New York Mets: Jeff Wilpon

Wilpons' Madoff settlement down to $75.6M

December, 22, 2014
Dec 22
2:35
PM ET

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty ImagesBernard Madoff


NEW YORK -- The trustee who is recovering money for victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme announced Monday another round of intended distributions of recovered funds.

And that helps the Mets' owners, the Wilpon family.

Eligible victims of the Ponzi scheme will soon have recovered 48.546 cents for every dollar of principal they lost in the Madoff affair.

As part of the Wilpons' settlement with the trustee, the sides stipulated that the Wilpons lost $178 million in certain Madoff funds, while making $162 million from other funds.

The Wilpons, like other victims, can deduct the 48.546 cents per dollar from their lost funds from the $162 million eventually owed to the trustee.

Here's the math:

$162 million owed, minus 48.546 percent of $178 million lost, yields the actual payback to the trustee.

So the Wilpon family, businesses and charities right now would owe the trustee $75,588,120 -- divided into two installments, and payable in 2016 and 2017.

That obligation should further decrease as the trustee recovers more funds for all victims.

Two days requested to depose Wilpon

November, 7, 2014
Nov 7
12:49
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Attorneys for fired Mets senior vice president Leigh Castergine have requested two days be allotted to depose chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, who is named in the suit, the Wall Street Journal reported via Twitter. The request reportedly came during a routine status conference Friday in U.S. District Court.

The Mets and Wilpon filed a response on Oct. 31 denying any wrongdoing. Castergine alleges she was "frequently humiliated" by superiors because she was pregnant and unmarried.

Castergine oversaw ticket sales for the Mets. She was fired on Aug. 26, 2014, after nearly four years of employment.

Mets, Wilpon deny wrongdoing in response

October, 31, 2014
Oct 31
7:37
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The Mets and chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon filed their response Friday in U.S. District Court, denying any wrongdoing in a lawsuit in which a senior vice president alleges she was "frequently humiliated" by superiors because she was pregnant and unmarried.

Leigh Castergine, who oversaw ticket sales for the Mets, was fired on Aug. 26, 2014, after nearly four years of employment.

"Wilpon at all times treated plaintiff fairly and without regard to her gender, marital status, pregnancy or leave," the response reads. "She was not discriminated against in the terms and conditions of her employment. The termination of her employment was based on legitimate business reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with her gender, marital status, pregnancy or leave. Business issues and conflicts in the workplace between plaintiff and her immediate supervisor, Lou DePaoli, and other company executives, began before DePaoli or anyone else knew she was pregnant. DePaoli ultimately terminated plaintiff, despite the long-standing support that plaintiff received from Wilpon."

Castergine alleges the harassment was initiated by Wilpon and that her complaints to human resources went unheeded.

The original complaint, filed in September, reads: "He frequently humiliated Castergine in front of others by, among other things, pretending to see if she had an engagement ring on her finger and openly stating in a meeting of the team's all-male senior executives that he is 'morally opposed' to Castergine 'having this baby without being married.'

"Wilpon told Castergine that, when she gets a ring, she will make more money and get a bigger bonus," the complaint continued. "Castergine complained to the team's Human Resources Department. Wilpon responded by firing Castergine. According to Wilpon, 'something had changed' in Castergine after the birth of her child -- with still no ring on her finger. Wilpon told her she no longer was as 'aggressive' as she used to be."

Morning Briefing: .500 or bust?

September, 24, 2014
Sep 24
8:25
AM ET
WASHINGTON

FIRST PITCH: With five games remaining, the Mets still share second place with the freefalling Atlanta Braves. Both teams are 76-81.

So how long has it been since the second-place team in the NL East finished with a sub-.500 record?

Nineteen years ago.

In 1995, the Braves won the division at 90-64, then went on to win the World Series. The Mets and Philadelphia Phillies tied for second in the division in the strike-shortened season at 69-75.

Of course, the Mets are not resigned to their sixth straight losing season just yet. They can avoid such a fate by winning their final five games.

That pursuit begins Wednesday at Nationals Park, when Dillon Gee makes his final 2014 start. Gee (7-8, 3.88 ERA) opposes left-hander Gio Gonzalez (9-10, 3.74) at 7:05 p.m.

Wednesday’s news reports:

• Chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon on Tuesday formally announced an extension for general manager Sandy Alderson that guarantees his contract through 2017. Alderson then announced Terry Collins would return as manager for next season. The Mets hold an option on Collins for 2016, but are not picking it up at this point.

Alderson indicated the coaching staff would be addressed shortly after the season, but confirmed Tim Teufel will remain the third-base coach. Minimal turnover is expected. The exception is hitting coach, which could preclude Wally Backman from getting onto the staff. If the Mets stayed internal for a hitting coach, perhaps a list of candidates would include Las Vegas hitting coach George Greer, Savannah hitting coach Valentino Pascucci, current player Bobby Abreu and roving instructor Jack Voigt.

Read a transcript of Wilpon and Alderson’s remarks here.

Read more on the retention of Alderson and Collins in the Post, Daily News, Times, Journal, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Jacob deGrom's Rookie of the Year-caliber season is in the books. Finding no upside in deGrom making a final start Saturday against the Houston Astros, the Mets opted to shut down the right-hander. DeGrom logged 178 2/3 innings between the majors and minors, an increase of 31 innings over his 2013 workload. Ex-Met Collin McHugh, who was lined up to face deGrom on Saturday, also has been shut down. Rafael Montero instead starts against Houston.

ESPN’s Mark Simon statistically breaks down just how good deGrom’s season was here.

Read more in the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Bartolo Colon failed to cover first base at a critical point, then surrendered a tiebreaking three-run homer to Adam LaRoche and the Nationals beat the Mets, 4-2, Tuesday. Washington is 14-3 against the Mets this season. LaRoche is batting .327 (16-for-49) with six homers and 18 RBIs against the Mets in 2014. He also has been walked 15 times.

Read game recaps in the Post, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post examines the size of the gap between the Mets and Nats.

Jenrry Mejia will undergo surgery on Oct. 2 in Philadelphia to repair a sports hernia. Dr. Bill Meyers, who operated on Scott Rice last September, will perform the procedure. Meanwhile, Juan Lagares (elbow) will not require surgery. Lagares, Dilson Herrera (quadriceps) and Vic Black (shoulder) are all done for the season.

• Sophia Rosenbaum and Jonathan Lehman in the Post have fun checking out responses to the Mets asking fans on Twitter to say why they’re a fan of the team, while using the hashtag #ImAMetsFanBecause …

From @MitchNYM: #ImAMetsFanBecause they were all out of Yankees gear

From @FrankDonato1: #imametsfanbecause it’s marginally less painful than smashing your hand with a hammer

From @BorrisQ: #ImAMetsFanBecause my parents didn’t love me as a child

From @AndrewGould4: #ImAMetsFanBecause I don’t feel like I deserve true happiness.

