New York Mets: Eric Langill

Morning Briefing: Mets change scenery

June, 3, 2014
Jun 3
5:45
AM ET
PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: The Mets finally get a change of scenery. After a five-game series in Philly that included consecutive 14-, 14- and 11-inning games, the Mets open a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. ET.

Zack Wheeler, coming off a dominating performance against the Philadelphia Phillies in which he allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings and struck out nine, starts the opener for the Mets, who look to reach .500. Wheeler (2-5, 4.31 ERA) opposes right-hander Jake Arrieta (1-1, 3.20).

“To go through what we went through, we’re tired,” Terry Collins said. “I’m not going to make any bones about it. This team is tired. We’re going to try to get some guys some days off this week.”

Asked if the firing of Dave Hudgens and release of Jose Valverde may have spurred the 6-1 week against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Phillies, Collins added: “I don’t know. I can’t answer that. We did something that a lot of places do it, a lot of businesses do it. They made a change they thought was necessary. I don’t know what the players thought of it. We haven’t necessarily gone crazy, but I think it got people’s attention, that’s for sure.”

Tuesday’s news reports:

Matt den Dekker robbed Philadelphia of two runs -- reaching over the wall to take away a homer from Ryan Howard and also throwing out Reid Brignac at the plate -- as the Mets beat the Phillies, 11-2, Monday at Citizens Bank Park. Wilmer Flores finished with a career-high six RBIs, capped by a ninth-inning grand slam. Dana Eveland recorded a pair of big outs in his first major league game in two years. The Mets (28-29) took four of five from the Phillies to move within a game of .500.


Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesBartolo Colon pitched into the eighth inning Monday at Philly.


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

David Wright and Daniel Murphy are scheduled to get days off during the remainder of this road trip, with Wright’s potentially coming in the series opener at Wrigley Field.

• Den Dekker batted No. 1 Tuesday and will get the first chance in the leadoff role. Beyond that, Collins is not sure who he might try. It could even be Kirk Nieuwenhuis, presuming he gets promoted once the Mets shed a relief pitcher and return to a five-man bench. Read more in the Post.

Juan Lagares officially landed on the disabled list Monday afternoon with a strained intercostal muscle on his right side. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Matt Harvey remains on track to throw off a mound Monday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22. Read more in Newsday.

Eric Young Jr. is due to test his strained right hamstring running outdoors Tuesday for the first time since landing on the disabled list. He is not eligible to return until next Tuesday.

Gonzalez Germen (infection) restarted a rehab assignment Monday with Class A St. Lucie.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger writes that the Mets set the single-day cheesesteak consumption record in the visitors’ clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park on April 30 by collectively downing 103 of the Philly delicacies. Of course, bullpen catchers Dave Racaniello and Eric Langill did plenty of the damage. And it came during a rainout in which the Mets spent hours at the ballpark awaiting their flight to Denver. Writes Vorkunov:

Though impressive, perhaps it should not have been surprising. When it comes to eating cheesesteaks, the Mets are the 1961 Yankees, and their bullpen catchers, Dave Racaniello and Eric Langill, are the Mantle and Maris.

Last season, from April 8-10, Langill set the three-game series record by eating 17 cheesesteaks. He broke Racaniello’s record of 14 -- which had stood for years.

The cheesesteak-eating competition is not without rules and calls for prior planning. To viably set a record, cheesesteaks can only be eaten after getting to the ballpark until batting practice, from the end of batting practice until the game begins, and for an hour window after the game has concluded. There are moratoriums during batting practice and the game, likely so that players and coaches can proceed with their day jobs.

• Former Mets executive Dave Howard is out as president of MSG Sports.

• Although the Mets have settled on Jenrry Mejia as the closer, former pitcher C.J. Nitkowski writes at Foxsports.com that the club has an opportunity to test sabermetric theories by not having a specific ninth-inning arm. Writes Nitkowski:

The Mets have an opportunity here to say to their best relievers, we have no closer, be ready from the sixth or seventh inning on because you could be called upon to get the biggest outs of the game. It is a great way to develop these young arms. Pitching in tight spots late in the game only makes you better as those games test your fortitude. If the Mets put their best young relievers in these games regardless of the inning, the result will be a group of battle-tested arms that will be ready to handle any and all situations.

