In which two guys travel the country watching baseball and we get all jealous…

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Steve Gebhardt and John Tramutolo, two editors from Manhattan-based COED Magazine, set out on a wild trip around the baseball world this summer.  They’re hitting all 30 major league cities in 30 days, watching a game at every stadium and talking to locals about pregame bars and good ballpark eats.  Oh, and they’re blogging about all of it.

The fellas passed through St. Louis on Thursday and I had the opportunity to express my jealousy with a quick round of questions. 

A little background first: Where are you guys based?  What teams do you root for?

John
and I are both from the NY/NJ area and we now work in Manhattan at COED
Magazine where I am the Editor-in-Chief. I grew up in Randolph, NJ and
my parents brought me home from the hospital in a mini NY Yankees
jacket so I guess you can say I’ve been a diehard fan for life.

Where have you guys been so far and where are you headed now?

We
started the trip on Friday, July 16th at Yankee Stadium and have seen
Fenway, Camden Yards, Wrigley, Target Field, Busch Stadium and Great
American Ballpark in that order . We have visited 7 parks so far and
will be hitting one stadium each day for the next 23 days.

Overall, what’s been the best stop?

Hands
down St. Louis. We were so well received by the Cardinals Nation! Our
Twitter followers were extremely active, the Cardinals organization was
very receptive, B.J. Rains (of FOX Sports Midwest) helped us out a ton by spreading the word to
his contacts and we even got a shout out on TV during the 4th inning.

How much planning went into this, or is a there a “let’s just wing it” aspect to the trip?

It
took a few strenuous days to get the scheduling right. We typically
have a ‘fly by the seat of our pants’ attitude so this is the first time
where we have every day for the next 3 weeks of our lives broken down
by the hour. With that said the “let’s just wing it” attitude certainly
comes into play when we are in the middle of a 9 hour drive between
cities. As you could imagine timing is extremely important on this trip
but luckily Nokia provided us with a couple Nuron smartphones so we’ve
been using Ovi Maps to help direct us from point to point.

Of the ballparks and cities you’ve yet to visit, which one (or ones) are you looking forward to most?

Steve:
Definitely San Francisco’s AT&T Park. I’ve heard great things and if I
can find a boater to take me into McCovy Cove during batting practice
my trip will be complete.

John: At the beginning of the trip I
was looking forward to Kauffman in Kansas City the least but after
talking to a few people at Mike Shannon’s about cool ballparks in the Midwest it is now turning out to be my most anticipated. Where else can
you play a game of wiffle ball in the stadium while watching an MLB
game?

You can follow their daily travels on COEDMagazine.com, Facebook and Twitter.

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

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The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.