Major League Baseball Preview: Widespread Panic’s John Bell & JoJo Hermann On The Indians & Mets

By Team JamBase Apr 1, 2016 1:35 pm PDT

In advance of Major League Baseball’s opening day this Sunday, JamBase reached out to a number of musicians and asked them to preview the upcoming season for their favorite team. Along with predictions for the pending 162 game schedule, the artists also shared insights into the love for their favorite team and how they’re able to manage following the wins and losses while living the life of a touring musician. Today we have reports on the Cleveland Indians from Widespread Panic frontman John Bell and the New York Mets by the band’s keyboardist JoJo Hermann. Head here for a report on the Atlanta Braves from Futurebirds’ Thomas Johnson and follow this link for Robert Randolph’s look at the New York Mets. Head here for reports on the Pirates and Cubs from members of Umphrey’s McGee.

John Bell – Cleveland Indians

When did you first become an Indians fan?

I was born a fan – it’s on your birth certificate in Cleveland. Same with the Browns too.

How do you think the Indians will do in 2016?

I think they’ll make the playoffs.

How closely are you able to follow the team when you’re on tour?

I might catch a game or two on TV if one pops up on a day off. [I often] check the standings.

How often do you make it out to the ballpark?

Maybe one or two Major League games a season. Minor league ballparks are hip too.

Who is your favorite player of all-time?

[Former Indians third baseman] Buddy Bell.

Commissioner for a day: What would you change about MLB?

There should be one designated hippie day game; A night game with the lights turned off, using glow in the dark bats, balls, hats, gloves and shoes.

JoJo Hermann – New York Mets

When did you first become a Mets fan?

My first Mets memory is from the Miracle Mets of 1969. They were like 10 games behind the Cubs and came back to win the Division and then the [World] Series. Tom Seaver was every city kid’s hero. And Cleon Jones on one knee catching the final out of the World Series.

How do you think the Mets will do in 2016?

The Mets are looking great this year. We gotta do it now before all our young pitchers become free agents, so we feel a sense of urgency this year. Good to see we beefed up the bullpen in the off season. And [left fielder Micheal] Conforto will be a huge star! We will win it all this year.

How closely are you able to follow the team when you’re on tour?

Between The Score app and the All Mets News app I can follow them closer than ever. And we get the Mets station on satellite in the bus to watch the games.

How often do you make it out to the ballpark?

Not as often as I’d like because we tour in spring and summer. 2017 though, I’m planning a trip to spring training in Port St. Lucie. And I will get to plan to go to a lot more games over summer and fall as well.

Who is your favorite player of all-time?

Right now it’s Donn Clendenon, who recently passed away. I remember how great a player he was, and he was the MVP of that ’69 Series team with huge hits for us. After reading his book, I learned what a great person he was.

Commissioner for a day: What would you change about MLB?

Two things: Scrap the DH all together. And reinstate Pete Rose and put his butt in the Hall Of Fame.

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