New York Mets: Mark Teixeira

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 1, Mets 0

May, 15, 2014
5/15/14
10:16
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NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom had a stellar big league debut, yet with the Mets’ bats familiarly silent, the 25-year-old right-hander came away with a loss.

Alfonso Soriano’s two-out, run-scoring double to left-center against deGrom in the seventh broke a scoreless tie, and the Yankees beat the Mets 1-0 Thursday before an announced crowd of 40,133 to earn a split of the four-game Subway Series.

After producing a combined 21 runs in a pair of wins in the Bronx, the Mets (19-21) returned to Citi Field and were shut out for two straight days. Combined with consecutive shutouts May 6-7 in Miami, the Mets have been blanked four times in their past nine games.

The Mets mustered only three hits in a combined shutout effort by debuting Chase Whitley, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren and David Robertson. DeGrom, a former college shortstop and .176 career minor league hitter, had one of those hits. Betances and Warren combined to strike out seven straight Mets during the sixth through eighth innings. The seven straight K's by the Mets matched a franchise record, last done Aug. 11, 2010, against the Colorado Rockies, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Robertson retired David Wright on a groundout to shortstop to strand runners on the corners and end the eighth en route to a four-out save.


Kathy Willens/Associated PressFirst-base coach Tom Goodwin congratulates Jacob deGrom after the rookie produced a hit in his first big league at-bat -- and the first hit by a Mets pitcher this season.


DeGrom’s line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. He threw 91 pitches (57 strikes).

DeGrom became the first debuting starting pitcher in franchise history to be charged with a loss in a game in which he logged at least seven innings and limited the opponent to one run.

The last debuting MLB starting pitcher to get charged with a loss in a game in which he tossed at least seven innings and limited the opponent to one run was Jimmy Haynes with the Baltimore Orioles against Boston on Sept. 13, 1995.

Pitching in a scoreless game in the seventh, deGrom had a streak of 11 straight batters retired snapped when he walked Mark Teixeira with one out. Next, with the Mets again playing an overshift against Brian McCann, the Mets attempted an inning-ending 4-5-3 double play. But Wright, attempting the turn at second base, made a low and offline throw to first base, and Lucas Duda was unable to scoop it.

With McCann safe and the inning prolonged, Soriano followed with the decisive triple.

Duda and Wright had turned a nifty 3-5-3 double play on McCann to end Monday’s game in the Bronx.

It’s a hit: In his first big league plate appearance, the former college shortstop deGrom snapped an 0-for-64 drought by Mets pitchers. That was the longest futility streak to begin a season by a pitching staff in MLB history and had tied the 1946 Cleveland Indians for the second-longest drought ever, regardless of point in the season. The 1914 Indians, who went 0-for-92, remain the record holders.

DeGrom also delivered a sacrifice bunt in his second and final plate appearance. That placed runners at second and third with two outs in the fifth against Whitley, who was making his big league debut for the Yankees. Manager Joe Girardi inserted reliever Betances to face Eric Young Jr, who grounded out to third base to strand the two baserunners as the game continued in a scoreless tie.

Farewell, Jeets: The Mets played a video tribute to retiring Derek Jeter before his 88th and final regular-season Subway Series game.

Jeter then went 0-for-4. That included sending a shot back at deGrom in the third inning with two runners aboard and one out. DeGrom snared the liner and doubled Brett Gardner off first base to escape the jam.

Jeter’s final career regular-season statistics against the Mets: .364 (131-for-360) with 13 homers and 44 RBIs. Jeter has a higher career average against only the Pittsburgh Pirates (.417 in 36 at-bats) and Colorado Rockies (.368 in 34 at-bats).

Among players with 100 career at-bats against the Mets, only Rico Carty (.380) and Don Slaught (.376) had higher averages.

Welcome back: Newly promoted Josh Edgin tossed only one pitch in his season debut. After inheriting runners on the corners and two outs in the eighth, he coaxed a flyout to left field from Jacoby Ellsbury.

What’s next: The Mets head to Washington D.C. for a weekend series against the Washington Nationals. Jonathon Niese (2-2, 2.17 ERA) opposes right-hander Tanner Roark (2-1, 3.65) in Friday’s 7:05 p.m. series opener. Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche are all on the DL for the Nats.

Morning Briefing: Hello deGrom, bye Jeter

May, 15, 2014
5/15/14
5:39
AM ET

Adam RubinJacob deGrom makes his major-league debut Thursday against the Yankees.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Subway Series finale originally was slated to pit Dillon Gee against CC Sabathia. Now, both are on the disabled list. And Mets-Yankees instead concludes with a pair of starting pitchers making their big-league debuts -- Jacob deGrom versus right-hander Chase Whitley.

DeGrom (4-0, 2.58 ERA at Las Vegas) steps into the starting role because Gee landed on the DL on Wednesday with a right lat-muscle strain. The Mets, who weighed keeping Gee active and having him miss one start, now expect he will miss two starts and return from the DL when eligible.

Coming on the heels of Rafael Montero’s start Wednesday, it will mark the first time in franchise history the Mets have used starting pitchers making their major-league debuts in consecutive games.

The last time an MLB team used debuting starting pitchers in consecutive games? The Milwaukee Brewers on Sept. 2-3, 2002, with Ben Diggins and Dave Pember, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The last time two debuting pitchers started opposite each other in an MLB game? Coincidentally, that involved Gee -- who pitched opposite Washington’s Yunesky Maya on Sept. 7, 2010.

In the past 100 years, there have only been seven non-September instances of both starting pitchers making their big-league debuts, according to Elias.

Bobby Parnell, who will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, was transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot for deGrom.

Meanwhile, Thursday marks the final regular-season game for retiring Derek Jeter against the Mets.

As the Mets did with Mariano Rivera last season and Chipper Jones in 2012, they will have an afternoon ceremony in a conference room to present Jeter with a gift -- not on-field recognition before the first pitch. A clip from that ceremony likely will be played for fans pregame on the scoreboard.

The Mets are expected to present Jeter with artwork, as they did with Chipper.

Thursday’s news reports:


Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsRafael Montero allowed three runs in six innings in his major-league debut.


• Montero did a solid job in his debut, but Masahiro Tanaka tossed a four-hit shutout and the Yankees snapped a six-game Subway Series losing streak with a 4-0 win Wednesday at Citi Field. The Mets (19-20) dropped a game under .500.

Terry Collins suggested three shots the Mets hit on Wednesday would have been homers had the game been played in the Bronx, including David Wright’s first-inning blast to the track with a runner on base.

The Mets had a pair of costly, ill-advised plays. With Tanaka on deck, a runner on first base and two outs, left fielder Eric Young Jr. decided to dive for a second-inning sinking liner off Brian Roberts’ bat rather than concede a single and keep it in front of him. E.Y. Jr. played the ball into a run-scoring triple. On the basepaths, Chris Young tried to steal second with Tanaka holding the ball, Lucas Duda at the plate and the Mets trailing, 2-0. He easily was retired.

Montero’s final line: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR. The second homer came after Montero was sent out for the sixth inning with his pitch count already at 97, on a solo shot by Mark Teixeira.

The unbeaten Tanaka -- the first 6-0 Yankees rookie starter since Whitey Ford in 1950 -- even produced a ninth-inning hit. Mets pitchers are now 0-for-64 at the plate this season. That futility matches the 1946 Cleveland Indians for the second-worst hitless streak by pitchers in MLB history, according to Elias. The all-time record: 0-for-92 by Cleveland pitchers in 1914.

Given E.Y. Jr. and Ruben Tejada’s hot streaks ended -- they went a combined 1-for-7 Wednesday -- it appears likely they will find themselves on the bench for the Subway Series finale.

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

• The Mets dumped Kyle Farnsworth a couple of days ahead of a deadline after which his $1 million contract for the season would have become guaranteed. Farnsworth, who notched a save as recently as Monday, had signed an “advanced consent” waiver. That allowed the Mets to drop him within 45 day of him joining the club on April 2 and only be responsible for the portion of the contract during which he was active -- about $250,000.

Farnsworth, who plans to refuse a minor-league assignment and become a free agent, was angry with the decision, calling it “sad” and describing himself as “very bitter.”

One member of the organization described himself as “speechless” after learning of the move.

Josh Edgin, who had a 4.97 ERA and had allowed 17 hits and 11 walks in 12 2/3 innings with Vegas, will be promoted and join Scott Rice as a left-hander in the bullpen.

Who’s the closer? Terry Collins hasn’t named one yet, but Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia and Daisuke Matsuzaka would be candidates.

Read more in the Record, Journal, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Travis d’Arnaud likely will land on the seven-day concussion DL before Thursday’s game. D’Arnaud had been struck on the top of the head by Alfonso Soriano’s backswing in the ninth inning Tuesday. D’Arnaud is continuing to undergo concussion tests. Juan Centeno, already on the 40-man roster, is expected to join the Mets on Thursday from Vegas. He was hitting .273 with one homer and 11 RBIs in 77 at-bats with the 51s. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Gee said there was no issue with his lat when he was pulled after 81 pitches from his last start. It only arose afterward and intensified during a bullpen session Tuesday in the Bronx. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Journal and Newsday.


