Morning News: on Izzy's 2 weeks, Johan, Luis & SNY

The Mets travel from St. Lucie to Miami today at 11 am, where they will have a 4 pm workout. Tomorrow night, at 7 pm, they begin the 2011 regular season against the Marlins. Also, don’t forget, Hometown Beverages will host a MetsBlog Meet Up at 3rd & Long in New York City to watch the game, which you can learn about here.

In case you missed it, Jason Isringhausen told reporters yesterday he will stay in St. Lucie for 2 weeks, taking part in extended Spring Training. However, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, “If another team has a major league opportunity in the interim, the Mets must promote Izzy or let him walk.”

Hey, remember Johan Santana. Though he’s disappointed to not be traveling with the team to start the season, he tells Newsday that he plans to go ‘slow and steady,’ in his fight to return from the disabled list this summer.

By the way, Luis Castillo was released by the Phillies, which means Wilson Valdez will be their Opening Day second baseman, in the wake of Chase Utley starting the year on the disabled list.

Lastly, according to the Associated Press and the New York Times, the Mets are telling potential bidders that they might sell a portion of SNY, “but that negotiation would take place separately from a deal for the team.” The report also lists five groups that are viewed as front-runners to buy in to the Mets, including Steven Starker, a co-founder of BTIG, a global trading firm, with Kenny Dichter, a co-founder of Marquis Jets; Doug Ellin, creator of HBO’s “Entourage”; and Randy Frankel, a minority owner of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Willie Harris to Start in LF Friday

According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, Willie Harris will start in left field on Friday night, while Lucas Duda will start the final two games against the Marlins.

If that’s correct, I assume Jason Bay is going to the disabled list. The good news is it can be retroactive to March 24, meaning he can return next Saturday at Citi Field. The problem: these types of injuries require rest, and there is no definite time table.

Bay injured the intercoastal muscle in his rib cage during batting practice yesterday. He was in New York today for further testing and is expected back in Florida this evening.

MetsBlog Q&A: with Alderson about fans & decisions

In case you missed it…

media slice

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with Mets GM Sandy Alderson by phone for an exclusive MetsBlog Q&A.

Here is the last back and forth from our talk…

Matthew Cerrone : There has been a lot of talk about the decision-making process, with the regards to this specific front office. So far, given what you signed up for, and given how this spring has progressed, what adjustments have you had to make, what’s worked and what hasn’t?

Sandy Alderson: I think it’s important to have some structure. I think it’s important to follow a process. And, ultimately, it’s important that whatever structure and processes you impose you have good people involved who are carrying these things out. So far this spring, I think we’ve tried to be systematic about how we approach things. … For example, we released Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, but we tried to do it pursuant to a more structured process than most people would have expected. But, from our standpoint, while that was important internally, it was also important because of our commitment to each player and in fostering a relationship of trust with the other players. I do believe it is important to approach things logically. That doesn’t mean everything has to take three weeks. You know, something could take just a few minutes. But, you do have to be careful of emotional responses to things, especially in professional sports, where it’s easy to get worked up about something or doing something that you might regret 24 hours later.

Matthew Cerrone: There are a lot of fans who believe they could be successful GMs. I never dismiss this, because there are a lot of educated fans and, technically, every GM was just a fan at some point before getting the job. But, what do you make of fan opinions about your job, given what you know is happening behind the scenes?

Sandy Alderson: Well, I do believe many fans have the experience and capacity to have good ideas about teams and how they’re built and how players are used and so forth. So, when I have conversations with fans, I have the utmost respect for their opinions. Because, I recognize that when it comes to any sport, opinions can vary and mine isn’t always the best, which is why you have people within an organziation who can take different view points and that can lead to constructive arguments and more informed decisions.

Matthew Cerrone: Can you tell me something about being GM of a baseball team that most fans would be surprised to hear?

Sandy Alderson: I think most people don’t fully understand how emotionally involved we all get. It’s a business, yes, and you try to be detached. But, we all get emotionally involved with the team and its winning and losing and it becomes something that controls your whole day. If you win the night before, your day starts very differently than if you lost. And so the rhythm of the season, the winning and the losing, it really controls your entire waking hours from the time the season begins to the time it ends, because the game is so unpredictable. There is an edge to everything that is either softened or hardened by whether you won or lost the night before. We try to be dispassionate and we try to be logical, we may appear to be rational, but we all get caught up in the emotion of the competition, which I think that’s a good thing.

To see the first and second part of this discussion, click here.

Lastly, single-game Mets tickets, as well as a variety of short- and long-term ticket plans, with all sorts of unique benefits, are currently available at Mets.com.

Collins Talks Bay, Izzy, Lineup, etc.

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Following the team’s 6-3 win against the Marlins today, Terry Collins talked to reporters about Jason Bay, as well as Jason Isringhausen, which you can listen to here:

During the conversation, Collins essentially said:

1. He thinks the team, despite the injury to Bay, is ready to roll on Friday.
2. Josh Thole could bat second and Angel Pagan could be moved down in Opening Day lineup if Bay is out.
3. He is elated Isringhausen is hanging around because there is no doubt he will be needed at some point.

Nick Evans cleared waivers, no news on Bay

To hear Sandy Alderson’s conversation with the media, click play here:

Updated at 3:15 pm:

According to MetsBlog’s Rich Coutinho, Sandy Alderson said the team has not yet made a decision on Jason Bay, who is on his way back to Port St. Lucie tonight.

Alderson said the team will lock in their plan for Bay after they speak with him.

Lastly, Lucas Duda was told he will make the team, in the event Bay ends up on the disabled list.

Original Post at 2:45 pm:

Nick Evans cleared waivers and told MetsBlog’s Rich Coutinho he has accepted an assignment to Triple-A Buffalo.

So, I have to think this means Lucas Duda will start in left field on Friday, in the event Jason Bay ends up on the disabled list. This way, Evans can hang in Buffalo, and then be promoted, in the event Duda is totally over matched. To keep Evans now, would be foolish, since he’d have to again go through waivers when Bay is activated.

Final Score: Mets 6, Marlins 3

For a full recap and box score, check out SNY.TV.

The Least You Should Know:

  • Chris Young started for the Mets. He struggled with his command, allowing 4 walks and 2 earned runs in 5 innings, finishing his camp with a 1.78 ERA.
  • Jason Isringhausen and D.J. Carrasco each contributed a scoreless inning of relief.
  • Scott Hairston hit his fourth home run of the spring – a three-run shot in the seventh inning that gave the Mets the lead.
  • Carlos Beltran went 1 for 3, and David Wright went 1 for 2, finishing his Spring hitting .353.

The Mets finished their exhibition season with a 17-15-2 record, and were 12-3-1 at Digital Domain Park this spring.

The Mets will head to Miami tomorrow, workout at Sun Life Stadium tomorrow afternoon, and open the regular season against the Marlins on Friday at 7:10 pm. Mike Pelfrey will start for the Mets, and he will face Josh Johnson.

Luis Hernandez Clears Waivers

Luis Hernandez has cleared waivers, according to MetsBlog’s Rich Coutinho.

Hernandez has 72 hours to accept an assignment to the minor leagues, or he can decide to become a free agent and sign with another time.