David Wright is bullish on the Mets in 2015. “We’ve gotten ourselves to the point where I think we’re going to be a very good team next year," Wright told reporters pregame, as reported in the Star-Ledger. "We finally have gone through some of these rough years where the expectations we have on ourselves should be pretty high."

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News constructs one team by combining the Mets and Yankees.

• Lloyd Carroll at NY Sports Day reviews retiring commissioner Bud Selig’s visit to Citi Field.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear offers a historical guide to the Mets and their second-place finishes.

BIRTHDAYS: Hubie Brooks turns 58. … Bernard Gilkey is 48.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Does second place matter?

Sandy Alderson extension transcript

September, 23, 2014
Sep 23
5:47
PM ET
WASHINGTON -- Jeff Wilpon announced Tuesday that the Mets had exercised general manager Sandy Alderson's option for next season and added two additional years, though 2017.

Here's what Wilpon said about reaching the decision:

"On behalf of myself and ownership, we're very happy with the process that's in place, the development of our players and the overall direction we're taking to get to the next level. We want Sandy to continue to explore all the ways to improve the team. He does have payroll flexibility whether through free agency or trades. And we're looking forward to 2015 as well as Sandy's leadership and guidance in getting us to the postseason."


John Munson/USA TODAY SportsSandy Alderson and Terry Collins are returning in 2015.


Alderson handled the call from that point. Here are select comments ...

On the positives and negatives of his performance over the first four years:

"Obviously we're not at the point that we'd like to be in terms of our won-loss record and the overall success of the team. I think we've done some things well. I think through the efforts of people like Paul [DePodesta] and Dick Scott, our farm is system has improved dramatically. We have more talent coming into the system. The talent that we have, I think, is being well-developed. We've seen evidence of that at the minor league level and major league level. I think we've acquired some players from outside the organization through trades that again reflect well on our amateur and professional scouting staff.

"Free agency is a crapshoot. On the other hand, you expect to hit a certain number of times. That's an area where hopefully we will continue to be active, but also be more successful than perhaps we've been in the past. From that standpoint, I think the overall direction of the team is pretty good. But we need to translate the progress that we've seen in the organization and across the franchise into more wins. But I don't think we're that far away. I really don't believe that this is going to take a giant leap to get to a playoff-competitive level. And I hope I'm right about that."

On Terry Collins remaining manager in 2015:

"He's done an exceptional job for us, I believe. He's energetic. He's passionate. His work ethic is second to none. And I think this translates extraordinarily well into his leadership of the team. I think our team continues to play hard, has from the beginning of the season. I have no doubt it will continue through the next six games. It's been a pleasure to watch how the team has responded to Terry. I'm very pleased he's going to be back with us. We're fortunate to continue to have Terry into 2015. ...

On Collins not getting an extension:

"Look, we're focused on 2015. Terry does have an option for 2016. That has not been exercised at this point. But I don't believe that will have any impact on Terry -- how he's viewed by the front office, his relationship with the players. I was in a similar situation, I guess, at the beginning of this season. It doesn't have to be a factor. I'm very pleased Terry is coming back and I look forward to good things in 2015."

On whether he received any assurances a payroll spike is possible, or whether it will resemble the past couple of years:

"The short answer is I don't know if there will be a dramatic spike or not. But I will say this: I don't feel that we will necessarily be constrained by the payroll next year. Recently I said, look, that we have seen the emergence of a number of good young players. We have to decide whether they're good young and play0ff-caliber players. We have to measure that, and compare that to what's available in the free-agent market, what's available in the international market, what's available in the trade market. I feel as if we've got plenty of latitude in looking at all of those areas. But again, as I go back to what I said earlier, I think with the player-development side we've done pretty well. We've done decently in trades. Free agency is problematic, and not just for us -- for a lot of teams. We're going to explore all of the options and see where it takes us. It may take us a while during the course of the offseason to full explore what those options are."

(Read full post)

Retiring commish Selig supports Wilpons

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
5:41
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Stop No. 20 on retiring commissioner Bud Selig’s farewell tour took him to Citi Field on Tuesday afternoon. Selig was met by a hard line of questioning, but continued his unwavering support of the Mets and their ownership.

“As far as I’m concerned, from my perspective, I think the way the Mets are doing this thing is correct,” Selig said about the low-payroll, build-from-within formula. “There are a lot of teams in life that spend a lot of money that don’t do well, either. And I’m not trying to be facetious saying that.

“I’m going to see Sandy Alderson, whom of course I have great personal affection and respect for. And I often talk to Sandy, as I do all the general managers and people all over baseball about what they’re doing. I went to Houston early in the year and they were all exorcised about, ‘Oh my goodness, this is a bad team. This is this. This is that.’ And all of a sudden now they’re playing remarkably and so on and so forth.


Elsa/Getty ImagesBud Selig staunchly supported Mets owners during a visit to Citi Field on Tuesday.


“Do I have any problem with the Mets’ finances? None.”

Selig continued with a passionate defense of teams that win without large payrolls.

“I tell the owners all the time, and I tell myself: In my judgment -- my judgment -- Branch Rickey was right,” Selig said. “Mr. Rickey used to say it takes three to five years before you can analyze a trade. And that’s even more so relative to a franchise.

“In Chicago there’s been a lot of criticism. I happen to think [Cubs GM] Theo [Epstein] is doing it the right way. And I think lately the Cubs are starting to play that way. Yet there was a lot of criticism. There’s been criticism of Houston. I’ve watched this over the years.

“I’m always sort of baffled by this, ‘If you spend X and this and so on and so forth …’

“You just look at who’s winning. Unless I read the standings wrong on the way over here today, it looks to me like the Baltimore Orioles may win the American League East this year. Anybody here predict that on April 1? I don’t think so. I rest my case. I’m telling you that I talk to people all the time. I also do a lot of rating of farm systems. You have no idea the work that I do privately, quietly. And I’m satisfied that this [Mets] franchise is doing it the right way, in my baseball judgment.

“Look, I’m a fan at heart. No one was more impatient, nobody had more temper tantrums [as Brewers owner]. It’s difficult to draw conclusions. You know, you go to St. Louis. It’s a smaller market and they don’t spend money like, as my father used to say, ‘drunken sailors.’ But they’re very competitive every year. But it takes time. It takes time to build. Yes, I understand fan frustration. I do. I do understand. I read every paper every day. … But the fact of the matter is I do monitor every team. And honestly, if I felt, and I mean this very sincerely, that there was a team really not doing what I thought they should do in the best interest of the sport, they’d hear from me.”