Win McNamee/Getty ImagesEric Young Jr. visited Kravis Children's Hospital on Wednesday.


• E.Y. Jr. visited Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mt. Sinai before heading to Citi Field for the Subway Series on Wednesday. He appeared on the hospital’s closed-circuit TV show and answered questions for kids who were too sick to come down to a studio. E.Y. Jr. took pictures and signed autographs for patients who were well enough to attend the live show in the hospital’s lobby.

• Greg Peavey allowed three runs (two earned) in seven innings and Chasen Bradford notched his seventh save as Binghamton beat Altoona, 5-3. Peavey’s success coincides with his wife and recently born son getting into town, writes Lynn Worthy in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.

Before Savannah won two games from Greenville on Wednesday, outfield prospect Jared King -- who recently proposed to his girlfriend on the field -- landed on the DL with a fractured right fibula. King suffered the injury getting hit by a pitch on May 7. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer disputed allegations from Duda and Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg that bad burgers gave them food poisoning.

“It’s highly unlikely,” Meyer told the Post. “If you’re in a restaurant and one person says they got food poisoning from fish, you can say, ‘Well, that was probably one bad fish.’ But with hamburger meat, it’s an entire batch. And we haven’t heard of one other case of food poisoning. We don’t know for sure a Shake Shake burger made them sick.”

Daniel Barbarisi in the Journal reported fans at Citi Field on Wednesday did not seem dissuaded from buying Shake Shack food.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post suggests there is pressure on both New York GMs because they are playing in divisions up for grabs because of mediocrity. Writes Sherman:

[Sandy] Alderson already made a significant move during this Subway Series by shifting Rafael Montero into the rotation and Jenrry Mejia into the pen. The Mets’ long-shot chances this season could be about this: Can Alderson take some of that young pitching he has been diligently stockpiling the past four years and turn it into a July bat -- a Jose Bautista for mid-lineup heft or an Alexei Ramirez to solve shortstop, perhaps?

[Brian] Cashman faces a potentially more daunting issue because the Yanks have more age -- and thus more potential leaks -- and less farm system. At this moment, the Yankees look as if they need a sidekick for Masahiro Tanaka. So they might have to find out just how much a trade fronted by Gary Sanchez or John Ryan Murphy would bring. Does that get them into, for example, a Jeff Samardzija sweepstakes or do they have to lower their sights to the Bronson Arroyo/Jason Hammel level?

• Columnist David Lennon in Newsday suggests payroll still matters, as the Yankees demonstrated with their capacity to land Tanaka.

• Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post calls the rash of Tommy John surgeries to high-profile young pitchers “the dark cloud hovering in baseball’s sky now.”

• In a where-are-they-now look, Ken Belson in the Times notes Dae-Sung Koo -- of double-off-Randy Johnson-and-scoring-with-a-weighted-ball-in-his-pocket fame -- has been pitching in Australia.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal suggests the Subway Series still has juice. Writes Diamond:

According to the YES Network, Monday night's game at Yankee Stadium generated the highest ratings for a Subway Series telecast on a New York regional sports station since 2011, averaging 494,000 total viewers. On Tuesday, the Rangers' hockey game and the NBA playoffs siphoned off some viewers, but the Subway Series has re-established itself as a solid draw.

Even with the Brooklyn Nets' playoff game competing with baseball on Wednesday, the stations anticipated another potential bump with rookie pitcher Masahiro Tanaka on the mound for the Yankees.

• Mike Ozanian at Forbes opines about the value of the Mets if they were sold.

BIRTHDAYS: Tyler Walker, whose eight-year big-league career as a reliever began with the Mets in 2002, turns 38.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What gift should the Mets present to Derek Jeter?

W2W4: Key hitters for Montero

May, 14, 2014
5/14/14
12:09
PM ET
The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that the Mets are the first team in the modern era (since 1900) to have a streak of three straight major-league debuts by starters who pitched at least five innings and held their opponents scoreless.

Rafael Montero will be challenged to match what Matt Harvey, Collin McHugh and Zack Wheeler did in their first times through. What will some of the keys be for him tonight?

Let’s provide a basic scouting report on some of the key hitters he’ll likely face.

Derek Jeter
Jeter is 3-for-7 in this series with three walks and has been as tough an out as he’s always been against Mets pitching.

Prior to this series, Jeter was hitting only .209 with a .522 OPS against right-handed pitching this season. Most pitchers were getting him out by keeping the ball down. Jeter was 1-for-21 with eight strikeouts in at-bats against a right-hander that ended with a pitch in the lower-third of the strike zone or below. Of course, he did get a hit in this series on such a pitch, against Mets starter Bartolo Colon.

Jacoby Ellsbury
Ellsbury was red hot until about 10 days ago and has since gone into a 4-for-34 funk, including 3-for-22 against righties.

The finish pitch against Ellsbury this season has been something soft and on the outer half of the plate. That’s been a common bond not just for him, but also for Jeter, Brian McCann and Alfonso Soriano. Ellsbury has a tendency to get out in front of those pitches a bit too much and roll them over.

He’s 5-for-25 against righties in at-bats that end with a soft pitch on the outer half of the plate (or off the corner). Fourteen of the outs are ground balls to the right side.

Yangervis Solarte
Go figure that a career minor leaguer may be Montero’s biggest challenge.

Montero should keep in mind that Solarte is the Yankee least likely to swing at the first pitch. He’s only done so 15 percent of the time against righties in his first month-plus in the majors.

Solarte is a tough one in that he’s been effective in all three thirds of the strike zone (inner-third, middle-third, outer-third) and he’s shown the ability to hit pitches of every type.

Montero’s best weapon may be his changeup, a pitch considered at times to be his best offering. Solarte is 2-for-10 in at-bats ending with changeups from righties this season and he’s more likely to swing at that then Montero’s fastball, curveball or slider.

Montero will also need to be very careful with two strikes. Solarte has the Yankees highest batting average (.286 on 8-for-28) in two-strike counts this season).

Mark Teixeira
Teixeira may not be able to run, but he’s been swinging a hot bat. He’s hitting .302 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 11 games, with all four homers coming against righties.

The best path to success for a right-hander against Teixeira is to pitch him inside. Over the last four seasons, Teixeira has put only 28 percent of his swings in play against pitches on the inner half of the plate (or off the corner) from a righty. That ranks among the lowest rates in baseball over that span.

What about trying to hit Tanaka?
Do you have Rafael Montero as the Mets pitcher who will break their season-long 0-for drought at the plate? Montero went 5-for-35 as a hitter in the minor leagues.

His best strategy may be not to swing. Tanaka has only thrown 46 percent of his fastballs (not his splitter) in the strike zone this season. That rate actually ranks seventh-worst among the 100 pitchers who have thrown the most fastballs this season.

Series preview: Mets vs. Yankees

May, 27, 2013
5/27/13
12:58
AM ET

Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsMariano Rivera, 43, makes his final regular-season visit to Citi Field this series.
METS (18-29, fourth place/NL East) vs. NEW YORK YANKEES (30-19, first place/AL East)

Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-5, 4.80) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (2-3, 5.51), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.93) vs. RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-3, 2.67), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-5, 4.76) vs. RHP David Phelps (3-2, 3.96), 7:05 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-6, 6.34) vs. LHP Vidal Nuno (1-1, 1.93), 7:05 p.m. ET

Yankees short hops

• Retiring Mariano Rivera makes his final regular-season visit to Citi Field. He has converted 18 straight save chances to open the season, the second-longest streak of his career. Rivera saved his first 28 opportunities in 2008. With a perfect 11th inning Saturday, Rivera matched Dennis Eckersley for fourth on the all-time games-pitched list at 1,071. The only pitchers with more appearances happen to all have appeared for the Mets: Jesse Orosco (1,252), Mike Stanton (1,178) and John Franco (1,119).

Curtis Granderson broke a pinkie and landed on the disabled list this weekend. The Yankees recalled Brennan Boesch from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.


G Fiume/Getty ImagesLyle Overbay has filled in well for Mark Teixeira at first base.


Granderson suffered the latest in a rash of injuries to high-profile players. Also on the DL: Derek Jeter (left ankle surgery), Mark Teixeira (torn ECU sheath, right arm), Alex Rodriguez (left hip surgery), Kevin Youkilis (lumbar spine sprain), Francisco Cervelli (broken right hand), Eduardo Nunez (left oblique strain), Andy Pettitte (strained left trapezius muscle) and Joba Chamberlain (right oblique strain).

The Yankees have received stellar fill-in performances, including from first baseman Lyle Overbay for Teixeira. Overbay -- who was signed hours after being released by the Boston Red Sox late in spring training -- has three homers to give the Yanks the lead in the seventh inning or later this season. But he will recede from a starting role with Teixeira expected to return next weekend.

Teixeira is a switch-hitter, which should not provide much opportunity at first base for Overbay. And Overbay is unlikely to unseat Travis Hafner at DH against right-handed pitching. Teixeira has started playing in extended spring training games and is due for a midweek rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton.

Youkilis, who has been out since departing with a lower-back injury on April 9, played in an extended spring training game Saturday. He is due to repeat that activity Monday. Youkilis could join Teixeira with Trenton on Wednesday.

