New York Mets: Francisco Rodriguez

Agent Scott Boras talked about Franciscio Rodriguez's trade to the Brewers -- and the Mets' "allegations" about the no-trade list -- in a Friday interview with Sirius XM. Newsday published a transcript:

Q: What are your feelings about the error that reportedly led to Francisco Rodriguez’s no-trade list not being submitted to the Mets?

SB: There are always two issues in representing players and one is that you’re required to disclose the current state of players’ rights and apparently there was a discussion that was had between the club and his former representatives and that discussion and the awareness of the lack of existence of this no-trade list was not disclosed to the player. The second part of it is of course that the contract had requirements for a submission of a list to be effective and operative to the contract and that list was not submitted. That’s the allegation certainly of the Mets, so this was something of course when Frankie was traded, it was something of course, that there was a discussion I had with Doug Melvin and we were able to work that through.

Q: Whose obligation was it to submit the list?

SB: Contractually, the player's representatives had to submit the list by a particular date and time and the Mets' allegation was that it was not done, that was not achieved. The Mets gave notice of that apparently to his former representatives weeks ago, and apparently that information was not communicated to Frankie. The Mets' contention was that no list was ever submitted. There was one negotiated but a requirement of the contract was that a list was to be submitted, and no list was ever submitted. The player was under the impression, from his representatives, that the list was submitted. The Mets contend that the list was not submitted.

Q: Do you plan on doing anything about this?

SB: No there’s not going to any further steps, Frankie is now a Brewer, it’s something that certainly Doug and I discussed -- Doug Melvin and I discussed as we went through this, again our ability to acquire the information is something that just was the statement of the team, that there was no list submitted, and so but there obviously it’s something where Frankie and I have sit down and to talk about the fact that he had rights were negotiated but were not effectively communicated, and so those matters are something we’ll have to address at a later date.

Q: Do you not believe the Mets’ allegations?

SB: That’s not what I’m saying that at all. I don’t have the facts in this case only in the sense that Mets are contending that they did not receive a list. We have not had sufficient time to examine whether there is a list in existence and there may be -- we haven’t had sufficient time to examine the fact that there may be that there are contentions on the former representative side that the list was sent in a timely fashion, and so those facts have to be ferreted out before we can comment, I think, specifically.

Q: Do you plan to file a grievance over it?

SB: No, as far as Frankie’s performance and play, he’s going to continue to play with the Brewers and that’s not a situation that’s going to be in any way altered.

Q: What about Frankie’s role with the Brewers?

SB: I think everybody is aware that Frankie is a closer. Mentally, that’s what he’s been doing for the past six or seven years and that’s really what he’s prepared to do. In these situations it’s always a dynamic between the manager and the player, those are things that certainly they have to work out, the organization has to work out. These are some things that uniformed personnel have to address what’s best for the team as they go forward. I think it’s very clear, with a player like this, that has been in this role for a long period of time, it is something that I think that the best benefit he provides a team obviously is to be the closer.

Q: Can K-Rod make the adjustment to a setup role midseason?

SB: I don’t think I made it an issue. I think I pointed out that if you know baseball players, those who are closers and have the wherewithal to be a closer, pitching in the ninth inning is very different than pitching in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. And when you’re prepared to do that and that’s what you’ve done for a period of years, to suggest that someone can revert back to a role that is very different than that, without preparation, without having potentially a spring training or a period of time to adjust to that, it’s just not something where you show up and throw innings. There’s a substantial amount of mental preparation that goes into being a closer and/or fulfilling a role on a team, and the more familiarity you have with that, the experience you have with that, obviously the greater comfort you’re going to have in performing.

Mets morning briefing 7.14.11

July, 14, 2011
7/14/11
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The Mets will hold a workout at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon in advance of the weekend series against the Phillies to open the second half.

This will be Terry Collins' first opportunity (in person) to convince the Mets players that Tuesday night’s trade of Francisco Rodriguez did not indicate that management has given up on the season.

Collins will also clarify which member of his bullpen (Bobby Parnell, Jason Isringhausen or, less likely, Pedro Beato) will fill in at closer.

