New York Mets: Chris Christie
NEW YORK -- New Jersey governor Chris Christie made headlines Sunday for his hug-fest in Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' box on Sunday to celebrate the victory over the Detroit Lions.
Christie loves him some Cowboys. pic.twitter.com/DnWjZPRA8O— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) January 5, 2015
An unashamed Christie said that would pale in comparison to what he would do if the Mets had postseason success.
“If I’m in Fred Wilpon’s box and the Mets get into the playoffs or win a playoff game, I’m hugging everything in sight,” Christie, a devout Mets fan as well, told WFAN on Monday. “I’m hugging the people serving us the drinks. I’m hugging everybody.”
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesDaisuke Matsuzaka will get a spot start in Game 2 of Sunday's doubleheader.
FIRST PITCH: Friday officially never happened.
After playing 3½ innings at Citi Field, then sitting through a 132-minute rain delay, the Mets’ series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks was washed away at Citi Field. The statistics, including Bartolo Colon serving up a two-run homer to Aaron Hill that had given the D-backs a 2-0 lead, will not count.
Zack Wheeler (1-4, 4.53 ERA) opposes right-hander Josh Collmenter (2-2, 4.02) on Saturday at 4:10 p.m. as previously scheduled.
The teams will now play a single-admission doubleheader at 1:10 p.m. Sunday, starting from scratch in the rainout makeup.
Rafael Montero starts Game 1 for the Mets, with Daisuke Matsuzaka getting a spot start in Game 2. Pitching coach Dan Warthen said he believes Matsuzaka is capable of logging 100 pitches despite solely working in relief during the regular season.
Bronson Arroyo and a minor-league call-up -- potentially Zeke Spruill -- will start Sunday’s games for the D-backs, with the order undeclared so far.
Both teams will be permitted to add a 26th player for the doubleheader. Assuming the Mets choose to add a reliever already on the 40-man roster for the day -- which is sensible -- Vic Black would seem the obvious choice. He has a 1.45 ERA in 17 relief appearances, but also has allowed 12 hits and 17 walks (one intentional) and hit a batter in 18 2/3 innings.
Saturday’s news reports:
• Matt Harvey joined Linda Cohn on the “Listen Closely” podcast to talk Tommy John surgery, the New York Rangers and his social life. Listen here.
• The Mets have hired Harold Kaufman -- a former executive with the NBA’s Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans -- as executive director of communications. Kaufman will try to promote the Mets to non-sports audiences, such as via the entertainment and lifestyle media.
Writes Anthony McCarron in the Daily News on that topic:
Let’s hope that Harold Kaufman, the Mets’ new PR whiz, can play shortstop and smack a few balls over Citi Field’s deep fences because what the Mets need more than any media makeover is better players.
Their poor public image -- talked to a Met fan lately? -- is not a media problem. It’s a baseball problem. A good product equals good PR, not the other way around. That’s how this business works.
Read more in the Times.
• New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would love to be the next Mets GM. Read more in the Daily News.
• Travid d’Arnaud is moving closer to a rehab assignment as his concussion symptoms have subsided.
• Dillon Gee now looks like he will miss four turns in the rotation while on the disabled list with a lat-muscle strain. Gee said he plans to get on a mound for the first time since landing on the DL on Sunday. That means he may not return until June 5 at Wrigley Field, assuming he bumps Jacob deGrom from the rotation. Read more in the Star-Ledger.
• Read about the rainout and revised schedule in the Arizona Republic, Post, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.
• Curtis Granderson is hitting .310 with five homers and 14 RBIs in May, Brian Lewis writes in the Post. Read more in the Times.
• Jenrry Mejia got over a mental hurdle Thursday by pitching for a second straight day, Mike Vorkunov writes in the Star-Ledger. Read more in Newsday.
• Kevin Plawecki delivered a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth for his 19th RBI in May and Binghamton beat New Britain, 3-2. Right-hander Matt Koch improved to 6-0 as St. Lucie beat Clearwater, 6-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.
BIRTHDAYS: Colon turns 41. ... Angels GM/ex-Met Jerry Dipoto is 46. ... Jae Weong Seo turns 37. ... Justin Hampson is 34.