Pettitte will throw a 75-pitch simulated game on Tuesday in Tampa. He should reenter the Yankees' rotation no later than next Monday.

Chamberlain has started throwing in extended spring training games.

• Long man Adam Warren was a college teammate of Matt Harvey's at the University of North Carolina.

• Rookie David Adams (.300), a third-round pick in 2008 from the University of Virginia, has stepped in nicely at third base for Youkilis and is considered the best homegrown infielder since Robinson Cano.

Hiroki Kuroda and David Phelps both are optimistic about starting against the Mets, despite issues in their last starts. Kuroda -- who is due to face Harvey at Citi Field and has been the Yanks' top starter this season -- was struck on the calf by a liner off the bat of Manny Machado in Baltimore. Phelps took a line drive off his right forearm against the Rays.

• Rookie left-hander Vidal Nuno, who was released by the Cleveland Indians at the end of spring training in 2011, is keeping his rotation spot even after the return of Ivan Nova from the DL. With Nuno's success, Nova made only his 12th relief appearance in 178 professional games Saturday, in his return from the DL after recovering from a right triceps injury. Nova loaded the bases against the Rays but escaped.

• The Yankees claimed left-handed reliever David Huff off waivers from Cleveland and designated for assignment seldom-used backup outfielder Ben Francisco, who was hitting. 114. Huff, who is stretched out for a multi-inning performance if required, was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of A-Rod in 2010.

• Catcher Chris Stewart was held out Sunday because of continued nagging from a groin injury suffered last week.

• Ex-Mariner Shawn Kelley had struck out 33 batters in 19 2/3 innings.

Morning briefing: Piazza's Mets isolation

March, 6, 2013
3/06/13
6:43
AM ET

Julio Cortez/Associated Press
Miguel Cabrera and Team Venezuela visit Tradition Field this afternoon.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: A day after the death of Venezuela president Hugo Chavez, the Mets face that country’s World Baseball Classic team in a 12:35 p.m. exhibition today at Tradition Field.

Jonathon Niese, Scott Atchison and Hansel Robles are due to pitch for the Mets.

Former Cincinnati Reds right-hander Ramon Ramirez (not the ex-Met) is due to start for Venezuela. He pitched in Mexico last season.

At last night’s Miami Marlins exhibition win against Team Venezuela at Roger Dean Stadium, there was no moment of silence to recognize the controversial Chavez’s death and the Venezuelan flag was lowered to half-staff only briefly -- a joint decision between the Marlins and MLB.

"He was a man of baseball," Venezuela manager Luis Sojo said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "He was always aware of the team and who was on it. He was the first call I got in the morning during the tournaments in 2006 and 2009. He lived for baseball.

"It's always sad when someone dies. He was a human being, a president, a man who battled a lot for his life. He asked his family for peace. We're in a tough situation in our country right now. God has [Chavez] now."

Wednesday’s news reports:


AP Photo/Cliff Owen
Mike Piazza's relationship with the Mets has been chilly.


• David Lennon in Newsday checked in with Mike Piazza, a coach for Italy’s World Baseball Classic team, about whether he is estranged from the Mets. Writes Lennon:

Piazza does admit his relationship with the Mets has felt more distant lately, and he couldn't really put his finger on why. Returning for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 at Citi Field sticks in his mind as a powerful event, but he stressed that it's more difficult for him to be around the team because of his family life in Miami. …

"I wouldn't say we're growing apart -- that's too strong," he said of the Mets. "It's not terrible. It's not bad. It's just kind of in a little bit of a lull, I guess. I think when you move on, and just start a new life, a new somewhere, it's tough to stay connected, and they've gone through some changes as well. I would say that I've turned a page in my life personally. I think if there is a future for me there, I truly believe things will work out. I'm always optimistic."


Wearing a heart monitor, Pedro Feliciano allowed a leadoff homer and plunked the lone lefty batter he faced while making his first appearance as a Met since 2010. Read more in the Post.

Shaun Marcum and LaTroy Hawkins pitched two innings apiece and the Mets were two-hit in a 4-0 loss to the Miami Marlins in a “B” game. Most players in major league camp had Tuesday off. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News and Newsday.

Jenrry Mejia has been dispatched to New York for follow-up testing on his initial physical, a team spokesman said. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News and Record.

• With Mark Teixeira withdrawing from the World Baseball Classic because of a strained wrist, Ike Davis is among multiple candidates to replace him, an official told ESPNNewYork.com.

• Mets officials privately believe Johan Santana almost assuredly cannot avoid the DL to open the season, writes Andy Martino in the Daily News. Sandy Alderson publicly has described it as “less and less likely” that Santana can be ready for Opening Day.

• Via a video game, UniWatch gets an apparent sneak peek at this year’s All-Star Game uniforms. View here.

• Tickets for the July 14 Futures Game at Citi Field as well as FanFest at Jacob Javits Center go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. Details here.

• Richard Sandomir in the Times reports Mets’ revenue continues to tumble. Writes Sandomir:

The ballpark’s latest financial statements show some of the effects of faltering attendance. Last season, the Mets averaged 28,035 a game, down nearly 7 percent from the 2011 season.

Ticket receipts from Citi Field’s most expensive 10,635 seats -- the biggest source of revenue -- fell nearly 13 percent, to $43.9 million from $50.5 million in 2011. Advertising revenue also fell, to $44.2 million from $46.1 million. Luxury suite revenue took a small hit, dropping from $7.7 million to $7.5 million. But revenue from concessions, parking and “other” increased.

Revenue fell over all, to $121.5 million from $126.9 million. In 2010, it was $143.9 million.

David Wright had an RBI triple and walk in three plate appearances and logged five innings at third base as Team USA played to a 4-4 draw with the Chicago White Sox in a World Baseball Classic tune-up Tuesday in Glendale, Ariz.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post asserts that even the Mets’ strength -- starting pitching -- cannot be viewed as a strength when compared with the division. Writes Sherman:

So the Mets like their rotation. But will it be better than Washington’s with Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and plenty of back-end depth? Nope. Is it better than the Phillies’ with Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay (and if you say Halladay is a health concern, I would say not nearly as much as Johan Santana)?

Are the Mets’ starters better than the Braves’? Even if you think Santana, Jon Niese and Matt Harvey are comparable to Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen and Mike Minor, well, tie goes to the group supported by superior relief. And Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel-led bullpen might be the converse of the Mets’ outfield -- the best unit in the majors.

So within the NL East, the Mets’ rotation -- which, again, is their strength -- projects as better than just the sell-off Marlins’.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal reports Collin Cowgill is one of only 56 position players since 1876 in the majors who throw lefty and bat righty. The only other active players in that category: Ryan Ludwick and Cody Ross. "It happened the way it was supposed to," Cowgill told Diamond.

• Ken Belson in the Times looks at the growing isolation the Mets have in Port St. Lucie with fewer and fewer teams to play. The Washington Nationals (Viera, Fla.) and Houston Astros (Kissimmee, Fla.) may be the next teams on the move. And the recent buzz among baseball personnel is that the St. Louis Cardinals may even look to depart nearby Jupiter, which they reportedly would be allowed to do if one more team departs Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

Michael Bourn, who signed with the Cleveland Indians after the Mets never got the draft-pick issue resolved, told Anthony McCarron in the Daily News: “Mets fans shouldn’t have anything to be mad at. They’re trying to move in the right direction. I can say that. I know that. … I couldn’t wait too much longer, man. It was close to spring training before it happened. I was ready to roll and so was Cleveland. I’m pretty sure the Mets were, too. It just didn’t happen.”

• Dan Martin in the Post writes the Mets regret putting some of their pitchers on the mound so early in spring training.

From the bloggers The Eddie Kranepool Society reviews Piazza’s autobiography. … Shannon from Mets Police looks back at his first day as a Shea Stadium vendor, Opening Day 1987.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to ever play in a game for the Mets was born on this date, but Shaquille O’Neal and Tom Arnold celebrate birthdays.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Which former Mets players’ numbers should the team retire?

Ike under consideration as Team USA sub

March, 5, 2013
3/05/13
8:14
PM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Ike Davis is among multiple candidates being considered to be added to Team USA for the World Baseball Classic, an official familiar with the process told ESPNNewYork.com.

A vacancy arose because Mark Teixeira suffered a right wrist strain.

"At this point I think there are a lot of names being considered, including Ike," the source said.

Team USA begins first-round play Friday at Chase Field against Mexico.

Toxicology report -- bad MLB contracts

September, 25, 2012
9/25/12
8:18
AM ET

US Presswire
Vernon Wells, Juan Uribe and Chone Figgins (l to r) are among the bloated contracts around Major League Baseball.
The Mets’ first task this offseason regarding Jason Bay, and for that matter Johan Santana, likely should be to see if any team has trade interest. A swap appears unlikely, though, even discounting the no-trade clause each possesses.

After all, Bay is hitting .155 with eight homers in 187 at-bats. And he is owed $19 million next season including a 2014 buyout, making it a toxic contract.

Similarly, Santana -- despite the June 1 no-hitter -- finishes the season on the DL after allowing six-plus runs in each of his final five starts. Santana is owed $31 million next season including a ’14 buyout.