Thursday's news reports:

Sandy Alderson says that the Rodriguez trade does not signify a team-wide fire sale. He essentially explained on a conference call with reporters Wednesday that the deal was a salary dump and was independent of any other deals the team makes. He hesitated to speculate how this would affect the team's pursuit of Jose Reyes and acknowledged that teams have shown interest in Carlos Beltran.

Read more Alderson coverage in the Post, Bergen Record, and Newsday.

• New York Times reporter David Waldstein writes that K-Rod's former agent, Paul Kinzer, never submitted a "no-trade" list for Rodriguez. Waldstein reports that, with the list never filed, Alderson wanted to get a deal done before Scott Boras, Rodriguez's new agent, could complicate the proceedings.

Read more here.

• Injured players such as David Wright, Ike Davis and Johan Santana may return soon but how long will the roster remain intact? Adam Rubin expands on that that issue here. Post columnist Kevin Kernan believes that the K-Rod trade signifies a waving of the white flag.

• Our Mark Simon offers a breakdown of Parnell, who may get the Mets closer job with K-Rod out of town.

Read more about Parnell in the Times and Record.

• Alderson said confirmed that Wright is expected to play his first rehab game on Friday night for Class A St. Lucie at Lakeland, and if everything goes according to plan, Alderson hopes Wright will be back playing for the Mets on July 22. But he said Ike Davis is a ways away.

Ryota Igarashi will likely replace K-Rod on the roster.

BIRTHDAY: Former Met (and Yankee) Robin Ventura, who hit the famous grand slam single in Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS, turns 44 Thursday.

Rodriguez's style, results changed in NY

June, 17, 2011
6/17/11
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Getty Images
When Francisco Rodriguez left the Angels for the Mets after his record-breaking 62-save season in 2008, he left both some extra fastball oomph and his best breaking ball behind in Anaheim.

Those are the two biggest differences between the Rodriguez who starred for the Angels and the Rodriguez who has had some good moments for the Mets (his streak of 19 straight save chances converted ended Thursday), but has frustrated enough times to be bothersome, both on and off the field.

Rodriguez -- whose Mets host the Angels this weekend -- has pitched in each of the last three games in Atlanta. The two runs he yielded Thursday bumped his ERA to 9.53 and his WHIP to 1.76 in his last 10 appearances, though the four prior to Thursday night's were scoreless outings.

The 2011 version of Rodriguez is not the pitcher the Angels were used to during his great run that began in 2002. For one thing, he's been much more reliant on his fastball, throwing it two-thirds of the time, despite Pitch F/X technology charting it at an average of 89.5 mph, down four-to-five mph from his best days.

The difference in pitch speed has made it tougher for Rodriguez to have sustained success, as opponents have reached base in 40 percent of their plate appearances eding with a fastball. This season, Rodriguez has already given up 21 hits with the fastball (he gave up 28 in 2010), including both the single to Jason Heyward and game-tying homer to Brooks Conrad in the ninth inning on Thursday night.

During Rodriguez's Angels days, he’d throw the fastball at about a 50-50 split with his other pitches, revving it up to 94 to 95 mph regularly. Since the start of last season, Rodriguez has hit 95 mph on Pitch F/X technology just once -- against Heyward last Aug. 3.

When Rodriguez was at his best, he could count on his breaking ball as an out pitch. It isn’t as effective as it used to be.

Fangraphs.com calculates the “run value” for every pitch thrown in the major leagues. In basic terms, this stat measures how much more a pitcher got out of his pitches than the major league average. Getting outs in tough situations or consistently getting ahead in the count helps a pitcher’s run value. Giving up hits and walks, or constantly falling behind in the count hurts it.

In every season he pitched for the Angels, Rodriguez had a positive run value for his breaking pitches (curve and slider). In each of the three seasons, he’s pitched for the Mets, that pitch has had a negative run value.

The transition to greater reliance on the changeup began near the end of Rodriguez’s tenure and that pitch has been his most effective one for the Mets. In fact, our pitch performance data has him with 21 strikeouts with that pitch this season, one fewer than he had in all of 2010.

Though there have been brief periods of brilliance for Rodriguez during his Mets tenure, it would be deceptive to say that he’s lived up to the reputation he brought with him three seasons ago. Consider this simple stat.

There are 15 pitchers who have had at least 50 saves since 2009, whose save percentage ranks higher than Rodriguez’s 84.9 percent as a Met. But Rodriguez is currently making the second-most ($11.5 million) of any reliever in baseball.