TWEETS OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Is Daisuke Matsuzaka the correct choice to make Sunday’s spot start against the D-backs? (Noah Syndergaard logged 82 pitches Wednesday in Triple-A and would have been required to pitch on short rest Sunday -- not exactly a consideration.)
Woohoo #Mets didn't lose tonight! Thank you Mother Nature ;)— Ken Mapes (@khmapes1) May 24, 2014
"I would love to be general manager of the Mets," Christie told WFAN, per the Star-Ledger. "If Sandy would put his crap in boxes and get out of there now, I'd be happy to go there now."
Christie, a big Mets fan, visited the Mets complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., during spring training in March while on vacation.
He indicated he has been to four Mets games this season.
"I texted my son after they lost one of the games this week: 'It is impossible to watch,'" Christie reportedly said. "It is impossible to watch. Just when you care about them as much as I do, it's hard to watch sometimes."
FIRST PITCH: Jonathon Niese, who had been dispatched to New York early in camp for an MRI of his left shoulder, makes his 2014 Grapefruit League debut Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. against the St. Louis Cardinals (WOR 710 AM).
Niese tossed three innings in a controlled intrasquad game Thursday.
He should get three additional starts beyond Tuesday before drawing the Opening Day assignment on March 31 against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.
Niese is due to face Cards right-hander Adam Wainwright at Roger Dean Stadium.
See the Mets’ full travel list here.
Tuesday’s news reports:
• Zack Wheeler tells columnist John Harper in the Daily News that his drive is similar to Matt Harvey’s, although not their demeanors.
Lightheartedly asked if the Harvey role also included dating models, Wheeler added:
“Whatever comes, we’ll see. I don’t go out that much. Last year I didn’t even go out one time in New York because I was so concentrated on what I was doing, just being called up at the time. But we’ll see. If a hot model comes along, so be it. Why not, right? …
"I’m not really 'country,'" Wheeler added about his Georgia upbringing. "Everybody thinks that. My family moved to a country-type area when I was in eighth grade, and my friends there all had lifter trucks, so I wanted one and I got one with my bonus money. But I love New York: bright lights, tall buildings, gorgeous girls. It’s great. People have perceptions about me because I don’t say that much, but they really don’t know me."
• Ike Davis has been placed in a walking boot because of a continued issue with a strained right calf. Of course, getting fitted for a walking boot back in 2011 after a collision with David Wright in Colorado contributed to ending Davis’ season, because it constricted his circulation. But this one is more loose-fitting.
Lucas Duda, meanwhile, is expected to reenter Grapefruit League action Wednesday or Thursday. Duda, who has been troubled by left hamstring tightness, hit in a cage without issue Monday.
Read more in the Times, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and Journal.
Also sent out: left-handers Steven Matz, Jack Leathersich and Adam Kolarek, right-handers Erik Goeddel, Logan Verrett, John Church and Chasen Bradford, catcher Kevin Plawecki, infielders Wilfredo Tovar and Danny Muno, infielder/outfielder Dustin Lawley and outfielders Brandon Nimmo, Cesar Puello and Cory Vaughn.
Leathersich had surrendered a monster homer to Giancarlo Stanton during Monday’s Grapefruit League game.
Forty-nine players remain in camp, including the rehabbing Harvey and Jeremy Hefner.
Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Newsday and MLB.com.
• With Scott Rice now the lone lefty reliever in camp, Terry Collins plans to give John Lannan a look in that bullpen role. Still, Lannan is scheduled to start Wednesday’s Grapefruit League game and remains in the fifth-starter’s competition with Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jenrry Mejia and, officially, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom.
• Wilmer Flores, who last started at shortstop in 2011 with Class A St. Lucie, will be in the starting lineup at that position Tuesday in Jupiter. Flores already has finished two Grapefruit League games at shortstop after starting elsewhere.
• Bartolo Colon took a scoreless effort into the fourth inning before surrendering three runs and the Mets ultimately lost to the Miami Marlins, 11-1, Monday at Tradition Field. Mets pitchers allowed 19 hits and Ruben Tejada committed an error.
