New York Mets: Warren Cromartie

Morning Briefing: The final countdown

March, 29, 2014
Mar 29

FIRST PITCH: The Mets play their final 2014 exhibition game Saturday with a 1:05 p.m. first pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays at Olympic Stadium.

Daisuke Matsuzaka opposes Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow.

The 1994 Montreal Expos, which included Pedro Martinez, Cliff Floyd, Moises Alou, Marquis Grissom and Larry Walker, will be honored pregame. That team was 74-40 and poised to make a serious run at the World Series when a strike ended the season.

Saturday’s news reports:

Jenrry Mejia, who appeared poised to get at least one big-league start during the opening week of the season, departed Friday’s game at Olympic Stadium after taking a line drive off his right forearm in the fifth inning. Terry Collins said the forearm dramatically swelled. Mejia was off to the hospital for some late-night X-rays Friday.

Collins had planned for the combo of Mejia and Matsuzaka to serve as the fifth starter and hedge against Jonathon Niese not being ready to come off the DL on April 6 to face the Cincinnati Reds. Now, assuming Mejia needs time to recuperate, Matsuzaka could be starting on April 4 instead of Mejia and John Lannan could become the insurance for Niese.

Niese, incidentally, continued to feel good the day after pitching in a minor-league game.

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

• Gary Carter’s widow Sandy and daughter Kimmy Bloemers were on hand for a pregame ceremony Friday honoring The Kid in Montreal. A crowd of 46,121 packed into Olympic Stadium for the Mets exhibition game against the Jays. Former Expo Warren Cromartie used the occasion to continue to lobby for MLB to return to Montreal, while acknowledging that meant the relocation of an existing team and not expansion. Read more on the Gary Carter ceremony and MLB’s future in Montreal in the Daily News,, Times, Journal and

Bobby Parnell surrendered a walk-off single in the ninth as the Mets lost to the Jays, 5-4. Travis d’Arnaud homered against his former organization. Mejia had limited Toronto to a solo homer by Jose Bautista in four-plus innings before the liner forced him to depart.

• The Mets have released $35 standing-room-only tickets for Opening Day.

Jose Reyes called Ruben Tejada a couple of weeks ago to offer support. “They just need to let Tejada play,” Reyes told Kristie Ackert in the Daily News before Friday’s Mets-Jays game. “Don’t put so much pressure on him. He’s like 23-24 years old, so I mean the talent is still there. Let the guy play. Let the guy develop his talent. Just give him a chance.”

• Collins said Lucas Duda still may see some outfield action to get into the lineup if both Ike Davis and Duda are hitting well. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Record.

Omar Quintanilla officially has beaten out Anthony Seratelli for the backup shortstop role, according to Collins. If something were to happen to Tejada and Quintanilla, David Wright would be the primary candidate to complete the game at shortstop, the manager added.

• Minor-league teams begin play Thursday. Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom highlight Las Vegas’ rotation. Double-A Binghamton’s roster should include Kevin Plawecki, Cory Vaughn, Jack Leathersich, Adam Kolarek, Dustin Lawley, Matt Reynolds and Wilfredo Tovar. Class A St. Lucie should include Brandon Nimmo, Gabriel Ynoa and Steven Matz. Low-A Savannah should include Dominic Smith, last year’s first-round pick.

• Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos on Friday defended last offseason’s trade of Syndergaard and d’Arnaud to the Mets for R.A. Dickey.

“I think it’s good for both,” Anthopoulos told Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger. “We definitely need starters and we definitely need innings. We’d love to get more guys like R.A., especially since he almost led the AL in innings pitched -- I think he was just behind James Shields by five-something. He started out slow, but second half of the year put up a three-and-a-half ERA and had a great year for us.

“Ultimately, Josh Johnson got hurt, Brandon Morrow got hurt, [Mark] Buehrle’s done what he’s always done. Our offense is still a pretty good team, but guys have missed time. If we had just had a little more production out of the three, four, five in our rotation, it would have changed things for us. He’s obviously a really key part of our team.”

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets reliever Scott Atchison turns 38. ... Oakland GM Billy Beane, a former Mets first-round pick, is 52.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How concerned are you about the Mets’ bullpen?