Mets morning briefing 6.17.11

June, 17, 2011
6/17/11
3:35
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Francisco Rodriguez had a streak of 19 straight successful save conversions snapped when he allowed a two-run homer to Brooks Conrad in the ninth and D.J. Carrasco balked home the winning run an inning later as the Mets lost to the Braves, 9-8, in 10 innings at Turner Field on Thursday. The Mets missed a chance to move above .500 for the first time since five games into the season. The last time the Mets lost on a walk-off balk? That was at Dodger Stadium in 1989, when Roger McDowell -- now the Braves' pitching coach -- issued it in the 12th inning.

Friday's news reports:

Ray Bartoszek, who said he was informed by the Mets he came in second to David Einhorn for a minority share of the Mets, spoke with the Times about the process. Bartoszek said a counteroffer from the Mets to his original proposal did call for him to get a small share of SportsNet New York and also have a path to majority ownership of the team. As for what he has read of Einhorn's winning bid -- which contains an ability to increase his percentage to a majority share unless Fred Wilpon and family return his original investment and allow Einhorn to keep one-sixth of the team -- Bartoszek said: "Einhorn is a very successful guy and it seems to me that he must be smarter than all the rest of us because he figured out how to basically short this team as he’s shorted a lot of stocks in the past. I wouldn’t bet against him. It’s just that I feel like it’s awkward, a trader taking on a position where he is rooting for the team to fail? I don’t like that. I would not do that deal because I would not feel right about having that attitude every day I went to work.” In essence, Einhorn benefits in the near future if the Wilpons' financial instability prevents them from blocking his option to up his stake.

Terry Collins acknowledged first baseman Lucas Duda, who had just entered the game on a double-switch, should have returned to the bag rather than dart in front of second baseman Ruben Tejada on Jordan Schafer's 10th-inning grounder. That allowed Schafer to have an infield hit and advanced Diory Hernandez to third base with two out, where Hernandez would score on Carrasco's balk. Read game stories from the loss in the Record, Star-Ledger, Post, Daily News and Newsday.

David Waldstein of the Times noted Chipper Jones, who had five RBIs before leaving the game with a muscle injury near his groin, was also in a Braves uniform when Kenny Rogers issued the walk-off walk in Atlanta in Game 6 of the 1999 NLCS, eliminating the Mets. Writes Waldstein:

The difference between October and June is obvious, but the scene was striking. “Yeah, I could see that,” Jones said. “A walk and a balk. The difference is that one ended a season.”

Collin McHugh, who pitches for Double-A Binghamton, contributes to ESPNNewYork.com's Mets blog with a look at the minor league lifestyle, which is reprinted from his personal blog. Writes McHugh:

My second outing I nibbled on the corners and got burned. Ball one. Ball two. Whereas in Low or High A I could usually get away with one of those pitches if I was consistently hitting that spot, here I was getting what I deserved...behind in the count. When I get behind in the count (as i mentioned earlier) the hitters get that much better. I gave up 4 er in 4.1 innings on 90 pitches.

R.A. Dickey had two earned runs subtracted before he took the mound Thursday. A scoring change after the Mets complained to MLB resulted in Daniel Murphy being charged with an error and Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen losing two RBIs. Read more on the scoring change in Newsday. Dickey, meanwhile, served up a three-run homer to Jones on Thursday on a get-me-over 3-0 pitch. It caught the knuckleballer by surprise, he said, because in past encounters Jones has normally taken pitches in that count.

Sandy Alderson offered this statement to ESPNNewYork.com on the possibility of signing newly released Scott Kazmir, who would cost the minimum: "We will consider him like any other player available on waivers or as a free agent." Aside from that GM speak, there was no indication Mets staff was reviewing video of Kazmir. Read more in Newsday.

• Alderson tells Dan Martin in the Post that the team's sudden wild-card contention plays a role in whether to sell pieces at the trading deadline. "Certainly, what's going on now affects our thinking over the next several weeks," Alderson told Martin. "It definitely matters."