In a morning “B” game, Dillon Gee tossed four scoreless innings, Mejia added two perfect frames, and Tovar and Vaughn contributed early two-run doubles against Kevin Slowey in an 8-0 win against Miami.
On Colon, columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post quotes J.P. Ricciardi saying: “When I was scouting with Oakland, I saw him one-hit the Yankees in Yankee Stadium, and he did it on a fastball and a changeup. He threw one slider in the ninth inning to [Derek] Jeter. I will never forget that. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever saw. He’d go in, go out, great changeup. That’s what I love about the guy. He’s a strike machine.’’
Writes Tyler Kepner in the Times:
Colon used his fastball for 85.5 percent of his pitches last season with Oakland, according to Fangraphs. Cleveland’s Justin Masterson was second, at 73.3 percent.
This strategy would seem to have made more sense for Colon when he was young, and could throw about 100 miles per hour. But Colon turns 41 in May, and his fastball averaged 89.9 miles per hour last season. Everyone else in the top 10 in fastball percentage threw harder.
With his style of pitching, Colon is comparable to another 40-something right-hander who just left the New York stage.
“It’s like Mariano was,” said Mets outfielder Chris Young, Colon’s teammate on the A’s last season. “You know what’s coming, but it’s all about where you’re starting it and what you’re trying to accomplish with each pitch. He thinks about that when he’s on the mound. He’s accomplishing different things, moving in and out. Even though it is just the fastball most of the time, he still keeps guys off-balance somehow, and he breaks a lot of bats.”
Read more on Colon’s outing in the Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News and MLB.com.
Read more on Gee and the “B” game in the Star-Ledger and MLB.com.
• Marc Carig in Newsday discusses the Mets’ sound baserunning last season. Writes Carig:
• According to FanGraphs, the Mets' baserunning was worth a big league-best 21.4 runs above average, or roughly two wins in the standings. Baseball Prospectus, which publishes its own version of baserunning value, also ranked the Mets No. 1 by a wide margin.
• Wally Backman interviewed in Port St. Lucie for the managerial position with Aguilas Cibaeñas of the Dominican winter league.
• Colon (Saturday) and Mejia (Sunday) are expected to start the Mets’ weekend split-squad games in Las Vegas against the Chicago Cubs. Also due on the trip: Wright, Curtis Granderson, Travis d’Arnaud, Bobby Parnell and Juan Lagares.
• Mr. Met has joined Twitter (@MrMet). Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.
• There will be a pregame tribute to the late Gary Carter at Olympic Stadium on March 28, with Carter’s widow Sandy on hand, when the Mets face the Toronto Blue Jays in the first of two exhibition games in Montreal, TSN’s Matthew Ross tweeted.
• New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attended a second straight Mets game Monday. He declined an interview request from ESPNNewYork.com about baseball and rooting for the Mets.
• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post lists Davis vs. Duda as among “spring training’s juiciest position battles.”
• Read a Canadian perspective on the trade that sent d'Arnaud to the Mets in the Toronto Star.
• From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report does not predict a happy resolution for Davis and the ballclub. … NY Mets Life examines why 2014 is a vital year of the Mets.
BIRTHDAYS: Hefner, who is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, turns 28.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Eliot J. Schechter/MLB PhotosBartolo Colon is scheduled to make his Mets debut at 1:10 p.m. Monday against the Marlins.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets play a doubleheader of sorts Monday.
At 9:30 a.m., Dillon Gee kicks off a “B” game against the Miami Marlins in Port St. Lucie. Also due to pitch in that game: Erik Goeddel, Cory Mazzoni and Jenrry Mejia.
The official Grapefruit League game begins at 1:10 p.m. at Tradition Field (SNY).
Bartolo Colon, slowed early in camp by a calf issue, makes his Mets debut. Vic Black, John Church, Jeurys Familia, Jack Leathersich, Scott Rice and Jeff Walters also are due to pitch.
Left-hander Brad Hand starts the Grapefruit League game for the Marlins.