Sandy Carter praises 'beautiful' tribute

March, 28, 2014
Mar 28

Adam RubinWidow Sandy Carter and daughter Kimmy Bloemers address the media at Olympic Stadium after a moving pregame tribute to the late Gary Carter.
MONTREAL -- Ten years after the Montreal Expos played their final game at Olympic Stadium, Major League Baseball returned Friday night, with an exhibition game between the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays.

The event, which drew an announced crowd of 46,121, appropriately began with a tribute to the late Gary Carter.

With widow Sandy Carter and daughter Kimmy Bloemers on the field for the pregame ceremony, and with ex-Montreal players Steve Rogers, Warren Cromartie and Tim Raines also participating, a video tribute to The Kid played on the Olympic Stadium scoreboard. Organizers also unveiled a banner on the right-field wall that read:





Adam RubinOlympic Stadium was packed Friday night for the Mets-Blue Jays exhibition game.

“It was emotional. It was beautiful,” Sandy Carter said afterward about the ceremony. “It was even more special than I thought it would be, which I had [high] expectations. We just felt so much love from everyone. The city always embraced Gary, embraced us as a family. I just really felt that tonight.

“We bought a home here. Little Kimmy was born here. We learned a little French. We made it our home. We felt privileged and blessed to be here for 11 years, and he gave 100 percent.”

Said Kimmy Bloemers: “I feel so honored to be Gary Carter’s daughter, not just because of the fame at all. It’s not truly that. It’s because he treated people like people, and he loved people. I know he was on this Earth for a short time, but he was here to impact, and he was here to love people and basically teach all of us a lesson in how to treat people and how to live life, and how to live with a lot of joy.

“He played this game with a lot of joy. How can you not love baseball when you see somebody like that play the way that they do? He instilled it in me. And now I’m instilling it in my own children. And it’s because of my father.”

Carter, who died on Feb. 16, 2012 after a battle with brain cancer, played 12 seasons with the Expos before getting traded to the Mets on Dec. 10, 1984.

Sandy Carter agreed having the Mets involved in the event made the evening that much more significant.

“It makes it extra special, because we love Montreal, but when we got traded -- or when he got traded, I say we ... we were together 40 years -- that was some exciting years too with the Mets,” she said.

She appreciated the current Mets and Blue Jays players taking an interest in the ceremony, too.

“It meant so much to me when I looked over and I saw the Blue Jays standing up on the dugout [steps] and the Mets standing up, that to me was very honoring to Gary,” Sandy Carter said. “I thought that was very special.”

Cromartie, who played for the Expos from 1974 through ’83, is spearheading an effort to attempt to bring Major League Baseball back to Montreal. He acknowledged that would have to come through relocation rather than an expansion team.

“There’s no expansion in Major League Baseball any time soon,” Cromartie said. “We all know that. We know the teams that are available. Of course, we’re not talking about the teams that are available out of due respect for their team now and their franchise now. But things have changed for the better.”

Cromartie insisted the climate is different now than a decade ago, when the Expos played their final game here before relocating to Washington and becoming the Nationals. He said there is a commitment from businesses and TV to support a new team. He also cited a more favorable exchange rate between the Canadian and U.S. dollars.

“The corporate sector is stepping up. The local businesses are stepping up. And the TV are stepping up,” said Cromartie, who married a Canadian woman, and who played minor-league ball in Quebec City as well. “I can’t complain now. I’m very pleased with what’s going on.

“This here tonight is a tremendous stepping stone for Montreal. The whole world should be watching this, and I’m sure Major League Baseball will be watching as well.”

Cromartie concluded his pregame-ceremony remarks about Carter to the large Olympic Stadium crowd by saying: “And let’s bring baseball back to Montreal!”

Morning Briefing: Harvey update looms

September, 10, 2013
FIRST PITCH: Matt Harvey has yet to visit Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion about whether he requires Tommy John surgery, but he does plan to speak with media today, team officials say.

Harvey plans to discuss his status as he joins Jeff Wilpon, David Wright and Zack Wheeler for a Manhattan firehouse visit.

