Anthony McCarron

Anthony McCarron is a contributor to SNY

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Mariano Rivera is headed into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday for the work he did on the field, from his postseason brilliance to his record 652 saves to that devastating cut fastball that turned bats into shards of wood. 

But it's also remarkable how many of the folks who played or worked with Rivera touch on personal stories when asked to recount their favorite Mo memory. Turns out, Rivera wasn't just a Cooperstown-worthy pitcher; he was a Hall of Fame teammate, too. 

SNY talked to some of the people who knew Rivera best during his amazing 19-year career to get a glimpse of the Yankees famed closer as he prepares to be enshrined. 

Tags: Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Anthony McCarron
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Jun 26, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a single against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
		
		 (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 26, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a single against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Life is good for a baseball team that is 57-31, the best record in the American League. But while the Yankees might be favorites to go back to the World Series for the first time in a decade, that doesn't mean the second half of the regular season is just about lining up the playoff rotation.

Yes, even juggernauts have potential trouble areas and question marks. With that in mind, we offer five things to watch while the Yanks try to hold their sizable 6.5-game lead in the AL East over the season's final two and a half months. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Domingo German, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Commemorative card for the 1979 National League Co-Most Valuable Players, Willie Stargell with Pirates and Keith Hernandez with Cardinals. Sponsored by Coca-Cola and Seven Eleven, the card features a color photo of Stargell and Hernandez holding an MVP plaque in between them. (St. Louis Cardinals)
Commemorative card for the 1979 National League Co-Most Valuable Players, Willie Stargell with Pirates and Keith Hernandez with Cardinals. Sponsored by Coca-Cola and Seven Eleven, the card features a color photo of Stargell and Hernandez holding an MVP plaque in between them. (St. Louis Cardinals)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Keith Hernandez is sitting in the press dining room at Citi Field on a recent afternoon, leaning back, relaxed. Why not? He's talking about the greatest individual season of his playing career, a baseball summer 40 years ago when the sweet-swinging lefty hit so much he shared the National League MVP Award with a slugger he admired.

He knows he and Willie "Pops" Stargell own a little slice of baseball history, perhaps forever. They're the only players ever to tie in the voting for the coveted award.

"It'll never happen again," Hernandez says. "It'll be a baseball trivia question way down the road. And people will go, 'Who's Willie Stargell? Who's Keith Hernandez?' a hundred years from now."

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 (New York Daily News)
(New York Daily News)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

To illustrate the lovely bond that bloomed between the 1969 Mets and their roommates at Shea Stadium, the Jets, John Schmitt tells the following story: 

Schmitt, the center on the Jets' Super Bowl III champs, brought his young son, John-John, to the ballgame one night to see the great Tom Seaver pitch. Schmitt ushered John-John into the Mets' clubhouse, where Seaver was getting a pre-game massage. Schmitt did not want to disturb a fellow athlete's prep, but Seaver insisted. 

"He got off the rubdown table, put on his jersey and hat and took a picture with us," Schmitt recalls. "He was great. Then he takes off his jersey, gets back on the table and went out and won the game that night.

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 (New York Daily News)
(New York Daily News)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

To illustrate the lovely bond that bloomed between the 1969 Mets and their roommates at Shea Stadium, the Jets, John Schmitt tells the following story: 

Schmitt, the center on the Jets' Super Bowl III champs, brought his young son, John-John, to the ballgame one night to see the great Tom Seaver pitch. Schmitt ushered John-John into the Mets' clubhouse, where Seaver was getting a pre-game massage. Schmitt did not want to disturb a fellow athlete's prep, but Seaver insisted. 

"He got off the rubdown table, put on his jersey and hat and took a picture with us," Schmitt recalls. "He was great. Then he takes off his jersey, gets back on the table and went out and won the game that night.

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Donn Clendenon (Wikimedia Commons)
Donn Clendenon (Wikimedia Commons)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Yoenis Cespedes is no Donn Clendenon.

Sure, Cespedes' second-half power show in 2015 helped propel the Mets all the way to the World Series after a deadline deal brought the slugger from Detroit.

But Clendenon pushed an even more improbable Mets club -- some have called it miraculous -- to the Fall Classic 50 years ago after an in-season trade. Then he finished the job, winning the World Series MVP Award as the 1969 Mets topped the powerful Baltimore Orioles in five games.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Anthony McCarron
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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The shadier side of human nature tells us that this should be a relationship full of side-eye, judgmental head shakes and half-hearted high-fives, even during happy home run celebrations.

Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith are both first basemen, after all. If one guy has the job, that means the other does not. You love the co-worker who's up for the same promotion you are? Yeah, sure. Frenemies is more like it, forced smiles and all.

But something wonderful has happened this Mets season as two young talents are establishing themselves in the Major Leagues: Alonso and Smith have formed an engaging friendship that's obvious each time the Mets dugout explodes when one or the other has done something big.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Anthony McCarron
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Duquette on Yanks mound search 00:01:19
SNY baseball analyst Jim Duquette on Marcus Stroman as a desirable trade target to bolster the Yankees rotation

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

So Dallas Keuchel ended up in Atlanta instead of the Bronx. It's not the end of the (pitching) world for the Yankees. 
 
If Brian Cashman decides his club needs rotation help, there ought to be plenty available as the MLB calendar flips from the amateur draft to the trading season. 
 
How's this for choices? According to scouts and executives, the following pitchers are already on the market: Madison Bumgarner, Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman. Teams such as Kansas City and Seattle are putting out the word within the industry that they'll listen to offers on many of the players on their rosters, which could add potential inventory.  

Tags: CC Sabathia, Domingo German, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Mets first-round pick Brett Baty
Mets first-round pick Brett Baty

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Clint Baty is a basketball coach by trade, so he admits to perhaps not knowing exactly how good his son, Brett, was at baseball until after Brett's freshman year of high school. That's when colleges such as Texas, Texas A&M and TCU started poking around. 

"Then I realized, 'What do we have on our hands here?'" Clint Baty said Monday night, after Brett Baty was taken 12th overall by the Mets in the MLB Draft. 

"He just kept working at it and kept getting better and better," Clint said. "It's a dad's dream to see that, when a person puts in that much work, for it to pay off."

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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Michael Conforto, crossover star?

OK, that's a stretch. But his college baseball coach, Pat Casey, jokes that Conforto is so tough that "if you gave him a football helmet, he could play for the New York Jets."

Asked to reveal something that Mets fans might not know about the slugger, Casey, the former Oregon State coach, said "He was one helluva football player" in high school. Conforto was a running back and linebacker, Casey said.

Tags: Michael Conforto, Anthony McCarron
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Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Yes, it's harder to land a sure thing toward the end of the first round, which is where the Yankees pick Monday on the opening day of the MLB Draft.

But the Yanks took Aaron Judge No. 32 overall six years ago, so they know they can hit a home run -- yeah, pun intended -- late in the first round. Perhaps they can do it again this year when they choose No. 30 overall. Or maybe they'll hit it big at No. 38, the pick they got when Sonny Gray signed with Cincinnati.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Anthony McCarron
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May 22, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 22, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Mark your calendars or set up a smartphone alert, baseball fans - the first leg of the Subway Series is speeding toward us.

But before the Yankees and Mets meet for the first time this season June 10-11 in the Bronx, both clubs have work to do, particularly the Mets. Both have to get healthier, too, because we want to watch the likes of Didi Gregorius and Jeff McNeil when the teams meet.

That way, you can have a fuller picture of your favorite team when you begin smack-talking relatives from Brooklyn to Bergen County to Battery Park.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brandon Nimmo, CC Sabathia, Edwin Diaz, Giancarlo Stanton, Jacob deGrom, James Paxton, Jeurys Familia, Luis Severino, Noah Syndergaard, Robinson Cano, Anthony McCarron
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Mar 30, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees Pitcher James Paxton (65) delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Mar 30, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees Pitcher James Paxton (65) delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Mark your calendars or set up a smartphone alert, baseball fans - the first leg of the Subway Series is speeding toward us.

But before the Yankees and Mets meet for the first time this season June 10-11 in the Bronx, both clubs have work to do, particularly the Mets. Both have to get healthier, too, because we want to watch the likes of Didi Gregorius and Jeff McNeil when the teams meet.

That way, you can have a fuller picture of your favorite team when you begin smack-talking relatives from Brooklyn to Bergen County to Battery Park.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brandon Nimmo, CC Sabathia, Edwin Diaz, Giancarlo Stanton, Jacob deGrom, James Paxton, Jeurys Familia, Luis Severino, Noah Syndergaard, Robinson Cano, Anthony McCarron
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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Darryl Strawberry cherishes the Mets record he set back in 1983, when he slugged 26 home runs has a rookie. It's part of an unforgettable season in his career, one in which he learned crucial lessons about what it took to thrive in the majors and how much callus-causing work was involved. 

