and very engaged.
And If they wind up Brandon Nimmo and just let him go, whether he's at the top of the batting order or somewhere else, I think he’s just got that kind of spirit that’s just infectious…I think he does a lot of smalls things to help a team win.
You mentioned on the podcast how Nimmo sprinted to first base on a walk.
Right, yeah, that’s not affectation either; that's just who he his. That 110 percent, full throttle all the time.
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