New York Mets: WFAN

Morning Briefing: Final 2013 edition

September, 30, 2013
9/30/13
7:40
AM ET

Kathy Willens/Associated PressMike Piazza is flanked by former teammates John Franco and Edgardo Alfonzo during Sunday's Mets Hall of Fame ceremony.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets will have a familiar look in 2014, at least in terms of manager and coaches.

Sandy Alderson is due to announce a two-year contract extension for Collins with a team option for 2016 at a noon press conference today at Citi Field. Collins’ entire coaching staff also is expected to return intact.

The Mets completed their season Sunday with a 74-88 record -- identical to 2012 -- after beating the Brewers, 3-2, behind two unearned runs in the eighth inning. They finished in third place, a game ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies, although David Wright was not impressed. The Mets will pick 10th in next June’s draft -- meaning they will not forfeit their first-round pick should they sign a premium free agent.

Want to voice your opinion about which players stay and go? Please vote in our Take ’em or trash ’em poll here. We already have more than 2,500 ballots cast.

Monday’s news reports:

Mike Piazza became the 27th inductee into the Mets Hall of Fame on Sunday. Mayor Mike Bloomberg declared it “Mike Piazza Day” in New York City.


Kathy Willens/Associated PressPiazza addresses the capacity crowd during Sunday's pregame ceremony.


Columnist Jim Baumbach in Newsday suggests Piazza’s ceremony is a vivid reminder of the importance of spending money on players. Writes Baumbach:

Because as the Mets embark on one of their most important offseasons in some time, Piazza's return was a timely reminder of all the good that can come from spending money on the right player. It's easy to forget, but when the Mets acquired Piazza in a 1998 midseason trade and gave him $91 million that next offseason, it represented an organizational shift in strategy.

Burned by a few high-priced contracts in the early 1990s, the Mets grew reluctant to spend and turned their focus within. Sound familiar?

Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post advocates Piazza getting enshrined in that Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, too. Writes Kernan:

There is no getting around the PED scandal and Piazza is pointing out that is the way the game went down in that era. In his heart of hearts he believes he will be in the Hall of Fame someday.

There is no doubt in my mind Piazza is a Hall of Fame player. I voted for him last time and I will vote for him again next time. Piazza received 57.8 percent of the vote his first time on the ballot. He needs 75 percent to get into Cooperstown.

Mike Puma in the Post notes Bobby Valentine, who managed Piazza, was not among the group invited to take part in the on-field pregame ceremony. Writes Puma:

According to sources, Valentine -- who worked in-studio for SNY on Sunday -- was not extended an invitation to the event. Piazza provided the club with a list of people he wanted invited.

Read more in the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Newsday and MLB.com.

Matt Harvey continues to undergo physical therapy at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Collins said he believes Harvey soon will be cleared to begin his throwing program in Port St. Lucie, Fla., in the hopes of avoiding Tommy John surgery. Read more in the Daily News.

• Bob Raissman in the Daily News notes how Howie Rose handled the Mets’ final game on WFAN. The station is switching to Yankees games next season, prompting the Mets to need to find a new home. Writes Raissman:

In the end, Howie Rose was not looking back.

During the eighth inning of the Mets’ final radiocast on WFAN, he thanked everyone responsible for getting the games on the air since 1987 when WHN became WFAN. And in the ninth, he said farewell-- for now.

"Well, Shakespeare said the play is the thing," Rose said. "But for a baseball broadcaster the game is the thing."

He said "it's time to listen to the games" in a new location. He did not know where that would be, but told fans to "stay well" and "stay safe."

"And like that old cliché goes," Rose said, "check your local listings."

Eric Young Jr. won the NL steals crown with two on the final day to finish with 46. He entered the day tied with Milwaukee’s Jean Segura, who sat with a cranky hamstring. Young and father Eric Sr. became the first father-son tandem ever to win league steal honors for a season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

• Read game/season recaps and looks ahead to the future in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Record.

• The representative for free-agent-to-be LaTroy Hawkins and the Mets already have spoken about a return in 2014, according to multiple reports.

From the bloggers … Mark Berman at Blogging Mets hands out final grades in his Mets report card.

BIRTHDAYS: Dave Magadan, now the Texas Rangers hitting coach, turns 51.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you approve of Terry Collins and the entire coaching staff returning?

Morning Briefing: Mets not hitting

September, 12, 2013
9/12/13
7:26
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: Young players on the Mets can begin to earn spots on the 2014 roster with their September performances. They also can begin to disqualify themselves from consideration, Terry Collins noted.

And let’s just say Collins largely has not been thrilled with the players’ approaches at the plate after the Mets were shut out for the second time in three days Wednesday.

“We can sit here every night and discuss the same stuff over and over,” Collins said. “You’ve got to make adjustments. You can’t keep thinking you’re going to get balls to pull, or try to go up there and pull every pitch. You’ve got to step out of the batter’s box, or sit in the dugout and pay attention, and realize what the opposing pitcher is doing to get you out, and try to come up with a plan to make an adjustment at the plate and put the bat on the ball.

