Morning Briefing: Sandy thrown under bus?
July, 28, 2014
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com
Associated PressBartolo Colon makes his final start before the non-waiver trade deadline on Monday.
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.
“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 8½ 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.
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.
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?
#Mets are 50-55 with 57 games remaining. They must go 31-26 to finish .500. Not easy, but doable. That is my goal for them to build on in 15— Russ O'Brien (@russelltob) July 28, 2014