Jose Reyes reached 100 hits faster than any player in franchise history. (See the details in Thursday night's Rapid Reaction.) Collins told reporters pregame that there's no way he's giving Reyes a day off anytime soon, and that it's not coming at the All-Star break, either. Said Collins: "I could be dead wrong, but if he’s not playing in the All-Star break, there might be an investigation. He’s not going to get the days off that other guys are going to have." Read more in the Post.

• Newsday's David Lennon writes about the Mets staff widely adding cut fastballs to their repertoires. The latest adoptee has been 7-0 Dillon Gee. Writes Lennon:

The key is the grip, and in most cases, there is no need to alter the mechanics of the pitcher's delivery to throw it. No worrying about arm speeds like the changeup, no additional torque on the elbow like the slider. Just start with the standard grip for a four-seam fastball, with two fingers straight across the seam. Then angle those fingers slightly so they run diagonally -- or cut -- over that seam. From there, just throw it like a fastball. Same velocity. The lopsided grip causes the ball to spin slightly off axis, which results in that tiny curl at the end, the one responsible for cracking bat handles or getting weak grounders.

• Collins said facing the Angels in interleague play this weekend doesn't mean anything extra, since he is so far removed from managing that club from 1997-99. Said Collins: “You’re talking 12 years ago. It’s a long time. Their uniforms have changed, the team has changed.” Read more in the Times.

• With Brooklyn set to begin its New York-Penn League season Friday at Staten Island, Amara Grautski of The Wall Street Journal speaks with ex-Met Frank Viola, who has rejoined the organization as the Cyclones' pitching coach. "I couldn't have asked for a better situation to be put into for my first year back in professional baseball," Viola told Grautski. "And what organization came through? The New York Mets."

• Post columnist Mike Vaccaro said he will never tell a fan how to spend his or her money, but perhaps the Mets are worth checking out. Writes Vaccaro:

They may not yet be a truly good baseball team. But they're playing awfully good baseball.

BIRTHDAY: Former No. 1 overall pick Shawn Abner turns 45. Abner was drafted by the Mets in 1984, but never played for them. After the 1986 season, he was packaged in a trade to the Padres for outfielder Kevin McReynolds. He would go on to hit .227 with 11 homers in six big league seasons. -Mark Simon

Video: K-Rod, Carrasco discuss loss

June, 17, 2011
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Francisco Rodriguez discusses his blown save, while D.J. Carrasco weighs in on causing a walk-off balk.

K-Rod save streak snapped at 19

June, 17, 2011
6/17/11
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Dale Zanine/US Presswire
Brooks Conrad celebrates with Dan Uggla after hitting a game-tying two-run homer that snapped Francisco Rodriguez's save streak at 19 conversions.
Francisco Rodriguez's streak of 19 straight converted saves came to a crashing halt Thursday, as the Mets were two outs from a sweep at Turner Field. In a three-pitch span with one out, K-Rod surrendered a single to Jason Heyward, then a game-tying two-run homer to Brooks Conrad. D.J. Carrasco balked in the winning run in Atlanta's 9-8, 10-inning win the following inning.

"Every time you do not get it done, always you're frustrated and it's tough to swallow it," Rodriguez said. "There's no excuse. I didn't execute it. And that cost us the game. That's the type of game you have to turn the page and make sure to have a short memory and be ready for tomorrow night."

Rodriguez's blown save snapped his longest string of conversions since his record-setting 62-save season in 2008 with the Angels, when he saved 25 straight from April 14-June 15 that year.

A large percentage of the Braves' recent run production has been via the long ball. But Rodriguez was determined not to fall behind 2-0 against Conrad as the potential tying run with a two-run lead. So he put a fastball over the plate.

All three of the homers surrendered by K-Rod this season have come against the Braves this month -- by Eric Hinske and Diory Hernandez at Citi Field and Conrad on Thursday night.

Rodriguez was bidding for his 20th save, which would have matched San Francisco's Brian Wilson for the major league lead.

"Those type of offenses like that, you have to be on top of your game," K-Rod said. "You cannot miss location. And that's what happened. When you don't make the pitches in the right spot, they're going to make you pay. That was a situation where I didn't want to fall behind 2-0. After that I might start messing around with the off-speed. But he jumped right away and he connected with the ball well."

Said Terry Collins: "This is a tough one to lose. We played our butts off to get back in the game [from a 6-2 deficit]. Our bullpen did a great job. We get to the guy we want to get to. It's just the way it goes."