Selig was pointedly asked to distinguish between the Mets and Dodgers situations -- since both allegedly used team and TV resources to cover debt and maintained payrolls inconsistent with their market sizes.

“There are big differences,” Selig said. “I think I’ve covered this subject many, many times. And I don’t want to go back into the whole Frank McCourt/Dodgers situation, because there were enormous ramifications there, many of which maybe weren’t public. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve said this in the past and I’ll say it again: I don’t have any problem with the Mets’ financing, with what’s going on as far as all of our economic rules, and we have a myriad of them. They are in compliance with them. They’re doing fine. The Dodgers were not in compliance with any of them.”

Court matter: Selig said the lawsuit filed by former Mets senior VP Leigh Castergine is a team matter and not something MLB will insert itself into at this time.

“I monitor everything closely,” Selig said. “That’s employment litigation. There were a lot of charges there. Jeff [Wilpon] denies them vigorously. And I think in this particular case, they’re going to court. And we’re just going to have to see how that plays out.”

Selig conceded his successor, Rob Manfred, may be in charge when the civil suit plays out.

“It’s in litigation. It’s disputed," Selig said. "And there’s nothing else to talk about. We’ll see what happens with litigation, if the litigation goes forward. We don’t even know that.”

Morning Briefing: Nats rule Citi Field

September, 11, 2014
Sep 11
5:25
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Well, if the Mets have designs on reaching .500 and beyond, they will have to accomplish it against a tough nemesis.

Of the 16 games remaining for the Amazin’s this season, seven are against the Washington Nationals. That includes a four-game series at Citi Field that begins Thursday at 7:10 p.m., when Bartolo Colon (13-11, 3.96 ERA) opposes right-hander Tanner Roark (12-10, 2.97).

The Mets remain 5 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second wild-card spot. The Amazin’s are four games under .500, at 71-75, and have won a season-high-matching four straight.

The Nats have a 10-2 record and have outscored the Mets 62-34 this season.

Washington has won 11 straight games in Queens. That’s the longest-ever winning streak by a visiting team against the Mets. The Atlanta Braves won 10 straight games at Shea Stadium in 1991 and '92.

The Nats are 25-4 at Citi Field since September 2011.

“I’m very pleased,” Terry Collins said about the Mets’ recent play, which includes winning seven of their last eight games and four straight series wins. “We’ve still got a tough road ahead here. We’ve got the Nats coming in, who we have not played very well, [and] who play absolutely great here. We’ve got our work cut out for us. We’re aware of that.”

Thursday’s news reports:

• A civil lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn alleges chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon “humiliated” the club’s senior vice president overseeing ticket sales because she was pregnant and unmarried. The Mets responded that former employee Leigh Castergine’s lawsuit is “without merit.”

Read more in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Times, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Read columnist Mike Vaccaro’s take on the Mets’ wild-card pursuit and the lawsuit in the Post and columnist David Lennon’s take in Newsday. Jeff Passan has a scathing critique of the latter topic at Yahoo!, as does Bob Klapisch in the Record.

• Despite a high pitch count, Rafael Montero tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings and earned his first major league win as the Mets swept the Rockies with a 2-0 win Wednesday. Eric Young Jr. went 3-for-3 with an RBI triple and Jenrry Mejia became the youngest player in franchise history to notch 25 saves in a season. Mets pitchers have logged 19 straight scoreless innings, two shy of matching the season high (April 20-22), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

Daniel Murphy was shifted to third base Wednesday with David Wright done for the season because of persistent left-shoulder woes. Murphy received no fielding chances in his first start at the position since July 21, 2011. The move allows rookie Dilson Herrera to get continued playing time at second base. Read more in the Times and Star-Ledger.

• ESPN’s Buster Olney suggests it could be a quiet offseason for the Mets, at least spending-wise. Writes Olney:

The reality appears to be that the Mets' front office will be left with little money to improve the roster, perhaps bypassing pricey veterans who could represent pivotal upgrades, such as shortstop J.J. Hardy. It appears Alderson will instead pick through the bargain bin for short-term gambles, which is how Chris Young came to be a Met last winter; he was a bargain for a reason.

The Mets' ownership could choose to take a different path and look to spend money to make money. But once again, that does not appear to be the route this team will go, and it's bad for the sport when a New York City team pretends it must adhere to its budget the way the Tampa Bay Rays do.

ESPN Insiders can read Olney’s full analysis here.

Matt den Dekker remained sore and did not appear in Wednesday’s game a day after getting plunked on the back of his left hand with a pitch.

• Binghamton is one win from the Eastern League championship after a 5-1 victory at Richmond on Wednesday. Xorge Carrillo and Travis Taijeron homered and Greg Peavey limited the Squirrels to one run in seven innings as the B-Mets took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Binghamton will go for the sweep at home on Friday with Steven Matz on the mound. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Matz and Herrera were named the pitcher and player of the year in the Mets organization, the club announced. Sterling Award winners at individual levels of the organization were Matt Reynolds, Kevin Plawecki, Brandon Nimmo, Dario Alvarez, Akeel Morris, Vicente Lupo, Marcos Molina, John Mora, Ali Sanchez and Walter Rasquin.

• Wright and Dillon Gee visited FDNY Squad 288/Hazmat 1 in Maspeth, Queens, on Wednesday.

Chris Young homered and had two RBIs as the Yankees rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Rays. Young became the second player ever to homer for the Mets and Yankees in the same season, joining Dave Kingman in 1977, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

• Andrew Beaton in the Journal looks into the Mets being 16-2 this season in games started by Kirk Nieuwenhuis. That’s the best winning percentage for any player in the majors with a minimum of 15 starts.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at NY Mets Report doesn’t believe Wright’s injury and Herrera playing second base could pave the way for Murphy to be traded this offseason.

BIRTHDAYS: Former closer Frank Francisco turns 35.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Can the Mets reach .500? Can they reach the postseason?

Morning Briefing: Deadline day!

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
5:48
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: It’s a day of rest for the Mets, aside from early wakeup calls for those participating in third-base coach Tim Teufel’s charity golf tournament in Greenwich, Conn.

So the focus turns to GM Sandy Alderson. The non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday.

Mets insiders have suggested the very likely scenario is the team stands pat, but stay tuned.

The Mets return to Citi Field on Friday to open a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants. Jonathon Niese (5-6, 3.23 ERA) opposes right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (5-8, 4.45) in the opener.

Thursday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler limited Philadelphia to two runs in 6 2/3 innings and Daniel Murphy launched a tiebreaking three-run homer en route to an 11-2 victory against the reeling Phillies on Wednesday at Citi Field. Lucas Duda produced three RBIs and has now driven in a run in a career-best six straight games.


Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsThe Mets celebrate after Wednesday's 11-2 win against the Phillies.


