Recently I was able to reach out to comedian Steve Hofstetter, who happens to be a huge Mets fan, and I asked him his thoughts on some random Mets and all-around MLB things. Hofstetter is most known for his comeback zingers to drunk hecklers in the audience… in all fairness though, they’re not all drunk.
Take the opportunity to see him live at the “Stress Factory Comedy Club” in Bridgeport, Connecticut from July 11th to the 13th and has an amazing podcast titled “Failing Forward” in which he interviews successful people and they talk about times they’ve completely screwed up in life.
But let’s jump into some Mets questions and the conversation I was able to have with Steve about our favorite ball club.
MetsJunkies: Since you do a lot of traveling, how often do you get to watch games on the road?
Steve Hofstetter: I don’t get to watch too many games, in 2015 and 2016 when we were in a playoff run, I really made sure to watch games, even if it was for a couple innings at a time. I remember in 2015 I watched that incredible Asdrubal Cabrera 3-run home run to comeback and beat the Phillies, or was that 2016? I forget which one it was, but I remember watching that on my phone and freaking the hell out and everyone around me is like “what are you…”, because I’m watching with headphones, ya know? That was a moment that you jump up and scream, no matter where you are. So on the road I don’t get to watch too many games but I have alert ps on my phone and ya know, I’m always keeping up on the game even if I can’t watch.
MetsJunkies: So you are aware with how the Mets are currently doing?
Steve Hofstetter: Intimately. I follow everyday, I’m thrilled with Pete Alonso, it’s kind of cool to see that happening, I really thought the bullpen would be better this year, I really did.
MetsJunkies: Speaking of the bullpen, what did you think when the Mets signed Juerys Familia during the offseason?
Steve Hofstetter: I thought it was a great move. He wasn’t going to be the Familia of 2015… but even if he was half that, as a set-up man. It was a good move, especially because we basically have most of what we had last year plus the number one closer (Edwin Diaz), plus the person we thought would be a great set-up man. I remember I thought it was a wonderful move and said “Well, the 8th and 9th inning are locked down.” That’s the thing about relief pitching, though, you do not know, you just really do not know.
MetsJunkies: Who are your favorites on the team?
Steve Hofstetter: My guy is Conforto. I’d like to see him be the face of the team… Conforto is a guy from the second he came up, I was really excited about him, I saw him as a guy who year in and year out that’ll probably put up .280 with 30 homers, who knows?
MetsJunkies: Did you see him as the new number 3 hitter?
Steve Hofstetter: Oh yea, I saw him as a core guy. I saw him as the next David Wright. I got to meet him while I was at the Mets game and got to talk to him for a while, probably 20 minutes or so and what a nice dude. I like him as a player, I like him as a person, so as it goes right now, since Granderson is not on the team, Conforto is my guy.
MetsJunkies: Do you think the Mets are missing out on an opportunity with the team not giving Comforto an extension?
Steve Hofstetter: That kind of stuff, I don’t think we’re privy to all the information on that kind of stuff. Would I like to see them lock him up? Absolutely, but also, I’d like to see him super happy, we don’t know what kind of contract he wants from them. We don’t know exactly what he’s asking for, we don’t know how far apart they are, we don’t even know if he wants to be locked up right now… We’ll see how it shakes out.
MetsJunkies: Any thoughts to the team passing on Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel?
Steve Hofstetter: Yeeeaaah, I look forward to the day where we give a fuck about free agents again. I was kind of surprised, my thoughts on Brodie is that he’s a very transactional guy, he was an agent. When you’re an agent, your success is transactions and we saw that in the offseason where it was like “Sign this guy, trade that guy” and I think that got calmed down, whether it was internally from him or externally from his boss, I can’t tell but I was very disappointed, I mean hell, go after one of them, go after both of them. We’re a reliever and starter away from first place.
MetsJunkies: How do you feel about the firing of pitching coach Dave Eiland?
Steve Hofstetter: I have no allegiance to Eiland, you know? It was something where from what I’ve heard he was a great pitching coach but if you look at the results, maybe not. You need a shake up. One of the things you’ll hear from players over and over again is that the toughest thing about playing baseball is the mere fact that it’s a 162 games. It’s very difficult to get motivated day in and day out, especially if the team is playing .500 ball and you’re underperforming, so if you can do something that’ll shake up the team, give it a shot.
MetsJunkies: Any thoughts on what looked like Joe Girardi auditioning for the managerial role on live TV? Or any thoughts on him potentially taking over the job?
Steve Hofstetter: I did not get to see or hear that, I think Girardi was a fantastic manager for the Yankees. I think Girardi took a team that looked like they were headed towards a scrap heap, and kept them to be the New York Yankees. Would I be fine with him managing the Mets? Absolutely, and especially since he’s had National League experience, as well. Sometimes an American League manager will come over and be like “What’s a double switch?”. So it’s good because here’s a guy who has experience in both leagues, who has experience in New York, who has experience with the media, has experience on a team with a lot of young guys and grizzled veterans. I would be perfectly fine with that.
MetsJunkies: What’s your opinion on the baseball’s potentially being doctored?
Steve Hofstetter: The balls are 100% different. Forget about listening to the players who know what the hell they are talking about, ya know, forget about that. When you at the difference in statistics, home runs aren’t going up by 10% here and 20% there, home runs are going up by 60% in some cases. That’s insanity and it’s clear that thats what’s happening. And look, players sometimes make excuses and players are also very superstitious, so you can’t always trust them. But if you couple what they’re saying with the statistics and there’s no doubt in my mind. By the way, I was a guy who when everybody was asking if the baseballs were juiced back in the steroid day and we didn’t know people were taking so many steroids, I was the guy who did not think that they were, partially because there wasn’t a sudden jump in statistics. There was a gradual bump, so that signifies the change in the game, not in the ball.