New York Mets: Jason Reese

Mets morning briefing 4.17.11

April, 17, 2011
4/17/11
7:44
AM ET
The Mets turn to Dillon Gee on Sunday trying to halt a seven-game losing streak, the team's longest since an 11-game skid late in Art Howe's tenure in 2004. Gee opposes Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson in the series finale.

Sunday's news reports:

Terry Collins tells the Record's Steve Popper he is better at showing restraint now amid adversity than he was during managerial stints with the Astros and Angels in the 1990s. Writes Popper:

The change is a conscious one for Collins. He knows the reputation that he brought into this job with him: that of a high-intensity manager with a short fuse and a short lifespan. He burned out himself or his players were burned out on him in his other managerial stops, in Houston and Anaheim and even in Japan. When he took this job, he was determined to prove that he’d changed. "No doubt about it," he said, laughing and adding, "I haven’t thrown anything yet. I haven’t kicked anything yet. My health’s better, too."

Chris Young reiterates there's no need, in his mind or in the organization's mind, to get an MRI to see exactly what's going on with what has been labeled biceps tendinitis. "I think at this point, the symptoms are more important than what you can see on the test," Young said after being placed on the disabled list Saturday. "The MRI may or may not show something. It may or may not show something completely different than where I feel the discomfort. We've talked to the doctors, and treating the symptoms, I think, is the better solution at this point." Read more from Young in Newsday, the Times and Star-Ledger.

• A day after the Post reported two of three finalists had bailed -- and the other reported finalist, Steven A. Cohen, wanted to buy a share of Mets debt from banks too -- the Times profiles several of the men who have been linked to interest in the sale (including some of those the Post indicated were now out). Author Richard Sandomir notes having ties to the area is a common trait among bidders. According to the Post, Cohen is the lone remaining bidder from the finalists. Sandomir writes about him:

Cohen, a billionaire hedge fund manager in Connecticut, is 54. He runs SAC Capital Advisors, a powerful $12 billion hedge fund in Stamford, where the former Mets manager Bobby Valentine is the public safety director, and lives in Greenwich, Conn., where Tom Seaver lived before turning to winemaking. Cohen, who is from Great Neck, has a suite at Citi Field.

On another reported candidate, Jason Reese, who has received little ink, Sandomir writes:

He is in the financial world, as chairman of an investment bank called Imperial Capital in faraway Los Angeles. Still, he is a native Long Islander who played goal on the West Babylon High School lacrosse team and later for Yale.

• The Post's Mike Puma opens his game story with this line: The commissioner's office should lodge a complaint against the Mets for impersonating a major league baseball team.

Read other Saturday doubleheader debacle game stories from Newsday, the Times, Star-Ledger, Daily News and Record.

Jason Bay could be back Tuesday.

• Here's Atlanta's Eric Hinske on teammate Jair Jurrjens tossing seven scoreless innings in his first start after being activated from the disabled list: "The biggest positive today was Jurrjens is healthy. He comes out gives us seven scoreless, pretty much commanded both sides of the dish with all three, four of his pitches. Having him back is huge for the team. ... Seven scoreless your first game after coming off the DL, that’s way more than you can ask for. He’s good, and he’s proved it over the years and that’s going to be a main cog in the middle of our rotation there.”

Read a ton of other postgame quotes on David O'Briens Atlanta-Journal Constitution Braves blog.

Andy Martino notes that Willie Harris shares the same birthplace -- Cairo, Ga. -- as Jackie Robinson. Martino cites stats that 9.1% of major leaguers on Opening Day rosters last year were African-American, compared with 20 percent five years earlier. Harris tells Martino: "It's bad, man. You look around the league, and you look around the teams, and you're like, 'Man, where is everybody?' It has been decreasing every year."

Harris solution? "We have enough African-Americans in the game that are really good players, that are stars -- the Torii Hunters, the Carl Crawfords, the CC Sabathias, those guys -- that I think baseball should put those guys on the front burner," Harris tells Martino. "Let kids see them robbing home runs, stealing bases. You see LeBron and Dwayne Wade doing all those dunks on TV. Kids see that and say, 'I want to do that.'"

BIRTHDAY: Former catcher Gary Bennett turns 39. Bennett had a pinch-hit single in his lone Mets at-bat in 2001. He is one of 15 former Mets to record a 1.000 batting average, but the only one from that group never to have played for the Mets in the field. -Mark Simon

Mets morning briefing 3.31.11

March, 31, 2011
3/31/11
6:55
AM ET
The Mets completed their Grapefruit League schedule with a 17-15-2 mark Wednesday. This morning, they depart Port St. Lucie for Miami, with a 4 p.m. workout scheduled at Sun Life Stadium, home of the Marlins. Read the full series preview here.

On to Thursday's news reports:

• The New York Times elaborates on previous reports that Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz are not looking specifically to sell 20 to 25 percent of the team. Rather, they seek $200 million for a minority share, to be determined based on the overall valuation of the club. That's a total that could place the ownership stake at 40 percent, according to the report, but would not include a path to majority ownership. Furthermore, the newspaper states the Mets ownership family might sell a portion of SportsNet New York, but that would be a separate transaction.

