Todd Zeile has taken an unusual path back to the Mets, one that included a search with Charlie Sheen for the Loch Ness Monster.
The former MLB utility man will see an increased role as an SNY studio analyst this season, in a regular rotation with Nelson Figueroa and Jim Duquette. Zeile filled in at times last season for Figueroa, but this will be his steadiest role in baseball since retiring after the 2004 season.
“I wanted to stay in California and do things that were sort of contrarian to my days in baseball,” Zeile, who spent 2000-01 and 2004 with the Mets, told The Post this week.
“I got into some television production, some real estate, aviation. Some of which were good, and some of which were not so good. I had a nice bit of learning experience through the years after I retired.”
Zeile’s most famous role was as Charlie Sheen’s wingman during the actor’s turbulent rise and fall as a television star. The two had met when Zeile was on the Dodgers, a friendship that continued on through Zeile’s time in baseball. Zeile, now 51, started a production company (Green Diamond Entertainment) while still in the major leagues and worked with “This Is Us” star Milo Ventimiglia before retiring.
But it was his relationship with Sheen — including an unsuccessful trip to Scotland to try and find the Loch Ness Monster — that garnered the most attention.
“Everything became wild and unraveling and crazy during the tiger’s blood, winning era and tour, I was kind of in the eye of the storm and try to be a stable force in Charlie’s life that was going like a tornado around us,” Zeile said. “I would try and clear his mind by taking him to batting practice and going to big league parks. It was an outlet for him. He’s a baseball fanatic and a very knowledgeable baseball fan.”
After Sheen was fired from “Two and a Half Men” in 2011, Zeile took his own treatment for a television show and turned it into “Anger Management,” the sitcom Sheen would star on and Zeile would executive produce on FX for three seasons.
Zeile had maintained a relationship with the Wilpon family after his career, and with the California native committed to staying in New York for the next six months to work on a project in the sports video gaming field, he found an opportunity at SNY waiting.
“I didn’t want to be defined as a baseball player. There were other things that I could do that had merit,” said Zeile, who did some fill-in spots with SNY in 2006. “On some level I think I was right and on some level I think I turned away from opportunities that could have been solid, long-term chances and I am excited now to have my feet back in the game. … I got an opportunity to do some reps here and there, and it became fun and interesting and I’m glad I got my bearings back with the Mets.”
Zeile certainly seemed to have the pulse of the Mets fan with the team off to a mediocre…