Still, if the Mets were to find another team with toxic contracts to swap, who is logical? With the help of reporters around baseball, here’s a look …

THEY’VE GOT POTENTIAL

Angels: “Oh, you've come to the right place,” our friend who covers the Angels says. “The Angels have the deadest of dead weight -- Vernon Wells. The Angels are paying Wells $21 million this year to be their fourth outfielder. They owe him $21 million more in 2013 and again in 2014.”

Blue Jays: Left fielder/first baseman Adam Lind (.240, 10 HR, 40 RBIs) is owed $5 million in 2013. With buyouts of option years, the minimum owed is $7 million. “He cleared waivers at one point this season and the Blue Jays would love to get rid of his contract -- even though it's unlikely that can happen,” a team observer said.

Braves: Second baseman Dan Uggla (.215, 19 HR, 73 RBIs) is owed $39 million over the next three seasons.

Cubs: Alfonso Soriano ($18 million apiece in 2013 and ’14) and Carlos Marmol ($9.8 million next season) are the remaining sizable contracts.

Dodgers: The Dodgers inherited Carl Crawford ($102.5 million through 2017) and Josh Beckett ($31.5 million through 2014) while acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, but both should contribute. The least-productive contract: Juan Uribe, who finally pinch hit Sunday after going unused for nearly a month. Uribe, with one year remaining, is still owed $8 million.

Mariners: Left fielder Chone Figgins (.183, 2 HR, 11 RBIs) is owed $8 million next season. Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (.258, 4 HR, 14 RBIs) is owed $7.5 million in 2013 with a buyout of the following season. Says one observer: “Gutierrez has been hurt or sick for most of his deal and might produce if ever healthy. Figgins is literally dead weight.” Bay does live in the offseason in Seattle. And the combined $15.5 million owed to those two are close to Bay's $19 million.

Marlins: Heath Bell has two years, $18 million guaranteed remaining. He also has a $9 million option for 2015 based on games finished -- 55 the previous season or 100 combined in 2013 and '14. (The Mets have been down that route before.)

Pirates: Clint Barmes is signed for 2013 at $5.5 million. He's hitting .228/.266/.325 with eight homers.

Red Sox: John Lackey (12-12, 6.41 ERA) has two years left for a combined $30.5 million, with a 2015 club option at the major league minimum because of a preexisting elbow injury.

Twins: Nick Blackburn (4-9, 7.39 ERA) and middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka -- both relegated to the minors -- are under contract for 2013 and “practically sunken cost.” Blackburn is owed $5.5 million. Nishioka is owed $3.25 million including a 2014 buyout. The Twins likely would never trade Joe Mauer, despite him being owed $23 million annually through 2018.

Yankees: Alex Rodriguez to Flushing? Don't hold your breath. Still, A-Rod is owed $114 million over the next five seasons. Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia could emerge as bad contracts, with $90 million over four seasons and $119 million over five seasons owed, respectively.

(Read full post)

Mets morning briefing 7.9.12

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
3:19
AM ET
Jon Niese allowed four first-inning runs and ultimately surrendered seven runs in seven innings as the Mets lost to the Cubs, 7-0, at Citi Field on Sunday. The Mets entered the All-Star break with a 46-40 record, exceeding many expectations, but off a series loss to Chicago.

If the playoffs started today, the National League division winners would be Washington (49-34), Pittsburgh (48-37) and Los Angeles (47-40).

Atlanta (46-39) and Cincinnati (47-38) would claim the wild cards, with the Mets as well as St. Louis and San Francisco -- with identical 46-40 records -- a half-game back.

The Mets reassemble for a late-afternoon workout Thursday at Turner Field in Atlanta. They then begin another critical stretch Friday against the Braves. That series will be followed by one in D.C. The Amazin's then return home to face Los Angeles and again the Nats.

As for going 2-4 this season against the Cubs, who are now a half-game better than Houston for the worst record in the majors, Terry Collins said: "They played us really well. Maybe it's one of those, it's a bad matchup for us." The Mets also were swept in Houston a month into the season.

Monday's news reports:

• The Mets and Rockies are discussing a trade involving righty-hitting catcher Ramon Hernandez. The deal could be expanded to include left-handed reliever Matt Reynolds, a baseball source told ESPNNewYork.com. The source added that players who interest the Rockies include Justin Turner as well as prospects Matt den Dekker, Jacob deGrom, Josh Edgin, Chase Huchingson, Jack Leathersich, Domingo Tapia and Wilfredo Tovar. While there was optimism a deal could ultimately be consummated, there was no indication the Mets would agree to include any of those Rockies targets. The Post's Joel Sherman also links the Mets to catchers Kelly Shoppach (Boston) and Miguel Olivo (Boston).

Sandy [Alderson] and I talk every single day,” Collins said, speaking generally about the trade deadline. “He’s certainly aware of what our needs are. We talk about it. We know where our holes are. We know how to fill them. But the asking price to fill them sometimes isn’t going to be paid. We’re just not going to sacrifice the future for a piece for a month. And I’ve been there before. Believe me. And it’s one of the things I’ve learned -- look, I can’t worry about what I don’t have. I know what we need. Everybody on any team that’s competing right now needs a piece to get better. But I also know it can kill you down the road to give up some of those things that you have to.

"In my past places, some of the asking prices, when you go to the players and go, ‘Yeah, we could have gotten so-and-so, but it would have cost that guy,’ they all say, ‘Well, you can’t move him.’ So we’ll just have to see what happens.”

Writes Sherman about Hernandez in the Post:

It is the kind of incremental improvement they want to make to enhance their postseason chances. One Mets official said, “We are not talking about acquiring Gary Carter in 1985 here.” Translation: It is still a few weeks from the deadline, when teams can ask for big returns, but the Mets will wait for more realistic requests or else not make the purchase.

Alderson, speaking on SNY during Sunday's game, suggested he had been burned in the past by acquiring a catcher midseason. That was the case, he suggested, because of the acquisition's unfamiliarity with the new pitching staff and not providing enough offensive improvement over the incumbent to justify the swap in retrospect. In the current case, Mike Nickeas is hitting .172 with a homer and 13 RBIs in 93 at-bats.

Read more in the Star-Ledger.

R.A. Dickey, David Wright and Terry Collins departed for the All-Star Game in Kansas City via chartered plane after Sunday's loss. Dickey made one last pitch for the starting nod on the mound for the NL, saying it would be easier for starting catcher Buster Posey if the knuckleballer opened the game, since that would afford the duo extra time to work together during warmups as well. NL skipper Tony La Russa is expected to name his starting pitcher at a 1:30 p.m. ET press conference Monday. Meanwhile, Wright is excited to return to the All-Star Game after a one-year absence. He was not selected for the 2011 game, snapping a six-year streak, because he was sidelined with a stress fracture in his lower back. Read more in Newsday.

• Columnist Tara Sullivan in the Record salutes Wright's first-half performance, writing:

As he stood postgame at his locker trying to remember everything he needed to pack for his upcoming sixth All-Star Game appearance and the six-game road trip that follows, Wright talked about the consistency his team needs to find in the season’s second half. What he never would say is that everyone needs to find it but him. Wright has been the eye in the center of this crazy storm, the steward, the leader, the beacon of consistency amid all that swirls around him. Like a straight line through a swirling mass, he has kept this team on course. “Absolutely carried us in the first half,” manager Terry Collins said.

Jon Rauch had a rough beginning to the All-Star break. The reliever revealed via Twitter he was involved in an automobile accident after Sunday's game. He tweeted:

got sideswiped on the way home.....awesome. guy tried to merge into my jeep. Jeep 1 - Benz S-class 0. took 2.5 hrs for police to show up. Entire side of the benz destroyed by the 37" tires and Ace Eng. sliders. Couple dents in the rear door from his mirror. The Jeep is a tank. no injuries. glancing blow to both cars. He's lucky i didn't drive over the top of his hood!! to be honest, felt like i hit a pothole. heard the accident more than i felt it.

Rauch then tweeted a photo of his Jeep pre-accident, which you can view here.

• It turns out Johan Santana's right ankle is not as healed as desired. After twisting it then getting stepped on Friday by Reed Johnson while covering first base, Santana nonetheless was scheduled to start Friday's second-half opener in Atlanta. Now, Dillon Gee will take that start, followed by Dickey in Game 2. Collins said either Santana or Niese will start Sunday's finale at Turner Field, with the other opening the following series at Washington. Chris Young remains the fifth starter out of the break. "He’s fine. Don’t misread anything," Collins insisted about Santana. "We just want to make sure that he’s 100 percent when we come out of the break." Read more in the Post, Record and Daily News.

• Read Sunday's game recaps in the Times, Post, Record, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Daily News.

• Alderson appeared for an inning and a half on SNY. There were no revelations, but the GM did suggest Zack Wheeler would make roughly two more starts for Double-A Binghamton before being promoted to Triple-A Buffalo. And Alderson, without naming Josh Edgin, implied the lefty reliever would be imminently promoted after the All-Star break so the Mets can gauge what they have before the trade deadline. Alderson spoke about multiple relievers coming up, so perhaps Jenrry Mejia is soon to join the Mets as well. "I think you'll see a couple of new faces between now and the end of July," Alderson said on the telecast, referring to promotions. "And we'll take a look at them and see what we think, and at the same time be evaluating what else is available to us."

