Last night, I called my grandmother to warn her about a picture I was about to post to social media. "I know what it looks like, but I haven't converted," I explained. I had just wrapped up an interview with Mets player Curtis Granderson to celebrate the New Era Lids collection. He had insisted I swap my Red Sox hat for a Mets cap for our picture together. Upon my resistance, he offered up a green-hued version of the New York cap. "Here. It's green, like Boston." Sold. My grandmother's response? "Just don't tell your uncle."
Granderson's made a big move from Yankee Stadium to Citi Field this year, as he agreed to a four-year, $60 million contract with the Mets in December. But, he's happy to still call New York home — and so are his fans. "I've gotten messages from people who say 'I'm a Mets fan!' or 'Look at this tattoo I have,' whether it's Mr. Met or the NY symbol with blue and orange," he told me. And, this wave of fandom is surprising to him. "I never saw that as much, especially being here for four years. To see that now is kind of interesting." And, yes — some Yankees supporters have simply followed him to Queens, shedding their pinstripes for a
better different shade of blue.
After some more baseball talk (he has a ritual of chewing sugar-free gum before the games, by the way), I decided to get down to business. Where do you like to hang out in New York, Curtis? Do you still have a crush Rashida Jones?
One of his favorite spots is American Whiskey, and he likes to spend time at Madison Square Garden. But, he's never caught a Knicks or Nets game. "I’ve been there for hockey games. I’ve been there for Jordan, high school basketball games, [but not] yet a Knicks game. I’ve also been to the Barclays Center for boxing and not a Nets game. And, I’m a big basketball fan, but I’ve yet to go to [MSG] for all these other things that you’re supposed to go there for." Still, nothing beats a night at home watching reruns of Martin. I checked — he does know all the show's trademark dance moves.
As for Ms. Jones, he's still harboring that crush. "I don't know what it is, but there's something about her that I really like. She just seems really down to earth, not too needy, which is perfect for me. I'm an easygoing guy, loose and relaxed." Still, he hasn't reached out to Jones for a date. But, he said, "If we ever get a chance to meet, it would be really cool."
It's no wonder my grandmother was concerned about my abandoning #RedSoxNation for the Mets: Granderson's about as charming as can be.