Mets morning briefing 5.15.11

May, 15, 2011
5/15/11
9:27
AM ET
R.A. Dickey remained winless since his first start of the season as the Mets lost Saturday, 7-3. Chris Capuano (2-4, 4.93 ERA) opposes Astros right-hander Aneury Rodriguez (0-1, 5.50) in Sunday's 2:05 p.m. ET rubber game.

Sunday's news reports:

• Post columnist Phil Mushnick says Josh Thole leaving Twitter because of poor behavior from a group of followers is a sad commentary on society. Writes Mushnick:

Twitter, like the Internet and do-it-all cell phones and iPads, provides young wise guys and losers of all ages a cheap and instant form of graffiti, new-age form of hit-and-run vandalism, a quick and often unaccountable way to be coarse -- and worse. What politicians and social workers now describe and decry as crimes based in “bullying” are often the endgame to the fast and easy exploitation of new technology to trash-talk -- trash-typing -- which leads to more trash-talking and return-fire trash-talking. And whatever follows that, it’s not likely to be good.

• With the Mets and Yankees poised to meet next weekend, Post columnist Mike Vaccaro picks his eight most memorable Subway Series regular-season games. Luis Castillo's drop and Mr. Koo's slide into home plate with a weighted ball in his warm-up jacket (after doubling off Randy Johnson) appear. A sampling:

8. Robin’s revenge, June 14, 2002: After Derek Jeter ties the game in the ninth with a two-out RBI off Armando Benitez, Robin Ventura pays his old team back with a game-winning homer in a 4-2 Yankees win.

• The Post's Mike Puma does not mince words in discussing Dickey's performance on Saturday in Houston, which included allowing four first-inning runs and a pair of solo homers in the sixth. Writes Puma:

All of a sudden he is B.P. Dickey. Need somebody to throw batting practice? R.A. Dickey has become that guy for the Mets.

Read that game story in the Post, and others in the Record, Newsday, Times and Star-Ledger.

Daily News columnist Wayne Coffey, who is co-authoring Dickey's autobiography, notes the knuckleballer is approaching the anniversary of his May 19, 2010 Mets debut. Writes Coffey:

But it is not a very happy anniversary for Dickey, and he knows it. He has given up 21 hits in his last two starts. His record is 1-5 with a 5.08 ERA, and he hasn't won since his first start of the year, 42 days ago. The Mets are playing much better on the whole, but Dickey, a pitcher who was thoroughly reliable a year ago, has contributed innings but not a tremendous amount more.

Terry Collins believes Jason Bay could play a limited amount of center field to get Fernando Martinez into the lineup in a corner outfield spot. But Carlos Beltran is experiencing a right eye issue -- he believes conjunctivitis -- which got F-Mart into Saturday's game anyway. Read more in the Post, Record, Newsday, Times and Star-Ledger.

Andy McCullough has Beltran reflecting on leaving Houston for the Mets for a seven-year, $119 million deal with a no-trade clause, as well as other topics. It was during his lone half-year with the Astros that Beltran tied Barry Bonds' major league record with eight postseason homers. Writes McCullough about Beltran's Mets tenure nearing its end:

This past offseason, with the team facing financial crisis, the proverbial belt tightened. The tone changed. “We had chances,” Beltran said. “As a player, that’s what you want, opportunities. This year, we don’t have Johan. The team decided to give more chances to the younger players, and all that.”

Steve Popper of the Record has a further look at Martinez. Writes Popper:

Martinez has been a perpetual prospect, a player who has been in more major league camps with the Mets than all but a handful of players, signing as a 16-year-old international free agent and then being on the verge every year since then. His progress has been disrupted by a combination of injuries -- lots of injuries -- and a too much, too soon failure when he's been plugged in.

Bobby Parnell struggled in another rehab appearance for Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday. He inherited the bases loaded from Brian Sweeney and allowed the three runs to score, on a groundout and double. Parnell then surrendered a second double and was charged with a run himself. He's technically on a rehab assignment for numbness in his right middle finger, but he could just be optioned to the Bisons and stay there at some point until his performances improve. The Mets will already need to make a roster move this week to clear room for Pedro Beato's return from the disabled list. Beato is expected to pitch Sunday and Tuesday for the Bisons before being activated.

Francisco Rodriguez is a lot calmer this season. But there are continuing negative ramifications of his August incident at Citi Field, including only seeing his children on a limited basis. K-Rod skipped the Walter Reed Army Medical Center trip with teammates on an off-day in D.C. because he was permitted to see his twins that day. Writes David Waldstein in the Times:

Behind the smiles and the outward serenity, the solid pitching and relaxed camaraderie, there is still anguish from that night. Rodriguez rarely sees his 20-month-old twins, and he knows it is his fault. “That’s the price I have to pay,” he said in a recent interview. “That’s how it is. It’s the price, and I have to deal with it.” After Rodriguez’s arrest, his twins, then 11 months old, remained with their mother, Daian Pena, whose father Rodriguez assaulted. Because of the attack and the restraining order placed on him, Rodriguez did not see his children for weeks; he said he tried.

• With the 30th anniversary approaching, Neil Best recalls a classic college baseball game involving two pitchers who would end up prominent Mets. Writes Best:

Thirty years later, it remains one of the most celebrated college baseball games ever played: Yale vs. St. John’s in an NCAA regional in New Haven. Yale’s Ron Darling pitched 11 no-hit innings before St. John’s Steve Scafa singled in the 12th then stole second, third and home for the only run. The winning pitcher: Frank Viola.

BIRTHDAY: Tyler Walker, who made his debut with a five-game stint with the 2002 Mets, turns 35. Walker went on to pitch for the Giants, Rays, Phillies and Nationals. He finished his Mets career with a perfect 1-0 mark. ... This also marks the 41st anniversary of one of Tom Seaver’s finest pitched games as a Met, a one-hit 15-strikeout shutout of the Phillies.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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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