New York Mets: Bill de Blasio

Morning Briefing: The day after ...

April, 1, 2014
Apr 1

Elsa/Getty ImagesJohn Lannan reacts after serving up a three-run homer to Anthony Rendon in the 10th inning on Opening Day.

FIRST PITCH: The Mets take a pause after an Opening Day loss before regrouping for Game 2 of the season.

Bartolo Colon will make his Mets debut opposite Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday at Citi Field. Because a southpaw is starting for the Nats, righty-hitting Josh Satin is expected to start at first base.

There will be one thing to watch on the off day: Jonathon Niese is scheduled to pitch another minor-league game in Florida. This is the final tune-up hurdle for Niese, who opened the season on the disabled list. The Mets are eyeing activating Niese from the DL on Sunday.

Niese is working back after receiving a cortisone injection in his left elbow to address inflammation. He also was slowed early in camp by shoulder weakness.

Tuesday’s news reports:

Andrew Brown and Juan Lagares homered, but Bobby Parnell blew the save with two outs in the ninth and Jeurys Familia and John Lannan combined to surrender five runs an inning later in a bullpen implosion. The Mets ultimately lost to Washington, 9-7, in 10 innings in the season opener before an announced crowd of 42,442. Dillon Gee departed with a 4-3 lead and two runners on base, but received a no-decision after Carlos Torres and Scott Rice combined to throw eight straight balls and force in the tying run.

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

Read more in Gee in the Post.

Read more on Brown and Lagares in the Post and Star-Ledger.

Read more on the bullpen’s struggles in the Post, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Daniel Murphy missed Opening Day because his wife Tori was giving birth to the couple’s first child, son Noah, in Florida on Monday. Chris Young was out of the starting lineup because of a quadriceps strain. Meanwhile, several players were dealing with the flu, including Ike Davis, who was late taking the field for the first pitch because of what the first baseman described as an illness. Read more in the Star-Ledger and at

• Michael Salfino in the Journal was unimpressed with the Mets’ Opening Day lineup minus Murphy and C.Y. Writes Salfino:

With second baseman Daniel Murphy and center fielder Chris Young both sidelined for the team's 9-7 loss on Monday, the Mets were forced to start a patchwork lineup on the very first day of the season -- one that combined for a .689 on-base plus slugging percentage last year. That’s the ninth-worst prior-year OPS for an opening-day lineup in team history and the worst since 1983, when the Mets finished 68-94.

Even if Murphy and Young had been in the lineup, it would have raised the Mets' prior-year OPS to .703, still the worst since 1984, according to Stats LLC.

• The Mets signed 40-year-old Bobby Abreu and assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. Read more in the Daily News and Newsday.

Jeff Roberson/Associated PressSandy Alderson says 90 wins is not a guarantee.

• Sandy Alderson said his 90-wins mantra is a goal, not a guarantee.

Writes columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post:

Do these Mets have the talent to win 90?

“Let me put it this way,” a most skeptical scout, who has followed the Mets all spring, said before the first pitch. “Would this team be happy with 80 wins? I think they’d sign up for that right now.”

Writes columnist Tara Sullivan in the Record:

If Alderson really believes this is a 90-win team, he should have done more to fill the roster with 90-win players. He should have plugged the leaks in his middle infield instead of settling on Daniel Murphy and Ruben Tejada. He should have signed a reliable power-hitting first baseman, instead waging a war of mediocrity between Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. He should have revamped a bullpen he admitted was the weakest leak last season, instead of relying on the likes of Carlos Torres (one four-pitch RBI walk), Scott Rice (one four-pitch RBI walk), Bobby Parnell (blown save) and Jeurys Familia (losing pitcher of record).

Instead, he framed the season with a stark delineation of success or failure, a hard number that feels like a setup, particularly for embattled manager Terry Collins.

Writes a more supportive columnist, Dave D’Alessandro in the Star-Ledger:

But the pummeling Alderson has taken since his remarks were leaked 35 days ago raises another question (not the one about his meds): Since when did it become a bad thing to set high standards?

Because it shouldn’t be a bad thing. Not if it is a clear-eyed-and-sober affirmation, rather than something pulled out of Jim Dolan’s Easter bonnet.

Read other 90-win-mantra recaps in the Times, Daily News, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was booed at Citi Field while throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Read more in the Post and Daily News.

• The pregame festivities included a tribute to the late Ralph Kiner, the legendary broadcaster and Hall of Fame player. Read more in the Post, Daily News and Newsday.

• Jim Kelly, who helps scout upcoming Mets opponents by video, will travel with the Mets and serve as the person deciding whether to challenge umpires’ calls.

Jenrry Mejia remains on track to start Friday against the Cincinnati Reds after having his right forearm examined by a team doctor. Mejia had been struck by a liner Friday in Montreal.

• The Nats suffered a pair of injuries Monday. Catcher Wilson Ramos received a left hand injury and will see a specialist Tuesday. Bryce Harper, meanwhile, had a headache but apparently passed a concussion test after his slide into second base resulted in his head getting whacked by Eric Young Jr.’s leg.

