New York Mets: 50 Cent

Morning Briefing: Niese Day in St. Louis

June, 17, 2014
Jun 17
5:57
AM ET
ST. LOUIS

FIRST PITCH: The Mets face another tough task Tuesday at Busch Stadium.

Jonathon Niese (3-3, 2.54 ERA) opposes right-hander Michael Wacha (4-5, 2.88) in the 8:15 p.m. ET game.

Tuesday’s news reports:

Jacob deGrom allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings in his shortest career start and the Mets lost to the Cardinals, 6-2, Monday. Eric Young Jr. (hamstring) returned from the disabled list and threw out a runner at the plate from left field, but he also struck out to strand the bases loaded in the fourth. David Wright had only his third hit in his last 43 at-bats and afterward said there is no physical ailment hindering him.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and at MLB.com.

• The Mets had their pitcher in the starting lineup batting in the No. 8 slot for the first time in franchise history. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• In his first appearance since landing on the DL with a left shoulder sprain, Noah Syndergaard allowed four runs in four innings as Las Vegas lost to Oklahoma City, 5-1. Wally Backman was ejected. St. Lucie remained a half-game out in its first-half division title race with two games remaining with a 6-2 win against Charlotte. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• In light of Tony Gwynn’s death potentially being tied to smokeless tobacco, Josh Edgin tells Mike Puma in the Post he may redouble his efforts to quit the product.

“I grew up with it and it’s one of those things for me, it’s a relaxing thing, helps you get unstrung,” Edgin told Puma. “I have attempted to stop, but it’s kind of hard to do it during the season when there’s guys around you doing it. I actually started when I was 16 years old, working in the summer, and it was just there and nothing to do other than work, so ‘Let’s try this.’”

• Read Wright’s thoughts on Gwynn’s passing in the Daily News.

Travis d’Arnaud will not return Wednesday after spending the minimum 10 days in the minors, but he should be with Vegas less than 20 days, a team official suggested. Read more in Newsday.

Dillon Gee threw off a mound Monday, while Juan Lagares took live batting practice as both work back from side-muscle injuries.

Andrew Brown was demoted to clear the roster spot for the return of E.Y. Jr. from the disabled list. A team official said there was not consideration given to releasing Chris Young.

Daisuke Matsuzaka remained too weak to pitch Monday, a day after getting forced from a start because of intense stomach pain.

• YouTube video purports to show a brawl at Citi Field during Saturday’s 50 Cent concert.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post writes why the Mets would have difficulty copying the turnaround of the Kansas City Royals.

• Michael Salfino in the Journal ranks teams based on projected tickets sales compared with market size and won-loss record.

• Savannah will have 10 players in Tuesday’s South Atlantic League All-Star Game, which will be played in Hickory, N.C.: right-handers Kevin McGowan, Miller Diaz, Akeel Morris, Robert Coles, John Gant and Tim Peterson, left-hander Dario Alvarez, infielders Jeff McNeil, Gavin Cecchini and L.J. Mazzilli. Gnats manager Luis Rojas will lead the Southern Division team.

BIRTHDAYS: Shawn Abner, the first overall pick in the draft by the Mets in ’84, was born on this date in 1966.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Jon Niese bat eighth for the Mets on Tuesday?

Video: Brawl at Citi Field

June, 17, 2014
Jun 17
1:43
AM ET


YouTube video purports to show a fight at Citi Field during Saturday's 50 Cent concert.

Morning Briefing: It's Dice-K/Father's Day

June, 15, 2014
Jun 15
5:50
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Before hitting the road for St. Louis and Miami, the Mets play a rubber game Sunday against the San Diego Padres at 1:10 p.m. at Citi Field.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-0, 2.95 ERA) opposes right-hander Ian Kennedy (5-7, 3.63) in the Father’s Day finale.

Curtis Granderson (left calf) indicated he expects to return to the starting lineup after missing three starts.

Sunday’s news reports:

• Sandy Alderson had a Q&A with season ticket holders on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field.


Jeff Roberson/Associated PressSandy Alderson is avoiding Twitter, but not beer.