Via the Associated Press, the Times lists these Mets minority ownership candidates:

- Jason Reese, the chairman of Imperial Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment bank.

- David Heller, a Goldman Sachs executive, along with Marc Spilker, the president of Apollo Global Management, a private equity fund.

- Steven Starker, a co-founder of BTIG, a global trading firm, with Kenny Dichter, a co-founder of Marquis Jets; Doug Ellin, creator of HBO's "Entourage"; and Randy Frankel, a minority owner of the Tampa Bay Rays.

- James McCann, the founder of 1-800-Flowers.com, with Anthony Scaramucci, who runs the hedge firm SkyBridge Capital.

- Marc A. Utay, managing partner of Clarion Capital, a private equity firm, and Leo Hindery, the first chief executive of the YES Network and a veteran media investor.

• SNY, meanwhile, could be dropped from the Dish Network at midnight. Writes Phil Mushnick in the Post:

Apparently, rights fee money is not an issue as much as whether Colorado-based Dish wishes to remain a deliverer of New York’s regional sports networks. It has carried SNY since its birth five years ago, but several months ago dropped MSG’s networks, and it never has provided YES.

Jason Bay will be placed on the disabled list before the 11 a.m. deadline to set Opening Day rosters. He has a strained intercostal muscle in his left rib cage. Bay, of course, ended last season on the disabled list with a concussion, so he has not appeared in a major league game since July 25. He is eligible to return April 9, for the eighth game of the season, because of the DL backdating rule.

A source tells Newsday's David Lennon the strain is "not serious." Of course, rib-cage muscles can be tricky injuries because of the torque while swinging, so the absence could be weeks longer. Jose Reyes' oblique injury lingered for much of the summer last season because he was not shut down for a proper period of time.

Carlos Beltran tells The Times' David Waldstein about the type of injury Bay has: “That is something you have to be very careful with. It can be the type of thing that can stay with you and bother you for a long time.” Waldstein goes on to note that Beltran and Bay have only played nine games together, because Beltran missed the first half of last season following knee surgery and Bay went down at Dodger Stadium during the opening road trip after the Mets reassembled following the All-Star break.

Lucas Duda should get the bulk of the starts in left field in Bay's absence, although Terry Collins reportedly prefers using Willie Harris on Opening Day.

Read more about Bay and Duda in the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Journal and Post.

Luis Castillo was released by the Phillies. Fellow ex-Met Wilson Valdez will start at second base, with Rule 5 pick Michael Martinez also getting time at the position. Write David Murphy and Marcus Hayes in the Philadelphia Daily News regarding Castillo:

During his six games with the Phillies, he displayed the plate discipline and ability to reach base that have been his calling card throughout his career. But when the Phillies signed him to a minor league deal last weekend, there were serious questions about his defensive ability. Manager Charlie Manuel has routinely stressed defense this spring, something the team believes it has in utility man Wilson Valdez. When asked what Castillo could have done to make the team, [GM Ruben] Amaro responded, "I'm not going to get into that."

Jason Isringhausen has elected to remain in Port St. Lucie in extended spring training for up to two weeks. If another team has a major league opportunity in the interim, the Mets must promote Izzy or let him walk. Collins predicts a spot will open up in the Mets bullpen somehow. The decision allowed the Mets to hold onto two of three relievers battling for the final spot, at least temporarily. Blaine Boyer, who had a Thursday out in his minor league contract, claimed the final spot. Manny Acosta was designated for assignment. He will have to go through waivers if he is not traded beforehand. Read more in Newsday and the Star-Ledger.

Johan Santana never had been left behind in camp, either with the Twins or Mets. Santana will work out at the Mets' Florida complex with an eye toward a late June or early July return. He is currently throwing on flat ground at 75 feet four times a week. More on Santana in Newsday.

• Newsday's Neil Best looks at the secondary market for Mets tickets. Writes Best:

Asking prices on the secondary market are up nearly 10 percent compared to this time last season. So says data compiled by TiqIQ, a ticket search engine, which shows the average for 2011 is $91.97, up from $84.13 at this time last year. Why? One factor presumably is a diminished supply because of a shrinking season ticket base. On average, 3,383 tickets per Mets game are on the market compared to 10,203 for the Yankees. ... The average price for the Mets home opener April 8 was $155.66 as of early this week, down 21 percent from last year. ... The most costly Mets game was the average of $235.09 for the July 3 game against the Yankees; the least expensive was the $38 for April 20 against the Astros.

Sandy Alderson tells the Daily News' Andy Martino the Bernard Madoff mess had no impact on last offseason. "The only external reality that had had an impact this offseason is the pre-existing payroll," Alderson tells Martino. "The fact that we had about $135 million this year when I came on board, realistically that didn't leave us much to spend."

• Martino also has a position-by-position review of the Mets.

BIRTHDAYS: Tom Hausman, who went 12-17 with a 3.66 ERA in 125 appearances (24 starts) for the Mets between 1978 and '82, was born on this day in 1953. ... Right-hander Bill Denehy, a Middletown, Conn., native who went 1-7 for the '67 Mets, was born in 1946.

Editor's Note: Mets morning briefing will move slightly later during the regular season, since the author needs to be noctural from April-September.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187