July 2011

Poll: Who’s the odd pitcher out?

Mets manager Terry Collins said today that the team is considering using a six-man rotation when Johan Santana returns from injury next month. But hypothetically, if forced to stick with a more traditional five-man rotation, whom would you give the boot?

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Summing up the Beltran coverage

There certainly has been plenty to absorb over the last 30 hours, from the time news of the Carlos Beltran trade first broke to Beltran’s press conference in Philadelphia, a mere hour ago. To make it easier for all of you out there in cyberspace, below is a catalog of the coverage on MLB.com.

It began Wednesday afternoon with this news story,  which received continual updates throughout the day. The final tweak came early Thursday afternoon, when the Mets and Giants announced the deal and made it official. At that point, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson addressed the deal on a conference call, noting that his team is probably done trading prior to this weekend’s deadline.

I later caught up to prospect Zack Wheeler, the centerpiece of the deal, who called the trade “eye-opening” from his perspective.

In between, there were emotional victories for the Mets on Wednesday and Thursday. MLB.com’s Giants beat writer, Chris Haft, also weighed in on the trade from a San Francisco perspective.

In all, an eventful day and a half in the Queen City, and there was more from Philadelphia. Late Thursday, the Giants welcomed Beltran to the team, before beating the Phillies in his debut.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Where will you go, Carlos Beltran?

We did this a couple months ago with Jose Reyes, when it was widely assumed that the Mets would trade Reyes prior to the non-waiver deadline. We were wrong. At any rate, here are the five most likely destinations for outfielder Carlos Beltran, who is a near-lock to be traded at some point this week:

Giants
Their need is great, with perhaps the weakest offensive outfield of any legitimate contender. And they have some impact talent to spare. The only question is whether or not the Giants will be willing to part with an elite prospect (Brandon Belt? Zach Wheeler?) in order to land the deadline’s biggest fish.

Braves
Atlanta already has a dynamic right fielder in Jason Heyward, but the rest of their outfield remains relatively weak. A return to center field for Beltran may be possible, or perhaps a defensive shift for Heyward. Either way, the Braves have the desire — along with enough pitching talent in their Minors — to make a deal work if they desire.

Phillies
It seems like a long shot, given the rivalry between these two teams, but the fact remains that outfield production is a weak spot for this club. And the risk goes both ways — yes, the Mets could potentially help the Phillies win a title, but the Phillies could give the Mets their next superstar of the future in the process.

Rangers
Word is the Mets are enamored with two of Texas’ young arms, Martin Perez and Joe Wieland. And the Rangers are certainly high on Beltran, who could give them some additional wallop in the middle of their order. Though Beltran has expressed his desire to remain in the National League, it’s hard to envision him vetoing a deal to a reigning pennant winner.

Red Sox
Don’t ever count out the Red Sox, who have grown weary of regular right fielder J.D. Drew. The Mets would probably jump at an opportunity to acquire outfield prospect Josh Reddick, who has been receiving ample playing time in place of Drew. But with the league’s best offense, do the Red Sox have enough motivation to trade away anything of value for a two-month rental? It doesn’t seem likely.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Report: Mets decide to keep Izzy

The Mets have decided not to trade right-handed reliever Jason Isringhausen, SI’s Jon Heyman tweeted Thursday morning. That information is contradictory to the ongoing assumption that the team would attempt to deal Isringhausen, as well as Carlos Beltran and Tim Byrdak, prior to this month’s non-waiver deadline.

Heyman tweeted that the Mets want Isringhausen to stick around as a mentor for 26-year-old Bobby Parnell, whom the team considers its closer of the future. If true, the news would certainly be welcome to Isringhausen, who wants to record his 300th save with the Mets in New York. Recently named the head of a closer-by-committee situation, Isringhausen earned his first career save with the Mets in 1999, and now sits six shy of 300.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

La Russa lauds former boss Alderson

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson accepted his first big league GM job in Oakland from 1983-97. His manager from 1986-95 was Tony La Russa, now manager of the Cardinals. The two won a World Series together in 1989.

This is topical because La Russa, whose Cards are in town this week, had some complimentary things to say about his former boss prior to Tuesday’s game. (The two caught up briefly on Tuesday afternoon.)

“I know he’s going to handle the office side, long-term stuff, outstanding,” La Russa said. “And he’s very, very realistic. He’s smart. And he knows how to make a tough decision. You can tell by his decisions — he hired Terry [Collins], who’s taken care of the field side. I think they’ve really been competitive. He deserves a lot of credit. They’ve [taken] as many hits as we have. I have the highest admiration. I’ve seen it in person. Sandy’s the full package as far as knowing what’s needed and doing the right thing. Sometimes the right thing is the hard thing. He doesn’t shy away from that. “

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Snapshots of Reyes in Brooklyn

Here are some great photos from Jose Reyes‘ rehab appearance in Brooklyn today, courtesy MiLB’s Ashley Marshall.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Ike Davis charity dinner info

Mets first baseman Ike Davis will be hosting a charity dinner in Manhattan later this month. Here’s the info:

NEW YORK METS’ IKE DAVIS STEPS UP TO PLATE

TO FIGHT CANCER ON SUNDAY JULY 17th

Major Leaguer Teams Up with Childhood Cancer Charities for Fundraiser at Michael’s Restaurant in Brooklyn

New York, NY, July 6, 2011 – New York Mets star Ike Davis is stepping up to the dinner plate with Solving Kids’ Cancer (SKC) for the first annual “A Night with Ike Davis” charity event at Michael’s Restaurant in Brooklyn on Sunday night July 17th at 7 p.m.  This family friendly dinner will feature an up-close-and-personal Q&A session with Davis hosted by Linda Cohn of ESPN SportsCenter and Ken Dashow of Q104.3, and will include several raffles and prizes for attendees.  All proceeds from the evening will benefit SKC along with The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative.

            “Ike Davis is the kind of player and person that anybody would want on their team,” said Scott Kennedy, executive director and co-founder of Solving Kids’ Cancer.  “We are looking forward to a special evening with him that will be a highly memorable experience for sports fans and deeply appreciated by everyone involved in the fight against childhood cancer.”  

In addition to a full dinner, the live interview and Q&A, prizes will be given away and auctions of one-of-a-kind items will include a team stay at Cooperstown Village, a chartered fishing trip with Ike, an MLB Network guest viewing, Mets VIP packages and more.  “A Night with Ike Davis” will also unveil a special event T-shirt designed by a 10-year-old boy currently battling cancer.  His design submission was personally selected by Ike Davis.  Tickets for the event are currently available by calling (212) 588-6624 and by visiting http://www.solvingkidscancers.org.

Davis is familiar with how devastating cancer can be having lost his childhood friend, Mike Lio, to Ewing’s Sarcoma at just 22 years of age.  It is in his friend’s honor that Ike has chosen to host this charity dinner, with the hope that some day, a cure will help rid the world of all childhood cancers.

***

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Alderson on Reyes: “That’s one man’s opinion”

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson called a New York Post report that he has warmed to the idea of re-signing Jose Reyes “one man’s opinion,” and offered no further comment. Citing two unnamed sources, the Post reported Monday that Alderson has seen enough of Reyes to feel comfortable offering a long-term contract extension.

That, of course, will remain no more than speculation for at least three more months. The Reyes camp recently announced that it will not enter into any negotiations until after the season. Alderson has hinted strongly in recent weeks that he will not look to trade Reyes before this month’s deadline.

–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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