Friday, March 16, 2012
Mets morning briefing 3.16.12
By Adam Rubin
Johan Santana, who threw 44 pitches over 2 2/3 innings Sunday, is scheduled to make his third Grapefruit League start today, against the Detroit Tigers in Port St. Lucie. Santana now will get into more serious pitch counts -- potentially four innings and roughly 60-65 pitches this time -- as he tries to continue to demonstrate he can handle an every-five-days pitching assignment.
Also scheduled to work Friday: Bobby Parnell (who has logged four scoreless Grapefruit League innings and will be pitching on a second straight day), Jeremy Hefner, Frank Francisco, Ramon Ramirez and Jon Rauch. Rick Porcello starts for the Tigers.
Friday's news reports:
• Jose Reyes faced his former employer for the first time Thursday, although it wasn't much of a reunion. Reyes hit a comebacker to R.A. Dickey on the second pitch he saw, leading off the bottom of the first, and ended up departing following a 54-minute rain delay in the middle of the third. Reyes spoke with New York reporters afterward and suggested there was no real emotion involved in the Grapefruit League matchup. Reyes said he figures the real first matchup will be when the Miami Marlins visit Citi Field for a three-game series beginning April 24. Reyes seemed particularly concerned about David Wright's abdominal issue. He quizzed reporters about Wright's status and separately asked Terry Collins about the shortstop's longtime teammate. Read more in the Journal, Post, Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News, Times and Newsday.
Reyes tells columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post: "I think this year I'm going to play a full season. I've prepared myself to do that. Right now there is nothing to worry about and all my focus is on the field." Said new teammate Logan Morrison: "When I'm tired, I just look at him. He's like a cup of coffee for the eyes."
• Dickey retired all six batters he faced, but the Mets lost to the Marlins, 3-1. Adam Loewen's two-out dropped fly ball in left field allowed two unearned runs to score. Jason Bay went 2-for-2 against Josh Johnson. Ike Davis drove in the Mets' lone run with a ground-rule double. Collins was ejected for arguing a batter interference call against Jordany Valdespin following a bunt by the prospect.
• Top pitching prospects Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia were among 13 players dispatched to minor league camp Thursday, although Collins said Harvey still would be borrowed for Grapefruit League duty. The Mets now have 42 players in camp. The other cuts, which officially came in morning and afternoon waves: center-field prospects Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker, reliever Josh Stinson, as well as Robert Carson, Wilmer Flores, Reese Havens, Juan Lagares, Zach Lutz, Valentino Pascucci and Armando Rodriguez. Read more in Newsday, the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Post and Record.
• The final witness trustee Irving Picard plans to call in the $386 million lawsuit against Fred Wilpon and family that goes to trial next week is Noreen Harrington. She was the person overseeing due diligence for Sterling Stamos, the Wilpon-owned investment company set up to try to match Bernard Madoff's returns. Harrington allegedly raised concerns about Madoff to Wilpon's brother-in-law, Saul Katz. Harrington's skepticism about Madoff allegedly angered Katz and money was invested with Madoff anyway over her objections, leading her to quit. In courtroom filings, the Wilpons' lawyers have said Katz does not recall receiving any stern warning from Harrington, and certainly there was nothing presented to the family by her concretely demonstrating Madoff was a fraud.
Harrington has a track record of being a whistleblower, Richard Sandomir notes in the Times. Sandomir discusses how she alerted then-New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer to irregular trading by a Secaucus, N.J., hedge fund in 2003. Writes Sandomir:
When Harrington first called the New York attorney general's office in 2003, she said that she had heard traders bragging about the practice of “late trading” and that she had tried to alert executives at the firm to the practice. Investigators rely heavily on whistle-blowers, Spitzer said, calling tips like Harrington's the lifeblood of his office. Harrington, he said, was a striking truth-teller. "She not only had a level of credibility in her résumé," Spitzer said. "Everything she said came back with precise corroboration."
• Jared Diamond in the Journal visits the Mets' weekly bowling night, which Collins started in his first spring training as manager and continued this year. Wrote Diamond:
One team that included Bay and Dillon Gee came in matching Molson Canadian T-shirts. Bench coach Bob Geren brought two of his own bowling balls, including one decorated to look like a giant baseball. Daniel Herrera, sidelined at the time with a back injury, bought a child-sized Razor scooter at a local Walmart and rode it throughout the evening. The next morning, he cruised into the clubhouse on the scooter, still reveling in his team's success. "Our team is called the Scooters, and I'm the mascot," said Herrera, who stands 5 feet 6. "I have to bring something to the table."
• Tony La Russa says Carlos Beltran is getting a raw deal for taking that infamous curveball from Adam Wainwright that ended the Mets' 2006 season in Game 7 of the NLCS.
"The pitch that he took from Wainwright, you talk about the greatest hitters in our game, they all would have," La Russa said, according to the Post. "That ball was way up here and everyone that ever comes to bat would have seen that pitch and taken it. All of a sudden it drops in the strike zone, and this guy's gotten criticized for taking strike three.
"There isn’t anybody who is going to swing at that pitch. Except for Yogi Berra, who swings at everything."
TRIVIA: Which player(s) did the Mets receive in their most-recent trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates?
Thursday's answer: Reyes has the franchise record for homers in a single season by a Mets shortstop. He hit 19 in 2006.