The GM suggested there was flexibility to add to the payroll at the trade deadline and suggested it is too early to discuss the 2015 payroll level. He advised a fan who sought an assurance Daniel Murphy would not be traded to stay off Twitter and blogs and instead drink beer. Alderson also allowed for the possibility that Citi Field’s dimensions would again be altered next offseason, while noting that would not be a panacea for the Mets’ hitting woes.

“We have a couple of players on this team where their strength is right-center,” Alderson said. “The other part is to take into account entertainment value. People like run production. And if the ballpark is more hitter-friendly, there’s more action and maybe more interest and less frustration.”

As for trading some pitching depth for a bat, Alderson said: “One of the problems of trading pitching, regardless of how much you have, is that you can never have enough. There are a couple of things that make me cautious. You’re never quite sure who is going to succeed and who’s not, who’s going to get injured and who’s not. To some extent, there’s safety in numbers. I guess the short answer to your question is that we’d consider doing it, but we’re cautious about it.”

In response to Alderson’s quip about avoiding Murphy trade rumors -- when the GM said, “Do what I do: Ignore Twitter and try to ignore the blogosphere and have a beer when you go home tonight” -- columnist David Lennon in Newsday writes:

Don't forget to pick up a newspaper, we might add. And when you're done reading, it's good for covering your eyes for those Chris Young at-bats.

Writes columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post:

It’s possible that for a select group of the announced 38,269 on hand -- a bump for the 50 Cent postgame concert? -- the most aggravation might have occurred before the game started, when beleaguered Mets general manager Sandy Alderson danced around the issue of a payroll increase and sounded wary of trading his impressive pitching surplus for an impact bat.

Read more in the Post, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

• The Mets mustered only two hits against Jesse Hahn (Matt Harvey’s high school teammate) and three relievers as San Diego won, 5-0, Saturday at Citi Field. Zack Wheeler allowed four runs in five innings. Chris Young struck out in all four at-bats as his average dropped to .196. The Mets have lost nine of 11. Boosted by a postgame 50 Cent concert, the paid crowd was announced at 38,269.


Adam Rubin50 Cent provided postgame entertainment Saturday at Citi Field.


Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and at MLB.com.

• Anthony Rieber in Newsday catches up with ex-Mets Jose Reyes and Josh Thole. Both Toronto Blue Jays players feel for David Wright.

"I know he’s going through some tough times right now, but he’s a veteran guy,” Reyes told Rieber. “He’s going to do what he can do on the field. … After a little while, you just want to win. It’s not about the money, because we are already set. We’ve got a contract and it’s now about winning. We’re not getting any younger, you know? What is he, 31? I’m 31. I want to win. So I know about that.”

Said Thole: “It was there from ’09 through ’12 and it was, ‘Wait till next year, wait till next year.’ I always tell the guys: The hardest thing in the baseball world, in my opinion, is to play in New York for the Mets. No. 1, you have a bunch of young kids coming up. Every day, there’s something. A story. Everything is a story there. So you can get caught up into that quickly. It’s just a tough place to play. I would say it’s been the hardest for David. He just signed that bangin’ deal. It’s just weird.”

Eric Young Jr. went 0-for-6 with a walk and stolen base while playing both games of a doubleheader with Double-A Binghamton, the latter at DH. Terry Collins has suggested E.Y. Jr. (right hamstring) should rejoin the Mets on Monday in St. Louis.

Rafael Montero departed Saturday’s Las Vegas game after throwing five pitches with an injury to his left side, a team official told ESPNNewYork.com.

Travis d’Arnaud is now hitting .417 with four homers in 24 at-bats since a demotion. His two-run shot Saturday helped lift Vegas to a 7-1 win at Oklahoma City. Binghamton swept a doubleheader from Erie as Brian Burgamy went a combined 5-for-6. Hansel Robles tossed a shutout in the nightcap. Dilson Herrera and T.J. Rivera each produced RBIs representing St. Lucie in the Florida State League All-Star Game. A day after it was rained out, Brooklyn won its season opener, 8-2, against Staten Island. Read the full minor-league recap here.

St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright (9-3, 2.15 ERA) will miss Monday’s start against the Mets at Busch Stadium because of tendinitis in his pitching elbow.

