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Mets morning briefing 9.20.11

9/20/2011

After spending a team off-day golfing in St. Louis, the Mets open their final road series of the season, a three-game set at Busch Stadium against the Cardinals beginning Tuesday. St. Louis has closed to within 2½ games of the wild-card-leading Atlanta Braves.

The Mets (73-80) are tied with the Washington Nationals (72-79) for third place in the NL East, 3½ games ahead of the Florida Marlins (70-84). The Amazin's must win their final nine games to finish with a winning record.

Tuesday's news reports:

Sandy Alderson tells David Lennon in Newsday regarding Jose Reyes' free agency: "The focus is still on retaining Jose. But as with any situation that's open-ended, you have to keep alternatives in mind." Reyes told Lennon he plans to work out with Ruben Tejada on Long Island this winter. Tejada has the same agent as Reyes, Peter Greenberg. "I used to be 150 pounds," Reyes said, alluding to Tejada's slight frame. "Now I'm about 200. He's going to do more growing, and as you get older, you learn what you have to do to stay strong for a whole season."

Brendan Prunty in the Star-Ledger takes a closer look at Tejada, who would be in line to be the 2012 shortstop should Reyes depart. Tejada had four RBIs in Sunday's win against the Braves with Reyes resting.

Paul DePodesta tells Andy Martino in the Daily News that he was "mortified" the first time he started reading "Moneyball" and found himself being portrayed as anti-scout. DePodesta does not dispute the accuracy of the book in general, though, but says certain personality traits are accentuated and the character does not mirror him. The character in the movie known as Peter Brand, playing by Jonah Hill, is DePodesta. DePodesta requested another name be used besides his own. "People who know me always say, 'We know that character is not you,'" DePodesta told Martino. "That has never been the concern. The concern is all the people who don't know you, and that's 99.9 percent of the viewers. The thing that bothers you is all the people who don't know you, but think they do."

Ray Bartoszek, the original runner-up to David Einhorn to buy a minority share of the Mets, and actually a devout fan of the Amazin's, instead has bought a piece of the Yankees, reports David Waldstein in the Times. Writes Waldstein:

Bartoszek and the Yankees would not say how much his share represents, but he becomes one of about 30 partners with the team, including members of the Steinbrenner family, with Hal Steinbrenner acting as the team’s managing general partner. “My conversations with the Mets was a very interesting and positive experience, and I was able to parlay that into this great opportunity,” Bartoszek said. “I’m privileged now to be a part of this incredible group of owners.” Negotiations between the Yankees and Bartoszek, who is from Pelham, N.Y., began in June and were completed Friday. Bartoszek was at Yankee Stadium on Monday afternoon to watch Mariano Rivera break the career saves record in the Yankees’ 6-4 victory over Minnesota.

Carlos Beltran will consider re-signing with the San Francisco Giants, Scott Boras said. "Well, you have to remember when Carlos and I sat down to determine what teams he was going to go to, it was his choice," Boras told The Associated Press at the "Moneyball" premiere in Oakland. "He came to the Giants for a reason. Obviously he has played very well here. He has gotten a chance to get to know the city and the organization."

Steve Popper writes in the Record that Lucas Duda is relaxing and becoming more outgoing as he finds success at the major league level. Writes Popper:

If you really want to measure the growth this season for Lucas Duda, all you have to do is say hello. "He's a different personality completely now," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He's a lot more open. I mean, this guy didn't say anything. He didn't say (anything) ever. Now, at least you can have a conversation with him." "Yeah," Duda said, staring into his locker. "I just kind of get more comfortable around the guys, try to have some fun."

David Wright reflects on a season gone awry for himself because of a stress fracture in his back and for his team with Andrew Keh in the Times. "It’s always going to be a frustrating season when you find yourself playing out the schedule with two or three weeks left, and I would say also it was very frustrating personally that I had to miss a couple of months,” Wright told Keh. “It’s pretty hard to judge your own performance when the team is 20-something games back and just playing the schedule.”

• Alderson speaks with Mike Puma in the Post about the Mets' closer situation. A detailed story on that topic is coming at ESPNNewYork.com later Tuesday.

BIRTHDAYS: Jason Bay turns 33. ... Former outfielder Dave Gallagher, who was raised in Trenton, was born on this date in 1960.