Murphy’s opposite-field shot against Kyle Kendrick in the fifth made it 5-1. “I hit the ball that way,” Murphy quipped about the frequency he goes to left field. “It just doesn’t ever go that far.”

On Duda, David Wright said: “It’s just amazing the transformation in such a short time period where he’s become one of the more dangerous hitters in the National League. It’s been fun to watch, because every time he picks up the bat you think he’s going to hit the ball hard. And most of the time he does.”

Terry Collins complimented Wheeler, who has a 1.63 ERA over his past six starts. “You saw a guy battle really without his best command,” the manager said.

Even Jeurys Familia had an RBI single.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

Matt Harvey told ESPNNewYork.com he expects to get on a mound next week for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22, 2013.

Harvey told Mike Puma in the Post he still would like to make a cameo in the majors before the season ends, even though it is clear that’s highly unlikely. “Even if it was one inning out of the bullpen, I would be happy,” Harvey said.

The expectation is Harvey will pitch in the fall instructional league in Port St. Lucie, Fla., which spans late September and early October. He told Puma a brief appearance in the Arizona Fall League is likely, too.

Marc Carig in Newsday reports the initial Harvey mound session actually could occur as soon as Friday.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post advocates the Mets acquiring outfielder Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Writes Kernan:

Matt Kemp would be moved by the Dodgers if the price were right, and, yes, the price is always an issue with the Mets. Kemp is owed $107 million over the next five years. Kemp would be a great fit for the Yankees, too, if they wanted to go there.

• Jon Heyman at CBSSports.com notes any Mets pursuit of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez would have to wait until the winter. Heyman portrays CarGo as more realistic for the Mets. Writes Heyman:

Ultimately, the Mets don't see themselves as likely to land Tulowitzki -- "he wants to be a Yankee" one Mets person said, stating what has becoming obvious -- so Gonzalez will presumably be the main focus of talks once they hook up.

• A Mets insider told ESPNNewYork.com there was one scenario, although it seemed unlikely to materialize, in which the Mets could acquire an “intriguing” outfielder before 4 p.m. It’s not clear who that is, though.

Nick Piecoro in The Arizona Republic reports there’s buzz the Diamondbacks’ Gerardo Parra is available. Parra, earning $4.85 million this season, has one more year of arbitration eligibility before becoming a free agent following the 2015 season.

• Mets chief operating Jeff Wilpon served on a three-member arbitration panel trying to determine how much the Washington Nationals should be paid for their TV rights by the regional sports network MASN. The principal owner of that network is the Baltimore Orioles.

As a concession for entering O’s territory when the Nats relocated from Montreal for the 2005 season, the Nats agreed to discounted rights fees through 2011. Since then, however, there has been a squabble about how much the Nats should receive from MASN.

Despite a reported favorable ruling for the Nats by the arbitration panel that included Wilpon, the issue apparently still could be headed to court, irking commissioner Bud Selig. Read the full story in The Hollywood Reporter.

• Michael Fulmer tossed six scoreless innings and St. Lucie beat Dunedin, 4-3. Wuilmer Becerra had a two-run triple as Kingsport beat Danville, 8-3. 2014 first-round pick Michael Conforto went 3-for-3 with two RBIs in Brooklyn’s 9-4 win against Auburn. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Read more on Wheeler in the Post and Newsday.

• Read more on Duda in the Record and Daily News.

• Read more on Familia in the Star-Ledger.

• The Giants recently signed Dan Uggla after he was released by the Atlanta Braves. There are conflicting reports about Uggla’s status, but it appears he will not be a Giant when the club arrives at Citi Field on Friday. Uggla is 0-for-11 with a walk and has committed three errors since joining San Francisco. Writes Henry Schulman in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Dan Uggla is still a Giant, but probably won’t be when the team gets to New York. I got indications earlier today that Uggla was going to be cut loose. MLB.com reported that he and (incorrectly, [Tyler] Colvin) were released, but Giants officials say there was no roster move with Uggla.

In any event, it seems Uggla’s tenure with the Giants might conclude with three errors, no hits and a few more days of service time applied to his big-league pension.

One spot likely will go to Brandon Belt, who is expected to be activated in New York. Another could foretell a trade, but none was imminent when I left the ballpark around 6 p.m.

• Read a review of Sharknado 2 in Rolling Stone. One line from Wednesday's premiere pleased Mets fans: "You don't mess with a Mets fan on the 7 train." (See clip on Vine here.)

From the bloggers …NY Mets Life gives Alderson some pointers on what the Mets should do at the deadline.

BIRTHDAYS: Billy Wynne, who made his major league debut with the Mets in 1967 and was traded the following offseason in a deal that returned Tommie Agee, was born on this date in 1943.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who should be the ideal (but realistic) acquisition target for the Mets before the trade deadline?

Morning Briefing: Sandy thrown under bus?

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
5:24
AM ET

Associated PressBartolo Colon makes his final start before the non-waiver trade deadline on Monday.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Bartolo Colon makes his final start before Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline when the Mets return home to face the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.

Colon (9-8, 4.03 ERA) enters the start off an outing in Seattle in which he retired the game’s first 20 batters. Robinson Cano broke up the perfect-game bid in the seventh with a line single.

Colon opposes right-hander A.J. Burnett (6-9, 3.86) in the 7:10 p.m. series opener.

The Mets took four of five games in Philly when the teams last met, May 29-June 2.

Of course, the Mets won eight of 10 games on their last homestand and now have a 25-23 record at Citi Field this season. The Mets have not finished a season with a winning home record since 2010.

Colon, incidentally, likely will be eligible to be traded in August, too -- either by clearing waivers or via the Mets dealing with a team that puts in a claim. That is because he is owed $11 million in 2015, during a season in which he will turn 42 years old.

Monday’s news reports:

• After giving an interview to Willie Weinbaum at ESPN.com in which he advocated Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire getting voted into the Hall of Fame with asterisks, Tony La Russa went further during an interview published in the Daily News.


Mike Groll/Associated PressTony La Russa said he brought concerns about steroid use to Sandy Alderson during their days with the A's, but was rebuffed.


La Russa said he voiced concern to Oakland Athletics GM Sandy Alderson and the team’s ownership during that era about potential player steroid use, but nothing was done.

“I knew our programs in Oakland were 100 percent clean,” La Russa told the Daily News. “But we had our suspicions -- guys hitting stronger but not working out. I went to Sandy and ownership about this. And they told me flat off, ‘Right of privacy. It’s a collective bargaining issue.’”

Alderson told the newspaper: “I’m not going to comment on that until at least Monday” -- presumably so any comments would not detract from induction weekend.

Jacob deGrom tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in his latest dominating performance and Lucas Duda slugged his fourth homer in six games as the Mets beat the Brewers, 2-0, Sunday at Miller Park to earn a split of the four-game series.