• Ex-Met Mike Piazza is attending the World Cup. He already has watched the opener between Brazil and Croatia. He plans to attend England-Italy on Saturday. “I’m not a frontrunner,” Piazza told Michael Lewis in Newsday while at a Sao Paulo airport. “I am pulling for the U.S. If they are eliminated, I’m rooting for the Italians.”

Piazza told Lewis he played soccer at age 9 and was a central defender. “I got some skills,” he said. “I can handle the ball.”

• Anthony McCarron in the Daily News quotes players on how they learned they were getting called up to the major leagues, including Wright, Harvey and Granderson.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear finds yet another way to say there’s not much left to say about the state of these Mets.

BIRTHDAYS: Union chief/ex-Met Tony Clark turns 42. ... 2013 first-round pick Dominic Smith is 19. ... Brett Butler is 57. ... Jeremy Reed is 33.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Travis d’Arnaud return to the majors as soon as the minimum 10-day demotion period is completed?

Morning Briefing: Happy 50 Cent Day!

June, 14, 2014
Jun 14
5:45
AM ET

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images50 Cent has a postgame concert Saturday at Citi Field, but no reprise of his ugly ceremonial first pitch.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Matt Harvey may have some flashbacks Saturday.

Former high school teammate Jesse Hahn has been promoted from Double-A San Antonio to step into San Diego’s rotation for the start opposite Zack Wheeler at 4:10 p.m. at Citi Field.

Playing for Harvey’s father Ed at Fitch High School, Hahn and Harvey won a Connecticut state championship as sophomores. The team was bounced in the semifinals the following two years, despite having the two future major league pitchers on the prep roster.


Lenny Ignelzi/Associated PressJesse Hahn, Matt Harvey's high school teammate, faces the Mets on Saturday at Citi Field.


“We just couldn’t hit. He was the only one who could hit,” Hahn told Mike Fitzpatrick of the Associated Press, referring to Harvey.

Hahn set a state record with a 0.17 ERA his senior year.

“I don’t know how we didn’t win it three years in a row there. It boggles my mind to this day,” Hahn told the AP. “Like I said, we didn’t hit.”

While Harvey went on to the University of North Carolina, Hahn pitched at Virginia Tech. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the sixth round in 2010 and traded to the Padres this past January in a seven-player swap.

Hahn has one major league appearance on his résumé. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings and surrendered four runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a June 3 start.

Of course, Saturday’s game also features some entertainment. 50 Cent and G-Unit perform at Citi Field postgame.

Saturday’s news reports:

• Not only did Terry Collins get a vote of confidence from Sandy Alderson early this week, the manager also was told by ownership his job was safe, Anthony Rieber writes in Newsday.

• The 40-somethings starred for the Mets on Friday. Bobby Abreu went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored and Bartolo Colon retired 18 straight batters after surrendering a two-run homer in the second inning to Rene Rivera as the Mets beat the Padres, 6-2. Colon is 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his past five starts. The Mets have won six of their past seven games played on Friday the 13th.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

Jenrry Mejia underwent an MRI on Friday and has continued inflammation and stiffness in his lower back. He is unlikely to be available Saturday. Curtis Granderson (left ankle) is likely at least a day away from returning, Collins indicated.

• The Mets are eyeing Monday at St. Louis for Eric Young Jr.’s return from the disabled list. Young’s rehab appearance Friday with Double-A Binghamton was rained out.

• Harvey alleged Mets pitchers are not doing enough to protect David Wright, although Collins offered an alternate point of view. Read more in the Daily News.

• John Church uncorked a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the ninth after inheriting the bases loaded and Zack Thornton surrendered a walk-off homer in the 12th as Oklahoma City beat Las Vegas, 6-5. Travis d’Arnaud had a solo homer in the loss. Brooklyn’s season opener was rained out Friday at Staten Island. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Jason Rubenstein in the Daily News has a Cyclones season preview.

• The Florida State League All-Star Game will be played on Saturday in Bradenton, Fla. St. Lucie has seven players invited: infielders Dilson Herrera and T.J. Rivera, outfielder Brandon Nimmo, catcher Cam Maron, left-hander Steven Matz and right-handers Matt Koch and Randy Fontanez.

• The Mets announced the signings of four more draft picks Friday, lifting the total to 21 of 39 already inked.

