Thursday, May 12, 2011
Mets morning briefing 5.12.11
By Adam Rubin
After Wednesday's game was snow/sleeted/rained out, the Mets attempt to complete the series in Denver at 3:10 p.m. EDT, with Jon Niese opposing Ubaldo Jimenez. The forecast remains gloomy.
Results should be forthcoming on Ike Davis, who was due to travel to New York for an MRI on his strained left calf. Signs suggest outfielder Fernando Martinez would be the call-up if Davis lands on the DL. That presumably would free Willie Harris to have second-base duty along with Justin Turner, with Daniel Murphy sliding over to first base.
Terry Collins apparently will proceed with resting David Wright, who has a nagging back problem, on Thursday too.
Thursday's news reports:
• Brian Costa of The Wall Street Journal looks at Jason Bay's continued underwhelming performance in the second season of a four-year, $66 million deal. Bay, who opened the season on the DL with a rib-cage strain and then had his season interrupted for two games for paternity leave, is hitting .213 with one homer and five RBIs in 61 at-bats. Bay is currently in an 0-for-14 rut. Writes Costa:
Such a small sample isn't an accurate predictor of what Bay will do over a full season. But because Bay struggled through much of 2010, his slump raises more concern than it probably should. "Obviously with what transpired last year, you don't have that luxury now of saying, 'Hey, you'll get going,'" Bay said. "I understand that. But from my point of view, it's just kind of a slow start, and hopefully more at-bats will help." ... Inside Edge, a private scouting company, keeps a statistic called well-hit average. It measures the percentage of a hitter's at-bats that end with what a scout classifies as a well-hit ball. Through 61 at-bats, Bay has a relatively anemic well-hit average of .098. Among Mets hitters, only weak-hitting utility infielder Chin-lung Hu has a lower mark (.056).
Mike Puma of the Post is a little more blunt, writing:
It’s just possible the real Jason Bay -- the guy who hit all those home runs for the Pirates and Red Sox -- is stashed somewhere in Charlie Samuels’ basement. That is about as good an explanation as any for Bay’s continued invisibility in the Mets lineup as Samuels, the team’s former clubhouse manager, faces charges he swiped $2.3 million worth of trinkets from the club over the years. Wait until a $66 million left fielder is discovered and added to the inventory list.
• Fired clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels was indicted Wednesday in Queens, allegedly for possessing $2.3 million in stolen memorabilia. Writes ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley:
Samuels, who was with the team 27 seasons, is also charged with embezzling $24,955 from the Mets by submitting inflated expense claims and failing to report or pay taxes on $203,789 in tips and dues that he received from Mets players and others in 2008 and 2009. "The defendant had a dream job that any Mets fan would die for -- and he blew it. His greed is alleged to have gotten the better of him," [Queens District Attorney Richard] Brown said.
Samuels entered a not-guilty plea. He faces 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison if convicted of all charges. Investigators initially had focused on Samuels' alleged ties to gamblers linked to organized crime.
Read more on the indictment in the Times, Newsday, Post and Star-Ledger.
• Davis told ESPNNewYork.com on Wednesday before leaving Denver: "I don't feel like it's that bad. You've got to take precautions, I guess. I feel like I could play in a couple of days. I don't think there's anything torn. It would hurt more if there was something torn, I feel. It's a little sore, but the day after it's usually a little sore." Read more in Newsday, the Star-Ledger, Times, Daily News, Record and Post.
• Lenny Dykstra said the government is displaying an "egregious abuse of power" in prosecuting him.
BIRTHDAYS: Yogi Berra, who managed the Mets from 1972 to '75, was born on this date in 1925. ... Outfielder Kevin Bass, best known as the last out of Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS, turns 52. He hit .270 in 46 games for the 1992 Mets. ... Ex-pitcher Kenny Greer turns 44. Greer pitched in one game for the miserable 1993 Mets -- a scoreless 17th inning to earn the win in a 1-0 walk-off victory against the Cardinals. ... Former Mets pitcher Mark Clark turns 43. Clark won 14 games for the 1996 Mets, but holds another distinction. For his career, he hit .058 in 242 at-bats. Among those with at least that many career at-bats, no major leaguer has a worse batting average. His career batting average for the Mets was .045 (5-for-112). -Mark Simon