The Mets went 5-5 on their second-half-opening trip to San Diego, Seattle and Milwaukee. With 57 games remaining, the Mets trail the first-place Washington Nationals by 8 games and are seven games out in the wild card.


Mike McGinnis/Getty ImagesJacob deGrom has a 0.66 ERA over his past four starts.


DeGrom has now limited opponents to two runs in 27 1/3 innings over his past four starts -- all wins -- to even his record at 5-5. He has not allowed a homer in his last 59 innings. That is four outs shy of matching the franchise’s rookie record, set by Mark Bomback in 1980.

Duda had four of the Mets’ five homers on the entire 10-game trip, with Curtis Granderson producing the other. Duda entered Sunday with an NL-leading 24.3 percent of his at-bats this season ending with a ball deemed “hard hit,” according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Jenrry Mejia wriggled free despite allowing two baserunners in the ninth. He has now recorded a save in each of his last seven appearances. That’s the longest string of appearances with a save by a Mets reliever since Billy Wagner had a save in nine straight appearances in 2007.

The Mets posted a 5-5 trip despite failing to exceed three runs in any of the final nine games. If the Mets fail to reach four runs on Monday against the Phillies, it will become the longest streak of games producing three or fewer runs since 1981 (11 straight).

In the second half, the Mets are hitting .186 (60-for-322) and averaging 2.2 runs per game. Only the Cincinnati Reds are worse in those categories in the National League.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Journal, Times and at MLB.com.

• Read more on Duda in the Post and Newsday.

Tom Glavine made multiple references to the Mets during his 17-minute induction speech in Cooperstown on Sunday.


Gregory J. Fisher/USA TODAY SportsTom Glavine generously mentioned the Mets during Sunday's Hall of Fame induction speech.


“To all the folks associated with the Mets organization, thank you for treating me and my family the way you did,” Glavine said. “Thank you Fred and Jeff Wilpon for the opportunity to play in New York and for providing the resources so I could experience a postseason there. To the fans of New York, thank you so much for your support and for ultimately treating me and my family with so much respect.”

Glavine singled out former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson and trainer Mike Herbst for gratitude.

“Rick, you helped me to reinvent myself, make the changes I needed to make for the latter part of my career -- which, trust me, when you were doing something for 16, 17 years, it's not an easy thing to change,” Glavine said. “But you talked me into it, you convinced me of it, and you gave me confidence to do it.”

Joe Torre also paid homage to the Mets early in his induction speech.

Torre lauded Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, who was in attendance in Cooperstown, then said during in speech: “I was with the Mets a couple of years before I became manager. And then once I became manager on May 31, 1977, my first bit of duty was to trade Tom Seaver two weeks later, which wasn’t a whole lot of fun. And the last time he pitched for me -- I don’t know if you remember, Tommy -- he pitched in Houston. And when I went out to take him out of the game, he patted me on the rear end.

“I did have one accomplishment with the Mets as a player. And, again, you can’t go through life alone. Certainly in baseball, you need all the help you can get. Well, on July 21, I hit into four double plays in one game. And I just want to make sure I share the credit, because I could not have done it unless Felix Millan had hit four singles right in front of me.

“In 1977 I became manager. I want to thank the New York Mets, at the age of 36, for trusting me with their ballclub -- M. Donald Grant, chairman of the board. It was a great opportunity for me. You talk about learning. As I said, we had to make some trades a couple of weeks after I took the job. And there was a lot of learning -- young players -- but [it was] a great experience. A great experience.”

Read more on Mets references in Glavine’s speech in Newsday.

• Matt Reynolds launched a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh as Las Vegas beat Salt Lake, 6-5. Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings. Jeremy Hefner allowed three runs in three innings in his fourth minor-league start since returning from Tommy John surgery as Daytona beat St. Lucie, 4-3, in Game 1 en route to a doubleheader sweep. St. Lucie has lost eight straight. Michael Bernal went 4-for-4 with four RBIs off the bench as Brooklyn beat Lowell, 9-3. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Troy Tulowitzki may love New York, but it looks like the Bronx would be his strong preference. Tulowitzki, on the DL with the Colorado Rockies and in the Northeast to visit a doctor in Philly, swung by Yankee Stadium on Sunday to watch Derek Jeter play.

“It’s a short drive from Philly,” Tulowitzki told The Denver Post. “I’m with my family. I wanted to see Jeter play one more time.”

• Terry Collins dismissed any apparent friction with Jonathon Niese, who was displeased with getting pulled after five innings Saturday.

“I love Jon and support everything he says,” Collins said. “I know he doesn’t want to come out. … Sandy Koufax told me many years ago, ‘Pitchers and managers never get along.’”

• Why did Juan Lagares slide headfirst into first base Sunday, against what his manager would prefer? “I was just trying to do something to get a hit because I don’t remember the last time I did,” Lagares told Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear isn't so nervous during ninth innings these days.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to appear in a game for the Mets was born on this date, but Soulja Boy and Manu Ginobili celebrate birthdays on July 28.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Did Tony La Russa throw Sandy Alderson under the bus?

Bill Streicher/USA TODAY SportsZack Wheeler retired 14 straight batters at one point en route to a win against the Phillies on Thursday.
PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: Don’t look now but the Mets are on a three-game winning streak, coinciding with the ascension of Lamar Johnson to hitting coach.

Rafael Montero (0-2, 4.96 ERA) opposes Philadelphia Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett (3-4, 3.51) on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.

Terry Collins indicated Bobby Abreu is expected to start in the outfield.

Friday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler struck out nine and took a scoreless effort into the seventh as the Mets won the opener of a five-game series against the Phillies, 4-1, Thursday. Jenrry Mejia struck out the side in the ninth for his fifth save. Vic Black recorded four outs, three via strikeout, as the setup man as Collins finally seems to have some late-inning arms at his disposal. Wheeler had retired 14 straight until Marlon Byrd’s solo homer in the seventh on pitch No. 108 chased him.

Chris Young had a two-run homer and finished 2-for-4 to lift his average to .205.

Young, who thought his limited playing time in Oakland last season after getting off to a slow start further hindered his production, was out of the starting lineup for three straight games earlier this week. He essentially said he deserved it, though.

“I’ve been dealing with it,” Young said. “It gets to a point where, as a player, you have to hold yourself accountable. You have to understand what’s going on around you. And you have to understand we’ve got to win ballgames. I trust that when I start feeling better, I start driving the ball more, it will be more consistent [playing time]. At some point you have to take the responsibility upon yourself and go out there and have quality at-bats.”

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Journal, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Frank Viola, who underwent open-heart surgery on April 2, plans to assume his originally intended role as Triple-A Las Vegas pitching coach next Friday. Read more in Newsday.