• Tim Rohan in the Times chronicles the World Cup fever in the Mets clubhouse.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear can see Abreu and Colon emerging from the cornfield "Field of Dreams"-style. ... Blogging Mets suspects SNY is playing favorites when it comes to replays on close plays.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to appear in a major league game for the Mets celebrates a birthday on June 14, but Donald Trump, Boy George and Harriet Beecher Stowe were born on this date.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Are you encouraged by Travis d’Arnaud’s production with Las Vegas (.421, 3 HR in 19 ABs)?

Morning Briefing: End of the road

June, 8, 2014
Jun 8
5:32
AM ET
SAN FRANCISCO

FIRST PITCH: Former San Francisco Giants farmhand Zack Wheeler is charged on Sunday with trying to halt the Mets’ losing streak at five games and help the Amazin’s avoid getting swept.

Wheeler (2-5, 3.89 ERA) has contributed two straight solid efforts on the road trip. He has combined to limit the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs to one run on six hits and two walks while striking out 16 in 13 innings.

Wheeler opposes right-hander Tim Lincecum (4-4, 5.01) at 4:05 p.m. ET.

The Mets have not been swept by the Giants since 2002, when San Francisco ran the table in three-game series at Shea Stadium and what was then known as Pac Bell Park.


Gregory Bull/Associated PressTravis d'Arnaud was demoted to the minors late Saturday.


The Mets (28-34) complete a stretch of 20 games in 20 days with the series finale at AT&T Park. They also wrap up a three-city trip in which they went 4-1 in Philly, then got swept at Wrigley Field.

Sunday’s news reports:

Travis d’Arnaud, expected to be a cornerstone of the Mets’ rebuilding, again is a minor leaguer. Three-for-26 since returning from the disabled list for a concussion and hitting .180 for the season, d’Arnaud was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas after Saturday’s game. Ex-Oriole/Ranger Taylor Teagarden will join the Mets on Sunday. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Terry Collins and David Wright spoke to the players during a pregame team meeting Saturday about staying positive, but the Mets went on to lose to the Giants, 5-4, in walk-off fashion. Jenrry Mejia suffered his first blown save. Wright committed a critical sixth-inning throwing error that led to two unearned runs.

The Mets have now lost 20 games this season in which they held a lead -- the most in the majors.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

• Wright will be out of the starting lineup Sunday for the first time this season. With the Mets on a five-game losing streak, he asked Collins to play, but was rebuffed by the manager. Read more in the Star-Ledger.


Courtesy of the University of MemphisThe Mets selected University of Memphis right-hander Bryce Beeler in the 19th round of the draft.


• Paul DePodesta and amateur scouting director Tommy Tanous completed the draft with rounds 11 through 40 on Saturday. The Mets selected two right-handed pitchers with New York ties: Stonehill (Mass.) College’s Jim Duff is from Garden City, Long Island. Tyler Badamo is a product of Oakdale’s Dowling College and from Mount Sinai.

Connecticut prep right-hander Bradley Wilpon, the son of Jeff Wilpon and grandson of Fred Wilpon, was selected in the 36th round by the Boston Red Sox. He will not sign and instead is headed to the Wharton School of Business and to play for the Penn baseball team.

Read features on Badamo at MLB.com and Baseball on the Island. Read more the Mets’ draft in the Record.

• Tim Rohan in the Times reviews the Mets’ ill-fated trade of Angel Pagan to the Giants for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post discusses the state of the Mets.

Matt den Dekker is hitting .192 this season, and Collins suggested Ruben Tejada may get time in the leadoff spot.

Juan Lagares, on the disabled list with a strained intercostal muscle on his right side, is not free of discomfort and therefore is not yet permitted to do work that requires rotating his torso.

• X-rays of 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo’s right wrist revealed no fracture. Nimmo, who nonetheless was out of the lineup Saturday with St. Lucie, was hit by a pitch the previous day.

• John Gant, Tim Peterson and Robert Coles combined on the shutout as Savannah blanked Charleston, 4-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post identifies five quality batters who should be available at the trading deadline: Chase Utley, Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez, Alexei Ramirez and Ben Zobrist.

• Lenny Dykstra speaks with Mark Bowman at MLB.com about his son Luke being drafted in the seventh round by the Atlanta Braves.

