I had this first paragraph written about how it was understandable that the Mets brass would pass on a long term deal for Yoenis Cespedes. This whole post was ready to go with a past tense nostalgia as I waited patiently for the inevitable heartbreak of his departure. But holy shit, everyone, he’s back in the fold. Endless gnashing of teeth about Wilpon financial limitations seems to have immediately vanished into the ether. It would be awfully difficult to hope Cespedes produces like he did during his molten-lava-hot stretch from August to mid-September of 2015, but anything close to it would be more than welcome for 2016. Until Opening Day on April 3rd (which all of the sudden just got that much harder to wait for), I’m perfectly happy reliving those heady days from last year.
Aside from Daniel Murphy in the first 2 rounds of the 2015 playoffs (another story for another time), Cespedes is the only player I can recall having an extended stretch of hitting like he was waiting for a beach ball out of the pitcher’s hand.
This is what hitting a beach ball looks like:
Nothing makes me feel like a kid admiring a superhero like his ability to come through in the clutch. When the entire stadium, both teams included, sees him come to the plate in a late-and-close game, there are lofty expectations. To meet those expectations tells you all you need to know about the streak he was on.
Statcast did an analysis of “true” five-tool players, and ended up with a list of eight players, of which Cespedes was one. He truly is (and hopefully continues to be) a complete player. Even with the potential opt-out after this year, he fills a very important void in the lineup for 2016, and reinvigorates a perpetually pessimistic Mets fan base starving for a move like this.
From pour to bottom of the glass, 21st Amendment Toaster Pastry is a real winner. The huge, creamy head never really goes away and provides excellent lacing down the glass. The clear, deep ruby hue is also quite nice.
I’m a real sucker for a beer that describes its particularly specific flavor profile with which I wholeheartedly agree. 21st Amendment describes the “biscuit malts giving the beer a slightly nutty, crust-like flavor.”Yes! Right on the money. “Pale and dark crystal malts create the mouthfeel and flavors reminiscent of strawberry jam.” I’ll agree on the mouthfeel. The flavor is a stretch, but I can see it working if you incorporate the mellow citrus hops into the assessment.
India-style red ales I’ve had usually take the body of a red ale and send it into hyperdrive with a heavy-handed dose of hops. Not so with Toaster Pastry. Aside from a tempered application, the types of hops are just as important to this beer’s success. Both relatively new to the scene, Calypso and Ahtanum hops provide deep citrus notes with a crisp, clean finish.
As far as general enjoyment goes, I really like where Toaster Pastry positions itself as a finished product. At 7.6%, it’s certainly not a session ale, but it’s not so brash as to warrant a “double” or “imperial” tag. The hops provide ample oomph, and I rather like it as a slow sipper. I might be attributing more forethought than perhaps 21st Amendment executed, but it certainly tastes like a beer that intentionally sits at very pleasant midpoint.
Scouting Report (20-80 scale)
21st Amendment Brewery Toaster Pastry is easily one of the best five beers I tried for the first time in 2015. A true five-tool beer. Comp: Yoenis Cespedes. Welcome back, Yo.