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“Take the damn thing” shirts taken away from Mets players

The “take the damn thing” shirts that were handed out by the club to each Mets player earlier in Spring Training have been taken back by the team (Brender, March 3).

According to Robert Brender, it’s not clear who took the shirts back but the players no longer have them.

The shirts created a bit of a stir when they were given out a few weeks ago.

Daniel Murphy rounds first

Daniel Murphy disagrees with Billy Bean’s ‘lifestyle’

Sandy Alderson invited Billy Bean, MLB’s ambassador of inclusion, to Mets camp Tuesday, during which Bean told his story of how he hid his homosexuality during his eight-year, big-league career.

“I disagree with his lifestyle,” Daniel Murphy later told reporter Mike Vorkunov (NJ.com, Mar. 3). “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. … That’s the way I would describe it for me. It’s the same way that there are aspects of my life that I’m trying to surrender to Christ in my own life. There’s a great deal of many things, like my pride. I just think that as a believer trying to articulate it in a way that says just because I disagree with the lifestyle doesn’t mean I’m just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door. That’s not love. That’s not love at all.”

Bean announced he was gay in 1999, four years after retiring from MLB.

“I’m not here to change anybody or tell them that they’re wrong,” Bean told reporters earlier today. “This is our country. We’re allowed to be who and what we want. I think the important thing is understanding the big picture — that if you are a player on the Mets or in a big-league uniform, there’s a huge responsibility that goes with that. And I think they can understand that regardless of what their personal opinion is of me. I can’t be everybody’s best friend.”

Sandy Alderson asked Billy Bean to camp to spread message of acceptance

cerrone avatarAndrew Vazzano, SNY.tv


Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, and the Mets organization, asked Billy Bean to attend Mets spring training to help share Major League Baseball’s message of acceptance of all in the sport.

Bean was recently named MLB’s Ambassador for Inclusion, a year after the league issued a policy prohibiting players from harassing and discriminating against other players based on their sexual orientation. Bean said Alderson approached him after he spoke to all 30 general managers to ask him to attend camp to speak to the organization’s players.

“Billy felt he had to leave the game at some point because some of the personal issues that he faced. It was unfortunate that it happened. I think that the reason he’s here today is to try and ensure it never has to happen to another player,” Alderson said.

Bean is charged with providing “guidance and training related to efforts to support those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community throughout Major League Baseball,” the league said when his role was announced.


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To read more of this story, click here

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Wright scolds Syndergaard for eating lunch, not on bench

David Wright and Bobby Parnell had to scold top prospect Noah Syndergaard, who was eating lunch in the clubhouse and not on the bench during the team’s intrasquad game, according to reporter Marc Carig (Newsday, Mar. 3).

Syndergaard told Carig he was caught off guard but that “It’s not a big deal. No feelings were hurt. I understand. It was more of a veteran teaching a younger guy a teaching point.”

About the incident, Parnell told Carig that “When you have a young and impressionable player, and you need to make him understand something that he’s not understanding, you have to be a little forceful,” later adding that “This early in spring training, we haven’t had a lot of time to go over clubhouse rules as players, clubhouse rules on and off the field kind of stuff between ourselves.”

Terry Collins, who was on field the entire game, later said he was glad to hear his captain handled the situation.

“We are in this together,” Collins said, according to Carig. “If they felt someone was violating that trust it needs to be addressed and it sounds like it was addressed.”

Sandy Alderson later said that “the most important thing is we had a couple of guys that felt strongly enough about it to address it and not ignore it” (Puma, March 3).


Syndergaard, 22, was recently ranked the organization’s top prospect and the 10th-best overall prospect in baseball (MLB.com, Feb. 4). He is expected to begin this year in Triple-A, likely making his big-league debut during the summer of 2015.

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Mets have not had recent trade talks about a starting pitcher

March 3, 2015, 3:54 pm

Sandy Alderson said Tuesday he’s had almost no recent dialogue with teams looking to acquire a starting pitcher.

“I think most clubs, including ours, are focused on what’s going on in camp and evaluating what they already have,” Alderson told reporters at Tradition Field. “If there’s going to be any significant trade talk, I think typically it’s going to happen later in spring training, unless there’s an injury of some sort.”


cerrone avatarMatthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com


The above statement from Sandy, plus the below report from Chris Cotillo, leads me to believe the Rangers are eying Gee, which the Mets may or may not be aware of yet. It’s early. Cotillo says Texas is interested in Gee. He doesn’t say Alderson is close to a deal. It’s described as a one-way situation, as I’m sure Texas is looking around MLB and thinking about their next move. At the same time, the Mets continue to have a need on the infield and the Rangers have infielders to move. So, who knows, like Alderson says, maybe as March moves on, if things don’t change, these two teams can pick up talks where they left them during the Winter Meetings in December…



Rangers interested in trading for Gee, Profar involved again

March 2, 2015, 10:34 pm

The Rangers are reportedly interested in trading for Dillon Gee, who could get moved before the end of Spring Training, people in baseball told reporter Chris Cotillo (MLB Daily Dish, March 2).