Rapid Reaction: Braves 9, Mets 8 (10)

June, 16, 2011
6/16/11
10:35
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Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Two outs from their first three-game sweep in Atlanta since 2007, Francisco Rodriguez served up a game-tying two-run homer to Brooks Conrad in the ninth. When D.J. Carrasco had a balk with runners on the corners in the 10th, the Mets (34-35) lost 9-8 and missed an opportunity to move above .500 for the first time since they were 3-2 on April 6. The Mets nonetheless went 6-4 on their trip to Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Atlanta.

K-Rod had converted 19 straight save chances, his most since saving 25 straight in 2008. All three of the homers he has surrendered this season have come against the Braves.

CHIP SHOT: Chipper Jones produced a three-run homer and matched a career high with five RBIs. The long ball, which was preceded by a Jose Reyes error, gave Jones 47 career homers against the Mets.

That’s the fourth-most homers all time against the Amazin’s, trailing only Willie Stargell (60), Mike Schmidt (49) and Willie McCovey (48).

Among active players, the No. 1-ranked Jones is followed by Pat Burrell (42), Ryan Howard (31), Andruw Jones (26), Chase Utley (26) and Jimmy Rollins (23) on the homer leaderboard against the Mets.

Conrad’s ninth-inning homer came in the third baseman’s No. 3 slot in the order, after Jones was double-switched out with a strained adductor muscle near his groin.

HAIR-RAISING: Scott Hairston, making his first start since May 18, belted a three-run homer off reliever Scott Proctor in the fifth to even the score at 6. Hairston started in center field over Angel Pagan, in part because Pagan was hitting .139 against southpaws this season. Hairston’s long ball came against the right-handed Proctor after the ex-Yankee inherited two runners from southpaw starter Mike Minor.

The Mets then took the lead in the seventh when a bases-loaded wild pitch snapped Jonny Venters’ 22-inning scoreless streak.

THAT’S FAST: Reyes singled and tripled -- the three-bagger coming on a bloop over shortstop, no less -- in his first two at-bats. That gave Reyes 100 hits on the season. (He finished the game at 101.) Reyes required only 66 games played to reach the 100-hit plateau, the fastest in franchise history. The previous record had been held by Lance Johnson, who reached 100 hits in his 72nd game played in 1996 (not team games). Since 1900, the only shortstop to reach 100 hits as quickly as Reyes was Mark Grudzielanek with the 1996 Montreal Expos. Grudzielanek also required 66 games played.

Reyes produced his MLB-leading 12th triple -- matching his total from the past two seasons combined -- when the ball dropped between shortstop Alex Gonzalez and center fielder Jordan Schafer, then got behind Schafer.

Reyes did commit his ninth error, which set the table for Jones’ three-run shot. After a single to open the third by Schafer, Jason Heyward sent a grounder to shortstop. Reyes had started to move toward second base to cover the bag with Schafer running. When Reyes took a step back to his right, he muffed the catch. Jones then went deep off R.A. Dickey.

PITCHY: Dickey was charged with six runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks in four innings. It marked only the third time in the past 21 games a Mets starting pitcher surrendered more than three runs.

K-ROD TRACKER: Rodriguez remained at 27 games finished. He is on pace for 63 games finished, eight more than the threshold for his contract to vest at $17.5 million for 2012.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets return home to greet the Los Angeles Angels in interleague play. The last time the teams met, in Anaheim in June 2008, Willie Randolph was fired after the series opener (at 3 a.m. ET) and Jerry Manuel took over. Chris Capuano (5-6, 4.40 ERA) opposes right-hander Joel Pineiro (2-3, 4.03) Friday.

Mets morning briefing 6.16.11

June, 16, 2011
6/16/11
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A 71-minute rain delay with the Mets holding a three-run lead knocked out Dillon Gee short of qualifying for the victory, but the Mets nonetheless moved to .500 for the first time since May 20 with a 4-0 win against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. D.J. Carrasco, Bobby Parnell and Francisco Rodriguez combined to toss five scoreless relief innings.