Curtis Granderson went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in his Mets debut. Read more in the Post, Daily News and Newsday.

• Duda saw late action at first base Monday after Davis was double-switched out of the game. For now, Davis, Duda and Satin all will see time -- although Alderson noted the Mets will need to drop a position player, first baseman or otherwise, this weekend when Niese is activated from the DL. Read more in the Post.

• Washington lost the first-ever video-review challenge at Citi Field, in the 10th inning on a play Danny Espinosa apparently correctly was ruled out at first base. Read more in the Post.

From the bloggers … Blogging Mets reflects on a disappointing Opening Day.

BIRTHDAYS: The new father Murphy turns 29. ... Rusty Staub is 70.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets shake up their bullpen before Game 2 on Wednesday?

Morning Briefing: Opening Day!

March, 31, 2014
Mar 31
Mets fan Stewie Griffin always gets fed up on Opening Day, despite the team’s high rate of success in openers.


FIRST PITCH: The 53rd Opening Day in franchise history has arrived.

Dillon Gee is scheduled to throw the season’s first pitch at Citi Field at roughly 1:10 p.m.

Gee, making his first career Opening Day start, opposes Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg, who starts Game 1 for the third straight season.

Washington won the 2013 season series, 12-7.

A pregame ceremony will honor the late Ralph Kiner, with four of his children participating.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio throws out the ceremonial first pitch.

Terry Collins also unveils his lineup, with the question marks being: Ike Davis or Lucas Duda at first base? And Eric Young Jr. or Juan Lagares in the outfield?

The Mets are 34-18 in franchise history on Opening Day … and that includes eight straight losses to begin their existence.

Monday also marks the official beginning of instant replay for the Mets.

Monday’s news reports:

• The Mets set their roster Sunday by placing Jonathon Niese on the 15-day disabled list and Matt Harvey on the 60-day disabled list and by sending Eric Campbell, Kyle Farnsworth, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Anthony Seratelli and Taylor Teagarden to the minors.

The 25-man roster:

Starting pitchers (4): Gee, Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler and Jenrry Mejia

Relievers (7): Bobby Parnell, Jose Valverde, Jeurys Familia, Carlos Torres, Gonzalez Germen, Scott Rice and John Lannan

Infielders (9): Travis d’Arnaud, Anthony Recker, Davis, Duda, Josh Satin, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, Omar Quintanilla and David Wright

Outfielders (5): Chris Young, Lagares, EY Jr., Curtis Granderson and Andrew Brown

• Read Opening Day previews in the Post, Daily News, Times, Record and at

• Marc Carig in Newsday writes that Gee’s tryout for the Mets before being drafted in the 21st round in 2007 almost did not happen because of rain.

The field was unplayable. And now the Mets’ scout in charge was trying to send most of them home.

He told the group that the workout would be moved to a small indoor facility about 45 minutes up the road. Only 15 could go. Then he read aloud from the list of the chosen few.

Dillon Gee didn't hear his name.

Disappointed, he was ready to begin the long drive home. But before he made it to the car, his father made a beeline toward the scout, Ray Corbett.

“I was embarrassed,” Gee said last week. “But that’s kind of how my dad is. He was probably thinking, ‘I didn’t come here for nothing.’”

Read more on Gee in the Post and

• Jared Diamond in the Journal wonders when the next “Harvey Day” will be. Harvey, by the way, accompanied the team from Florida to Montreal and then on to New York and will be at Citi Field on Monday, including performing his rehab pregame by throwing on flat ground.

• Lannan, who made the team as a second left-hander in the bullpen, plans to spend the opening homestand living in the Long Beach, Long Island, house in which he grew up. Lannan will move to Manhattan when the apartment becomes available later this month. Read more in the Post.

• Shortstops Nick Franklin and Didi Gregorius both were demoted by their clubs and should still be available via trade, the Post’s Joel Sherman tweets.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post offers five reasons for optimism … and five reasons for pessimism.

• Anthony Rieber in Newsday writes about four Mets who can make Sandy Alderson’s 90-win goal become reality.

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post notes the Mets are deep in starting pitching throughout the system.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger delves in the Mets’ recent home futility. Vorkunov notes the Mets were MLB’s only team with a winning road record and losing overall record last season.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing declares that on Opening Day, baseball is a metaphor for baseball, which is all it has to be. … The Eddie Kranepool Society opines on what to expect from the Mets, with emphasis on the bullpen being a determining factor in the team’s competitiveness.

BIRTHDAYS: Tom Hausman, who pitched five seasons for the Mets, was born on this date in 1953.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What’s your ideal Mets lineup for Opening Day?

Morning Briefing: Tomorrow, tomorrow ...

March, 30, 2014
Mar 30

Howard Simmons/NY Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesFour of the late Ralph Kiner's children will be on hand at Citi Field on Monday when the Mets honor the Hall of Famer and legendary broadcaster.

FIRST PITCH: Opening Day is only a day away.

The Mets completed their exhibition schedule Saturday with a 2-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays before 50,229 onlookers in Montreal, then flew to New York in advance to Monday’s 1:10 p.m. opener against the Washington Nationals.