Monday’s news reports:
• Sandy Alderson, in his clearest statement yet about when Matt Harvey might return, told columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post: “We’re looking to have him ready to go for 2015. There is no looking to have him ready for ’14.” Alderson’s official position remains not to close the door entirely on this season, but to paint it as highly improbable. Kernan also notes the Mets have greatly restricted Harvey’s ability to speak with the media, even when he is amenable.
Read game recaps in the Daily News and MLB.com.
• Closer Bobby Parnell had his first game appearance since last July 30. He had been eager to ramp up activity to test his recovery from Sept. 10 surgery that repaired a herniated disk in his neck. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and MLB.com.
• Juan Lagares, who had a franchise-rookie-record 15 outfield assists last season, had another one Sunday. And Mets brass will have a serious decision to make within three weeks about whether Lagares or Eric Young Jr. merits the bulk of the playing time early in the season. That decision also will determine whether EY Jr. or Chris Young leads off.
Columnist John Harper in the Daily News sides with Lagares in the playing-time debate, and notes Sunday’s gunning out of Andrelton Simmons at third base only reinforces Lagares being the correct choice for center field. Writes Harper:
Above all, the play was a rather stunning reminder of how valuable Lagares’ defense in center field was last year -- and what a mistake it would be if the Mets decide he’s the odd man out in the outfield in 2014.
That’s a very real possibility, however. Terry Collins’ assessment of the outfield situation on Sunday sounded a bit ominous for Lagares.
“It’s going to be a tough call,” the manager said. “We know what Juan is defensively -- he’s as good a center fielder as there is. But we’ve gotta take a look at both sides of the baseball. We’ve gotta make sure we can do something about producing some runs. We can’t have a lot of holes [in the lineup].”
• Daniel Murphy did not play in Sunday’s Grapefruit League game. Nor did he participate in pregame drills with teammates. That is because Friday’s right-shin issue is more severe than initially portrayed. Still, Murphy should return shortly, Collins predicted. The same may not be true for Ike Davis, whose right-calf strain has not improved as hoped. Read more in the Post and Record.
• Jonathon Niese, who pitched in Thursday’s intrasquad game, is ready to make his 2014 Grapefruit League debut Tuesday, he told ESPNNewYork.com. The southpaw, who is expected to start on Opening Day, had been dispatched to New York two weeks ago for an MRI of his pitching shoulder. Read more in the Star-Ledger.
• Tim Rohan in the Times portrays Ruben Tejada as the shortstop by default.
• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger reveals Noah Syndergaard’s (minimal) New Jersey roots. Spoiler: Syndergaard’s mother was born on a Toms River naval base while his grandfather briefly was stationed there.
• Dillon Gee tells Anthony Rieber in Newsday he is enthusiastic about being named to the advisory board of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which tries to steer youths away from performance-enhancing drugs.
• From the bloggers … Rising Apple notes that if the Mets acquire a shortstop, it also could solve the leadoff debate. … NY Mets Life examines Johan Santana’s career with the club.
BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets outfielder John Cangelosi was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1963.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Are the Mets a better team with Eric Young Jr. regularly in the leadoff spot or Juan Lagares regularly in center field?
Amazing how true love works. Mom just passed away, less than a month after Dad. 64 years together, now eternity! Thanks for everything Mom!!— Frank J. Viola, Jr. (@FrankViola16) March 10, 2014
“I’d like to forget what I just did out there,” Wheeler said after allowing three hits and a walk while striking out three against the Atlanta Braves.
The Mets ultimately won, 8-2, thanks to seven unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth.
The Mets announced the crowd as a Tradition Field-record 7,687, which included New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
With the game tied at 1 in the bottom of the eighth, the tiebreaking run scored when Matt den Dekker raced from first base all the way to the plate on Anthony Seratelli’s bunt, which reliever Luis Vasquez fielded and errantly fired down the right-field line. Dustin Lawley followed with a run-scoring groundout and, against reliever Mark Lamm, Kevin Plawecki added a two-run double. Den Dekker, batting again in the inning, capped the Mets’ scoring with a two-run triple for an 8-1 lead.