Thursday's news reports:

Terry Collins said Jason Bay is his left fielder, despite having sat him three times since last Thursday. Bay went 2-for-4 with a steal and also ran to track down two balls in left field in the ninth to benefit K-Rod. "It’s the best I’ve felt in a long time,” Bay said. “I played the aggressor rather than being on the defensive up there.” Said Collins: “As I just told him at the end of the game, not only the two hits, I thought he swung the bat much better tonight. One of the best things about our game is you can help in so many ways. Those two plays in the ninth inning, those were good catches. He ran a long way, especially for the first one.” Read more in the Post and Newsday.

Tim Byrdak expects to return at about game time Thursday after flying to Chicago on Wednesday morning to attend a funeral. With the extraordinary bullpen performances from Carrasco and Parnell, the Mets made Byrdak's one-game absence -- and the lack of a left-hander in the bullpen -- barely noticeable. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record and Newsday.

Scott Kazmir is being released by the Angels, who will eat $14.5 million. Like with the Mets and Ollie Perez, L.A. is picking up the tab. So essentially Kazmir would cost the major league minimum.

• Read game stories from the 4-0 win, which lifted the Mets to .500, in the Times, Record, Post, Star-Ledger, Daily News and Newsday.

• Collins closed the book on water-gate, with Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez denying any intent over over-wetting the field to try to slow down Jose Reyes. Read more in the Journal, Record and Newsday.

• Forbes reported the price for David Einhorn to up his stake from 33 to 60 percent ownership if Fred Wilpon and family don't block it by returning his $200 milllion is $1 extra. The Mets issued a statement talking in general about inaccuracies in reporting about the sale's financial terms. Read more in the Post.

BIRTHDAY: Calvin Schiraldi turns 49. Schiraldi’s career started with the Mets. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox prior to the 1986 season, in the deal that netted Bob Ojeda. Schiraldi had a chance for ultimate revenge in Game 6 of the World Series that year, but ended up the losing pitcher after the Mets scored three runs in the bottom of the 10th to send the series to a winner-take-all seventh game. -Mark Simon
Dillon Gee, D.J. Carrasco, Bobby Parnell and Francisco Rodriguez combined on a two-hit shutout of the Braves on Wednesday.

It marked the fourth shutout in franchise history against the Braves while allowing two hits or fewer, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The last? Sid Fernandez pitched a two-hitter against Atlanta on July 11, 1986.

It’s the second time in Mets history that they’ve pitched a road shutout, allowing two hits or fewer, against the Braves. The other was a combined two-hit effort on July 14, 1984 by Bruce Berenyi and Tom Gorman.

Mets morning briefing 6.11.11

June, 11, 2011
6/11/11
9:58
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Dillon Gee is off to a 7-0 start, the best by a rookie pitcher to open a season since Jered Weaver began 2006 with a 9-0 record with the Angels. Lucas Duda had two RBIs in his return to the majors. And the Mets are now within a game of moving to .500 for the first time since they were 22-22 after beating the Yankees in the Subway Series opener in the Bronx on May 20.

Saturday's news reports:

Jason Bay sat back-to-back days, but Terry Collins pledges to place him back in the lineup Saturday. Bay, in an 0-for-23 rut, needs to play through it, former hitting coach Howard Johnson believes. "It's ridiculous it's come to that," HoJo told Dan Martin in the Post about sitting Bay. "If he's supposed to be part of the solution, I don't see the point of taking him out of the equation. It's sending him mixed messages. I don't care if he's 0-for-50, you're not going to get him relaxed by taking him out of the lineup." Johnson added that Citi Field has to be a factor in Bay's woes. Said HoJo: "There's no question that now it's a factor. We had a lot of conversations about that last year. Just driving in some runs isn't good enough for him. In baseball, you're paid for what you did in the past. All those previous home runs got him paid, and he feels a certain pressure to do that now and the only way to get him out of this is to get him in the lineup every day."

• Daily News columnist John Harper says trade Francisco Rodriguez to the Yankees. Writes Harper:

The Mets and Yankees last made a trade on Dec. 3, 2004, when they swapped Mike Stanton for Felix Heredia, a has-been for a never-was, if you will. In other words, there wasn't much chance of either side looking bad, which is the primary reason they so rarely do business with one another. But in this case, it makes too much sense for both sides not to do the obvious and put Francisco Rodriguez in pinstripes. The Yankees urgently need a proven late-inning reliever now that Joba Chamberlain is apparently headed for Tommy John surgery, and the Mets are even more desperate to avoid paying K-Rod the $17.5 million they would owe him next season should he finish 55 games for them this season.