According to Cotillo, one possible scenario involves the Mets trading Gee and other players to the Rangers for SS Jurickson Profar, who recently underwent surgery on his right shoulder >> Read more

My week in Mets camp: On Bawris, Long and young pitching

cerrone avatarMatthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com


In March, 2012, I wrote that Mets camp felt like a college campus. It was a baseball frat party, loose, slightly naive and disjointed. They were all doing their best, but it was amateur hour. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.


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Today, three years later, camp has a focused, quiet professionalism that has been absent since Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins took over. In 2012, players did a lot of light jogging and joking. These days, they hustle hard, they talk the same, they swig protein shakes after hitting, they have “celebrity coaches” and look like a highly-motivated, confident group of young men with golden arms and swagger, aiming to earn respect.


The Barwis Method is clearly having an impact…

I can’t speak to the physiology of it, or to what it extent it will help win baseball games, but I know organization and bonding when I see it. And, for whatever reason, be it muscles or motivation, Mike Barwis is treated like a cult figure in Mets camp.

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The players uniformly give him credit for building camaraderie and trust. They credit him for changing diets and body types, for changing how they breathe and how they define ‘work.’ He’s been barking in their ears for months and they hear him, there’s no question about it. Frankly, they speak of him like disciples more than clients, positioning Barwis as a secret weapon and not just a trainer. And, his piercing eyes and slight grin suggests he knows how awesome he is. More importantly, he doesn’t just push guys in his gym, which is located beyond right field, he’s pumping them up between drills, when hustling from field to field, during stretches, and before and after practice. He’s omnipresent, not just running a workout, but running a lifestyle… and these guys are buying in to it. His attitude is palpable and influencing how the team interacts. It’s encouraging, and the same can be said for Kevin Long


I mean no disrespect to previous hitting coaches, but Kevin Long is a different animal

Similar to Barwis, Long is instilling a more serious sense of work, trust and positivity that I don’t recall seeing in previous teams. Look, all baseball players are focused on their craft, they all have talent, they’re all believe in themselves, but Long has them taking it to a different level. In addition to making technical adjustments to each swing, he’s working to create more trust between hitters and coaches. He looks to be running a fun, group effort, less a one-on-one clinic.

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In several instances, I’d hear him talking to Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy about David Wright. Later, he’d whisper to Wright and Travis d’Arnaud about something Murphy was doing. They’d all talk situations, stances and equipment, who’s doing what and why. And, little by little, Long’s language, his upbeat, happy, style of praise, started being parroted by players. It’s like Long and his friend, assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler, are creating a hitting community, which will hopefully make batters less manic, isolated and selfish.


The Mets have pitching here, there and everywhere…

In 2010, I could shut my eyes and know where Jenrry Mejia was throwing. It’s not that he was so amazing, it’s because – with so few young, power pitchers in camp – his ball hitting the glove was easy to hear. This is no longer the case. Earlier this week, I shut my eyes during a bullpen session on the 10-pack and it sounded like someone was shooting firecrackers. Pop. Pop. Pop. Over and over again. It was like a snappy drum solo. There was no chatter, just catchers mitts cracking from fastballs by Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Jacob deGrom, Gabriel Ynoa, and others.

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Matt Harvey is his own show, there is no doubt about it. He brought a frenzy to St. Lucie bullpen sessions that were reminiscent of Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez. I mean, fans cheered when he finished. The players hugged him like he won a game. His success is exhilarating, even if just batting practice. However, he’s not alone… He’s not the only arm out there. Matz put on a show himself. Syndergaard is a bull. DeGrom looks so fluid and powerful, it’s mesmerizing. And, I haven’t even mentioned Zack Wheeler

It’s an amazing thing. I don’t know how it ends. I don’t know how they all fit in, if a trade is eventually made, if someone gets hurt or if they all rep the Mets in the the All-Star game one day. That said, Sandy Alderson has options — real, no-doubt-about-it options — which was not even close to the case five years ago. It was a treat to see (and hear), and it’s giving confidence to everyone else in camp.


In the end, these are nice, spring storylines that may never matter and be forgotten as quick as I wrote this post. Nevertheless, they’re new stories, creating a new feeling around the team. They’re new names, new ideas and the change in attitude is impossible to avoid. Hopefully, they help to create new, better results…

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Sandy Alderson spoke to the media on Tuesday and here’s what we learned…

1) Alderson said he does not expect to make a trade during spring training, despite the rumors, unless there is an injury.

