John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

For the sake of conversation, with no baseball to cover anytime soon, I'm taking on a question people have asked often over the years:

"Who's your favorite player to cover?"

With that in mind, I'm tapping into my -- too many -- years of experience, as a Mets' beat writer for The Post, a Yankees' beat writer and then general baseball columnist for the Daily News, and for the last couple of years, a freelancer for SNY.

The criteria is simple: a relatively high-profile player I considered the most compelling to interview over the years -- or had some personal reason to include. There were plenty of candidates, many of them going back to the '80s Mets and a time when players were far more likely to speak their mind, but in grading on a curve current stars Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso were easy choices as well. 

In any case, I tried to give you a feel here for why I picked each one, stretching the word count to the point that I'll save my least favorites for another day. 

1. David Cone

As accountable at his locker in good times and bad as he was candid, Cone set the standard for how to deal with the media in New York, and now he's one of the best TV analysts in baseball on YES Network, combining his analytics smarts with his, well, earthy sense of humor. 

So many stories from covering him, especially as a Met: my favorite was Cone's insistence on playing pick-up basketball at a St. Louis YMCA with some of us beat writers one day in '92, when he was months from becoming a free agent, and then getting into a fight with a local guy before we hustled him out of there, thankful Twitter hadn't been invented yet. 

Then there was the time in '91 that Cone refused to go along with manager Buddy Harrelson's order that he lie to the media about a blow-up the two of them had in the dugout during a game, knowing the cover-up would only make it a bigger story at some point. 

Perhaps the truest test of Cone's accountability was his ownership of his infamous ghost-written column after Game 1 of the '88 NLCS, which infuriated the Dodgers and thus freaked him out, essentially costing the Mets Game 2. I'd guess conservatively that 95 percent of players in that spot would have blamed the writer, Bob Klapisch of the Daily News, but Cone owned it. He also came back to pitch a gem in Game 6 in LA, showing his grit with the Mets facing elimination, setting up a Game 7. 

2. Keith Hernandez

No surprise, right? What you see and hear in the SNY booth during games gives you an indication of what it was like covering Hernandez as a player. Nobody offered more insight about strategy, pitcher-hitter confrontations, etc., which made him a go-to interview after almost every game. 

And, no surprise as well, Keith enjoyed the give-and-take with the press. He'd sit at his locker at Shea, sipping Michelob Lights that he kept in an ice bucket next to him (suffice it to say that day is long gone), his quotes sometimes becoming more provocative the longer he spoke. 

Of course, he'd sometimes save his best stuff for individual conversations that were at least partly off-the-record, which was why us beat writers doubled and tripled back to his locker some nights. 

But suffice it to say that Keith was plenty quotable on the record, never more so than April 26th, 1988, in Atlanta when he hit two HRs and drove in seven runs to break out of a big slump on the same day his marriage legally ended: "If I got divorced every day," he said giddily, "I'd be in the Hall of Fame."

3. Alex Rodriguez

Villains often make for the most interesting columns, and for a long time A-Rod was the ultimate villain, viewed as the anti-Jeter among Yankee fans and the most notorious of the steroid users in the post-Bonds/Clemens era. 

 But he was also a fascinating guy to talk to in the Yankees' clubhouse because he'd give you on-the-record insight into game situations, and off-the-record insight into just about anything else if he deemed you worthy of his time. 

In that sense he often treated me -- and other columnists -- better than the beat guys, which wasn't cool, but in a clubhouse where Derek Jeter's blandness set the example for other players, A-Rod was practically a lifeline for anyone looking for some personality. 

And he was never short on opinions, especially off the record. He loved playing GM, whether it was dissecting trades around the majors or questioning Brian Cashman's moves. He had a lot of good ideas, though insisting privately for awhile in 2011 that Eduardo Nunez should be playing left field over Brett Gardner wasn't one of them, and in 2016 he was willing to bet me that Tiger Woods, then at his lowest point, would win The Masters again. Fortunately, I declined. 

4. Michael Conforto

This one might surprise you because Conforto doesn't come across as all that colorful, but from the first time I interviewed him in 2015 I was struck by his maturity, his baseball smarts, and his plain likeability. 

He may not be all that quotable in group settings, but individually he's a very interesting subject whose perspective is shaped by his unique upbringing, raised by a mother who was an Olympic athlete and a father who played college football at Penn State. 

I especially admired that perspective when I interviewed him during spring training in 2017, at a time when Bryce Harper and other young players were being very public about the need to make baseball more fun via bat flips, celebrations, etc. 

Conforto could have easily gone along with that wave of sentiment. Instead when I asked him about it, he made the case that he'd always been taught that sportsmanship was important in sports, and while there was nothing wrong with celebrating a big moment with emotion, there would always be a line for him that he wouldn't cross if it meant showing up an opponent. 

5. Gary Sheffield

Talk about keeping it real. Sheffield was about as unfiltered as anyone I've developed a relationship with over the years. He was never shy about spouting criticism, whether it was of Cashman, Joe Torre, or Barry Bonds, and all of it was always on the record. 

In an era when players were making themselves less and less available in the clubhouse before batting practice, Sheffield was usually sitting at his locker, often wrapping tape around his bats, willing to engage you on just about any subject.

He didn't mind if you disagreed either, which I did on occasion. You just knew that one way or another, he wasn't going to let you walk away until he had the last word. 

6. Wally Backman

In the 1980s-era Mets' clubhouse full of big personalities, one more quotable than the other, Backman stood out because of his brash opinions, whether it was famously accusing Darryl Strawberry of faking sickness to hide his hangovers -- "nobody gets sick that many times" -- or proclaiming disgust after being shut down by some no-name pitcher "with Triple-A stuff." 
 