Expensive closer are great when they are consistent, but so few are. Why force someone into the closer role when you don’t really have one? The Mets have some bright young arms both in their bullpen and in their rotation. This is an ideal time to train those relievers differently, both physically and mentally.

• Demoted Rafael Montero is due to start for Las Vegas on Tuesday. Noah Syndergaard (forearm) is penciled in to reenter the rotation Thursday for the Triple-A club.

Andrew Brown and Danny Muno had two-run homers and Miguel Socolovich earned his first save with two scoreless innings as Las Vegas beat Reno, 6-4. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Anthony DiComo at MLB.com previews Thursday’s opening round of the draft. The team web site, like ESPN’s Keith Law, continues to project the Mets selecting University of Hartford left-hander Sean Newcomb.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal calculates where historically the Mets and Phillies playing 57 innings in a series fits.

BIRTHDAYS: Racaniello, the bullpen catcher, turns 36. ... Las Vegas infielder Zach Lutz is 28. ... Ex-catcher Barry Lyons is 54. ... Savannah outfielder Victor Cruzado is 22.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who should bat leadoff for the Mets?

Nieuwenhuis still on mend, unavailable

March, 21, 2012
3/21/12
10:55
AM ET
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who strained an oblique in major league camp before being sent to the minor league side, will attempt to hit for the first time today since suffering the injury.

His unavailability comes at a bad time for the center-field prospect. Nieuwenhuis would have been a natural consideration to be pulled back into major league camp and potentially be the Opening Day center fielder if Andres Torres (calf) and backup Scott Hairston (oblique) both remain sidelined into the season.


Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI
An oblique injury is depriving prospect Kirk Nieuwenhuis of the opportunity to step into the center-field void.


Nieuwenhuis' 2011 season was cut short at Triple-A Buffalo after only 53 games because of a torn labrum in his left shoulder that required surgery. The lefty-hitting, righty-throwing Nieuwenhuis hit .298 with six homers in 188 at-bats with the Bisons before being shut down last season.

Minus Torres and Hairston, and with Nieweunhuis also on the mend, Mike Baxter starts in center field Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals. Terry Collins also has resolved to give left fielder Jason Bay and infielder Jordany Valdespin exposure to the position.

Valdespin has played only one minor league game in the outfield. During winter ball in the Dominican Republic, Licey manager Rafael Landestoy had Valdespin take fly balls in the outfield pregame, but Valdespin never made it into a game.

Landestoy also is the Mets' international field coordinator, but Collins said the winter-league decision to have Valdespin get some outfield exposure was coincidental and not a Mets directive.

"I can play outfield, too, because I practiced in the offseason taking fly balls in left field, center, right," said Valdespin, who hit a combined .294 with 17 homers, 60 RBIs and 37 steals in 55 attempts between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo last season. "I want to play in the big leagues. So no matter where I play, I want to play in the big leagues and help the team."

Mets first base/outfield coach Tom Goodwin said Valdespin had not done any work in Mets camp in the outfield until today's scheduled crash course.

D.J. Carrasco may be headed to the disabled list to open the season, which could settle what is likely otherwise a head-to-head battle with Miguel Batista for one bullpen spot. Carrasco, who has not been in a Grapefruit League game since March 10 because he twisted his right ankle during a workout, tried to throw off a mound Tuesday. "He did not feel all that great," pitching coach Dan Warthen said. Carrasco is under contract for $1.2 million in 2012, in the second season of a two-year, $2.4 million deal.

Tim Byrdak, who had surgery eight days ago to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee, expects to have stitches removed Thursday and to begin tossing a baseball Friday. Byrdak is expected to open the season on the disabled list, but may miss no more than the first couple of weeks. Garrett Olson appears the current frontrunner to fill the lefty specialist role in Byrdak's absence, with Chuck James, Josh Edgin and Daniel Herrera also in camp.