But the man called Straw does not greedily cling to the mark, nor does he want it to stand forever. Pete Alonso is putting Strawberry's record in serious jeopardy with each mighty swing and the former Mets superstar is rooting for him.  

"Talent is going to come around and will shatter different records," Strawberry said in a telephone interview. "I'm hoping he does it. 1983 -- you know how long ago that is? 

Tags: Pete Alonso, Anthony McCarron
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 (SNY)
(SNY)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Moments after the original NBA Draft Lottery, back when the basketball gods or conspiracy or whatever you want to believe gifted Patrick Ewing to the Knicks, Dave DeBusschere talked about how antsy he got before it all played out. 

"I couldn't listen to the commissioner; I was very nervous," the then-Knicks exec said on the television broadcast. 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Anthony McCarron
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Apr 4, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) is greeted by base coach Phil Nevin (88) while rounding the bases after hitting solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Mitch Stringer)
Apr 4, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) is greeted by base coach Phil Nevin (88) while rounding the bases after hitting solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Mitch Stringer)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Phil Nevin looks at the list, which includes his name, and chuckles. In a quirk of baseball history, Nevin, the Yankees' third-base coach who played 12 seasons in the Majors, sits alongside luminaries such as Hank Aaron and Ted Williams in this particular group of players.

"I probably wish I was on another list that they're on," Nevin jokes.

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Apr 3, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) scores on a single by catcher Wilson Ramos (not pictured) in the eight inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Navarro)
Apr 3, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) scores on a single by catcher Wilson Ramos (not pictured) in the eight inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Navarro)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Dom Smith carved a decent niche for himself so far this season -- part left-handed bench threat, part dugout caffeine. But the Mets did the right thing Friday when they optioned Smith to Triple-A to make roster room for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.

Here's why: Smith needs to play every day and that won't happen on the Mets, where Pete Alonso owns first base. But if Smith goes to Syracuse and thrives as a starter, he can maximize his value.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier, Anthony McCarron
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CC Sabathia gets 3,000th K 00:01:06
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is the 17th player to reach 3,000 strikeouts. SNY's Sweeny Murti believes this makes him a HOF lock.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Now that CC Sabathia has notched his 3,000th strikeout, it'll be tempting to boil that milestone down to what it says about his Hall of Fame credentials. It's a terrific boost, obviously, but Sabathia authored a marvelous, entertaining career long before he fanned John Ryan Murphy Wednesday night to hit that magic number.

So 3K strikeouts ought to be recognized as an occasion to appreciate what Sabathia has done in his 19 seasons, too, especially because he's retiring at the end of the year. There will be debate about whether he belongs in Cooperstown, but there's no denying that the ride has been something special.

Tags: Austin Romine, CC Sabathia, Anthony McCarron
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) and guests on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) and guests on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In a pre-draft interview with the NFL Network Thursday, Quinnen Williams proudly talked about a glass keepsake his agent had given him to mark what became a life-changing night when the Jets took him with the third overall pick. 
 
Appropriately, the present was focused on the woman whom Williams credits for so much - his mother, Marquischa. She died of breast cancer in 2010 at age 37, when Quinnen Williams was only 12 years old. 
 
NFL Network's cameras showed the gift Williams got from Nicole Lynn, his rep at Lil Wayne's agency, Young Money APAA Sports. It read: "We know you would be here today if Heaven wasn't so far away. Still loved, still missed and very dear. Unseen, unheard, but always near. 
 
"In loving memory of Mrs. Marquischa Williams."

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New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Andrew Weber/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Andrew Weber/USA Today Sports Images)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

There's nothing more memorable than finding a monster player in the NFL draft - unless it's bungling a high-profile pick. Thanks to the Internet and fans' long memories, those dud choices live forever, long after careers have ended. 

How will that play out for the Giants on Thursday in the latest installment of the draft? Is there another Dave Brown waiting for them, come draft night? Another high-profile Duke quarterback is available, so what could go wrong? 

With that in mind, here's a look at the Giants' biggest mistakes in the draft over the last 25 years. Brown doesn't make this list, since he was picked in the 1992 supplemental draft. But you'll probably remember plenty of the guys who do.