Bobby’s back: Bobby Parnell handled the ninth inning, marking his first time in an official game since last July 30. (His first game-type appearance came in an intrasquad game Thursday, but Parnell said that was low-intensity and no comparison to Sunday’s Grapefruit League game.)
Parnell allowed a leadoff double to Mark Hamilton, then watched the Braves load the bases with none out thanks to an error at first base by Matt Clark and catcher’s interference by Plawecki. Parnell then coaxed a run-scoring double play for the lone damage against him and ended the game with a strikeout.
Parnell had undergone surgery on Sept. 10 to repair a herniated disk in his neck.
Center attention: Juan Lagares, who had a Mets-rookie-record 15 outfield assists last season, was at it again.
Lagares bailed Wheeler out of trouble in the first inning. The center fielder charged B.J. Upton’s single to right-center and threw out Andrelton Simmons attempting to go from first to third base.
Terry Collins has advocated using Eric Young Jr. in the leadoff spot, but that likely pulls Lagares from the starting lineup. So the Mets will continue to debate the merits of each. Lagares proving he can competently handle MLB pitching would significantly help his cause. He batted .242 with a .282 on-base percentage in 421 plate appearances last season.
Lagares, for the record, also lost a seventh-inning fly ball in the sun that resulted in an extra-base hit Sunday. He went 0-for-2, but is hitting .353 in the Grapefruit League.
A-plus: Andrew Brown had an important outfield assist, too. The right fielder gunned down Matt Lipka at the plate to end the top of the eighth inning, preserving a 1-all tie. Plawecki technically blocked the plate on the play, but Collins asked the plate ump. Mark Ripperger told the manager Plawecki was within his rights because Brown’s throw was online and Plawecki did not entirely block the entire plate anyway.
Ouch: Braves right-hander Kris Medlen grabbed his pitching elbow and departed the game after delivering a two-out pitch in the fourth to Clark. After being examined by Mets doctor Struan Coleman at the stadium, Medlen preliminarily was diagnosed with a forearm strain, the Braves announced. That’s particularly bad news for Medlen, who missed the entire 2011 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
What’s next: The Mets play two against the Miami Marlins on Monday in Port St. Lucie. Dillon Gee starts a 9:30 a.m. “B” game. Bartolo Colon then handles the Grapefruit League game, in his 2014 exhibition debut.
Adam RubinFred Wilpon welcomes New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to Tradition Field for Sunday's Mets-Braves game. Christie declined to speak with media, citing that he is on vacation, a Mets spokesman said.
Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesZack Wheeler's teammates doused him with beverages after his first major league win.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets may rival the Miami Marlins for futility in 2013, but Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler -- 1A and 1B – offer the hope to fans of better days to come.
“They’re going to enjoy watching these two guys for a long time,” Terry Collins said after Harvey and Wheeler earned the victories in a doubleheader sweep at Turner Field on Tuesday. “They’re going to be around and they’re going to be in the same rotation. You’ve got two guys that can win some baseball games for you.”
Wednesday’s news reports:
• Harvey took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning of Game 1 and the Mets narrowly held on for a 4-3 win thanks to Bobby Parnell’s four-out save. Wheeler, despite walking five batters, then tossed six scoreless innings in the nightcap as the Mets swept Atlanta with a 6-1 victory. Harvey believed a no-hitter was attainable until Jason Heyward produced a leadoff infield single up the first-base line in the seventh. Wheeler described himself as amped up early for his major league debut.
Writes columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record:
Listen hard enough and you could almost pick up the dog-whistle message after the Mets had finished sweeping the Braves on Tuesday: The suffering is over. Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler did more than offer a beta version of better times ahead. This was chicken soup for Flushing’s battered soul.
It almost wouldn’t have mattered how the franchise’s two best pitching prospects fared -- the fact that Harvey and Wheeler were on display, exploding the radar gun in the high 90s, served as its own medicine. But the day turned out better than that for the Mets. Much better, in fact.
Writes columnist John Harper in the Daily News:
At the very least, Super Tuesday was a showcase of dazzling pitching talent for Mets fans to savor, and, who knows, it may come to be remembered as the start of something big. There are miles to go to make that happen, and with the Mets, you know there is bound to be more misfortune along the way.