• Bullpen catcher Eric Langill has rejoined the team after serving a team-imposed seven-day suspension for a DUI arrest.

Mets morning briefing 3.21.12

March, 21, 2012
3/21/12
6:42
AM ET
Johan Santana will attempt to up his pitch count to 80 in his fourth Grapefruit League start as the Mets travel down I-95 to Jupiter to take on the Cardinals this afternoon. Also scheduled to pitch: Miguel Batista, Bobby Parnell and Manny Acosta. Jake Westbrook starts for St. Louis. Bullpen catcher Eric Langill, after serving a team-imposed seven-day suspension following a DUI arrest, is listed for the trip, according to the Record.

Wednesday's news reports:

Jeff Wilpon golfed with Terry Collins on Monday and was visible at the Mets' spring training complex Tuesday, but Sandy Alderson spoke to the media on behalf of the organization. Alderson suggested the owners' settlement of the Bernard Madoff-related lawsuit resembled clouds parting over the organization. The GM said the Mets were on much firmer footing with the clawback lawsuit resolved and with a $240 million infusion of capital from minority investors. While Alderson said the Mets still primarily will focus on their farm system, the GM noted the positive financial developments will make it easier to have the option to pursue free agents. Alderson added that the developments do not materially change how the organization will deal with David Wright as free-agency eligibility approaches. Alderson also did not promise the payroll would rise next season from this year's roughly $91 million. Listen to a podcast of Alderson's comments here. Read more in the Post, Journal, Times, Record, Newsday, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

• The Mets formally announced the sale of 12 ownership shares at $20 million apiece, although they did not identify the investors. Fred Wilpon previously has acknowledged SportsNet New York would buy four of the shares. Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz, who is Fred Wilpon's brother-in-law, purchased two others. The Times reported three of the shares are actually going to family members and that only five shares -- worth $100 million -- are from outside investors. The Wall Street Journal outed two investors who combined to purchase part of one 4 percent, $20 million block -- Bob Pittman and Kenneth Lerer. The infusion allowed the Mets to pay off a $25 million emergency loan from Major League Baseball as well as a $40 million bridge loan from Bank of America, the team announced.

Andres Torres departed after two innings on Tuesday night against the Washington Nationals after suffering a strained left calf muscle. With Scott Hairston (oblique) still sidelined, Collins resolved to take a look at left fielder Jason Bay and infielder Jordany Valdespin in center field. Torres hopes he is day-to-day and the injury is not longer term. Hairston started to work out with teammates Tuesday, but is not yet swinging a bat and is iffy for Opening Day. Read more in the Daily News, Record, Post and Newsday.

• Wright said he is purposefully taking "baby steps" in returning from his abdominal muscle tear. Collins hoped to have the third baseman in a game this weekend, or no later than early next week. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• The Mets snapped a nine-game winless streak in Grapefruit League play with a 2-0 victory against the Nats on Tuesday night at Digital Domain Park. Dillon Gee contributed 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Lucas Duda had an opposite-field solo homer against phenom Stephen Strasburg. Ruben Tejada played five innings in his first game action in nine days and turned a pair of double plays with Daniel Murphy. The Mets are now 4-11-1 in the Grapefruit League.

• 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey allowed three earned runs in six innings for Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. Jean Luc Blaquiere had a two-run homer in the Bisons' 4-4 tie with the Miami Marlins' top affiliate. Read the minor league recap here.

• A team official said the Mets do not intend to sign any of the left-handers on the market -- C.J. Nitkowski (who auditioned in Port St. Lucie), Hong-Chih Kuo, Scott Kazmir or Dontrelle Willis. Willis actually is headed to the Baltimore Orioles, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports.

Ken Belson in the Times notes the trustee recovering funds for victims of Madoff's Ponzi scheme and the Wilpons are now allies. That's because every dollar trustee Irving Picard collects on behalf of victims helps defray the $162 million settlement amount to which the Wilpons agreed. The Wilpons are entitled to apply to recover $178 million in losses, which will lessen their settlement burden. "In a sense, we’re now partners,” Picard's chief counsel, David Sheehan, said according to Belson. “They have an interest in us getting 100 percent recovery and they should be supportive, and we will be supportive by trying to collect all those funds.”