• Collins believes Johan Santana may be back in late July. The manager also plans to invite Santana, who is recovering from Sept. 14 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder, to New York to throw a bullpen session or two now that the weather has warmed. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Post.

• Duda said confidence is a key in him producing at the major league level. He has tended to get overwhelmed, he acknowledged. “You trick yourself into thinking you are back in Buffalo,” Duda told reporters. “It kind of eased my tension a little bit when I saw [Justin] Turner playing third, Ruben [Tejada] playing second, Gee on the mound and [Josh] Thole behind the dish.” Read more in Newsday.

• Read game stories from Friday's 8-1 win in the Times, Newsday, Record, Star-Ledger, Daily News and Post.

BIRTHDAYS: A day after Jose Reyes celebrated the anniversary of his 2003 major league debut, he turned 28 Saturday. ... Original Met Frank Thomas turns 82. (He’s the fourth-oldest living Met, according to ultimatemets.com.) Thomas was the first true power hitter in Mets history, leading the 1962 Mets with 34 homers. Thomas’ most-famous long ball came on July 9, 1964, when in his first at-bat after returning from a glandular infection, he hit a walk-off shot against the Cardinals (cap-tip This Date in Mets History). -Mark Simon

Report: K-Rod settles family matter

June, 10, 2011
6/10/11
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Francisco Rodriguez completed a child-support plan with Daian Pena, the mother of his children, on Friday, the Daily News reported.

Terms were not disclosed, but the newspaper speculated Rodriguez would have to share more than a quarter of his $12 million salary.

The newspaper reported K-Rod still faces a civil suit from Pena's father Carlos, whom the reliever pleaded guilty to striking in August at Citi Field.

Rodriguez participated in the hearing before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Laura Drager by telephone from Pittsburgh.

The case has been settled in an amicable fashion," Rodriguez's attorney, Robert H. Moses, told the Daily News. "Mr. Rodriguez is grateful that he can concentrate on playing baseball."

Mets morning briefing 6.10.11

June, 10, 2011
6/10/11
6:58
AM ET
Jason Bay, in an 0-for-23 rut, met with Terry Collins and mutually agreed to sit for at least two games while trying to regroup. Replacement left fielder Jason Pridie then played a role in the Mets' opening two runs in a 4-1 rubber-game win against the Brewers on Thursday night. Milwaukee lost only its second home series this season.

Friday's news reports:

Jon Niese retired the first 11 batters he faced and pitched two outs into the eighth. Francisco Rodriguez then recorded the final four outs. Read game stories in the Times, Daily News, Record, Newsday, Post and Star-Ledger.

• Read more on Bay sitting at least Thursday and Friday in Newsday, the Star-Ledger and Post.

Nick Evans, hitless in 11 at-bats this season, was designated for assignment after the game. He has the right to declare free agency assuming he clears waivers, although his best short-term move financially would be sticking with the Mets at Triple-A Buffalo. The Mets did not announce the corresponding move, but Lucas Duda is expected to join the team in Pittsburgh on Friday.

Bob Melvin, who was a finalist for the Mets managerial job last offseason, was hired by Oakland as interim manager for the remainder of the season and likely beyond. He replaces Bob Geren. Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.

• Newsday's David Lennon speaks with Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez, who had a dazzling catch against Carlos Beltran to take away a homer in the series. Gomez's offensive struggles -- he's a free swinger with little plate discipline -- have relegated him to facing southpaws, with Nyjer Morgan getting the bulk of the starts in center field. Still, his speed in center field is hard to find elsewhere. Gomez went to Minnesota with Philip Humber in the Johan Santana trade, and subsequently found his way to Milwaukee. "What I see with Gomez is that he tries to do too much," Beltran told Lennon. "In this game, you need to be under control. There were times when he was here, maybe he was 2-for-2 in a game, and his third at-bat would be a different approach than the first two because he wanted to do something bigger, or hit a home run."