2) The team has not set the rotation order for the season yet. When they set up the order for the first week of spring training, those decisions had no impact on the regular season.

3) Regarding Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada, Alderson said you can’t learn much from team drills.

4) The Mets have a more set 25-man roster at this point in spring training then they have in previous years.


terry collins

Terry Collins spoke to the media after today’s intrasquad game and said…

1) Jon Niese is working on his arm angle and velocity this spring in hopes of avoiding injuries.

“His arm angle is much, much better,” Collins said.

2) Matt Reynolds lets the ball come to him, he stayed down on it while in the field and he has good feet.

“We’ll continue to play him, see how he handles the bat, see how he handles it how we get deeper into spring,” Collins added.

3) Rafael Montero could work multiple innings out of the bullpen, a role he might fill for the Mets in 2015.

4) Travis d’Arnaud has a lot of confidence at the plate and the team is working to raise his confidence on defense.

“We think he’s going to hit, but now – with our young pitching staff – you have to find someone who can control those guys,” Collins said.

5) David Wright is determined to bounce back from his poor season in 2014. The Mets participated in a simple base-running drill recently, one he never saw a major league team so focused on, with Wright leading the charge.


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David Wright talked to reporters during today’s intrasquad game and said…

1. He is no longer concerned about his shoulder, “I’m fine, I’m fine.”

2. He would have liked to get more action at third base today, but that’s what the rest of March is for…


Jon Niese later talked to reporters and said…

1. His arm and shoulder are feeling great this spring, especially when compared to a year ago.

2. So far this spring, including today, he’s been doing a nice job locating his pitches and keeping the ball down.


Zack Wheeler also talked to reporters and said…

1. He felt out of align, and was throwing across his body for some reason, which he couldn’t seem to correct during the game.

2. He had good command of his slider and curve ball, but zero command of his fastball.

3. It would be an honor to start Opening Day, “I’d be happy to do it.”

Live from PSL: Tweets, notes and photos from today’s Intrasquad Game

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Zack Wheeler and Jon Niese started today’s Mets vs. Mets intrasquad game at Tradition Field…


2:20 pm:: After the top of the eighth inning, and after he got out of the inning, the game ended in a 0-0 tie. The two teams combined for nine hits, with INF prospect Jonathan Leroux picking up two hits for Team Blue.

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1:55 pm: Vic Black and Jenrry Mejia are warming up to soon enter the game…

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1:50 pm: Mets C Xorge Carillo took a foul ball to the body and is being tended to be the training staff…

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1:15 pm: Mets Rule 5 pick LHP Sean Gilmartin will enter the game, as David Wright and other starters exit…

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12:59 pm: In the third inning, with Buddy Carlyle on the mound, Ruben Tejada turned a nice double play off a ground ball by Matt Reynolds, which was well received by David Wright at the end of the inning…

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12:45 pm: In Wheeler’s second inning, Matt den Dekker hit a single and Brandon Nimmo walked…

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12:34 pm: In the second inning, Niese struck out Kirk Nieuwenhuis and John Mayberry Jr., and got Kevin Plawecki to ground out…

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12:30 pm: Matt Reynolds at shortstop, Dilson Herrera at second base, with Rafael Montero warming up in the bullpen…

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12:25 pm: Wheeler got Travis d’Arnaud to ground out, he then gave up a single to Herrera and walked Reynolds and Eric Campbell grounded out.

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12:10 pm: In the first inning, Niese walked walked Curtis Granderson, David Wright hit in to a double play and Michael Cuddyer struck out looking…


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11:00 am: Team Blue’s starting lineup will be 1) Granderson, 2) Wright, 3) Cuddyer, 4) Kirk Nieuwenhuis, 5) John Mayberry Jr., 6) Kevin Plawecki, 7) Brandon Allen, 8) Ruben Tejada and 9) Wilfredo Tovar.

Team Orange’s starting lineup will be 1) Travis d’Arnaud, 2) Dilson Herrera, 3) Matt Reynolds, 4) Eric Campbell, 5) Anthony Recker, 6) Cesar Puello, 7) Brandon Nimmo, 8) Matt den Dekker and 9) Danny Muno.


8:41 am: Niese will start for “Team Blue,” which will also feature Rafael Montero, Carlos Torres, Vic Black and Sean Gilmartin. Wheeler will start for “Team Orange,” which also includes Buddy Carlyle, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia.


8:40 am: Terry Collins said Monday that Wright, Granderson and Cuddyer will also play in the game.

“This is what they’re paid to do,” he explained. “I understand the whole process of getting their legs ready and getting their arms ready and all the extra work, but this is when all the work starts to pay off. They start to see what they’re getting out of it.”