• Read more on 50 Cent’s woeful ceremonial first pitch in the Post.

• Matt Ehalt in the Record reviews Jacob deGrom’s brief and so far successful major league career.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear imagines Branden and Alexa going rogue.

BIRTHDAYS: Toronto Blue Jays manager and ex-Met John Gibbons turns 52. ... Dave Mlicki is 46.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Did the Mets make the right call demoting Travis d’Arnaud?

Morning Briefing: deGrom Day up next

May, 31, 2014
May 31
5:56
AM ET
PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: After a 14-inning loss to the Philadelphia Phillies that lasted five hours, 23 minutes, the Mets attempt to bounce back Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.

Jacob deGrom, still in search of his first major-league win despite a 1.83 ERA, opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (1-5, 4.04) in the 3:05 p.m. game.

Saturday’s news reports:

Chris Young dropped a leadoff fly ball to right field off the bat of Marlon Byrd in the bottom of the 14th and the ex-Met eventually scored the winning run as Philadelphia beat the Mets, 6-5, Friday night. Rafael Montero lasted only 3 2/3 innings in his fourth major-league start. The Mets had won six straight games in Philly before Friday’s defeat.


Matt Slocum/Associated PressRafael Montero gathers himself on the bench after a rough outing against the Phillies on Friday night.


Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

• With the bullpen having to log 9 1/3 innings Friday, 36-year-old reliever Buddy Carlyle will be promoted from Las Vegas for Saturday’s game. The Mets did not announce a corresponding move late Friday, but Montero could be headed to Vegas, according to a team source. If that materialized, it presumably would mean Daisuke Matsuzaka enters the rotation until Dillon Gee returns from the DL. Montero has a 5.40 ERA and 11 walks and has surrendered five homers in 20 innings spanning four starts.

If Montero does end up back in Triple-A, it will be interesting to see if he reenters Vegas’ depleted rotation, or if he slips into the bullpen there to get groomed for a potential return in a relief role. Another month in the minors likely would ensure Montero misses becoming a Super 2 after the 2016 season.

Read more at MLB.com.

• Noah Syndergaard, who was diagnosed with a mild forearm strain, reportedly is due to reenter the Vegas rotation Thursday. Read more in the Post.

• 50 Cent talked about his ugly ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field on Good Morning America.

David Wright and Daniel Murphy each will get a day off during this road trip, which also includes stops in Chicago and San Francisco, Terry Collins said.

• Gonzalez Germen’s infection is “starting to get cleaned up” and he is returning to the mound, Collins said.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal writes that a youth infusion is paying dividends in the bullpen.

• Tim Rohan in the Times lightheartedly wonders if deGrom, who struck out as a pinch hitter in the 14th, could be a shortstop candidate, at least in a pinch. Of course, one reason deGrom switched from shortstop to pitcher at Stetson was his light offensive production. Still, deGrom noted, his lone collegiate home run did come against Chris Sale, formerly of Florida Gulf Coast University and now a standout with the Chicago White Sox.

Josh Satin had a two-out RBI triple in the top of the ninth to pull Vegas within a run, but the 51s lost to El Paso, 4-3. 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo will miss three days with St. Lucie because of pinkeye. Read the full minor-league recap here.

BIRTHDAYS: Binghamton Mets right-hander Matt Bowman, a Princeton product, turns 23. ... Fellow minor-league pitcher Juan Urbina, son of ex-MLB pitcher Ugueth Urbina, is 21. ... Joe Orsulak was born on this date in 1962.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets demote Rafael Montero or give him a start against the Cubs?

Bill Streicher/USA TODAY SportsZack Wheeler retired 14 straight batters at one point en route to a win against the Phillies on Thursday.
PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: Don’t look now but the Mets are on a three-game winning streak, coinciding with the ascension of Lamar Johnson to hitting coach.

Rafael Montero (0-2, 4.96 ERA) opposes Philadelphia Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett (3-4, 3.51) on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.

Terry Collins indicated Bobby Abreu is expected to start in the outfield.

