New York Mets: Barry Bonds

Morning Briefing: Sandy thrown under bus?

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
5:24
AM ET

Associated PressBartolo Colon makes his final start before the non-waiver trade deadline on Monday.
NEW YORK

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.


La Russa said he voiced concern to Oakland Athletics GM Sandy Alderson and the team’s ownership during that era about potential player steroid use, but nothing was done.

“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 8˝ 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.


DeGrom has now limited opponents to two runs in 27 1/3 innings over his past four starts -- all wins -- to even his record at 5-5. He has not allowed a homer in his last 59 innings. That is four outs shy of matching the franchise’s rookie record, set by Mark Bomback in 1980.

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.


“To all the folks associated with the Mets organization, thank you for treating me and my family the way you did,” Glavine said. “Thank you Fred and Jeff Wilpon for the opportunity to play in New York and for providing the resources so I could experience a postseason there. To the fans of New York, thank you so much for your support and for ultimately treating me and my family with so much respect.”

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?

Courtesy of Wheeler FamilyThat's a young Zack Wheeler in the middle, dressed in Braves apparel and flanked by older brothers Adam (left) and Jacob (right).
ATLANTA

FIRST PITCH: Native Georgian Zack Wheeler, who tossed six scoreless innings in his big-league debut against the Atlanta Braves last June 18, pitches at Turner Field for the second time in his career Wednesday.

Wheeler (0-1, 4.50 ERA) opposes Ervin Santana in the former Angel/Royal’s debut with the Braves.

Santana signed with Atlanta on March 12 after the Braves lost Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen to elbow injuries.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Bartolo Colon tossed seven scoreless innings despite a family issue on his mind Tuesday. Colon’s mother Adriana Morales, 63, was diagnosed with breast cancer last week, he told ESPNdeportes.com’s Enrique Rojas.

• With Bobby Parnell having undergone Tommy John surgery Tuesday, Jose Valverde is entrenched as the closer. Valverde made things exciting Tuesday, loading the bases in the ninth before completing the shutout as the Mets beat the Braves, 4-0. Travis d’Arnaud snapped an 0-for-16 drought to start the season, although the Mets overall remain in an offensive funk.

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


David Goldman/Associated PressHank Aaron addresses the crowd Tuesday night at Turner Field.


• Before Tuesday’s game, the Braves offered a tribute to Hank Aaron on the 40th anniversary of homer No. 715, which moved him past Babe Ruth as MLB’s all-time home run leader. Two different speakers during the pregame ceremony identified Aaron (not Barry Bonds) as baseball’s “true” long-ball champ. Asked about that choice of words, commissioner Bud Selig said: “I’m always in a sensitive spot there, but I’ve said that myself, and I’ll leave it at that.” Read more in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Star-Ledger, Daily News, Journal, Record and Newsday.

• Terry Collins said Parnell made the right decision undergoing Tommy John surgery. Read more on Valverde and Parnell in the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Frank Viola was released from New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Tuesday, six days after undergoing open-heart surgery.

• Rafael Montero allowed three runs in five innings and Eric Campbell had a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh as Las Vegas beat Sacramento, 7-6. Matt Clark had a tiebreaking homer and Darrell Ceciliani had three RBIs as Binghamton beat Erie, 7-2. Savannah swept Augusta in a doubleheader, winning Game 1 on L.J. Mazzilli’s walk-off walk with the bases loaded. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Jon Heyman at CBSSports.com implores the Mets to trade Ike Davis. Writes Heyman:

Keeping Davis gives the Mets a big bat off the bench and a little security should current starter [Lucas] Duda have an injury, but in the end the current alignment is a drawback for both players. Davis is good enough to start for someone, or at least have the opportunity to start for someone. And Duda doesn't deserve to be looking over his shoulder.

• Read more on d’Arnaud in the Journal.

BIRTHDAYS: Mets bullpen catcher Eric Langill turns 35. ... Former reliever Graeme Lloyd is 47.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets trade Ike Davis ASAP?

First look: My Hall of Fame ballot

December, 2, 2013
12/02/13
12:00
PM ET
The Hall of Fame will announce the 2014 class of inductees on Jan. 8.

Eligible voters who have been members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America for 10 years may select from zero to 10 candidates.

Those candidates appearing on 75 percent of the submitted ballots are elected. Candidates may remain on the ballot for as many as 15 years, provided they continue to appear on 5 percent of the ballots cast.

Here is my Hall of Fame ballot.

Second-year candidates Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens appear on my ballot for the first time. I also voted for Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas in their first year of eligibility. Because 10 candidates is the maximum for which to vote, I could not fit Tim Raines or Lee Smith this time after voting for them a year ago.



USA TODAY Sports, Getty Images
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza all have been scrutinized by Hall of Fame voters.
Here are the players appearing on my ballot for the Hall of Fame:

1. Jeff Bagwell
2. Craig Biggio
3. Jack Morris
4. Dale Murphy
5. Tim Raines
6. Curt Schilling
7. Lee Smith

The overall voting results will be announced Wednesday at 2 p.m., with a player needing to appear on 75 percent of submitted ballots to be enshrined in Cooperstown and on 5 percent to remain on the ballot for the following year.

I plan to wait a year on Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Mike Piazza before placing them on my ballot.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
13 4.14 136 182
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .296
HRL. Duda 27
RBIL. Duda 81
RD. Murphy 74
OPSL. Duda .817
ERAJ. Niese 3.55
SOZ. Wheeler 173