Still, it was quite the 10 hours or so.
Writes Brian Costa in the Journal:
Matt Harvey in the day game. Zack Wheeler in the night game. A legitimate ace and a potential ace, both out of the Mets' farm system, together in a doubleheader loaded with intrigue. Harvey chased a no-hitter. Wheeler made a stellar big-league debut.
Awful as they may be, the Mets deserved to stop and enjoy this. And if you've suffered through the sorry spectacle that is Mets baseball recently, how could you not? It was a proud day for an organization that hasn't had many of them.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Times, Journal and MLB.com as well as columnist Mike Vaccaro’s take in the Post and columnist David Lennon’s take in Newsday.
The final move Tuesday night involved sending Wheeler back to Triple-A Las Vegas, which is playing in Tucson, Ariz., through Friday. Wheeler will return in time for Tuesday’s start against the Chicago White Sox in the Windy City.
Read more in the Star-Ledger, Newsday, Daily News and MLB.com.
• Straight-talking New Jersey governor Chris Christie told schoolchildren about his affection for the Mets while saying they “stink” and are “awful.” Read more in the Star-Ledger.
• First-round pick Dominic Smith is imminently signing with the Mets. Newsday reported the deal will be worth $2.6 million -- about $200,000 below slot.
• Ex-Met Fernando Martinez has been traded by the Houston Astros to the Yankees.
• Asked if New York hosting the All-Star game should factor into whether Harvey should start the spectacle, San Francisco Giants/NL manager Bruce Bochy told SiriusXM:
“Well, it would play a part in it, sure. … That could play a part in my decision. These are things [Giants pitching coach] Dave Righetti and I will talk about, but I think it should play a part, to be honest. Now, I also believe that whoever deserves to go, whoever deserves to start that game should get that. But all things even, then I think you look at something like that -- a guy that’s in his hometown pitching.”
• Some Mets fans took offense to a Braves announcer hoping on air that Harvey would strain an oblique Tuesday. Watch the YouTube clip here.
• Dustin Lawley produced a game-tying two-run homer in the seventh, then had a walk-off RBI double two innings later as St. Lucie beat Charlotte, 7-6. Read the full minor league recap here.
• Dwight Gooden has taken notice of the attention Wheeler’s debut received. “It’s been incredible the way that people have been so eager to see him -- if that excitement is channeled right it could really help him,” Gooden told Roger Rubin in the Daily News.
• Michael Salfino in the Journal chronicles the Mets’ history of late-inning collapses at Turner Field.
• From the bloggers … Faith and Fear notes Wheeler is the first Met born in the 1990s and examines the debuts of other decade-‘firsters’ in franchise history.
BIRTHDAYS: McHugh, who was traded to the Rockies last night, turns 26. … Bruce Chen, now with the Royals, turns 36. … Claudio Vargas is 35.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Do you like the acquisition of Eric Young Jr.?
Excited to now be apart of the @Mets family. Can't wait to meet/play with my new teammates, and play in NY!— Eric Young Jr (@EYJr) June 19, 2013
ATLANTA -- During a Tuesday visit to Samsel Upper Elementary School in Parlin, N.J., Gov. Chris Christie pledged his allegiance to the Mets while acknowledging the team stinks.
After noting he roots for the NBA's Knicks, Christie said: "My favorite baseball team is the New York Mets," which was met with a mixed reaction from the schoolchildren.
"See, now, these are probably Yankees fans, right, that are booing," Christie continued. "Are those Yankees fans that are booing?
"OK, here's what I don't understand about Yankees fans: The Mets stink. We're awful. And the Yankees are usually really good. So why do you boo us? You should feel badly for us. We root for this awful team that never wins and yet the Yankees fans boo us. I don't understand that."
Christie, for the record, also roots for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Rangers.
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Jonathon Niese, who reached base in all three of his plate appearances, greets John Buck after the catcher scored Monday.
Six Mets had two-hit games, including newcomers Marlon Byrd, John Buck and Cowgill, plus pitcher Jonathon Niese.