Friday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler struck out nine and took a scoreless effort into the seventh as the Mets won the opener of a five-game series against the Phillies, 4-1, Thursday. Jenrry Mejia struck out the side in the ninth for his fifth save. Vic Black recorded four outs, three via strikeout, as the setup man as Collins finally seems to have some late-inning arms at his disposal. Wheeler had retired 14 straight until Marlon Byrd’s solo homer in the seventh on pitch No. 108 chased him.

Chris Young had a two-run homer and finished 2-for-4 to lift his average to .205.

Young, who thought his limited playing time in Oakland last season after getting off to a slow start further hindered his production, was out of the starting lineup for three straight games earlier this week. He essentially said he deserved it, though.

“I’ve been dealing with it,” Young said. “It gets to a point where, as a player, you have to hold yourself accountable. You have to understand what’s going on around you. And you have to understand we’ve got to win ballgames. I trust that when I start feeling better, I start driving the ball more, it will be more consistent [playing time]. At some point you have to take the responsibility upon yourself and go out there and have quality at-bats.”

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Journal, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Frank Viola, who underwent open-heart surgery on April 2, plans to assume his originally intended role as Triple-A Las Vegas pitching coach next Friday. Read more in Newsday.

• The Mets continue to add vice presidents to newly created positions to bulk up their marketing and sales efforts. The club announced Thursday the hiring of Wes Engram from the Kansas City Royals as vice president of corporate partnerships sales and service. Since Dave Howard left to run MSG in March 2013, the team also has hired Lou DePaoli as chief revenue officer, Will Carafello as director of social media and Harold Kaufman as executive director of communications.


Adam RubinMatt den Dekker is one of three Mets with a lower-case "d" beginning his surname.


• With the Mets having set a major-league record for surnames beginning with a lower-case “d” -- with Travis d’Arnaud, Jacob deGrom and Matt den Dekker -- Paul Lukas at ESPN.com examines lettering on uniforms. Writes Lukas:

Three primary schools of thought have emerged from these discussions: one that believes player names on jerseys should always be all caps, period; one that loves the lowercase letters; and a compromise position that advocates for the use of small caps instead of lowercase letters.

• The Mets began a stretch on Thursday in which they play 25 of 33 games on the road. Jared Diamond in the Journal notes that no team has played more road games in a 33-game span since 1995 than the Mets will during this stretch. MLB senior VP Katy Feeney suggested the Yankees are partly responsible. Yankee Stadium needed to avoid baseball games for part of May because of NYU graduation ceremonies taking place there. That meant the Mets were home more than usual during that period, while the Yankees were away.

• D’Arnaud went 0-for-4 and grounded into a double play with the bases loaded in his first game since returning from a concussion. Collins said Mets catchers collectively need to pick up their production at the plate. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Hansel Robles allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings and Brian Burgamy had a two-run homer as Binghamton beat New Hampshire, 7-2. L.J. Mazzilli’s RBI single in the 12th plated Patrick Biondi in Savannah’s 3-2, walk-off win against Rome. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Columnist Phil Mushnick in the Post is not a fan of 50 Cent performing at Citi Field.

• Justin Terranova in the Post asks former GM Steve Phillips about the Wilpons as owners.

“Fred and Jeff desperately want to win and that part was never a question for me,” Phillips said. “There’s always this perceived notion when George Steinbrenner was alive that he always wanted to win more, but the Mets run their team as a business and they want to win. They are kind of caught in between right now of still giving young guys opportunities, while adding those veteran pieces that are necessary, too. They don’t blindly go after that without having a prudent business plan.”

BIRTHDAYS: Wheeler has another reason to celebrate besides his performance in the series opener. He turns 24.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will Zack Wheeler end up being an ace after all?

Hey Mahomies: 50 Cent, Mahone to play Citi

December, 20, 2013
12/20/13
3:53
PM ET

Associated Press50 Cent and Austin Mahone will perform at Citi Field next season -- separately.
The Mets have filled out their 2014 concert series with the additions of 50 Cent and 17-year-old Austin Mahone.

The concerts will take place roughly 20 minutes after the last pitch and are included in the price of the game admission.

Here's the full schedule:

June 14: 50 Cent, following Mets-Padres

July 12: Huey Lewis and the News following Mets-Marlins

Aug. 16: Boyz II Men following Mets-Cubs

Sept. 27: Austin Mahone following Mets-Astros

SPONSORED HEADLINES

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