Tags: Ereck Flowers, Anthony McCarron
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New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (74) blocks during an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns. (AP)
New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (74) blocks during an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns. (AP)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

There's nothing more memorable than finding a monster player in the NFL draft - unless it's bungling a high-profile pick. Thanks to the Internet and fans' long memories, those dud choices live forever, long after careers have ended. 

How will that play out for the Giants on Thursday in the latest installment of the draft? Is there another Dave Brown waiting for them, come draft night? Another high-profile Duke quarterback is available, so what could go wrong? 

With that in mind, here's a look at the Giants' biggest mistakes in the draft over the last 25 years. Brown doesn't make this list, since he was picked in the 1992 supplemental draft. But you'll probably remember plenty of the guys who do.

Tags: Ereck Flowers, Anthony McCarron
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New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone watches the game from the dugout against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. (Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone watches the game from the dugout against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. (Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Maybe the pomp of the first series with the Red Sox this season is just the tonic the lackluster Yankees need in what's been a blah start to their season. 

Nothing like a visit from a bitter rival to jolt a club. And make no mistake: The Yankees need a jolt. Badly. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Mets put on power display 00:01:34
Mickey Callaway, Keon Broxton, J.D. Davis and Pete Alonso on the Mets win over the Nationals

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Sure, there were pockmarks in the Mets' 6-5 victory Saturday - the $30 million setup man got walloped for two homers, the Mets blew two leads, and the new catcher was furious at himself for not being able to find a passed ball that led to a run.

But the win over the Nationals showcased two Met strengths, and we're not even referring to starting pitching. The Mets finally flexed their power, more than doubling their home run output for the season, and the club got major contributions from the non-household name portion of their roster.

Tags: Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Anthony McCarron
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Aug 8, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) hits a two run double against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 8, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) hits a two run double against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It's hard to say whether Met hitters flailing and failing Thursday afternoon was the result of a nifty Stephen Strasburg start or exhaustion stemming a bizarre travel schedule the previous night that included a delay while poor Dom Smith chugged water so he could take one of MLB's random drug tests.

Maybe it was a combination and that added up to a dismal showing by their bats in a 4-0 loss to the Nationals. And another oh-fer perhaps cranked up concern about a player who was a smiley, on-base revelation last season - Brandon Nimmo

 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Anthony McCarron
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Injury bug bites again 00:01:13
Yankees stuck out 18 times today against the Tigers, a new team record. All the injuries definitely aren't helping the situation on offense.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

We'd say the Yankees limped out of the Stadium Wednesday evening after their latest sluggish loss, but an injury joke probably hits too close to home for a club that's playing both poorly and losing players seemingly daily.

Troy Tulowitzki is the latest casualty. He left the Yankees' 2-1 loss to the lowly Tigers in the second inning, nursing a Grade 1 left calf strain. Aaron Boone said he didn't have all the details on Tulo's condition, but reckoned the shortstop was heading for the Injured List.

Tags: Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, troy-tulowitzki, Anthony McCarron
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Sam Darnold visits the Bronx 00:02:03
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold takes in all the sights and sounds during his first visit to Yankee Stadium.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Sam Darnold was all smiles Wednesday as he took in pre-game warmups at Yankee Stadium. It might have been the gorgeous weather, but Darnold's got another reason to be so happy these days.

The Jets quarterback is delighted by the addition of running back Le'Veon Bell to Gang Green's offense this offseason. He's so geeked about it he's already been watching film of Bell's moves.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Anthony McCarron
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Sam Darnold visits the Bronx 00:02:03
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold takes in all the sights and sounds during his first visit to Yankee Stadium.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Sam Darnold was all smiles Wednesday as he took in pre-game warmups at Yankee Stadium. It might have been the gorgeous weather, but Darnold's got another reason to be so happy these days.

The Jets quarterback is delighted by the addition of running back Le'Veon Bell to Gang Green's offense this offseason. He's so geeked about it he's already been watching film of Bell's moves.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Anthony McCarron
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New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier looks on prior to the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium. (Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier looks on prior to the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium. (Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Here's how Clint Frazier can make a difference during this absurd spate of Yankee injuries, a bleak streak that claimed both Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar on Monday: 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Andrew Miller, Clint Frazier, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Jacoby Ellsbury, Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar, Anthony McCarron
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Nationals walk-off on Mets 00:01:26
Mickey Callaway, Justin Wilson and Zack Wheeler comment on the Mets comeback before ultimately falling to the Nationals, 6-5

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Extracting the positives from a loss is usually as palatable as digging into the dry chicken dinner usually served at a sports banquet. Losing stings, regardless of what might have gone well during a game or a weekend. 

