tom seaver jimmy qualls

Tom Seaver talks with WFAN about statue in his honor

Tom Seaver says the Mets have never approached him about naming or erecting a statue or monument in his honor at Citi Field, he told WFAN’s Boomer and Carton show on Friday.

The show’s co-host, Boomer Esiason, has been calling for the Mets to commission a Seaver statue, similar to the Stan Musial statue in St. Louis and the Willie Mays statue in San Francisco.

“I understand that I’m part of the history of the game of baseball, it is going to be what it is,” Seaver said, when asked about his legacy. “The wonderful thing are the memories that I have about the game, and I loved it.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Personally, I’m not in favor of building statues of athletes, because you just never know where that person’s personal legacy will end up. It’s nothing against the specific player. It’s just that I’m a fan of the team first, players second. Seaver was awesome, no question. He was amazing. He’s a legend. But, he was a member of the Mets. He isn’t bigger than the team, despite what he did for them on and off field. His number is retired, not his name, alongside with other members of the organization. He is all over the ballpark’s museum, alongside other members of the organization. And, most important, his name is in the history books and the memories of fans that will talk about his legacy forever. That said, I totally understand why some fans, like Esiason, want the statue. I’m not against it. I’m proud of Seaver. I’m just not in to putting people on pedestals, because you never know if they might fall down…

Chris Young

What’s on Tap: Niese faces Braves at 7:10 p.m.

The Mets begin a 10-game homestand against the Braves at Citi Field on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET

Jon Niese gets the start for the Mets, opposed by Aaron Harang for the Braves.

The Mets will activate Chris Young from the 15-day disabled list before the game. Andrew Brown or Kirk Nieuwenhuis are expected to be demoted to make room on the roster for Young.

Curtis Granderson, who was injured running into the outfield wall on Monday in Arizona, is expected to return to the starting lineup.

The game will air on SNY and can be heard on WOR 710 AM radio.

Later in the day, Rafael Montero will make his fourth start of the season for Triple-A Las Vegas.

Joel+Hanrahan+San+Francisco+Giants+v+Pittsburgh+UK2wta0Eengl

Mets attended Joel Hanrahan’s showcase

11:44 pm: Teams are already discussing potential deals with free-agent pitcher Joel Hanrahan (Cafardo, April 17).


8:45 pm: The Mets were among the 18-20 teams who watched Hanrahan throw during a showcase on Thursday (Heyman, April 17), during which his velocity was between 87-93 mph.


April 15: The Mets will watch free-agent relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan throw a showcase this week for teams with interest in signing him (Puma, Apr. 11) Ackert, Apr. 15).

The Yankees, Angels, Rangers, Rockies, Royals, Athletics, Red Sox and Rays, among others, are also likely to attend (Crasnick, Apr. 11).

The Mets were intrigued by Hanrahan after watching him throw a bullpen session during the offseason (Daily News, April 7).

Hanrahan, 32, underwent Tommy John and flexor tendon surgery last May. He entered last season with 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings during the previous five years. He had been hitting 90-92 mph during his rehab toward the end of last summer (Rosenthal (FoxSports) Mar. 14).

Ryan Madson, Kevin Gregg and Octavio Dotel are also available on the free-agent market.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The Mets are not the only team in need of an extra arm or two in the bullpen, so competition will be stiff, despite Hanrahan being at least a month or so away from pitching in the big leagues. The same can be said for Madson. I have no idea what’s going on with Gregg and Dotel. But, in either case, these guys are not going to help tomorrow. Similarly, it’s going to be at least a few weeks before we know from Triple-A what some of the young starting pitchers can do from the bullpen. So, adding Vic Black and Josh Edgin may end up being the best option, if for no other reason than they’re on the 40-man roster and it will let Sandy Alderson mix up the dynamic and roles without risking start dates or forcing roster moves.

Minor League Q&A: Triple-A RHP Vic Black talks switching mechanics

The Mets had been counting on RHP Vic Black to be a key piece of their bullpen in 2014. However, after walking 10 batters and allowing 13 hits in 9.1 innings during Spring Training, he was demoted and started his with Triple-A Las Vegas.

According to Black, he widened his stance and dropped his hands during his delivery, which quickly got him back to a high 90s fastball, he told MetsBlog’s Robert Brender >> Read more of Brender’s Q&A with Black at Mets Minor League Blog.

Shea Stadium opened 50 years ago today

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Shea Stadium would have turned 50 years old today.

Here is a photo gallery of images I took toward the end of 2008, when the team allowed me to wander the ballpark for an hour. I went through the dugout, beyond the bullpens, out next to Apple, on the warning track and any place I could get to in the team they gave me. It was a great, surreal, sad day. I miss Shea…


Curtis Granderson swings

Q&A with Curtis Granderson from Vues Online

Here is a quick Q&A with Mets OF Curtis Granderson, courtesy of Ephraim Fischbein of the Vues Online…


What is your nickname: “The big one that my teammates call me is “Grandy.” That’s a baseball thing, I think, because you know everyone’s last name. I think Granderson’s too long to say. Others call me “Grandyman.”