BIRTHDAY: Former Mets outfielder and current Yankees broadcaster Ken Singleton turns 64. Singleton was the No. 3 pick in the 1967 draft and played for the Mets in 1970 and 1971. He was the key component in a Mets-Expos trade in 1972 that paid dividends with the arrival of popular Rusty Staub. Singleton hit .282 with 246 home runs in a career spanning more than 2,000 games. -Mark Simon

Video: Frankie talks save

June, 10, 2011
6/10/11
6:46
AM ET
Francisco Rodriguez praises Jon Niese's effort, discusses a four-out save and attempts at weight gain after the Mets' rubber-game win in Milwaukee.

K-Rod didn't expect 8th call

June, 10, 2011
6/10/11
1:13
AM ET
Terry Collins wanted to stay away from worn-down Jason Isringhausen as well as Pedro Beato on Thursday night. Still, Francisco Rodriguez was not thinking about the possibility of converting his fourth save of more than an inning this season.

"The way [Jon] Niese was throwing the ball, in fact, I was thinking if he gets good through the eighth with no problem, he might go back out," Rodriguez said. "He had less than 100 pitches when he started that inning. It didn't cross my mind I was going to be coming in in the eighth."

Inheriting two baserunners with two out in the eighth, Rodriguez survived a deep shot to left by Ryan Braun as Jason Pridie made a retreating catch. K-Rod allowed a leadoff double to Prince Fielder in the ninth, but kept the Brewers off the scoreboard to convert his 18th save and finish off the Mets' 4-1 victory.

K-Rod indicated he is doing far better health-wise than a week ago, when getting two teeth pulled limited his food intake and prompted him to lose 15 pounds. Rodriguez said he currently weighs 194 or 195 pounds, down from 206 pre-tooth issue. He hopes to cross 200 pounds -- "it's going to take me a while" -- although not go all the way back to his former weight (because, he joked, that would mark the return of a modest pot belly).

"I'm getting some of my stamina back," K-Rod said. "I feel stronger as far as my body. Now I'm trying to build the strength once again and go out there and compete."

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Brewers 1

June, 9, 2011
6/09/11
10:57
PM ET
WHAT IT MEANS: Jon Niese limited the Brewers to one run and three hits in 7 2/3 innings as the Mets became only the second visiting team to win a series at Miller Park this season, joining Cincinnati, which took two of three at Milwaukee April 25-27. The Mets won the rubber game after chasing Yovani Gallardo in a two-run fifth and spanned his six-start winning streak.

Niese departed with two out in the eighth after walking Rickie Weeks and surrendering a single to Corey Hart. Francisco Rodriguez entered and converted his fourth four-out save of the season, although Ryan Braun greeted him with a smash to left field that Jason Pridie retreated to corral.

Niese retired the first 11 batters he faced, until walking Braun with two out in the fourth. Prince Fielder then broke up the early no-hit bid with an RBI double to right-center, but that was the lone run Niese surrendered.

Niese stranded two runners in the seventh by striking out Jonathan Lucroy looking with a big-breaking curveball. The southpaw struck out eight batters, matching his career high. In his past five starts, he is 3-1 with a 1.34 ERA.

JASONS: Pridie, starting over Jason Bay in left field, factored in each of the Mets’ first two runs. He singled in the second inning and scored on Ruben Tejada’s RBI single. Two innings later, after Angel Pagan tripled, Pridie delivered a sacrifice fly that gave the Mets a 2-0 lead.

Consecutive RBI singles by Daniel Murphy and Pagan with none out in the fifth gave the Mets a 4-1 lead and chased Gallardo.

SNAPPED: Jose Reyes went 0-for-5, ending his hitting streak at 12 games. Reyes hit .462 (24-52) during that stretch.

K-ROD TRACKER: K-Rod notched his 18th save and 25th game finished. He is on pace for 65 games finished, 10 more than the threshold for his contract to kick in at $17.5 million for 2012.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets’ three-city trip shifts to Pittsburgh. Dillon Gee looks to become the first rookie in franchise history to open a season 7-0 when he opposes Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton (6-2, 2.52 ERA). The Mets have won all eight of Gee’s starts in 2011.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
13 4.14 136 182
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .295
HRL. Duda 27
RBIL. Duda 81
RD. Murphy 73
OPSL. Duda .820
ERAJ. Niese 3.55
SOZ. Wheeler 173