But while the Mets squandered a nifty comeback Sunday in losing the finale of their opening series, 6-5, to the Nationals, what happened on the field during the three-game set could resonate throughout the year as the two clubs try to navigate the upper reaches of the National League East. 

In fact, manager Mickey Callaway told reporters, the Mets' comeback "put something" in the Nationals' minds, even if that comeback wasn't completed. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Peter Alonso, Robinson Cano, Zack Wheeler, Anthony McCarron
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Mar 30, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos (40) reacts after scoring a run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Mar 30, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos (40) reacts after scoring a run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Late in spring training, a scout who was trailing the Mets said - unprompted - that he believed the club renowned for its pitching was going to hit more than most thought. "They're going to surprise some people scoring runs," the scout noted.

Saturday's 11-8 victory over the Nationals in Washington, D.C. was a ringing endorsement of that opinion. Who knows if the Mets lineup will gorge all year, but at least for one day the offense sparkled enough to gloss over forgettable performances by Noah Syndergaard and Seth Lugo.

If you weren't already thrilled about Pete Alonso's potential and Jeff McNeil's ability to pile up hits, just glance at Saturday's box score. McNeill had the fourth four-hit game of his career and Alonso was 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run. J.D. Davis hit a two-run single to give the Mets the lead for good.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Peter Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Anthony McCarron
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Mar 28, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws to the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Mar 28, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws to the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

After the season Jacob deGrom had in 2018, part of the narrative around him - beyond the contract extension drama and its $137.5-million conclusion, beyond bringing another Cy Young Award into Met lore - was this:

Can he do something that magical again? And this: Is it fair to even ask, considering how it was one of the best pitching seasons of the modern era?

Even if he does not duplicate it, deGrom has established himself as one of the finest pitchers on the planet, maybe the best. So even if he doesn't keep his ERA microscopic and doesn't keep hitters flailing, a follow-up season to history could still be great.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Anthony McCarron
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Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Luke Voit (45) celebrates his three run home run against the Baltimore Orioles with left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Luke Voit (45) celebrates his three run home run against the Baltimore Orioles with left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

If you're looking for Opening Day omens, how's this: At the same time Luke Voit smashed a ball into Monument Park to show that, perhaps, his big splash last year was no fluke, Mariano Rivera was sitting with reporters, recapping his ceremonial first pitch and saying how it was about time for the Yankees to win another championship.

Maybe that was nothing more than a cute juxtaposition, well-timed for Opening Day. But the way the Yanks handled the rest of Thursday afternoon, an easy 7-2 victory over the woeful Orioles, certainly trumpets the idea that they might be destined for big things this season.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The 2018 NL Cy Young Award winner, Mets RHP Jacob deGrom, will face off against Nationals RHP Max Scherzer -- deGrom's runner-up for the award. 

But, with Scherzer capturing the hardware in 2017, would this be considering the best Opening Day pitching matchup ever?

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Anthony McCarron
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Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) runs the bases after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) runs the bases after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When both Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner recently predicted this year's Yankees would break the big-league mark for team home runs set by last year's Yanks, it got us thinking:

Where do these record homer-bashing clubs end up in October? Does owning that prestigious standard all but guarantee a parade that season?

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Anthony McCarron
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Feb 25, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 25, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

James Paxton probably proved last April there's at least some innate grace-under-pressure coursing through his veins. That's when he deftly handled that bald eagle landing on his back during a pre-game ceremony in Minnesota.

Some of us would've had a full freak-out, complete with running, screaming and a mitt and cap flopping to the ground. But Paxton was better than that. Way better. You've seen the viral video. Big Maple has Big Calm.

Does that mean he's a lock to handle the Bronx fishbowl this season, his first as a member of the Yankees? No, but that, plus his undeniable talent, at least makes you want to see him work during the pomp of Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, the kickoff to this season laden with outsized expectations.

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Justus Sheffield, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The length of Bryce Harper's new contract in Philadelphia will be subject to tons of scrutiny. Some chuckles, too -- what's he going to be like in far-off 2031?