What is your favorite thing to do on an off day: “I enjoy the food in every city, I look forward to KC for the ribs, Seattle for the fish and chips. Chicago for the pizza and Baltimore for the crab cakes. I like getting the food that a city is known for. I love to eat.”

What is your typical routine before a game: “I try to wake up around 10 am and get breakfast. After I get back I watch some TV, check e-mail, and take a nap. I usually head to the field around 3 pm.”

Who were your idols growing up: “For baseball, Ken Griffey Jr. and Jackie Robinson. For basketball, Michael Jordan. For football, Jerry Rice and Thurman Thomas.”

What will you do after baseball: “I have been involved in the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) since 2006 and taken part in negotiations of the latest labor contract, so I see myself in that area of the game. In addition I may also do something in education or in the broadcasting field.”


To learn about Granderson’s favorite stadium, favorite city to visit, his favorite teams growing up, influences and other things, check out Ephraim’s full Q&A here.

MetsBlog Q&ACast, pres. by Verizon: AJ Mass talks mascots, Mr. Met

In this week’s MetsBlog Q&ACast, presented by Verizon, Matthew Cerrone talks with ESPN.com’s A.J. Mass. In his new book, “Yes, It’s Hot in Here,” Mass details the crazy history of the sports mascot, including Mr. Met, who he played at Shea Stadium from 1994 to 1997.

Mass talks with Cerrone about his time as Mr. Met, after the mascot had not been in the public eye for  more than a decade; A.J. also gives his thoughts on other sports mascots, including the controversial behavior of the Phillie Phanatic; and the guys discuss whether whether Mr. Met should have a Twitter account…

Listen in separate window | Subscribe with iTunes | RSS


To learn more about A.J.’s book, check out this link to Amazon.com

USATSI_7340314_110579513_lowres

Dillon Gee has been rock solid the last 11 months

Dillon Gee is 14-9 with a 2.86 ERA in his last 26 starts, during which he has 122 strike outs in 176 innings.

He struck out three and held the D-Backs to three hits through seven shutout innings in a win over Arizona on Wednesday.

He retired the first 14 batters he faced.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

It’s easy to forget Gee, given hype around Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and others. Yes, he’s kind of vanilla. He’s quiet and mild. He’s not great at any one thing. However, he’s been effective and super consistent. He’s the perfect mid-rotation guy, under contract through 2016, earning half of what he’d probably get on the open market. He has an ERA under 4.00 through more than 500 career innings, yet he is often overlooked. He may not be a diamond, but there’s value in him being just a really good rock.

 

Video highlights from Wednesday’s win against D-Backs

Anthony Recker hits a solo home run to left to give the Mets a 1-0 lead >> Watch Here.

Dillion Gee makes a heads-up play by covering second base to tag out Gerardo Parra to end the bottom of the sixth inning >> Watch Here.

Daniel Murphy records his fifth RBI of the season, knocking in Eric Young to give the Mets a 4-0 lead >> Watch Here.

The Mets are not what I thought they’d be, but I’ll take it

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I’m surprised. The Mets started 0-3, at which point I feared a difficult schedule in April could leave them 10-17 to start May. Instead, they went 6-3 on a road trip through Atlanta, Los Angeles and Arizona and find themselves above .500 for the first time since April 2013.


Screen shot 2014-04-17 at 6.22.57 AM


The team returns home for a 10-game home stand that starts Friday. They’ll face the Braves, Cardinals and Marlins.

Screen shot 2014-04-17 at 6.51.40 AM


For most teams, 10 games at home would be are source of confidence. However, for the Mets, who have struggled to play in Citi Field for the last two and a half years, it’s more of a concern.

Similarly, Sandy Alderson’s roster will enter Friday with the fifth-most runs scored in the National League, despite David Wright hitting just .258. However, Alderson’s starting pitching and bullpen are toward the back of the pack in runs allowed. In other words, 15 games in to the season, Alderson has the opposite team he probably expected. Instead of one that hits for power, pitches well and plays better at home. He has a team that scores runs with singles and doesn’t walk very much, as they struggle to pitch and play poorly at home. Yet, they’re 8-7.

I’ll take it, especially knowing that Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Wilmer Flores can help later this summer, while trusting Wright and Curtis Granderson will eventually find a hot streak. 8-7 is good, though, it means 13-14, or around .500, is realistic for May 1, which sets up what can certainly be a fun summer.

USATSI_7873445_110579513_lowres

Valverde is still the closer

Jose Valverde allowed two home runs in the ninth inning Wednesday against the D-Backs.

Terry Collins later said Valverde will continue to be his closer.

Valverde let up three earned runs in his previous start, blowing a save opportunity against the Angels.


What’s on Tap: Mets are off, will attend Joel Hanrahan’s showcase

The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks, 5-2, on Wednesday afternoon to complete a three-game sweep >> Read more from MLB.com, ESPN New York, New York Post, and the Daily News.

The win moved the Mets to above .500 at 8-7…


Screen shot 2014-04-17 at 6.22.57 AM


The Mets are off on Thursday.

Team representatives will attend a showcase for free agent reliever Joel Hanrahan. Hanrahan, 32, had Tommy John surgery last May.

The Mets open a three-game set against the Braves on Friday at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m.