The Mets improved their Opening Day winning percentage to an MLB-best .654 (34-18).
Terry Collins thought winning on Day 1 was important to try to establish credibility with fans.
The Mets take today off, then send Matt Harvey to the mound Wednesday night against Padres left-hander Clayton Richard.
A pair of intended members of the Mets’ rotation will have important events during today’s off-day, though.
Johan Santana undergoes surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder for the second time.
In Port St. Lucie, Shaun Marcum will throw in a controlled game in which he tosses 75 pitches, spread evenly over five innings.
Marcum suffered from a shoulder impingement and neck discomfort during spring training, although he officially was placed on the DL by the team with biceps tendinitis. The Mets hope to activate Marcum for Sunday’s homestand finale against the Miami Marlins. Otherwise, Aaron Laffey is a candidate to be called up from Triple-A Las Vegas and make the start.
Tuesday’s news reports:
• Read game recaps in the Times, Daily News Record, Star-Ledger, Newsday and MLB.com.
• Cowgill became the first Met to hit a grand slam in his debut with the franchise. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Post and Times.
• Niese became the 22nd different Mets pitcher to start on Opening Day. In addition to reaching base in all three of his plate appearances, the southpaw limited the Padres to two runs in 6 2/3 innings to earn the win. Read more in the Post and Newsday.
• Ruben Tejada, after hitting .096 in spring training, drove in the first run of the season with a second-inning double off Edinson Volquez that scored Buck from first base. Read more in Newsday and the Post.
• David Wright continued his streak of producing at least one hit in every Opening Day game in which he has participated. He also stole two bases Monday. Wright was introduced by Howie Rose during the pregame ceremony as the fourth captain in franchise history. Read more in the Record, Post and Newsday.
• Former Long Island Ducks left-hander Scott Rice made his major league debut with a perfect ninth that included two strikeouts. Rice (31 years, 192 days old) became the second-oldest U.S.-born player to make his major league debut with the Mets. Only Shawn Gilbert (32 years, 82 days) in 1997 was older. Read more in the Record, Daily News, Post and Newsday.
• Overall, the retooled bullpen tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings, notes Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger.
• Frank Francisco (elbow), Jenrry Mejia (forearm), Marcum and Santana officially were placed on the disabled list.
• The Mets generously announced Monday’s crowd as a sellout of 41,053, despite pockets of empty seats visible. The team said another 1,000 tickets -- not counted in the attendance total -- were given away to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Read more in Newsday.
• Dwight Gooden, who attended the Mets opener, told Neil Best in Newsday: "I'm not sold on the bullpen yet, but I like the starting pitching. And the offense, I think, can be average. It's going to be a long shot this year, obviously. A lot of things need to go their way. They have to be healthy, some guys have to play better than expectations. And you have to hope for injuries from the other teams in the division, unfortunately."
• New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a devout Mets fan, attended Monday’s Mets-Padres game, notes Mike Lupica in the Daily News.
• Columnist Steve Politi in the Star-Ledger and Mike Vaccaro in the Post say Day 1 gave Mets fans hope. Johnette Howard at ESPNNewYork.com, Tyler Kepner in the Times and Tim Smith in the Daily News also review the positive day.
• Ike Davis went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. “The streak continues,” Davis told Mike Puma in the Post. “Maybe I’m nervous or jitters or swinging too hard. I still have never gotten a hit on Opening Day.”
• From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing frames Opening Day as the other side of "to be continued..." … Shannon from Mets Police congratulates the Mets on announcing a sold-out stadium, but is befuddled by the pictures of empty seats he took.
BIRTHDAYS: Hisanori Takahashi turns 38. … Al Weis was born on Long Island on this date in 1938.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Does your opinion of the Mets’ potential change because of their Opening Day showing?
I wonder if @adamrubinespn still thinks we're only getting 66 W's this year?— Real Edwin (@thereal_edwin) April 1, 2013
FIRST PITCH: The Mets make their longest bus trip so far this spring -- more than two hours to Lakeland, Fla.