That lustrous hair certainly won't be the same. Will that sweet swing? Ha, ha, 13 years is a long, long time.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler, Anthony McCarron
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Judge, Sanchez arbitration 00:01:07
New York Yankees Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge are up for arbitration in 2020, will the Yankees be able to sign them to team friendly deals?

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Luis Severino got paid life-changing money and didn't have to endure the potential hurt feelings that the nitpicking of an arbitration hearing can sometimes make bloom. The Yankees grabbed cost certainty on an ace-level arm. 

And the rest of us scored some juicy topics to kick around when the Yanks and Severino came to an agreement Friday on a contract extension for the righty. Especially this: 

Does Severino's deal signal that the Yanks are ready to talk pre-free agency deals with the rest of their young studs? In other words, on deck, Aaron Judge

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony McCarron
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New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (AP)
New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (AP)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Luis Severino got paid life-changing money and didn't have to endure the potential hurt feelings that the nitpicking of an arbitration hearing can sometimes make bloom. The Yankees grabbed cost certainty on an ace-level arm. 

And the rest of us scored some juicy topics to kick around when the Yanks and Severino came to an agreement Friday on a contract extension for the righty. Especially this: 

Does Severino's deal signal that the Yanks are ready to talk pre-free agency deals with the rest of their young studs? In other words, on deck, Aaron Judge

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony McCarron
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Aug 29, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) tips his helmet after hitting a grand slam home run against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Young)
Aug 29, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) tips his helmet after hitting a grand slam home run against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Young)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | : There are stars, bargains, and talent that's in-between still remaining on baseball's free agent market, even though it sometimes seems the pilot light has gone out on the Hot Stove season.

But does waiting too long to sign with a team negatively impact the kind of season a player figures to have? Neil Walker thinks so and has "the worst month-and-a-half of my entire career last year" to offer as evidence.

Walker signed with the Yankees on March 12 and had a lousy start to a subpar season, with his lack of a proper spring training at least partly to blame, the veteran says.

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Sep 27, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;New York Yankees third baseman Neil Walker (14) looks on during the first inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 27, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;New York Yankees third baseman Neil Walker (14) looks on during the first inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | : There are stars, bargains, and talent that's in-between still remaining on baseball's free agent market, even though it sometimes seems the pilot light has gone out on the Hot Stove season.

But does waiting too long to sign with a team negatively impact the kind of season a player figures to have? Neil Walker thinks so and has "the worst month-and-a-half of my entire career last year" to offer as evidence.

Walker signed with the Yankees on March 12 and had a lousy start to a subpar season, with his lack of a proper spring training at least partly to blame, the veteran says.

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Could this be Mets 2019 bullpen? 00:00:30
The New York Mets have made a lot of moves this offseason to help strengthen their bullpen, is this how it will look in 2019?

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Before we throw too many compliments around, let's see how this revamped Mets' bullpen performs in the cauldron of the regular season for Brodie Van Wagenen's "Come get us" Mets. 
 
Relief pitchers are, after all, a famously combustible lot that can experience dips and surges in performance from year to year.
 
But the Mets' relief corps is, on paper, at least, much deeper this winter and the addition Friday of lefty Justin Wilson only bulks up a unit that mostly betrayed the club last year, even as Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo emerged as bullpen assets. 

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, Anthony McCarron
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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | : In prepping for Mariano Rivera's inevitable (duh!) election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, I toured his pages on the indispensible Baseball Reference. To go there is to get lost in a rabbit hole of Rivera's pitching excellence. 

There's Rivera's absurd 205 career ERA-plus, which is the best of all time, and his 652 saves, the most ever. Or his ridiculous postseason numbers -- 0.70 ERA, 0.759 WHIP, just two October homers in 141 high-pressure innings. Keep going -- you might calculate the last digit of Pi before you run out of fascinating Rivera numbers. 

Heck, he even adds a signature number now, becoming the first player to get 100% of the vote on the ballots of members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, this one included...

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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | : Mel Zitter is already thinking about summer nights at Yankee Stadium, watching two of his former pupils working in the bullpen, wearing pinstripes.

"That's going to be a trip," Zitter says, chuckling.

It should be a point of pride for Zitter, since he runs Youth Service, the Brooklyn sandlot club that new Yankee teammates Dellin Betances and Adam Ottavino both pitched for in the mid-2000s.