• Wheeler and fellow Binghamton Met Wilmer Flores participated in Sunday's Futures Game in K.C. Wheeler retired both batters he faced. Flores started at third base for the World team and went 0-for-2. "Amazing," Flores told David Lennon in Newsday about Wheeler. "He's one of the best. He's going to make some money."

Wheeler's Double-A dominance had a brief interruption recently, when he allowed 12 runs (11 earned) on 13 2/3 innings over a pair of starts. But Wheeler got back on track in his most recent outing, which happened to come against the Double-A affiliate of his former organization, the San Francisco Giants. He limited Richmond to one run in 7 1/3 innings Thursday. A runner inherited by the bullpen scored for the only to be charged to him. "Sometimes you can get away with throwing hard and missing your spots," Wheeler told Lennon. "But in those games, I was missing my spots and they were hitting me. That reminded me of what would happen if I was in the big leagues. It was a good learning experience, so actually I'm glad it happened."

Read more on Wheeler and the Futures Game in the Times and Post.

• Ex-Met John Maine surrendered six runs in 4 2/3 innings, including damage on homers by den Dekker and Josh Satin, as Buffalo headed into its All-Star break on a four-game winning streak. Mejia was struck above the right ankle in that game and was pulled. Buffalo hosts the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday. The home run derby, scheduled for today, includes Valentino Pascucci. Read Sunday's full minor league recap here.

• Collins believed Jason Bay (concussion) and Frank Francisco (oblique) both could appear in their first rehab game Wednesday, with Class A St. Lucie at Tampa. The expectation would be both could rejoin the Mets for the series at Washington that begins next Tuesday, after a team off-day. Meanwhile, Andres Torres, who has remained on the active roster despite back woes, hopes to be ready to reenter the lineup the day the Mets open second-half play.


Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Trainer Ray Ramirez observed Johan Santana after the southpaw's ankle twisted, then was stepped on by Reed Johnson at first base in the fifth inning Friday. Two days later, the Mets disclosed Santana's first second-half start will be delayed.


• Francisco has ended up entangled in another Yankees-related controversy, although this time the closer did not call them "chickens" or anything else. Andrew Marchand writes at ESPNNewYork.com about a spat between Boston reliever Vicente Padilla and the Yankees' Mark Teixeira that managed to rope in Francisco. Writes Marchand:

Padilla and Teixeira have had a feud that dates back seven years. In his initial two at-bats against Padilla in 2005, Teixeira hit homers each time. Since, according to Teixeira, Padilla has been head-hunting. ... [Padilla] implied that Teixeira had issues with Padilla and former teammate Frank Francisco because they were Latin. "The problem is he talks about all the wrong things that others have done, but the things he's done -- against the Latinos [on the Texas Rangers] -- he doesn't open his mouth about," Padilla told the website (NESN.com). "He once threatened me and said he was going to hit me with a bat, and that's when we were playing on the same team."

Jordany Valdespin made his first major league start in center field Sunday. “I guess it was towards the end of the first year I ever saw him, when you saw the athleticism, you almost said, ‘You know what? This guy would make a pretty good center fielder,’’’ Collins said. ”So there was always that thought to put him out there.’’ Valdespin, a natural middle infielder, had made 15 appearances (14 starts) in the minors this season in center field. He also had four Grapefruit League appearances (two starts) at the position this year. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Wally Backman again criticized Reggie Jackson for comments critical of Gary Carter's Hall of Fame worthiness, this time in the Daily News.

• Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison tweeted he used to play for the Mets.

Anthony Rieber provides a first-half recap in Newsday, as does Jared Diamond in the Journal. Mike Kerwick in the Record recommends to believe in the Mets.

Michael Salfino in the Journal notes that if Ike Davis maintained his .203 average and his current RBI pace, he would have the worst average in baseball history among players who drove in 90-plus runs. It would top Dave Kingman's .204 average and 99 RBIs, which Kingman happened to post in 1982 as a Met.

TRIVIA: Who is the youngest Met ever to have a plate appearance in an All-Star Game?

Sunday's answer: Edgardo Alfonzo was the last Met to appear at second base in an All-Star Game. He went 0-for-2 at Turner Field on July 11, 2000 after replacing starter Jeff Kent.

Mets morning briefing 6.25.12

June, 25, 2012
6/25/12
7:48
AM ET
R.A. Dickey's streak without allowing an earned run ended at 44 2/3 innings when Mark Teixeira had a sacrifice fly in the third inning and Nick Swisher belted a three-run homer later in the frame. The Mets did rally in the sixth to even the score at 5 and take Dickey off the hook, but Miguel Batista surrendered a tiebreaking eighth-inning solo homer to Robinson Cano as the Yankees beat the Mets, 6-5, in Sunday's Subway Series rubber game before a Citi Field-record crowd of 42,364.

"Not bad for a bunch of chickens," Swisher crowed afterward.

Dickey's streak was the second longest in franchise history without allowing an earned run, narrowly shy of Dwight Gooden's franchise-record 49 innings in 1985. The knuckleballer's streak without allowing an earned run was the longest in the majors since Orel Hershiser posted his MLB-record 59-inning streak without allowing any runs in '88. (Hershiser was Dickey's pitching coach with the Rangers when Dickey went from conventional pitcher to committing full time to the knuckleball.)

According to Elias, Dickey had held opposing batters without an extra-base hit in 105 consecutive at-bats before Swisher's long ball, the longest streak in the majors this season. Dickey also was charged with his first wild pitch this season.

The Mets completed a stretch of eight straight series against teams with winning records -- versus the Phillies, Cardinals, Nationals, Yankees, Rays, Reds, Orioles and Yankees again -- with a 12-13 record (including 1-5 against their Bronx rivals).

The Amazin's now open a three-game series at Wrigley Field at 8:05 p.m. Monday, with Johan Santana (5-3, 3.00 ERA) opposing left-hander Travis Wood (1-3, 4.14). The Cubs are an MLB-worst 24-48.

Monday's news reports:

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

Frank Francisco landed on the disabled list before Sunday's series finale with a left oblique strain. The Mets also demoted Jordany Valdespin, freeing roster spots for the returns of shortstop Ruben Tejada and reliever Ramon Ramirez from the disabled list. Terry Collins had indicated Bobby Parnell would get the first crack at closing in Francisco's absence Sunday, but the opportunity did not materialize. Valdespin's playing time would have been minimal with the number of middle infielders active -- Tejada, Ronny Cedeño, Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner and Omar Quintanilla. Quintanilla is out of options, and team officials had been concerned they would lose him off waivers if they tried to get him through in order to attempt to send him to Triple-A Buffalo. Read more in Newsday, the Post, Record and Star-Ledger.

• Tejada went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and committed a throwing error in his return. Read more in the Post, Record and Star-Ledger.

• In obvious need of a second-lefty in the bullpen to pair with Tim Byrdak, which was made even clearer after Cano took Batista deep, the Mets designated for assignment Vinny Rottino postgame and called up ex-Padre Justin Hampson. Writes columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post about Terry Collins' own regret in hindsight for not using Byrdak to face Cano:

These are the torturous tests you endure sometimes as a manager. We already know how many headaches and how much heartburn the Mets’ bullpen has given Terry Collins -- and anyone else with a remote interest in the team’s fortunes. We already knew they have only one left-handed arm, Tim Byrdak’s, in that bullpen. And we already knew they were playing a man down, since Frank Francisco was placed on the disabled list early last night. We all know that. And Terry Collins knows that. We can get irrational about managers sometimes, so it’s best to think about them the way you think about commercial airline pilots if you happen to have a fear of flying: The man in the cockpit doesn’t want to crash, either.

Read more from columnist John Harper in the Daily News.

As for external assistance, Buster Olney tweeted: "Mets need bullpen help, but there aren't many sellers now, so they'll probably wait until the All-Star break before they dig into the market."

Little Jerry Seinfeld will lead a long life, at least by poultry standards. The chicken -- purchased by a clubhouse attendant in Chinatown for $8 at Byrdak's request for a gag, after Francisco called the Yankees "chickens" -- was presented to Farm Sanctuary of Watkins Glen, N.Y., in a pregame ceremony Sunday outside the clubhouse. Even Jerry Seinfeld seemed to embrace the ridiculousness. As the Mets rallied Sunday night, the devout-Mets-fan Seinfeld tweeted: "Yes! @mets #rallychicken comes through!!"

Francisco, by the way, maintained he own a chicken farm in his native Dominican Republic. David Waldstein of the Times reported via Twitter that Francisco raises fighting chickens. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Journal and Newsday.

• Dickey, whose ERA rose to 2.31 although he remained 11-1, said about his knuckleball Sunday: "It was coming out kind of wobbly a little bit and I kept searching for it through the innings."