Dillon Gee, Bobby Parnell, LaTroy Hawkins and Cory Mazzoni are due to face the Detroit Tigers.
Max Scherzer and Phil Coke pitch for Detroit.
Friday’s news reports:
• Matt Harvey tossed 4 1/3 no-hit innings and the Mets beat the Marlins, 4-1, Thursday at Tradition Field. Pedro Feliciano retired the two batters he faced -- both lefties -- during the victory, although his fastball velocity was 82-84 mph. Justin Turner appeared in the outfield in a game for the first time since 2006. Matt den Dekker, who has power in addition to a solid glove, homered.
Read more on Harvey in the Daily News, Record, Post, Newsday and MLB.com.
• Frank Francisco plans to throw from a mound Saturday for the first time since reporting to camp with elbow inflammation. Read more in the Post and Star-Ledger.
• Jenrry Mejia (thyroid) is due to return to camp Friday. He has been cleared to resume baseball. Daniel Murphy (side muscle) is due to swing against a coach. Kirk Nieuwenhuis (knee) ran on a submerged treadmill Thursday.
• Zack Wheeler threw off a mound Thursday for the first time since straining his right oblique eight days earlier. Read more in Newsday and the Daily News.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie likes the Mets' growing young nucleus.
"I’ll be there on Opening Day," Christie told SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio channel, according to the Star-Ledger. "I like our young pitching. I think our young pitching has a lot of potential. I love Ike Davis and David Wright, obviously. And I like Daniel Murphy. So I think we’ve got some pieces. [Travis] d’Arnaud, the rookie catcher, I think we’ll see him by midseason.
“But, let’s face it, the outfield is challenged. But I think the Mets will have a lot of payroll come off after this year, and I think next year you’ll see them get a lot more aggressive about upgrading the outfield and upgrading the bench. And when you have young pitchers like Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler and Jon Niese, I think that’s a pretty good core to move forward with.”
• Mariano Rivera plans on Saturday to announce his retirement at season’s end. Rivera notched his 500th career save at Citi Field.
“I have the distinct honor to tell my kids and grandkids one day that I got a walk-off hit against him,’’ Wright told reporters, referring to a May 19, 2006 hit. “Obviously that’s one of the highlights for me. And for as passionate as New York fans are about the Subway Series, to deliver a walk-off hit against the greatest closer in the game will definitely be a good story for my kids and grandkids one day. It went over Johnny Damon’s head in center field.”
Read more in the Post.
• Marc Carig in Newsday discusses Greg Burke’s decision to become a submarine-style reliever a year ago.
• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post suggests the bullpen will determine the difference between the Mets being “mediocre and awful.”
• Anthony DiComo at MLB.com profiles Jordany Valdespin.
• From the bloggers … Shannon from Mets Police is not a fan of the World Baseball Classic, but wonders: Who is the bigger fool -- the fool, or the fool who buys the fool's jersey? … The Eddie Kranepool Society selects its favorites for the 25-man roster. … Metsmerized wants no part of any K-Rod reunion.
BIRTHDAYS: Left-hander Willard Hunter, who pitched for the ’62 Mets, was born on this date in 1934.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: When Frank Francisco returns, should he automatically take over the closer’s role from Bobby Parnell?
In 1962,catcher Harry Chiti was traded for himself. My question is who got the better of the deal?— Jay Horwitz (@Jay_HorwitzPR) March 7, 2013
Christie, whom we are assuming is a Mets fan, made his statements here on MSNBC's Morning Joe. He was half-joking.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is not on the bandwagon just yet after a 2-1 start to the season.
"It smells like an 81-81, this a kissing your sister team," Christie said at a press conference in Trenton, according to the Star-Ledger. "There will be moments when they'll be really good, and we're going to feel momentarily excited. And then there are going to be seven- or eight-game losing streaks where we're not going to want to turn the TV on."
The newspaper also quotes Christie -- a Mets fan -- saying the team's mediocrity would help him focus on getting Republicans elected.
"Another depressing September and October for me, which will probably give me more time to campaign. I'll be going to less Mets games," Christie said, according to the Star-Ledger. "It might be bad news for the Democrats."