• Columnist Harvey Araton in the Times says there is no secret method to energize a fan base and give it hope: Just spend money. That will continue to be easier said than done with the Mets. Writes Araton:

Winning apparently clears the slate and cleanses the soul. Wilpon could spend the next few years climbing trees, saving cats and parking fans’ cars. They won’t stick with him if his team can’t play. Fans in the 21st century, often feeling like victims of another kind of Ponzi scheme, are just willfully blind that way.

TRIVIA: Which player in Mets major league camp was selected with the earliest pick in the draft?

Tuesday's answer: Bubba Bell led Triple-A Buffalo in stolen bases in 2011 with nine.

Mets morning briefing 3.15.12

March, 15, 2012
3/15/12
6:37
AM ET
The Mets face the Miami Marlins in Jupiter, where Jose Reyes is expected to start at shortstop against his former squad. Reyes did not participate in either of the first two Grapefruit League games between the teams. R.A. Dickey starts for the Mets.

Thursday's news reports:

David Wright returned to camp Wednesday and revealed he actually had torn an abdominal muscle. Wright received an ultrasound-guided cortisone shot Monday at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He predicted he would begin easing into activity as soon as today. He noted his return is going to be a deliberate process, from hitting off a tee, to swinging at flipped balls, to actual batting practice. Regardless, Wright predicted his Opening Day availability was not in jeopardy. Read more in the Record, Newsday, Post, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

Barry Meier in the Times writes about the Mets' injury track record:

When combining injuries sustained in spring training and the regular season, the Mets led all other teams in both 2008 and 2009 in the number of player days lost to injury, according to data complied by Baseball Prospectus, a sports analysis and opinion Web site. Using those same measurements, the Mets ranked sixth in 2010 before dropping down to a more respectable 12th place last year, Baseball Prospectus found. ... Measuring injuries over the 162-game season, the team ranked second in 2008, third in 2009, sixth in 2010 and ninth in 2011 in days lost to player injures, Baseball Prospectus said.

• Judge Jed S. Rakoff caught legal experts off-guard Wednesday by ruling the burden of proof in the $386 million lawsuit falls on Fred Wilpon and family, not trustee Irving Picard, who filed the lawsuit. A week after expressing skepticism Picard could prove the Wilpons acted in bad faith and with "willful blindness" with respect to their investments in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, Rakoff on Wednesday ruled the burden doesn't rest with the trustee. Instead, the Wilpons' attorneys must convince the jury by a preponderance of the evidence that the family acted in good faith.

The ruling is a win for Picard. After all, it's more difficult for a defendant to have to prove he's not guilty than being assumed innocent at the start of the trial.

Perhaps Rakoff's ruling should not have been a surprise, given Rakoff wrote last week that the trustee would have to rebut the Wilpons demonstrating good faith.

Should the trial end adversely for the Wilpons, the judge's decision could be one area their attorneys try to appeal. Picard will have grounds for appeal as well, including the judge using a "willful blindness" as opposed to "inquiry notice" ("should-have-known") standard. Picard also believes he is entitled to recover money from the six years before Madoff's arrest, not the two years at which the judge capped the recovery period.

Read more in the Times, Post and Daily News.

Dillon Gee allowed a two-run homer to Prince Fielder but no other damage in four innings. The Mets ultimately lost to the Detroit Tigers, 7-6, in 10 innings Wednesday.

• The Mets suspended bullpen catcher Eric Langill for a week without pay, three days after he was charged with driving under the influence.

• 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey looked sharp in a minor league intrasquad game, tossing 58 of 75 pitches for strikes and registering as high as 96 mph on a radar gun. Read more in the Post, Record, Daily News and Newsday.

Steve Cohen, the only known intended purchaser of a $20 million minority share of the Mets without some existing tie to the organization, may not be able to be a partner after all. Cohen has emerged as the top candidate to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, USA Today reports. That would prevent Cohen from also having a stake in the Mets.