Writes columnist Steve Politi in the Star-Ledger:

They don’t sing country songs about knuckleball pitchers, but R.A. Dickey sure sounded like he writing a couple stanzas as he reflected on pitching like an actual human being again. “I was going to live and die with my girl,” he said. “She’d been nice so far. That’s just the way of it, you know?” Well, that she left him last night, of all nights, was downright cruel. This was a nationally televised game. This was the largest crowd in Citi Field history. This was against the hated Yankees. But even if Dickey had controlled her over his previous five starts like no pitcher in baseball history, there is no pitch in the sport as fickle as a knuckleball, relying on whims and winds to sneak past batters.

Writes columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record about the hyped Dickey-CC Sabathia matchup:

How did his best pitch suddenly become so vulnerable? The answer speak to the volatility of the pitch itself, especially at the speeds Dickey throws it. He’s got an 80-mph freak of nature on his hands, and make no mistake the butterfly effect of Dickey’s knuckleball has turned him an All-Star this year. But try to squeeze even an extra mile or two out of the pitch, overthrow it by just a little, and the ball loses its mystery. And that seemed to be what sabotaged Dickey over the next four innings -- a clear case of too much adrenaline, too much arm-speed, which kept him to doing all the little things that’s previously made his knuckleball a nightmare for hitters. “You have to remember that throwing the knuckleball properly is like a symphony of micro-movements -- the back, the legs, the arm,” Jim Bouton was saying over the weekend. “All of it has to be perfect. That’s the thing about a knuckleball. You can be a little off with your fastball; it comes in at 89 instead of 92. But a knuckleball that’s a little off turns into a home run.”

Read more about Dickey's outing in the Times, Newsday, Daily News and Post.

• The three-game series drew a combined attendance of 124,677. The Mets had been averaging 28,279 per game entering the series. (It's fair to note that the season average includes midweek/bad-weather games earlier in the year, whereas the Yankees series fell during a time attendance would naturally be higher anyway -- although not as high, obviously, had the Bombers not been visiting Queens.)

ESPN's Jayson Stark notes the Subway Series, and other natural rivalries, now are slated to be reduced to four games a season -- two apiece in each ballpark -- rather than the six games a season that has been the norm.

Ike Davis was out of the starting lineup for a second straight day with a suspected case of food poisoning, which he believes is related to bad oysters. Davis pinch hit for Turner with two out in the ninth and Lucas Duda on first base. Yankees closer Rafael Soriano retired Davis on flyout to right field.

• The two-week program to prepare Jenrry Mejia at Triple-A Buffalo for major league bullpen readiness is now complete, Bisons manager Wally Backman said, via broacaster Ben Wagner's tweet. However, that does not mean Mejia will be an imminent call-up. Mejia has struggled in the role, allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits, three walks and a hit batter in four innings spanning five appearances since the June 15 conversion. "When you have that natural cutter like he’s got, you’ve got to be able to command it," Collins told reporters Sunday. "And Wally said right now everything’s in the middle."

Matt Harvey allowed two runs in five innings in a no-decision with Buffalo, while Robert Carson recorded a five-out save for Binghamton and Cam Maron's South Atlantic League hitting streak ended at 16 games. Read the full minor league here.

• Dickey's knuckleball likely will pave the way for others to follow in his footsteps. There are only two minor leaguers throwing the pitch right now -- Double-A Akron's Steven Wright (Cleveland Indians) and Class A Boise's Joe Zeller (Chicago Cubs).

Brittany Viola, the daughter of Frank Viola, qualified for the Olympics in diving by winning the 10-meter platform competition at the U.S. trials. The ex-Met currently serves as the pitching coach for the organization's Class A Savannah affiliate. Read more in the Miami Herald and Newsday.

• With David Wright and Dickey likely representatives already and Santana at only 5-3, it seems unlikely the southpaw would make the All-Star squad. Regardless, GM Sandy Alderson told Mark Hale in the Post that the team would not stand in the way of Santana participating if selected, even though Santana missed last season with shoulder surgery. (New MLB guidelines make it tougher for players to wriggle free if selected anyway. They must be injured or excused, per the new CBA.)

TRIVIA: Who hit the homers for the Mets in a Sept. 25, 2004 game against the Cubs at Shea Stadium that dealt a critical blow to Chicago's postseason aspirations?

Sunday's answer: Jon Rauch was tied with Houston's Fernando Rodriguez for the MLB lead in losses by a reliever, with seven.

Double Play: Subway Series storylines

June, 22, 2012
6/22/12
1:05
PM ET
We asked our bloggers, Mark Simon and Katie Sharp from ESPN Stats & Information, to take a closer look at the most intriguing storylines of this series.

What intrigues you most about Friday’s game?

Sharp: Can the Yankee lefties take Jonathon Niese deep?

Niese has allowed one home run to the 46 left-handed batters he’s faced this season, but that longball came in his most recent start against the Reds.

Yankee lefties have combined to hit 11 homers off same-handed pitchers, the most among all MLB teams. Curtis Granderson has seven of them this year, but has yet to homer off Niese in six career at-bats.

Simon: Will the Mets be able to resist Andy Pettitte’s slider.

Of the 20 sliders Pettitte threw with two strikes to Mets hitters, only four ended up in the strike zone. Yet, Pettitte recorded seven strikeouts with the pitch.

The Mets were actually better than most teams in terms of knowing when to chase that pitch (they swung at 41 percent of his out-of-zone sliders), but they’ll either need to be better, or avoid getting to those counts in the first place to have a successful night.

What intrigues you most about Saturday’s game?

Sharp: If Ivan Nova can continue his remarkable streak of excellent pitching performances in road interleague games.

Nova is 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA in four career interleague starts away from Yankee Stadium.

He is the first pitcher to start his career winning his first four road interleague starts while allowing no more than one run in each outing. The only other pitcher with a streak like that at any point in his career is Jamie Moyer, who had a similar four-start streak from 2002-04.

Simon: How many fly balls Chris Young allows that would have been home runs or extra-base hits in Yankee Stadium.

Young’s style is such that he allows a lot of fly balls, with a batted-ball breakdown of 36 flies, 22 grounders and 10 liners. In Yankee Stadium, about one of every seven fly balls leaves the park. In Citi Field, the rate is about one of every 12.

To his credit, Young has not allowed a homer in his first three starts. I’d expect that to change on Saturday night.

What intrigues you most about Sunday’s game?

Sharp: Can the Yankees solve R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball?

Dickey shut down the Yankees in two starts against them last year (two earned runs over 11 innings), but this is the first time he faces them in 2012.

Raul Ibanez and Alex Rodriguez have been able to hit Dickey in the past. Ibanez is the only player with three homers off the knuckleballer; A-Rod is 6-for-13 (.462) with two doubles against him.

However, the Yankee switch-hitters (Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher) have not had much success against Dickey, going a combined 3-for-21 (.143) with six strikeouts and seven groundouts.

Simon: CC Sabathia's hitting.

Sabathia is 2-for-14 and hitless in his last nine at-bats as a Yankees hitter in regular-season play. That’s not like him. Prior to coming to the Yankees, Sabathia hit .259 with three home runs in 59 at-bats.

R.A. Dickey needs to know that grooving an 85 mile-per-hour fastball over the middle, like he might do against other pitchers, is not necessarily the best option against Sabathia.

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 5, Mets 4

June, 10, 2012
6/10/12
4:13
PM ET
WHAT IT MEANS: The euphoria generated by Johan Santana’s no-hitter nine days ago officially is extinguished.

A pair of infield miscues opened the door for a Yankees comeback as the Mets failed to protect a three-run lead over the final three innings. The Amazin’s ultimately were swept in the Subway Series with a 5-4 loss Sunday. Russell Martin delivered the walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth with a leadoff homer against Jon Rauch.

The Mets (32-29) were swept in the Bronx for only the second time since the inception of the Subway Series in 1997.

Having squandered a three-run lead, the Mets opened the ninth with consecutive doubles by Lucas Duda and Ike Davis against Rafael Soriano to pull even at 4 -- with Duda’s shot misread by center fielder Curtis Granderson. Davis, who produced his first ninth-inning hit in nine at-bats this season, then was erased at third base on a grounder to shortstop.

Where did things unravel?

With the Mets leading 3-2, Omar Quintanilla had a grounder from Derek Jeter roll under his glove to begin the bottom of the eighth, and the Yankee captain hustled to second base. Jeter ultimately scored the tying run on Mark Teixeira’s single up the middle against Bobby Parnell. Alex Rodriguez followed by driving in the go-ahead run with a bloop single to shallow right field.

The Mets held a 3-0 lead with two out into the seventh behind Jon Niese, when David Wright’s two-out throwing error, which Vinny Rottino could not handle at first base, allowed Andruw Jones to reach. Martin followed with a two-run homer to the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium for a pair of unearned runs that pulled the Yankees within a run.

Now at the midpoint of a stretch of eight straight series against teams with winning records, the Mets still have series with the Rays, Reds, Orioles and Yankees remaining in that stretch. So far against the Phillies, Cardinals, Nationals and Yankees, the Mets are 5-8.

Three of the wins came in the four-game series against the Cardinals that included Santana’s no-hitter.

Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Information notes that six times this season Parnell has induced a groundball that has resulted in the batter reaching via error. (Jeter’s technically was scored a single, with the error allowing him to reach second base.) Thirty-five of the 84 balls his in the ballpark against Parnell have been hits or errors -- an amazingly high total.

