Sunday, June 26, 2011
Mets morning briefing 6.26.11
By Adam Rubin
Lucas Duda had four hits, including three doubles, and drove in four runs and the Mets posted a season-high scoring output in a 14-5 win at Texas on Saturday. Jon Niese limited the Rangers to a pair of solo homers, but left the game as a precaution in the sixth inning with a rapid heartbeat.
Sunday's news reports:
• Niese said his heart rate quickly normalized, and that a Rangers team doctor was satisfied there was no immediate danger. While heat seemed like an obvious culprit, Niese said he had infrequently experienced the sensation in previous instances, even in cooler weather. Niese will undergo further evaluations at the next stop, in Detroit, on Tuesday. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.
• Jeff Wilpon chided players in the clubhouse after Thursday's game for not retaliating against the Athletics, who plunked Justin Turner in the leg in the first inning, sources told ESPNNewYork.com.
• The Daily News' Kristie Ackert chronicles how the Mets have announced one injury for a player in recent years, only to have the diagnoses evolve over time into something far more serious or different. The report was spurred by Ike Davis initially being diagnosed by doctors with a calf strain and bone bruise and placed in a boot, with cartilage damage discovered later. (The boot restricted circulation and potentially slowed the healing, Sandy Alderson acknowledged.)
My personal observation is that Davis' situation is different from the normal injury debacle with the Mets. Generally, the issue has been disregarding the advice of the doctors in order to keep players on the field. For instance, during reliever J.J. Putz's time with the Mets in 2009, he was advised by doctors to have bone chips/spurs removed from his elbow early in the season, which would have meant a several-weeks absence, but then an in-season return. Instead, ownership/front-office officials advocated shooting Putz up with cortisone, which Putz did at least twice. That masked the pain, and ultimately prompted Putz to partially tear the ulnar collateral ligament too. His season ended that June 4, after three ineffective appearances.
Another telling conversation took place in the clubhouse one year between Ryan Church and Brian Schneider. Church told Schneider that the catcher's knee looked swollen and he ought to get it checked out. Schneider responded, "They don't want to hear about that" -- meaning the mentality was stay on the field. Not knocking smaller injuries out with short-term rest led to bigger injuries, as we saw with Jose Reyes batting right-handed against righty pitchers because of a right oblique strain rather than letting it heal. That caused it to linger all summer. And let's not even get into Church being allowed to fly from Atlanta to Colorado with a concussion ...
• The Post's Kevin Kernan visited yet-to-be-signed first-round pick Brandon Nimmo at the prep phenom's home in Cheyenne, Wyo. Kernan opens the story painting a picture of the barn Nimmo's father constructed in 2005 to house a batting facility for the outfielder. Writes Kernan:
The barn is a solid 64-by-42 structure with blown-in insulation that offers shelter from the cold and the 70-80 mph winds that come ripping down from the northwest in this city of 55,000 that sits 6,100 feet above sea level. The barn is bigger than the modest gray ranch house that sits in front of it on the six-acre plot of land. This is not just any barn, though. It doesn’t house horses, tractors or farm equipment. What’s stored in this structure is something different. Here lives a dream.
• Ron Darling praised New York State's passage of gay marriage legislation. "I immediately called my wife as soon as I heard," Darling told the Daily News. "I'm joyous. Excited. I can't wait to hear if my friends are going to take the plunge, and I'm anticipating going to many marriages."
• Oklahoma prep right-hander Michael Fulmer, the 44th overall pick in the draft, drove three hours with his family to watch the Mets play the Rangers this weekend.
• Anthony McCarron of the Daily News notes it may seem unseemly that Scott Boras reached out to already-represented Jose Reyes about becoming the shortstop's agent, but there's nothing against the rules. That is, as long as the contact is disclosed to the union in a timely fashion.
• Jason Bay (stiff neck) and Justin Turner (thumb) both missed Saturday's game, but hoped to return for Sunday's rubber game with Texas starting a southpaw. Read more in Newsday.
• Read game stories in the Times, Star-Ledger, Newsday, Daily News, Post and Record.
• David Wright has started to ramp up physical activities. Terry Collins called it "feasible" for Wright to return on July 15, immediately after the All-Star break. The manager plans to spend his four-day break watching Wright. Wright will not begin swinging a bat until the middle of this week. Read more in Newsday.
• Dillon Gee tries to bounce back from his first 2011 loss in front of a large group of family and friends. Gee was a 21st-round pick out of Texas-Arlington, and was raised in nearby Cleburne, Texas. His father Kevin is a Fort Worth firefighter. Read more in the Post.
• David Waldstein of the Times has fun talking to the dentists behind Dickey & Wakefield Dental in Allen, Texas. -- Dr. Steve Dickey and Dr. Brian Wakefield. "What are the odds of that?" Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey tells Waldstein. "I tell you what. I would definitely feel comfortable going there. You’ve got to have a steady hand to throw a knuckleball, and also to do the work they do.”
• The Times' Tyler Kepner talks with ex-Mets outfielder Shawn Green about his book, "The Way of Baseball."
BIRTHDAY: Luis Hernandez, a fringe candidate for the Mets' starting second base spot this season and the runner-up to Chin-lung Hu as backup middle infielder on the Opening Day roster, turns 27. Hernandez has struggled in Buffalo offensively this season (.226, 2 HR, 26 RBI), and his legacy may end up being the home run he hit one pitch after breaking a foot against the Braves' Tim Hudson last Sept. 18. -Mark Simon