• The Mets continue to add vice presidents to newly created positions to bulk up their marketing and sales efforts. The club announced Thursday the hiring of Wes Engram from the Kansas City Royals as vice president of corporate partnerships sales and service. Since Dave Howard left to run MSG in March 2013, the team also has hired Lou DePaoli as chief revenue officer, Will Carafello as director of social media and Harold Kaufman as executive director of communications.


Adam RubinMatt den Dekker is one of three Mets with a lower-case "d" beginning his surname.


• With the Mets having set a major-league record for surnames beginning with a lower-case “d” -- with Travis d’Arnaud, Jacob deGrom and Matt den Dekker -- Paul Lukas at ESPN.com examines lettering on uniforms. Writes Lukas:

Three primary schools of thought have emerged from these discussions: one that believes player names on jerseys should always be all caps, period; one that loves the lowercase letters; and a compromise position that advocates for the use of small caps instead of lowercase letters.

• The Mets began a stretch on Thursday in which they play 25 of 33 games on the road. Jared Diamond in the Journal notes that no team has played more road games in a 33-game span since 1995 than the Mets will during this stretch. MLB senior VP Katy Feeney suggested the Yankees are partly responsible. Yankee Stadium needed to avoid baseball games for part of May because of NYU graduation ceremonies taking place there. That meant the Mets were home more than usual during that period, while the Yankees were away.

• D’Arnaud went 0-for-4 and grounded into a double play with the bases loaded in his first game since returning from a concussion. Collins said Mets catchers collectively need to pick up their production at the plate. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Hansel Robles allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings and Brian Burgamy had a two-run homer as Binghamton beat New Hampshire, 7-2. L.J. Mazzilli’s RBI single in the 12th plated Patrick Biondi in Savannah’s 3-2, walk-off win against Rome. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Columnist Phil Mushnick in the Post is not a fan of 50 Cent performing at Citi Field.

• Justin Terranova in the Post asks former GM Steve Phillips about the Wilpons as owners.

“Fred and Jeff desperately want to win and that part was never a question for me,” Phillips said. “There’s always this perceived notion when George Steinbrenner was alive that he always wanted to win more, but the Mets run their team as a business and they want to win. They are kind of caught in between right now of still giving young guys opportunities, while adding those veteran pieces that are necessary, too. They don’t blindly go after that without having a prudent business plan.”

BIRTHDAYS: Wheeler has another reason to celebrate besides his performance in the series opener. He turns 24.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will Zack Wheeler end up being an ace after all?

Morning Briefing: Curtains for homestand

May, 28, 2014
May 28
9:53
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Another eventful (and losing) New York Mets homestand comes to a close with Wednesday's 1:10 p.m. game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Mets split the first two games with the Pirates, after dropping two of three in series with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks. They also dropped a relief pitcher (Jose Valverde) and a hitting coach (Dave Hudgens), and watched Hudgens drop hints all over town that the Mets' problems went far beyond anything he could control.

After Wednesday's game, the Mets head to Philadelphia, to begin a stretch where they'll play 24 of the next 32 games on the road.

Wednesday's news reports:

• New hitting coach Lamar Johnson debuted Tuesday, and the Mets scored a few (but not many) runs in their 4-2 win over the Pirates. Read more on the game in the Post, Times, Newsday, Star Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

• The Hudgens story continues to dominate the news, as everyone tries to figure out what it means in the bigger picture. Hudgens suggested in some of his Tuesday interviews that general manager Sandy Alderson isn't being allowed to make all the decisions, and Howard Megdal writes in Capital New York that the GM didn't make this one. Megdal says Jeff Wilpon ordered the firing in what his sources called an "angry meeting" with Alderson.

Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post says Hudgens has confirmed all the worst suspicions of Mets fans. Anthony Rieber in Newsday wonders if the firing was a sign from the Wilpons to Alderson, and an indication that Alderson's rebuilding plan is going up in smoke. Dave D'Alessandro in the Star Ledger is just happy to see the fans get fed up.

Read more on Hudgens in the Post, Newsday, Journal and Record.

• Is the booing at Citi Field really a reason for the Mets' problems at home? Hudgens suggested it is, and John Harper in the Daily News says that Terry Collins agrees. Read more on Mets fans in the Times.

• Or is it Keith Hernandez that's the problem? Bob Raissman in the Daily News looks back at some Keith history.

• The best news for the Mets (even better than a win) came from Noah Syndergaard's MRI, which the team said came back clean. Read more in the Post, Times and MLB.com,

Dillon Gee isn't coming back soon. Read more in Newsday.

• Did you see 50 Cent's first pitch? The Post said he would fit right into the Mets bullpen. Read more in the Daily News.

From the bloggers: Faith and Fear decides to combat the "negativity," at least for one night.

BIRTHDAYS: Ryota Igarashi turns 35. ... Mike DiFelice is 45.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU'RE UP: Are you happy to see this homestand end?
WASHINGTON

FIRST PITCH: The Mets wrap up a weekend series in D.C. on Sunday, with Juan Lagares expected to be in the starting lineup for a second straight game.

Zack Wheeler (1-3, 4.53 ERA) opposes Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 3.59) in the 1:35 p.m. rubber game.

Sunday’s news reports:


Kathy Kmonicek/Associated PressThe Post reports Saul Katz (center) want brother-in-law Fred Wilpon to sell, too.


• Josh Kosman in the Post suggests Saul Katz tried to do more than broach selling his share of the Mets. He reportedly unsuccessfully tried to convince brother-in-law Fred Wilpon to part with a controlling interest in the team. Citing “word around Major League Baseball,” Kosman writes:

Wilpon, 74, balked at the move largely because he wants to turn over the not-so-Amazin’s to his son, COO Jeff Wilpon.

Katz, 77, has children who are not interested in running the team.

Katz denied the New York Times report that he was interested in selling his stake. “I have no intention of selling my share of the Mets nor have I ever had any intention of selling my share,” Katz said.

• Lagares had a dramatic return to the lineup. He homered, had three RBIs and robbed Jayson Werth of a homer as the Mets beat the Nats, 5-2, Saturday. Jenrry Mejia converted his first major-league save, but is leery about pitching back-to-back days too soon. The Mets had lost their previous nine games against Washington. Eric Campbell produced a two-run single in his second career start. Bartolo Colon bounced back from a subpar showing against the Yankees. Colon allowed two runs in eight innings to earn his first win since April 24. Nats left-hander Gio Gonzalez allowed five runs in three innings and may have an injured shoulder.

Read game recaps in the Washington Post, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Times and at MLB.com.

• Read more on Mejia in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Record.

• Read more on Campbell in the Star-Ledger.

• Columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record suggests there’s a fatal flaw with the Mets, writing:

The real problem is the organization’s stubborn insistence on long at-bats, a philosophy that’s been the norm in the big leagues for almost a decade. Extending a plate appearance to a fourth or fifth pitch theoretically increases the odds of a mistake fastball slogging through the heart of the strike zone. This allows for an ambush -- a home run -- or at least a base on balls, two of the most valued metrics in baseball today.

But the home-run-or-walk tenet only works if you can reach the fences. A fat four-seamer is a gift for the likes of Giancarlo Stanton or Troy Tulowitzki, but the Mets have no such sluggers in their lineup.

Instead, they’re weighted down with second-tier talents like Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud and Eric Young Jr. David Wright’s home run/fly ball ratio is at career-low 4 percent, and Curtis Granderson is batting .128 with one home run in 78 at-bats at Citi Field. It hardly seemed like a coincidence that he went 4-for-8 with two home runs and five RBIs in the two games at Yankee Stadium. Clearly, Granderson felt more comfortable -- and confident -- with the smaller dimensions.


Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY SportsIke Davis feels wanted in Pittsburgh.


Ike Davis, playing in the Bronx this weekend with the Pittsburgh Pirates, said: “It’s nice to play for someone that actually wants you or thinks that you can help the team.” Davis’ Pirates visit Citi Field May 26-28. Read more in the Daily News, Newsday, Record and Star-Ledger.

• Ex-Met Kyle Farnsworth had a rough debut with the Houston Astros, surrendering two runs on two hits and two walks while recording only two outs against the Chicago White Sox.

Anthony Rieber in Newsday explains the “advance consent” agreement Farnsworth signed with the Mets. Rieber notes the Mets saved $850,000 this year by dropping Farnsworth when they did -- $750,000 in salary, plus $100,000 at the end of spring training when he was cut and then re-signed.

Read more on Farnsworth in the Houston Chronicle and Star-Ledger.

• Although Wilmer Flores started Saturday, Ruben Tejada should see most of the playing time at shortstop in the near future, Terry Collins said. Read more in Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Left-hander Pedro Feliciano’s career may not be over. The 37-year-old reliever, who made 25 appearances for the Mets last season, is working out for the St. Louis Cardinals, KSDK reports.

• Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman may be moving to the outfield when he returns from the disabled list, Adam Kilgore writes in The Washington Post.

Brandon Allen homered and Las Vegas moved 20 games over .500 with a 6-4 win against El Paso. Cody Satterwhite notched his first save in affiliated baseball in three seasons with a perfect ninth as Binghamton beat New Hampshire, 6-5. Matt Koch won his fifth straight start in St. Lucie’s 6-3 victory against Lakeland. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Michael Gray in the Post is not a fan of “ego-driven” farewell tours that require teams like the Mets to give gifts to Derek Jeter.

• Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post notes sports allegiances often mean having to endure lean years.

• Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner are now friends, the Daily News writes.

• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News discusses Citi Field’s dimensions. Writes Madden:

Getting back to Citi Field, the Mets may have already chartered their course to be a pitching-driven club, but unless they figure out a way to make their ballpark more conducive for hitters, they are running the risk of turning off their fans to the kind of baseball we’re seeing way too much of out in Queens -- where the most action is the batters’ swinging and missing. In addition, their ability to lure any quality hitters is severely compromised. At least they’ve seen to it to properly honor all of their Hall of Famers, even if it’s only one.

• Columnist David Lennon in Newsday reviews the Mets’ closer situation.

BIRTHDAYS: Nelson Figueroa turns 40. ... St. Lucie reliever Randy Fontanez is 25. ... Colorado Rockies first base coach Eric Young Sr. is 47.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Terry Collins start Juan Lagares on Sunday at Nationals Park?

Morning Briefing: D.C. weekend looms

May, 16, 2014
May 16
5:26
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: After getting shut out in back-to-back games at home to split the Subway Series with the Yankees and drop two games under .500, the Mets (19-21) play a weekend series in D.C. against the beat-up Washington Nationals.

Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche all are on the disabled list for the Nats.

Jonathon Niese (2-2, 2.17 ERA) opposes right-hander Tanner Roark (2-1, 3.65) in Friday’s 7:05 p.m. series opener.

The Mets have not been shut out in three straight games since July 25-27, 1992.

Friday’s news reports:


Kathy Willens/Associated PressAlfonso Soriano chats with third-base coach Rob Thomson after producing an RBI double.


• For the first time in Subway Series history, the game ended with a 1-0 score Thursday. The lone run came on Alfonso Soriano’s two-out double in the seventh against Jacob deGrom, who had a strong major-league debut despite getting charged with the loss. David Wright’s failure to turn an inning-ending double play preceded Soriano’s shot to the left-center gap. The Mets have now been held scoreless for 20 innings. DeGrom did have a single in his first big-league plate appearance, snapping Mets pitchers’ 0-for-64 drought to open the season.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and at MLB.com.

Travis d’Arnaud landed on the seven-day concussion DL on Thursday. He will be eligible to return Wednesday. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

Josh Edgin joined the Mets on Thursday, giving the club a second left-handed reliever to complement Scott Rice. Edgin took the roster spot formerly occupied by Kyle Farnsworth, who elected free agency after being dropped from the big-league roster. Sandy Alderson described cutting Farnsworth from the Mets as a combination of an economic decision and pitching evaluation.

• Jeff Wilpon indicated it is unlikely the Mets further reduce Citi Field’s dimensions, but he did not completely rule it out, columnist John Harper writes in the Daily News. “I’m not saying we wouldn’t," Wilpon told Harper, “but I don’t see any reason why we would.” Writes Harper:

Wilpon said that if GM Sandy Alderson “brings it up’’ as something he thinks could benefit the Mets, he’d consider it. He said that since the Mets brought the fences in before the 2012 season, Citi Field has played “average” with respect to home runs in other ballparks in the majors.

Since then, he believes it has played much as Shea Stadium did, but acknowledged that right-center is the one area where it remains significantly more difficult to hit home runs.

“There was more of a wind-tunnel effect to right-center at Shea,’’ Wilpon said. “If we were going to do anything here, that would be the spot.”


Adam RubinA pregame video tribute at Citi Field honored retiring Derek Jeter.


• Before his final game at Citi Field, the Mets presented retiring Derek Jeter with a subway-tile mosaic that included his No. 2 and donated $22,222.22 to the captain’s Turn 2 Foundation. Read more in the Times, Post, Daily News, Record, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Terry Collins said the Mets ultimately view Jenrry Mejia as the team’s closer, but he will not have the everyday role now because he is not in the mode of pitching every day. Read more in the Journal, Newsday and Star-Ledger.