“I know they’re young. That’s all part of it. But, as we’ve said before, in the growing stages in this part of the year, we want to see some guys get better. And part of that getting better is being able to gather yourself on the side, and get in the batter’s box, and put a good at-bat on.”

The Mets try to get on track and avoid getting swept in the four-game series against the Washington Nationals when Aaron Harang makes his Mets debut opposite right-hander Tanner Roark at 1:10 p.m.


Koji Watanabe/Getty ImagesThe Yankees took exception to Bobby Valentine's criticism.


Thursday’s news reports:

• Yankees president Randy Levine called it “very sad” that Bobby Valentine on Tuesday suggested the Yankees were AWOL when the city needed them after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, writes Andrew Marchand for ESPNNewYork.com. "Bobby Valentine should know better than to be pointing fingers on a day like today," Levine told Marchand. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and Star-Ledger.

• Collins will return to manage the Mets next season, Mike Puma reports in the Post. That is consistent with what ESPNNewYork.com reported Sept. 1. The organization would only shift course if something monumental occurred, such as a managerial behavior meltdown. As for the Mets’ 2-8 record in September, which is better than only the Chicago White Sox, a team official told Puma: Collins “can’t totally be graded on something he doesn’t have right now.”

As for Triple-A manager Wally Backman’s future, Puma writes:

According to sources, Backman considered tendering his resignation near the end of spring training because he was unhappy receiving orders from team officials about playing time for certain individuals. Backman then angered [Sandy] Alderson later in the season, with comments about how he would fix Ike Davis, after the first baseman was demoted to Las Vegas.

But Backman knows how to manage, something that was reaffirmed this season when he took Las Vegas to the Pacific Coast League playoffs despite having his roster decimated to fill holes with the Mets.

Look for Backman to land in another organization next season, unless the Mets are willing to give him a shot on the major league coaching staff. But such an addition could create an uncomfortable situation because of the mostly false perception that Backman would be the manager in waiting.

Puma also wrote:

Alderson, through channels, has made it known there is almost no chance he would hire popular Wally Backman to manage the Mets if there was an opening.

Backman has thrived managing at the Triple-A level, but there are fears within the organization he would clash with this front office, which -- make no mistake about it -- has the final word on everything related to the on-field product.


Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesShin-Soo Choo may be a top Mets target.


• Jon Heyman at CBSSports.com writes that free-agent-to-be outfielder Shin-Soo Choo “fits the bill” for what the Mets need this winter. On the Mets’ offseason spending, Alderson tells Heyman: “There's no question long-term contracts carry risk, and right about the time you're clearing payroll you can wind up right back where you started if it doesn't work out. On the other hand, you have some times where you have to roll the dice. I certainly haven't ruled out a big-ticket item.” Heyman suggests the Mets like the Boston Red Sox’s model of several middle-range free-agent additions.

Writes Heyman:

The Mets expect to have their first-base answer in-house, between Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Josh Satin, and will pencil in Travis d'Arnaud at catcher, Daniel Murphy at second base and [Juan] Lagares in center -- though they hope to see more offensive consistency from d'Arnaud and more plate discipline from Murphy. With David Wright back at third base, that will leave shortstop and the outfield corners as the main areas for import.

Ruben Tejada had a lost year and is out of favor and Omar Quintanilla looks like a utilityman, so shortstop will very likely be an emphasis, though the free-agent market at that premium position is less than promising. The emergence of Lagares, the addition of speedy veteran Eric Young Jr. and especially the enormous surprise season of Marlon Byrd meant a potential disaster area in the outfield was somewhat better than expected, but Byrd was traded to the Pirates and Young is seen as an excellent fourth or fifth outfielder they'd like to bring back as a backup. So outfield will once again be the biggest area to look at.

While Choo appears like the best fit, there will surely be a bidding war for a player who is second the National League with a .425 on-base percentage. Choo was below average in center field this year, but will presumably be coveted as a corner man by many teams.

Zack Wheeler surrendered one run in seven innings, but the Mets were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention with a 3-0 loss to the Nationals on Wednesday night. The Mets mustered only three hits against Dan Haren and four relievers. Tejada went 0-for-3 in his first major league appearance since May 29.

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

• Wheeler has tossed 163 2/3 innings. The organization is likely to let him make two more starts and approach 180 innings. Read more on a rookie pitcher trying to pitch deep into September in the Journal.

• The Yankees’ move to WFAN -- both AM and FM signals -- was made official Wednesday, bouncing the Mets elsewhere on the dial. Read more in Newsday, the Post and Journal.

• Wright ran the bases Wednesday for the first time since suffering a strained right hamstring. Collins estimates Wright may be back in a game by the middle of next week. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Journal.

• An MRI taken on Wednesday revealed Justin Turner suffered a small right hamstring strain a day earlier. Turner should miss a couple of games, Collins suggested.

• Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez has joined the major league coaching staff. Backman will not be added.