Dillon Gee (12-11, 3.62 ERA last season) will oppose Stephen Strasburg (8-9, 3.00) at Citi Field.

The Mets will have a private workout Sunday at their home ballpark.

Terry Collins on Saturday declined to specify his Opening Day lineup, which basically means declining to reveal whether Ike Davis or Lucas Duda would start at first base and whether Eric Young Jr. or Juan Lagares would start in the outfield.

TC has clearly advocated EY Jr. as his leadoff hitter, so the resolution should offer insight as to how much sway the manager actually has. Meanwhile, logic suggests Ike gets the first shot at first base, with very little rope, although that too remains to be seen.

Asked if he knew which Opening Day lineup he intended, Collins succinctly said Saturday: “I do.”

Asked if he cared to share it, the manager added: “No.”

The Mets are 34-18 in season openers, which gives them an MLB-best .654 winning percentage. That’s despite losing the first eight Opening Days in franchise history.

Sandy Alderson has floated a 90-win goal for the Mets, but that seems more wishful thinking than being realistic. The Mets have produced five straight losing seasons, and enter 2014 off consecutive 74-88 campaigns.

“We think we’re going to be better,” Collins maintained Saturday. “We think we’re going to do some positive things. We’ve added some athleticism, some power. Now we’ve just got to go play.”

Eric Bolte/USA TODAY SportsJenrry Mejia is scheduled to start Friday against the Reds.

Sunday’s news reports:

Jenrry Mejia has made the Opening Day roster over Daisuke Matsuzaka. Matsuzaka described himself as “shocked” by the decision. Still, there are multiple scenarios in which Matsuzaka never throws a pitch for Triple-A Las Vegas. Mejia is due to visit a doctor Sunday after being struck in the right forearm with a line drive Friday. X-rays in Montreal were negative. If Mejia cannot pitch Friday against the Cincinnati Reds, or if Jonathon Niese cannot come off the disabled list two days later for a homestand-concluding start, Matsuzaka would step in. Matsuzaka might succeed Mejia after one turn of the rotation anyway. Read more in the Times, Star-Ledger, Daily News, Newsday and

Gonzalez Germen and Andrew Brown round out the 25-man roster, with Kyle Farnsworth, Eric Campbell, Anthony Seratelli and Taylor Teagarden among the players ticketed for Triple-A. See the unofficial Opening Day list of players here.

• Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post recaps the long stretches of futility in Mets history, including 2009 to the present.

• New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will throw the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. A pregame ceremony at Citi Field will honor the late Ralph Kiner. It is due to include his children Michael, K.C., Tracee and Kimberlee. Their brother Scott will be in Pittsburgh for a Pirates ceremony honoring their father, according to the Daily News, which interviewed Kiner’s kids. Read more on the pregame ceremony in the Daily News.

• Steve Serby in the Post has a Q&A with SNY’s Gary, Keith and Ron. On Noah Syndergaard, Ron Darling tells Serby: “I’ve watched him throw not only in a game, but also on the side. He’s a bear, and he’s got all the makings of one of those special guys. I think that there’s definitely some more polish that he needs.”

• The Mets’ ballpark-related revenue declined for a fourth straight season in 2013, Jim Baumbach writes in Newsday.

• Mike Puma in the Post discusses the Davis versus Duda decision.

• Marc Carig in Newsday reviews Alderson’s call for 90 wins.

Curtis Granderson as the cleanup hitter provides protection for David Wright in the No. 3 hole, writes Anthony Rieber in Newsday.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post doubts you’ll see Matt Harvey in 2014, with the Mets and agent Scott Boras both prioritizing being cautious. Writes Sherman:

It is not just that there has been a rash of Tommy John surgeries this spring (seven) that has the industry wondering if this is a coincidence or a sea change of some sort. But five starters between ages 24-29 -- Brandon Beachy, Daniel Hudson, Cory Luebke, Kris Medlen and Jarrod Parker -- all needed a second Tommy John in the past six weeks, and in the cases of Beachy, Hudson and Luebke it was within two years of their first. Harvey is 25.

• Harvey tells Rieber in Newsday he wants to be a Hall of Famer. He toured the museum at age 17. “Being the best is being in that room,” Harvey said. “That was something that I always kind of pictured and hoped that one day my plaque would be up there." Harvey and Masahiro Tanaka’s teams actually met in Cooperstown when Harvey was a teenager, Rieber also writes.

• The Mets hope to improve their recently dismal home record in 2014. Carig in Newsday writes one part of the plan is to curtail access to the players, at least during clubhouse time.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear remembers not being able to read about today’s game until tomorrow’s paper came out. … NY Mets Life reviews how Mets players have performed on past Opening Days.

BIRTHDAYS: Agent Terry Bross, a St. John’s product and former Mets pitcher, turns 48. Bross’ clients include Bronson Arroyo.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What do you believe the Mets’ record will be in 2014?



Bartolo Colon
14 4.02 143 190
BAD. Murphy .299
HRL. Duda 28
RBIL. Duda 85
RD. Murphy 76
OPSL. Duda .831
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 180