THEY WERE HEROES: Using a makeshift lineup, the Mets received contributions from Rottino and Jordany Valdespin, who combined to drive in three runs in the second inning.

That rally actually stalled when Jason Bay and Wright consecutively struck out with the bases loaded. Bay is 0-for-11 since returning from the DL.

Scott Hairston continued to torment left-handed pitching as well as the Mets built the early lead. Hairston doubled and scored in the second inning on Rottino’s single. Hairston then singled in his next at-bat, although Andy Pettitte’s pickoff move froze him and led to a caught stealing (as was the case with Wright two innings later).

Rottino was starting at first base over Davis against the southpaw. Davis entered as a defensive replacement for the bottom of the eighth with the Mets trying to protect a one-run lead -- one inning after Rottino could not handle Wright’s throw at first base.

Hairston went 2-for-3 against Pettitte, upping his average against left-handed pitching this season to .364 (24-for-66). He also has started to see more action against righties, starting not only Thursday’s series finale in D.C. once Bay was scratched but also Friday’s series opener in the Bronx as well against Hiroki Kuroda.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets plan to fly to Tampa after the game and spend an off-day with their families in Florida. They return to action Tuesday against the Rays, with Chris Young making his second major league start since returning from shoulder surgery. Young (0-0, 3.60 ERA) opposes right-hander Alex Cobb (2-2, 4.12).

Mets morning briefing 6.10.12

June, 10, 2012
6/10/12
9:01
AM ET
Mark Teixeira's two-run homer in the sixth inning against Dillon Gee overcame a one-run deficit and the Yankees beat the Mets, 4-2, on Saturday night in the Bronx. Now, the Mets will send Jon Niese (4-2, 4.11 ERA) to the mound in Sunday's 1:05 p.m. game, looking to salvage the series finale against lefty Andy Pettitte (3-2, 2.78).

Sunday's news reports:

• Gee said he had trouble getting loose every inning on the mound. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News and Newsday.

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

Darin Gorski tossed eight scoreless innings and Eric Campbell homered twice as Binghamton routed the Yankees' Double-A Trenton affiliate, 12-0. Meanwhile, 49-year-old Jamie Moyer topped prospect Jenrry Mejia in Triple-A Buffalo's 5-0 loss. Read Saturday's full minor league recap here.

Tony Bernazard, who was fired by the Mets in 2009, surfaced in the stands at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. Bernazard, accompanied by Jim Leyritz, told David Lennon in Newsday about his dismissal from the Mets: "I know what really happened. It was mostly lies." Kirk Nieuwenhuis, David Wright and trainer Ray Ramirez chatted with Bernazard pregame, according to Lennon. Bernazard declined to tell Newsday his current employer. As for his rooting interest in the Subway Series, Bernazard said: "I root for players -- not teams."

Ike Davis said he received advice from Reggie Jackson on Friday, although manager Terry Collins noted listening to too many voices can further mess up a player. Davis' father Ron played for the Yankees. "I went to Old-Timers' games at old Yankee Stadium," Davis said. "And I got to meet Reggie a couple of times. And then in high school we had a workout with the Dodgers before the draft. And Reggie was there and I got to talk to him then. It's really the first time I got to see him since then. It's really cool that he recognized me. Obviously he's Reggie Jackson. We both went to ASU [Arizona State]. He's amazing. So it's great to talk to a guy like that."

As for the nature of Jackson's advice, Davis said: "We talked about hitting -- just to slow it down a little bit. He gave me good advice. Nothing with swing mechanics or anything. It's just that you have to make contact and let the ball go out of the yard, not try to hit the ball out of the yard. It was good stuff."

Davis went 1-for-2 with two walks Saturday, moving his average to .162. A team insider told ESPNNewYork.com that Davis needs to have a big week. Otherwise, Lucas Duda may be occupying first base once the Mets return to NL play on Friday and lose the DH.

On the play-him-or-bench-him-or-demote-him issue, columnist Joel Sherman in the Post writes about Davis:

Look, if the Mets were 28-32 and, as expected, entrenched in last place, then I could see playing for the future, letting Davis continue to try to work out of this season-long slump in the majors. But we are beyond Memorial Day, the Mets are surprise contenders and Davis is among the worst hitters in the sport (.162 average, just five homers). Therefore, there must be accountability to the whole roster and to the fan base to field the best team possible to try to win. “What is best for this club is Ike swinging the bat well, here,” hitting coach Dave Hudgens said. "... I hope he works through this here. He is one of our core guys. We need him to do well. ... If he gets out of this, he helps us win. I don’t have a crystal ball, so I don’t know if he is going to get out of it. But I know this, if we are going to compete on a large scale, we have to have Ike Davis in the middle of the lineup.”

Read more on Davis in the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and Newsday.

• Lennon in Newsday discusses the power disparity between the Yankees and Mets. Writes Lennon:

What's kept the Mets alive? Timely hitting. They are hitting .256 with runners in scoring position, sixth in the NL, and .268 in those situations with two outs, which ranks second. It's helped that Wright is having an MVP-type season, but he can't continue to do it alone. With five homers in his last 10 games, Duda is shaping up to be a strong sidekick, but Collins has been holding his breath waiting for more bats to show up. "We seem to be riding David pretty much solely," Collins said, "so we've got to get some guys to chip in. Singles don't win many games in this park." That's become obvious. Not so obvious is the solution, and until that changes, the Mets can't go toe-to-toe with the Yankees in a longest-drive contest, as the last two days have shown.

• With the no-hitter drought behind them, Sherman notes in the Post, the Mets also are devoid of a 20-game winner since Frank Viola got there in 1990. Sherman adds that the Mets legitimately have a candidate for every individual postseason award -- Wright for MVP, R.A. Dickey for Cy Young, Nieuwenhuis for Rookie of the Year and Collins for Manager of the Year. Add to that, perhaps, Johan Santana as NL Comeback Player of the Year.

• Wright told Mark Hale in the Post his next contract -- which won't be negotiated in-season -- will be about playing in a place with a chance to win. "I want to win now. I want to win years from now,” Wright told Hale. “That’s going to be my deciding factor. Not money. I’ve been extremely lucky [financially]. The last thing I’m worried about is my next contract. That’s the honest truth.”

Mike Kerwick in the Record laments the planned slicing of the Subway Series from six games per season to three or four with the shift of the Houston Astros to the American League in 2013.

Justin Tasch in the Daily News speaks with Mets fan/entrepreneur Darren Meenan, who prints and sells Mets-themed T-shirts.

Zach Berman in the Times profiles the latest Mets shortstop, Omar Quintanilla.

TRIVIA: Where did Quintanilla play college baseball?

Saturday's answer: Through Friday, the Mets had been outscored by 16 runs. Saturday's 4-2 loss then upped the run differential to minus-18, better than only Milwaukee (-21), Miami (-26), Houston (-30), Colorado (-31) and Chicago (-59) in the National League.

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 4, Mets 2

June, 9, 2012
6/09/12
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Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Dillon Gee walked the leadoff batter three times in a four-inning span. The final of those free passes came back to sting him. Mark Teixeira followed a leadoff walk to Curtis Granderson in the sixth with a two-out, two-run homer that lifted the Yankees to a 4-2 Subway Series win against the Mets on Saturday night at the Stadium.

Teixeira’s homer -- which erased the Yankees' one-run deficit -- was the first hit allowed by Gee since the first inning, when the Bombers scored a run but stranded the bases loaded on Raul Ibañez's inning-ending, double-play grounder.

Gee's final line: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.

Granderson added a solo homer against Bobby Parnell in the eighth.

On Sunday, the Mets will try to avoid getting swept in the Bronx for only the second time since the interleague matchup began in 1997. The lone instance right now came in 2003.

WRIGHT STUFF: A half-inning before Teixeira's long ball, David Wright had staked the Mets to a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth with a solo homer against Phil Hughes. Wright snapped a 56 at-bat homerless drought against the Yankees. His last long ball against the Yankees had been June 28, 2008, against Andy Pettitte.

Q FACTOR: Omar Quintanilla, playing with a fracture at the tip of his left index finger, pulled the Mets even at 1 with a third-inning homer against Hughes. It was Quintanilla's first major league homer since Aug. 24, 2008, against Cincinnati's Mike Lincoln, while playing for the Colorado Rockies.

ANDRES THE NOT-SO-GIANT: After striking out in his first three at-bats, Andres Torres had a chance for redemption in the seventh. But batting with two men in scoring position after Scott Hairston stole second, Torres flied out to left field and the Mets remained trailing, 3-2. Torres is hitting only .163 (13-for-80) against right-handed pitching this season.

OUCH? Jason Bay, who returned to the lineup this series from a fractured rib on his left side, got to find out whether it is fully healed. Bay caught Robinson Cano's fly ball in foul territory in left field to end the third inning. He bumped the wall as he made the grab. Stay tuned postgame.

Terry Collins has chosen to use Lucas Duda as DH to maximize the quality of the Mets' outfield defense rather than ease Bay back and use him only to bat.