Also, Ruben Tejada is expected to join the Mets as soon as today, now that his free-agency eligibility has been delayed until after the 2017 season.

The series continues tonight at Citi Field with Dillon Gee (11-9, 3.53 ERA) opposing right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (16-8, 3.30) at 7:10.

Kim Klement/USA TODAY SportsBobby Parnell requires surgery for a herniated disk.

Tuesday’s news reports:

Bobby Parnell requires surgery for a herniated disk in his neck. Parnell “should” be ready for the 2014 season, according to Terry Collins. “I’m not doing the surgery,” the manager said. Read more in the Post.

Carlos Torres surrendered four homers and the Mets did not produce a hit against Gio Gonzalez until Zach Lutz’s leadoff single down the first-base line in the seventh as the Nats pounded the Mets, 9-0, Monday.

“I hit it off the end of the bat a little bit and it landed right on the line,” Lutz said. “Just some good luck right there. … Gio was just dominating the whole night.”

“It’s a bittersweet moment,” Gonzalez told D.C. reporters. “You’re happy you got the win. The team did great. Everybody looked alive today. It’s a sad moment when you lose a no-hitter down the line.”

Read game recaps from new beat writer Tim Rohan in the Times as well as in The Washington Post, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and

Aaron Harang will make his Mets debut Thursday, in the matinee series finale against Washington. That will push Jonathon Niese to Friday, giving him an extra day of rest.

• Wright rejoined the Mets on Monday. He still has yet to run the bases, but again resolved to return before the season ends Sept. 29. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Journal and Newsday.

Paul Chiasson/Associated Press/CPAfter the Expos left Montreal, the Canadiens raised a banner in October 2005 recognizing the baseball club's retired numbers. Gary Carter was among the attendees.

• The Mets will finish next year’s spring training at Olympic Stadium in Montreal with a pair of games against the Toronto Blue Jays. Writes Shi Davidi at

In July in Toronto, a large contingent of Expos fans staged a rally during a Blue Jays game for the second straight year meant to demonstrate the support for baseball in Montreal, and exhibition contests in their own city would serve their cause even more.

Also standing to benefit is the Montreal Baseball Project, fronted by Warren Cromartie, which is conducting a feasibility study on bringing a team back to the city permanently. A strong showing is sure to get noticed among the game’s power-brokers.

Read more in the Daily News.

• Mets season ticket holders received notification Monday that prices will remain the same in 2014.

• Savannah lost Game 1 of its best-of-five South Atlantic League championship series, 6-1, at Hagerstown. Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless inning in his third minor league appearance since surgery to clean out his right elbow. Read the full recap here.

• The Mets may end up trading Ike Davis this offseason, but they have no intention of non-tendering him, team insiders told

• Trading Frank Francisco remains a possibility, a team insider told Collins says he is not yet comfortable using Francisco on back-to-back days, because the ex-closer had not done that during his rehab assignment.

• Left-hander Scott Rice is due to undergo surgery today in Philadelphia for a sports hernia.

• Davey Johnson, 70, is making his final visit to Queens as Nats manager. Writes columnist George Vecsey in the Times:

Johnson has been around. He was a teammate of Hank Aaron’s in Atlanta and Sadaharu Oh’s in Tokyo when each of them passed Babe Ruth’s career record of 714 home runs. He won three Gold Gloves, hit 43 home runs one season, played in four World Series and was the last out of the 1969 Series, in Shea Stadium, just before the hordes almost tore the place down in ecstasy.

In 1986, he took stock of the talent and close finishes the two previous years.

“I just remember him saying we were going to win the World Series,” said Keith Hernandez, now a Mets broadcaster, and an admirer of Johnson. “I thought, ‘O.K.’ That was something I wouldn’t have done, but he put the challenge out there.”

Read more in the Record.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing explores the September of the Metropolitan soul.

BIRTHDAYS: Outfielder Andrew Brown turns 29.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Are you concerned about Bobby Parnell’s availability early in 2014?



Bartolo Colon
14 4.02 143 190
BAD. Murphy .299
HRL. Duda 28
RBIL. Duda 85
RD. Murphy 76
OPSL. Duda .831
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 180