Matt Harvey excused himself as a friend became involved in a “melee” over a girl, Page 6 writes. Hours later, Harvey again was unapologetic Thursday about his love for New York nightlife. Harvey nonetheless told the Daily News there is “absolutely not” any ongoing battle with the team over his social habits. Meanwhile, in light of the suspected food poisoning with Lucas Duda, Harvey said: “Our kitchen was completely raided by the food safety people. But obviously we've been eating Shake Shack for a while,” Foxsports.com writes. Read more from Harvey in the Post and Newsday.

• Read more on deGrom’s debut in the Star-Ledger, Daily News and Newsday.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post notes Sandy Alderson’s prized bounties in trades -- Zack Wheeler, d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard -- all still have a lot to prove.

• Giancarlo Alvarado earned the win in his season debut and Cesar Puello drove in two runs as Las Vegas beat El Paso, 4-3. Cory Vaughn had a walk-off homer as Binghamton beat Altoona, 3-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Keith Law’s initial mock draft projects the Mets will take Hartford left-hander Sean Newcomb with the 10th overall pick.

• Columnist Phil Mushnick in the Post suggests the “bloom is off Bud’s interleague rose.”

BIRTHDAYS: Jerrod Riggan turns 40 today. ... Frank Seminara was born on this date in 1967.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Terry Collins start Juan Lagares on Friday at Nationals Park?

Morning Briefing: Mets teeter at .500

May, 7, 2014
May 7
5:30
AM ET
MIAMI

FIRST PITCH: The Mets had moved a season-high four games over .500 after winning in Philly last Tuesday. Now, Zack Wheeler needs to help prevent the Mets from returning to Citi Field with a losing record to face the Phillies.

Wheeler (1-3, 5.13 ERA) opposes Miami Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler (3-2, 2.41) in Wednesday’s 12:40 p.m. road-trip finale.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Henderson Alvarez became the first Marlins pitcher to shut out the Mets since Dontrelle Willis in 2005 as Miami won, 3-0, Tuesday night at Marlins Park. Bartolo Colon allowed three runs in seven innings and dropped to 2-5 with a 5.36 ERA. Terry Collins nonetheless said the Mets, who are 16-16 on the season, are “doing all right.”

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Times and at MLB.com.

• Heavily used Carlos Torres has been dealing with a lat muscle issue. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Jeremy Hefner hopes to be throwing off the slope of a mound within three weeks and hopes to return to the majors by season’s end. Read more in the Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post surmises that the bullpen is the Mets’ Achilles heel yet again this season. Writes Davidoff:

Sandy Alderson, in his fourth year as the Mets’ general manager, has performed enough heavy lifting to make this beleaguered franchise relevant again. Except the launch to greater heights is in peril because he and his lieutenants haven’t been able to figure out the darn bullpen.

“We’re disappointed with where we are,” Alderson said, referring to his relief corps, in a telephone interview Tuesday. “It’s not a pen that has been consistently underperforming, but it has underperformed spectacularly in certain cases. Overall, it has been inconsistent.”

• Former Mets lefty reliever Royce Ring is back with the organization as pitching coach for the Gulf Coast League club.

Jenrry Mejia must demonstrate he can navigate the middle innings of games or he may soon be bounced to the bullpen, a team insider tells ESPNNewYork.com.

Jared Diamond in the Journal advocates the Mets using Mejia as closer. And Mejia -- despite previously expressing aversion to bullpen work -- says he would be OK with that, telling Diamond: “If they told me eighth-inning guy or ninth-inning guy, that’s going to be good to me.”

Writes Diamond:

Jenrry Mejia, who currently serves as the Mets' fifth starter, seems like a perfect candidate to close, a move that would instantly resolve a number of difficult questions surrounding the team's future. Transitioning Mejia to that role would alleviate an impending logjam in the rotation, repair the Mets' bullpen and, potentially, best leverage Mejia's skill set.

Unless the Mets' beleaguered relief corps suddenly improves, the debate about whether Mejia belongs in the bullpen will continue to burn.

"It's always in the conversation," manager Terry Collins said.

Read more on Mejia in the Star-Ledger.

• The amount the Wilpons owe as part of their Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme settlement is down to $80 million.

• Although the Mets are expected to soon expose Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero to bullpen work with Las Vegas in advance of a promotion to the big-league club for relief roles, the duo continues to be listed as starters with the 51s.

DeGrom is next scheduled to start Wednesday, with Montero starting on Friday. Alderson has said it’s “not a necessary step” that the duo first pitches in the minors in relief before coming to the majors for that role, but it may very well be the “first step.”

Of course, if Mejia flops, deGrom or Montero could end up in the big-league rotation, unless the Mets want to turn to Daisuke Matsuzaka.

“I think we are getting to the point where it’s probably weeks as opposed to months,” assistant GM John Ricco told Kristie Ackert in the Daily News for the timetable for deGrom and Montero to be contributing at the big-league level. “Ultimately that will be Sandy’s decision. But, I think we’re getting close.”

• Matsuzaka tells Mike Puma in the Post he will try a more streamlined warm-up routine. “I don’t think there are any short-term effects in throwing the amount I do,” Matsuzaka told Puma. “I don’t think it would affect me in that particular game, but the long-term effects are definitely going to take a toll on my body, so it’s something that I’ve thought about and I will definitely start making adjustments. With the weather getting warmer, my body probably doesn’t need as much to get warm, so I’m definitely going to try out a different routine.”

Mariano Rivera and Jon Stewart chatted about the Mets on “The Daily Show.”

• Darryl Strawberry’s son Jordan has committed to play college basketball at Mercer, TheRecruitScoop.com reported.

• Jayce Boyd homered and had two doubles as part of a four-hit game, but Binghamton lost to New Hampshire, 6-4. Read the full minor-league recap here.

From the bloggers … Mack’s Mets interviews Savannah outfielder Jared King.

BIRTHDAYS: Former catcher Brook Fordyce, who made his big-league debut as a Met, turns 44.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the bullpen issues have been foreseeable?

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty ImagesBernard Madoff


MIAMI -- The trustee who is recovering money for victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme announced Monday his fourth round of distributions of recovered funds.

And that helps the Mets' owners, the Wilpon family.

Eligible victims of the Ponzi scheme now have recovered 46.059 cents for every dollar of principal they lost in the Madoff affair.

As part of the Wilpons' settlement with the trustee, the sides stipulated that the Wilpons lost $178 million in certain Madoff funds, while making $162 million from other funds.

The Wilpons, like other victims, can deduct the 46.059 cents per dollar from their lost funds from the $162 million eventually owed to the trustee.

Here's the math:

$162 million owed, minus 46.059 percent of $178 million lost, yields the actual payback to the trustee.

So the Wilpon family, businesses and charities right now would owe the trustee $80,014,980 -- divided into two installments, and payable in 2016 and 2017.

That obligation should further decrease as the trustee recovers more funds for all victims.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187