Tags: Dellin Betances, Anthony McCarron
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Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth inning.  (AP)
Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth inning. (AP)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Let's start the discussion of my 2019 ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame with an easy one: Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer in history, gets my vote en route to enshrinement. 
 
Any objections? No? 
 
That won't last long. 

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Aug 22, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (68) hits an RBI single against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 22, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (68) hits an RBI single against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Might be a strange way to start a story about Jeff McNeil, but here goes: Jed Lowrie is a very good ballplayer.

The Mets are a better club after adding Lowrie on a two-year, $20-million deal Thursday. He's no "if," that's for sure. And the Mets should be applauded for bringing in a switch-hitter who should play regularly around the infield and deliver offense, even if some believe they needed a righty outfielder more.

But signing Lowrie makes us wonder about McNeil, a second-half sensation last year: Where does he fit now on this Mets roster?

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Anthony McCarron
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Jun 12, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
Jun 12, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Terry Francona knows all about a rough first year as a manager, considering he had it worse back in 1997 in Philadelphia than his friend, Mickey Callaway, did with the Mets last season.

Francona, who came into that year "naïve" by his own admission, piloted the Phillies to a 68-94 record in his inaugural season on the bench. He's since gone on to become one of baseball's most successful and respected skippers, winning two World Series with Boston and winning the last three American League Central titles in Cleveland.

Asked to assess the rookie season of his former pitching coach - Callaway guided the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2018 - Francona said, "I think he's incredibly talented and confident in what he's doing.

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Times Square isn't the only place where the ball drops around here. Difference is, when it happens in the stadiums and playing fields of New York, with pigskin and horsehide instead of the 12-foot diameter geodesic sphere plummeting on New Year's Eve, you're not always looking to celebrate afterward.

There have been some notorious "drops" in NYC sports history, moments that have helped derail championship hopes, besmirched reps and provided endless video low lights for the type of person who can't look away from a wreck.

In some cases, one New York team has benefited from another's folly -- Luis Castillo's drop, anyone? In others, it's been nothing but heartbreak.

Tags: Alex Rodriguez, Odell Beckham Jr., Anthony McCarron
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Times Square isn't the only place where the ball drops around here. Difference is, when it happens in the stadiums and playing fields of New York, with pigskin and horsehide instead of the 12-foot diameter geodesic sphere plummeting on New Year's Eve, you're not always looking to celebrate afterward.

There have been some notorious "drops" in NYC sports history, moments that have helped derail championship hopes, besmirched reps and provided endless video low lights for the type of person who can't look away from a wreck.

In some cases, one New York team has benefited from another's folly -- Luis Castillo's drop, anyone? In others, it's been nothing but heartbreak.

Tags: Alex Rodriguez, Odell Beckham Jr., Anthony McCarron
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New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez celebrates with teammates after an interleague baseball game against the New York Mets Friday, June 12, 2009, in New York. The Yankees won the game 9-8. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez celebrates with teammates after an interleague baseball game against the New York Mets Friday, June 12, 2009, in New York. The Yankees won the game 9-8. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Times Square isn't the only place where the ball drops around here. Difference is, when it happens in the stadiums and playing fields of New York, with pigskin and horsehide instead of the 12-foot diameter geodesic sphere plummeting on New Year's Eve, you're not always looking to celebrate afterward.

There have been some notorious "drops" in NYC sports history, moments that have helped derail championship hopes, besmirched reps and provided endless video low lights for the type of person who can't look away from a wreck.

In some cases, one New York team has benefited from another's folly -- Luis Castillo's drop, anyone? In others, it's been nothing but heartbreak.

Tags: Alex Rodriguez, Odell Beckham Jr., Anthony McCarron
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Brian Cashman Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Brian Cashman Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Aside from a few nifty quips by Bryce Harper's agent, there was little real action on baseball's two biggest free agents at this week's Winter Meetings. Harper and Scott Boras sat down with a few clubs and Manny Machado has meet-and-greets scheduled in the coming days, but neither player seems close to a resolution. 

Instead, the best intel to come out of Las Vegas might have been about the developing bullpen market. Or further confirmation that shopping for a top-end catcher, by trade or free agency, will be pricey. 

That affects both the Yankees and Mets, who are searching for upgrades. Here's a look at the market following the week in Vegas. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Brandon Nimmo, David Robertson, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony McCarron
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