BINGHAMTON, NY – September 2, 2019. That was the last time we saw the Binghamton Rumble Ponies play at NYSEG Stadium.
And for awhile, many believed that would be the final time we saw them at all.
However, tomorrow, the Ponies return to action for the first time in 20 months.
Before they take the field though, you have to get to know the team.
Earlier today, the team held a media availability via Zoom, to get acquainted with new manager Lorenzo Bundy, as well as some players.
Bundy, who has been a part of professional baseball for the last 40 years between playing and coaching, says while he was disappointed he wasn’t able to manage the club in 2020, he really felt for were the ones he was chosen to lead.
“I felt for my players. I felt for the players who didn’t get a chance to, as far as their development, it was put on hold last year. So, this is the most important thing. These guys are back on the baseball field, and their going to get a chance to continue with their development, and hopefully, on their ay to the major leagues,” says Bundy.
A lot of changes have come to Minor League Baseball this year, including the implementation of 6-game series each week, with teams alternating between home and road series every other week.
One of the more constant changes in the minors, though, are new faces inside the clubhouse.
Among them include Mark Vientos, a 2nd Round pick by the Mets in 2017.
The 3rd baseman spent the entirety of his 2019 season at the Single-A level with Columbia, and played last season in the MLB’s alternate training site program.
Making the jump to Double-A in 2021, Vientos is focused and excited for the opportunity, and has the right mindset to succeed.
“I want to improve as a player all around. Be a good teammate always. Work hard every day. Play hard every day. It’s going to be a long season. So, just try to stay healthy for my team. Be the best player I could be for my team. That’s all I’m trying to do this season,” said Vientos.
Another addition to the Ponies roster is 2nd baseman and outfielder Carlos Cortes.
After playing in St. Lucie in 2019, Cortes took his talents internationally last summer as he played down in Australia to keep sharp.
While the former 2018 3rd round pick enjoyed his time down under, he’s happy to be back stateside and playing in the Mets system again.
“Just, we’re all together playing and competing. I think that’s a big thing. Being able to compete. We haven’t really been able to compete for the last year-and-a-half. The only competition I’ve had is playing video games. That’s about it. I think everyone’s really, really excited to be back, and just bonding, ready to go, and just to win,” he said.
The Ponies will have their first shot at that winning thing tomorrow when they face the Akron RubberDucks at 7:05 PM.