A Different Perspective to Baseball

by John Pagnotta | Mar 11, 2024 | General | 0 comments

Photo Credit: elitesportsny.com

In baseball, there are many different jobs that you could have. You could be the owner of a baseball team, and put all of your time and effort into helping your organization become a contender. You could be a part of the front office, like a GM, who signs free agents and takes care of the coaching staff. You could be the manager, who sets the batting lineup everyday and makes decisions in-person during games. You could even be a hitting coach, or a pitching coach..the list honestly goes on and on. But a job in baseball that goes unnoticed is the media, or journalists/reporters. Their jobs are vital to us fans to understand what’s going on with our favorite teams, whether it’s about trade rumors or a potential injury or even a recap of the game that was just played. 

Pat Ragazzo is a journalist for both the Mets and Yankees for Sports Illustrated. You’ve probably read his articles if you are a Mets or Yankees fan, as he is the main NY baseball writer for the website. His journey into where he is today was a very interesting one, as he was very interested in accounting before journalism, but he showed lots of determination and inspiration to reach his goal of breaking into the business. Ragazzo grew up as a die hard Mets fan in New Jersey, and his love for baseball only grew throughout his life! Conducting this interview with him was an awesome experience, as I asked him some questions about NY baseball as a whole, the MLB offseason, and his journey into journalism. 

Q: Who was your favorite player growing up that led you to love baseball? A: “It had to be David Wright. I was at Mets camp two weeks ago covering spring training, and we got to interview him in a group, got to ask him a couple of questions, and talk to him when the cameras were off and make conversation. He was really down to earth, a real nice guy, and it was sort of a full circle moment since he was my favorite player growing up and the model/face of the MLB.” 

Q: Was this year your first time going to spring training for the Mets or Yankees? A: “This was my third year in a row covering Mets spring training when I joined FanNation on SI in June 2021. I covered 2022, 2023, and now 2024 for them. I didn’t do the Yankees last year since I got the Yankees site in March of last year, so I didn’t do spring training. But, I’m going to

spring training for the first time for the Yankees next Wednesday, so I’m really looking forward to that!” 

Q: Do you get any perks or things for writing for the Mets and Yankees? A: “Absolutely! There are a lot of perks in the job. I get to write and talk about baseball for a living like it’s an everyday thing. And when your hobby becomes your job, it’s sometimes hard to balance it and shut that off. But, I love it, and I’m very fortunate and very lucky and want to keep doing it and let it ride for the long run.” 

Q: Do you have any advice for young journalists, or people who are interested in being journalists one day? 

A: “Focusing on relationships is very big, and you could try and start your own blogs based on things that interest you. Also, try to stick your name out there and focus on breaking news/stories, stay plugged in. Jeurys Familia lost 33 lbs in the 2019 offseason following a very rough season with the Mets, and I tracked down his trainer that helped him lose all the weight. We set up an in-person interview, and it became my first freelance story in the NY Post and I was only 23 at the time! I wasn’t fully willing to leave Jersey after I worked in corporate for 2 and a half years and my whole family/friends were down here in Jersey. Sometimes, you have to make sacrifices to do what you want to do moving forward.” 

Q: How did SI find out who you were? 

A: So, I wrote for the Giant Insider and I connected with Chris Bisignano and Jerry Foley right after I graduated college and built relationships with both of them. They referred me to the site manager, Patricia Traina, who writes for the NY Giants site for FanNation. I wrote part-time for her for a year while I worked in sales, and learned a lot from her since she was around a long 

time. The time came where I wasn’t getting any full-time jobs in sales, just interviews, and I decided I worked too hard in journalism and what I truly love, so I gave up on sales. 2 months after that, SI reached out and gave me the Mets site. Patricia Traina actually referred me to them and I haven’t looked back since!” 

Q: What do you think the cause is for the very slow MLB offseason? Do you think it’s because of Boras, the players, or is it a coincidence? 

A: “It’s really tough to say, but it’s definitely not a coincidence. We saw this going into the 2019 offseason, lots of big names out there heading into spring training. Bryce Harper, Manny Machado held up those markets, and even after they signed, there were lots of guys out there. I think it kinda alludes to what you said, about money/value/need of a team. I’ve talked to some people who said it’s teams figuring out what they need, but it’s probably more a money/value thing. These guys should be signing soon because the clock’s ticking and we’re almost in the regular season. They may have to sign short term or 1 year deals and restart and look for a long term deal next offseason.” 

Q: What are your predictions for the Mets and Yankees this season? A: “I’d say for the Mets, probably 80-81 wins. There aren’t a lot of expectations, but I could see them exceeding those expectations. David Stearns is one of the brightest minds in the MLB,

and he’s there in that position for a reason. They’re in good hands, and it was a great long-term decision by Steve Cohen to play long-term by not going all-in this year since it didn’t work the last 2 years. Stearns has built playoff teams with less talent and payroll, and they could make the playoffs if enough things go right, but there’s a lot of ifs. As for the Yankees, they got Soto. Verdugo and Stroman could be sneaky pickups, Rodon might bounce back, Judge will have a big year. I think Gleyber Torres is gonna build off what he did last year. I don’t think they did enough in the bullpen, and they might have enough in the rotation. So, I’ll say 91-92 wins for the Yankees, and they sneak in a WC spot and see where they go from there. If they’re having a strong season, Brian Cashman will make some trades at the deadline as they have some desirable prospects in Hampton and Jones and the Yanks’ farm system is locked and loaded.” 

Q: With the rumors swirling, do you think the Mets are going to sign Soto next offseason? 

A: “I think if Juan Soto has a big year, the Yankees won’t let him out the door. Their fans will kill them! If he has a so-so or down year, maybe he’ll go somewhere else. I don’t know if the Mets would be that serious over him and they’re gonna probably do everything to re-sign Pete Alonso. And I don’t see them handing out 2 big contracts to 2 big players in one offseason. It would kinda contradict everything they’ve been saying over the last year or so. Since their window is 2025-26, more money is coming off with no taxes to pay. But, I think the Mets are gonna resign Alonso and the Yankees are gonna resign Soto.” 

If you want to follow Pat Ragazzo, you can follow him at @RagazzoReport on Instagram and Twitter/X. My twitter is @johnpagnotta514 if you want to follow.

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My name is John Pagnotta and I live in Queens, NY. I am a sophomore at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School. I am a huge fan of the Jets, Mets, Islanders, and Knicks. I started following sports when I was around 7 years old and I have not lost love for it ever since!

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