TRIVIA: Who has the most homers by a Mets shortstop in a single season in franchise history?

Wednesday's answer: Mets PR man Jay Horwitz is in the Fairleigh Dickinson University Hall of Fame. He served as the school's sports information director before Frank Cashen hired him with the Mets in 1980.

Bullpen catcher disciplined

March, 14, 2012
3/14/12
12:47
PM ET
Mets bullpen catcher Eric Langill has been suspended for seven days without pay by the organization and will seek treatment through the employee assistance program, the Mets announced. Langill was arrested by St. Lucie County law enforcement Sunday night and charged with driving under the influence.

"We met with Eric Langill this morning. He was contrite and very apologetic about Sunday night's incident," the Mets said in a statement.

Mets morning briefing 3.14.12

March, 14, 2012
3/14/12
6:49
AM ET
Dillon Gee was scheduled to pitch in a minor league game to allow Matt Harvey to log Grapefruit League innings against a credible offense in front of team personnel Wednesday. But the plan changed because the Mets did not have the MLB-stipulated minimum number of starting players making the two-and-a-half hour drive to Lakeland. So Gee now is on the bus and the starting pitcher as the Mets play at the Detroit Tigers for the second time in three days. Harvey will pitch in the minor league game.

Before media hit the road, David Wright is expected to speak about the "ultrasound-guided" cortisone shot he received to the left side of his rib cage Monday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York as well as update his status going forward.

Wednesday's news reports:

Terry Collins got agitated when Ruben Tejada was scratched from Tuesday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Hours later, Collins said his frustration upon losing Tejada (groin) and Ronny Cedeno (knee tendinitis) in the same morning is that the absence of players from drills is inhibiting the team's ability to prepare to play fundamentally sound this season. D.J. Carrasco also is out for a limited period after twisting an ankle.

Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post wonders what's going on here with the Mets' perpetual injuries.

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

Carlos Beltran faced the Mets for the first time since last July's trade and went 1-for-4 Tuesday. Beltran was in a chipper mood as he reminisced with New York reporters about his six and a half seasons as a Met and the team's rebuilding plan. Beltran also kept the drama going about when he eventually will pay Jon Niese $10,000 -- the cost of Niese's offseason nose job, which Beltran asked the southpaw to get -- and offered to pay for -- shortly before being traded to the San Francisco Giants last summer. Niese playfully professed not to care about the delinquent payment. Watch video of Beltran's interview here. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Times and Daily News.

The Mets, by the way, play the Marlins on Thursday in Jupiter. So there is a decent chance Jose Reyes finally will play against his old team, too. Reyes did not face the Mets in either of the first two Grapefruit League meetings between his present and former teams. Beltran's Cardinals and Reyes' Marlins train at the same Jupiter, Fla., complex. And Beltran said Reyes looks as chipper as always.

"He's like Jose. He’s always happy, always smiling, always playing the game hard," Beltran said. "He’s going to be fine. It’s going to be a transition for him because of all these years playing for the Mets, all these years playing in New York, now going to a new team, [there are] new expectations. I think he’s going to be able to handle that situation well.”

Mike Pelfrey allowed two homers while tossing 4 1/3 innings in the Mets' 7-1 loss to the Cardinals. Read more in Newsday.

Johan Santana threw a between-starts bullpen session Tuesday and pronounced himself fit for his third Grapefruit League start, Friday against the Tigers in Port St. Lucie.

• A team official said the employment status of bullpen catcher Eric Langill, who was arrested Sunday night and charged with driving under the influence, remains unresolved.

• Left-hander Tim Byrdak underwent surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee Tuesday and is expected to miss six weeks.

• As ESPNNewYork.com reported late Monday, the trustee suing Fred Wilpon and family has asked a judge to bar Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax as well as former Manhattan district attorney Robert Morgenthau from testifying. Writes Anthony M. Destefano in Newsday:

Judge Jed Rakoff is expected to decide Monday, when the trial is scheduled to begin, if he will allow the testimony over the trustee's opposition. If he testifies, Morgenthau would describe how he put the PAL money into a Madoff account after Wilpon said it was "safe," according to the court papers. Koufax would testify that he opened an account with Madoff at Wilpon's suggestion, court documents stated.