• D’Arnaud discusses his struggles in the Daily News. Scouts on Wednesday told ESPNNewYork.com that d’Arnaud is going to have to make his swing more compact. Right now, he is helpless against breaking balls. And it seems like he is not catching up to the fastballs he is sitting on. He is hitting .152 (10-for-66) with a homer and three RBIs since his promotion.

• Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger looks at Matt den Dekker’s season and future.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing marks the passage of another lost season. … John Delcos at Mets Report suggests Valentine is misguided judging the Yankees’ post-9/11 contribution.

BIRTHDAYS: Luis Castillo, known during his Mets days for that drop at Yankee Stadium, turns 38.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Was Bobby Valentine in the wrong disparaging the Yankees’ contribution after 9/11?

Morning Briefing: Wheeler cap nears

September, 11, 2013
9/11/13
8:29
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: Zack Wheeler’s season has about 20 innings remaining, Mets personnel tell ESPNNewYork.com.

That total further declines when Wheeler (7-4, 3.38 ERA) opposes Washington Nationals right-hander Dan Haren (8-13, 5.23) at 7:10 tonight at Citi Field.


Adam RubinZack Wheeler, who visited a Manhattan firehouse on Tuesday, has about 20 innings remaining in his season.


The rookie has logged 156 2/3 innings this season between the majors and minors. He tossed 149 innings in 2012. Teams generally are comfortable with 30-inning jumps over the previous season for young pitchers.

Wheeler’s next outing would come against his former employer, the San Francisco Giants, likely next Tuesday. It looks like Wheeler would get one more start beyond that before skipping one turn at the very end of the season.

For the record: The Mets’ tragic number for postseason elimination stands at two. A loss tonight would drop them a season-worst 16 games under .500.

Wednesday’s news reports:

• Chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon confirmed he expects the Mets to be changing radio affiliates for next season. The team has partnered with WFAN since 1987. The Yankees reportedly will move to that spot on the dial. Read more in Newsday, the Times, Post, Daily News, Journal, Star-Ledger and Record.

• Dr. Robert Watkins performed surgery on Bobby Parnell on Tuesday in California to repair a herniated disk in the closer’s back. Sandy Alderson said he expected Parnell to be unaffected during spring training. Lefty reliever Scott Rice also underwent surgery, in Philadelphia to repair bilateral sports hernias.

Matt Harvey said he feels great and remains hopeful he will avoid Tommy John surgery, but conceded he will lean on doctors’ advice, including James Andrews. Harvey is due to visit Andrews on Monday for a second opinion regarding the ace’s partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. Harvey’s comments came as he joined David Wright, Wheeler and Wilpon for a visit to a midtown firehouse. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and MLB.com.

Justin Turner plans to get an MRI of his right hamstring this morning after an issue arose as he rounded third base last night.

• With his free-agency eligibility delayed until after the 2017 season, Ruben Tejada joined the Mets on Tuesday. In response to Alderson’s recent criticism of his work ethic, Tejada said he is a hard worker. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Record.

Dillon Gee allowed solo homers to Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche and Nats beat the Mets, 6-3, Tuesday. Read game recaps in the Post and MLB.com.

• The Mets released their 2014 schedule. They open at home on March 31 against the Nats. There are four separate West Coast trips. The Mets play in the Bronx on May 12 and 13, then at Citi Field against the Yankees the following two days. Interleague series include trips to the L.A. Angels (April 11-13), Seattle (July 21-23) and Oakland (Aug. 19-20). The A’s (June 24-25), Rangers (July 4-6) and Astros (Sept. 26-28, to close the season) visit Citi Field. The last time the Mets visited Anaheim, back in June 2008, there was a 3 a.m. ET firing. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• The Toronto Blue Jays confirmed they will face the Mets in exhibition games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal on March 28 and 29, 2014.

• In remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Mets will wear caps tonight representing different New York City first-responder organizations during batting practice -- but not in-game.

• Seth Lugo tossed six scoreless innings and Jeff Glenn went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs as Savannah beat Hagerstown, 6-2. The Gnats evened their best-of-five South Atlantic League championship series at a game apiece. Gabriel Ynoa gets Game 3 on Thursday in Savannah, with Long Island native Steven Matz set for Game 4. Read the full recap here.

• Read more on the Mets’ firehouse visit in the Daily News.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report considers what still drives people to watch the Mets. … Faith and Fear tunes in to the Mets' impending departure from WFAN.

BIRTHDAYS: Frank Francisco turns 34.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Is there a particular must-see Mets series in 2014?

Wilpon: Mets expect to leave WFAN

September, 10, 2013
9/10/13
12:57
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The Mets expect to leave WFAN, their radio partner since 1987, team chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon confirmed during a visit to a midtown FDNY firehouse Tuesday.

"That's fairly accurate," Wilpon said. "There's nothing definitive yet, but it's fairly accurate. Right now we're still negotiating with numerous parties about what we're going to do with our radio rights."

Wilpon said the team should select a new radio partner in about six weeks.

Newsday reported the Yankees are close to moving to WFAN. The report added that ESPN New York 98.7 and Clear Channel Communications, which owns WOR, are among the parties vying for Mets rights.

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