WHAT'S NEXT: Jon Niese (4-2, 4.11 ERA), pitching for the first time since a rapid heartbeat prompted his removal from a game last Sunday, opposes Pettitte (3-2, 2.78) in the series finale. The Mets plan to fly to Tampa after the game and spend Monday's off-day in Florida. It's a team-sponsored family trip, with Busch Gardens on the itinerary. Also in Florida, Ronny Cedeño is due to more aggressively test his calf running the bases Sunday at the team's Port St. Lucie complex, in a prelude to beginning a minor league rehab assignment shortly thereafter.

Series preview: Mets at Yankees

June, 8, 2012
6/08/12
11:00
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Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte in the Subway Series.
METS (32-26, third place/NL East) vs. NEW YORK YANKEES (31-25, second place/AL East)

Friday: LHP Johan Santana (3-2, 2.38) vs. RHP Hiroki Kuroda (4-6, 3.82), 7:05 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-3, 4.48) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (5-5, 4.96), 7:15 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jon Niese (4-2, 4.11) vs. LHP Andy Pettitte (3-2, 2.78), 1:05 p.m. ET

Yankees short hops

• With a blood clot issue behind him, Mariano Rivera is due to undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ACL. David Robertson, who briefly took over the closing role before suffering a left oblique strain, may begin a rehab assignment soon. Rafael Soriano now is effectively handling the closing role. Since Rivera became Yankees closer in 1997, the most saves in a season by another Yankees pitcher were Steve Karsay’s 12 in 2002. Soriano now has eight.

• Ex-Met Ryota Igarashi, a waiver claim by the Yankees from Toronto, has been promoted from Triple-A. He replaces long man Freddy Garcia, another ex-Met, who went on bereavement leave because of his grandfather’s death in Venezuela. Igarashi was 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA and had 11 strikeouts in five innings spanning three appearances with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Andy Pettitte, back from retirement, enters the Subway Series having limited Tampa Bay to two hits in 7 1/3 scoreless innings in his most recent outing. Pettitte -- who turns 40 next Friday -- has struck out 32 batters in 35 2/3 innings over five starts while producing a 2.78 ERA.


Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Robinson Cano has six homers in his past 18 games.


Derek Jeter is 0-for-his-last-13. That is the captain’s longest streak since going hitless in 14 straight at-bats from May 14-17, 2011. Jeter (.319) nonetheless is second in MLB with 75 hits, tied with Miguel Cabrera and trailing only Melky Cabrera (87). Jeter leads in the balloting among American League shortstops in the first All-Star Game voting totals announced. Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson rank second at their positions, which would make Granderson a starting outfielder.

Phil Hughes tossed a complete game against Detroit, allowing one run, in his most recent start.

• Granderson has played every inning for the Yankees this season. The only other players to have logged every defensive inning for their teams have played this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau: Dan Uggla, Adam Jones and Starlin Castro. Granderson did go 0-for-5 and matched a career high with four strikeouts Thursday against Tampa Bay. He has 22 homers against left-handed pitching since the start of last season, the most in the majors during that span.

• The Yankees have the best all-time winning percentage in interleague play (.592, 158-109). The Chicago White Sox rank second at .586, followed by the Los Angeles Angels (.569), Boston Red Sox (.567) and Minnesota Twins (.562).

• The Yankees have struggled with runners in scoring position, hitting .217 (103-for-474) this season. Cleanup hitter Alex Rodriguez has only 22 RBIs in 207 at-bats in 2012. Despite errors by A-Rod and Nick Swisher on Thursday, the Yankees have been solid in the field, though. Their 22 errors are the fewest in the majors.

Hiroki Kuroda, who signed a one-year, $10 million deal during the offseason, has been wildly uneven, despite allowing two earned runs of fewer in seven of 11 starts. He has been prone to the long ball, having surrendered 11 homers in 68 1/3 innings. From 2008 to 2010 with the Dodgers, Kuroda allowed an average of 13.3 homers per season. Kuroda has a 7.36 ERA in the first inning. Only three current American League pitchers have more losses against the Mets than Kuroda’s five -- Carl Pavano (seven), Derek Lowe (six) and Kevin Millwood (six).

• Teixeira visited an ear, nose and throat specialist to determine the cause of a cough that won’t go away. The verdict: Texeira has residual nerve damage to a vocal cord from a bronchial illness. Teixeira, despite a slow start, has 10 homers.

Brett Gardner was unable to play in a rehab game with Class A Tampa on Thursday because of a cranky elbow, all but ensuring he will remain on the DL through the Subway Series. Lefty-hitting Raul Ibanez, in his first season as a Yankee, at 40 years old, has stepped into the primarily left-field role and flashed power (9 homers in 153 ABs). Righty-hitting Jayson Nix picks up some starts against southpaws.

• Cano has been streaky. He has six homers in his past 18 games. He had only three in his first 38 games.

• Catcher Russell Martin, who delivered a grand slam Tuesday against the Rays, homered for the second time in the series Thursday. He is hitting .357 (10-for-28) with seven RBIs in his past nine games. That has lifted his average from .173 to .210.

Last series results

Yankees won, 2-1, at Citi Field, July 1-3, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Yankees 5, Mets 1: Filling in for injured Derek Jeter, Eduardo Nunez got the big hits and made a clutch throw. Nunez had an RBI single among his career-high four hits and threw out Jose Reyes at third base on a favorable call for the Yankees. Mark Teixeira hit a two-run double, and Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano added RBI doubles. Ivan Nova (8-4) and six relievers stifled a Mets offense that scored 54 runs in its past five games. Jon Niese (7-7) was pitching for the first time since leaving his start June 25, 2011 with a rapid heartbeat. After giving up three runs in the first, he shut down the Yankees through six innings. More

Yankees 5, Mets 2: Eduardo Nunez homered in his latest big game at the plate and Bartolo Colon came off the DL to pitch six scoreless innings. Subbing at shortstop, Nunez is 7-for-8 with a homer and three doubles in the first two games of the series. Jose Reyes departed after two innings with tightness in his left hamstring. Held scoreless for the first five innings, the Yankees touched up rookie Dillon Gee (8-2) with four straight sharp hits in a four-run sixth. Curtis Granderson lifted a 1-2 pitch to right for his 22nd homer before Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez singled. Robison Cano ripped a two-run triple and Nick Swisher followed with a sacrifice fly. Nunez added a solo homer off Tim Byrdak in the ninth to make it 5-0. More

Mets 3, Yankees 2 (10 innings): Down to their last strike against Mariano Rivera, the Mets wouldn't wilt. Pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino came through with a tying single off Rivera, Jason Bay drove home the winning run and the Mets ended the Yankees’ seven-game winning streak. Playing without Jose Reyes, the Mets were shut down by Freddy Garcia for seven innings before rallying against Rivera in the ninth to avoid a Subway Series sweep at Citi Field. With two outs and nobody on in the ninth, Bay walked on a full count. He went to third on Lucas Duda’s single and scored the tying run when Paulino punched a 1-2 pitch through the right side. More

Mets morning briefing 7.24.11

July, 24, 2011
7/24/11
8:28
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Justin Turner and Carlos Beltran both reached base four times and David Wright drove in two runs for a second straight night since returning from the DL, but the Mets lost to the Marlins, 8-5, on Saturday.

Sunday's news reports:

• Late-night tweets from David Lennon of Newsday and David Waldstein of the Times suggest the San Francisco Giants may be Beltran's landing spot.

Wrote Lennon: Increasing chatter around #Mets suggests Beltran may be headed to #Giants. SF fits Beltran's criteria, so good match.

Wrote Waldstein: Some Mets people believe Beltran going to San Francisco. Makes sense; well see.

ESPN's Buster Olney does not believe a deal is imminent with San Francisco, although he does not discount the Giants being the ultimate landing spot. Olney also lists Atlanta, Texas, Philadelphia and Boston as contenders, but calls the Red Sox a "long shot."

• With Beltran close to being an ex-Met, Anthony McCarron of the Daily News speaks with other prominent major leaguers, including Mark Teixeira, about the period when a deal is consumated. Writes McCarron:

Mark Teixeira can still remember the adrenaline spike as he arrived, mid-game, in Atlanta after being traded to the Braves by Texas four summers ago. Teixeira had been told he wasn't in the lineup that night, but clubhouse workers were running toward him yelling, "Get ready!" "I said, 'What do you mean?'" Teixeira recalls. "They said, 'You're active!' Talk about stressful. I got my equipment and got ready real quick, but we hit a couple home runs, so I didn't end up playing that first night. But if it had been a close game, I would've pinch-hit and I would've either struck out or hit a 700-foot home run, because the adrenaline in my body was incredible."

Johan Santana plans to throw a bullpen session Sunday for Mets staff before the Mets-Marlins game, then advance to a minor league rehab game Wednesday assuming all goes well. Read more in Newsday, the Record, Star-Ledger, Daily News, Times and Post.

• Read game stories in the Times, Star-Ledger, Newsday, Post and Daily News.

• The Post's Kevin Kernan covers Roberto Alomar's Hall of Fame induction.

BIRTHDAY: Jeff Kaiser, who made six relief appearances for the Mets in 1993 after being claimed off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds, was born on this date in 1960.

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