Read more on the witness list and legal wrangling in the Times, Post, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

Barry Meier in the Times looks at the $2.4 million in improvements at the Mets' spring-training home, Digital Domain Park. The upgrades are designed to entice a second team to relocate to the complex. Meier quotes officials saying the Mets would hope to lure the Washington Nationals or Houston Astros to join them at the Port St. Lucie facility. Florida's Atlantic coast has lost teams of late, leaving the Mets constantly facing the same opponents -- the Marlins and Cardinals, who are the nearest at 33 miles away in Jupiter, and the Nats in Viera 72 miles away -- or facing long drives. After those three opponents, all the drives are two-hours-plus. The Dodgers used to be closest to Port St. Lucie, but they bolted Vero Beach for Arizona. And the Orioles left Fort Lauderdale for Sarasota.

TRIVIA: At which university is Mets PR man Jay Horwitz inducted into the Hall of Fame?

Tuesday's answer: Pedro Feliciano set the franchise record for relief appearances three straight seasons -- 86 in 2008, 88 in 2009, then 92 in 2010.

Mets morning briefing 3.13.12

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
6:54
AM ET
David Wright is due to return to camp today after receiving an "ultrasound-guided" cortisone shot in his troublesome left rib cage Monday in New York at his request. Meanwhile, teammate Tim Byrdak remains at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, where he will undergo surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee. He is due to miss six weeks. On the field, Carlos Beltran visits in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform to face Mike Pelfrey at 1:10 p.m. at Digital Domain Park. Johan Santana, who turns 33 today, should throw a between-starts bullpen session, too.

Tuesday's news reports:

Terry Collins said he believes/hopes Wright will resume baseball activities in the middle to end of the week. Wright was treading water with his left-rib cage issue -- experiencing soreness while neither improving nor worsening. A team official said an MRI revealed no structural damage. A frustrated Wright asked for the cortisone injection.

Sandy Alderson and Collins both said they expect to carry a left-handed reliever on the Opening Day roster, even minus Byrdak. Garrett Olson and Chuck James likely are the front runners. Daniel Herrera and Robert Carson also are in camp, but appear secondary considerations. Then there was this development Monday ...

Late last season, Paul DePodesta advised to watch left-handed reliever Josh Edgin as a rapid riser, despite Edgin not having pitched above Class A. Well, with Byrdak's surgery looming today, Edgin has been moved to major league camp. He blew a save chance in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Detroit Tigers at Lakeland, but that was after his defense betrayed him on a would-be third out. Edgin then rallied nicely the following inning against Tigers left-handed batters. He previously had recorded a pair of Grapefruit League saves while being borrowed from minor league camp, before the official transfer.

Read more on Byrdak's scheduled surgery as well as Wright's injury in the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Journal, Post, Newsday, Times and Record.

• Bullpen catcher Eric Langill was arrested and charged with driving under the influence with property damage, a misdemeanor, according to a St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office arrest affidavit. Langill allegedly drove into a concrete fountain in the middle of a traffic circle, flipping the vehicle at approximately 11:25 p.m. Sunday. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Post, Record, Daily News and Newsday.

• With jury selection slated to take place Monday and a 10-day civil trial to follow, several motions were filed last night in the $386 million lawsuit against Mets owner Fred Wilpon, his family and businesses. Among the more headline-grabbing items: Trustee Irving Picard's lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff to bar Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax from testifying on the Wilpons' behalf. Picard's legal team argued that the purpose of Koufax testifying is to influence a jury with star power rather than substance. On the Wilpons' side, Howard Megdal at Capital New York notes defense attorneys have asked the judge to bar the plaintiffs from using the term "other people's money" to describe the Wilpons' gains in the Ponzi scheme, saying that is a loaded term that could improperly influence a jury.

Lucas Duda belted a grand slam in his first game in five days and the Mets and Tigers played to a 7-7 tie in 10 innings.

• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News writes that Collins is trying to keep the faith:

No sooner had Collins arrived at Joker Marchant Stadium Monday than he was greeted by his old baseball buddy, Jim Leyland, who put out the welcome mat for him by fielding his "A" lineup featuring all his regulars and especially the Detroit Tigers' new twin pillars of power, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. "Geez," Collins exclaimed to Leyland in mock protest, "I thought we were friends!" In truth, Collins could probably use a good friend like Leyland right about now to unload his troubles on. For, aside from Santana’s steady progress from his career-threatening shoulder injury, most of the news coming out of the Mets camp this spring has been either bad, concerning or downright embarrassing -- and Monday was no different.

Ike Davis tells Dan Martin in the Post that he is having no ill effects from last year's ankle injury or the suspected valley fever. "I can't plan for something I don't know is going to happen," Davis told Martin. "If something happens, I'll talk to Terry, but until then, there's nothing to talk about and I'd like for there to never be a reason to."

• Left-handed pitcher John Mincone, a Huntington, Long Island, native and Half Hollow Hills East High School product, has signed a minor league deal with the Mets. Mincone, 22, was drafted in the 11th round by the Chicago Cubs in 2009 out of Suffolk Community College after an injury-plagued college career. He went 1-2 with a 4.61 ERA in six games (three starts) for Windy City in the independent Frontier League last season.

"I’ve had many high school highlights," Mincone said in this April 2010 interview. "I'd have to say that winning our league championship my senior year and winning the Paul Gibson award are up there on the list, but my best memory is from the summer after my junior year. I made the Long Island baseball team going to compete in the Empire State Games, sort of an 'Olympics' for the state of New York. Our team won the gold medal, going undefeated in the process, marking the first time in 13 years that the Long Island team won a gold medal in baseball.

"As for college, I have two major baseball highlights. When I was at James Madison University my freshman year, we won the Colonial Athletic Association Conference tournament and continued on to play in the NCAA Regionals at NC State. My best college highlight is definitely winning Region XV while at Suffolk County Community College ... and then playing in the NJCAA College World Series in Tyler, Texas. I was named Region XV player of the year (2009) and was a named to the First Team NJCAA All-American, leading the nation with 107 strikeouts in 62 innings pitched, and an ERA of 0.98."

• Ex-Met Jason Pridie, who signed a minor league contract with the Oakland A's during the offseason, officially was suspended 50 games after a second positive test for a drug of abuse, Major League Baseball announced.

• Left-hander C.J. Nitkowski's agent, Tom O'Connell, tells Tyler Kepner in the Times he believes the southpaw will join the Mets organization. "I feel pretty optimistic that we can come to an agreement," O’Connell told Kepner. "Hopefully this will play out in the next couple of days." Newsday previously has reported that an eventual signing is expected.

TRIVIA: What is the Mets' record for relief appearances in a season?

Monday's answer: Mike Jacobs homered in his first at-bat as a Met, which also was his first major league at-bat. He went deep on Aug. 21, 2005 off Washington's Esteban Loaiza as a pinch hitter. That staved off a demotion, and Jacobs went on to belt three more homers within three days.

Video: Alderson on Mets news

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
9:19
PM ET

GM Sandy Alderson discusses impending surgery for Tim Byrdak (knee) and the cortisone shot in David Wright's left rib cage as well as the arrest of bullpen catcher Eric Langill on a DUI charge.

Bullpen catcher Langill arrested

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
2:40
PM ET
Mets bullpen catcher Eric Langill was arrested at 11:25 p.m. Sunday and charged with driving under the influence, according to an affidavit from the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.

Read the news story here.

Gary Carter patches now on uniforms

March, 1, 2012
3/01/12
10:33
AM ET

Adam Rubin
Bullpen catchers Dave Racaniello and Eric Langill wear the new patch remembering Gary Carter on their right sleeves. The "KID 8" patch was added to all uniforms, including spring-training jerseys, in time for Thursday's workout.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
8 4.12 95 126
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .288
HRL. Duda 14
RBID. Wright 50
RD. Murphy 57
OPSL. Duda .829
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 112