You couldn't help but like him for his grit and his will to win, and I got to know Backman pretty well when I ghost-wrote his column in The Post during the '88 playoffs. It didn't get the attention that Cone's did, but Backman was his usual straight-talking self, telling me the Mets were the better team before and after the series they lost.

Backman never got his shot to manage in the big leagues, because of the off-the-field issues and arrests that came to light only days after he was hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004. Since then the Mets are the only major-league organization that has given him a shot, but he was too talkative for Sandy Alderson's liking and despite Backman's success in Triple-A, it was only a matter of time before he was out of the organization.

He remains the manager of the Long Island Ducks (he was acquitted in January of a domestic-abuse charge brought last September), but I think he would have been a very good big-league manager. I'm not sure how long his candor would have survived televised press conferences, but it would have been fascinating to find out.

7. Pete Alonso

Funny, when his agents went public with Alonso's unhappiness over not getting a September call-up in 2018, you couldn't help but think he might not be a good fit in New York. And, of course, he turned out to be just the opposite, as likeable as he was a power-hitting sensation.

As a columnist I liked that Alonso didn't shy away from his newfound fame, remaining remarkably accessible and authentic last season in a clubhouse that was in need of a daily team spokesman. 

He was insightful in detailing his thinking at the plate in various situations, as well as his habit of keeping notes on pitchers, and he didn't mind telling the world how badly he wanted to win the Home Run Derby as well. 

In Port St. Lucie this spring he seemed just as willing to continue the conversation, a good sign that stardom won't necessarily change that friendly demeanor.

8. Darryl Strawberry

In his younger days Strawberry could actually be quite difficult, depending on his mood, but on his good days he loved to talk, and as a young Met he didn't mind stirring it up if you asked him the right questions. 

Mostly, however, I'll always owe Strawberry my gratitude for intervening one day when an irate Howard Johnson wanted to strangle me over something I'd written. Darryl noticed the confrontation, in the visitors' clubhouse in Montreal, and stuck up for me vocally in helping to calm the situation.

HoJo would apologize a couple of days later, admitting he was having a hard time dealing with a mental block about making throws from third. But the situation could have gotten ugly if not for Strawberry.

9. David Wright

In a lot of ways Wright, somewhat like Jeter across town, mastered the art of speaking without saying much. But he was much easier to warm up to on an individual basis, offering insightful tidbits if you were talking to him alone that made him a far more interesting interview.

At least that was my experience with Wright, I think partly because he always appreciated a column I wrote during the 2006 postseason, making a point that he was accountable and accessible despite slumping badly at the time. 

In truth, he earned that type of respect from just about every baseball writer in New York. He just had a classy way of dealing with people, to the point where he went out of his way to get my phone number from Jay Horwitz and give me a call after I was laid off by the Daily News in 2018. It's not a gesture I'd ever expect from a pro athlete but it was much appreciated.

10. Bob Ojeda/Ron Darling

They couldn't be more different in some ways, but I'm combining Ojeda and Darling for my final spot because they were very much alike in their willingness as players to share insights with me about pitching that made for many a story or column.

Ojeda was a little more straightforward and unflinching in his opinions, where Darling was more careful in the words he chose -- except perhaps when firing back at Davey Johnson over the manager's calculated criticism of his pitching at the time. 

Yet both pitchers could break down the thought process in working a hitter or a lineup like few others I've encountered over the years. That thinking-man's approach not only helped them achieve success in the big leagues but, as it turned out, careers in TV as well. 


CERRONE: Mets Mailbag on Jake Marisnick's role, if this 4-man rotation rivals 1986 and more >> Read More

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Tags: Alex Rodriguez, David Wright, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso
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Click below to see how the Mets fared against the Astros in Game 10 of their virtual season on MLB The Show 20. 

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Brodie Van Wagenen's first big move as Mets general manager was orchestrating a trade that brought Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the Mets. Both had their share of struggles in 2019, though. 

On the latest edition of Loud Mouths: The Great Debate, SNY's Gary Apple and Maria Marino discuss which player the Mets will need a better 2020 season from ...

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano
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In the latest episode of Baseball Night in New York: Living Room Edition, the crew discusses the reported 'Arizona plan' that baseball is said to be considering to start the 2020 season. Doug Williams, Todd Zeile and Anthony Recker give their thoughts on how this newly discussed plan could impact the game, plus an in-depth discussion on Amed Rosario's future with the Mets ...

Tags: Amed Rosario
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Mar 26, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; A general view of Citi Field. The season opener between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets has been postponed due the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Mar 26, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; A general view of Citi Field. The season opener between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets has been postponed due the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon sent the team's season ticket holders a letter on Tuesday, which a recipient forwarded to SNY.

Here's what the letter said...

Dear Mets fans:

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Apr 21, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; A general view of game action between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
Apr 21, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; A general view of game action between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

For about three weeks, a small group of industry insiders have been working 18-hour days assembling a plan for MLB to play its season in Arizona, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the process.

During that process, high-ranking members of the medical community have signed on to the details of a plan that would be heavy on social distancing, per those sources.

This approval comes from government health agencies, not the wing of the Donald Trump administration that had proven eager to open the economy before the COVID-19 pandemic risk subsides. In other words, the officials open to this are the ones who have generally proven themselves more aligned with the scientific community.

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In our first edition of Time Machine Tuesday, we flash back to July 15, 2018 when Pete Alonso was one of the main highlights of the Future Games during All-Star Weekend. 

He spoke with SNY's Justine Ward after to discuss his "immaculate" homer...

Tags: Pete Alonso
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Feb 29, 2020; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) takes first base against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 29, 2020; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) takes first base against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso penned an impassioned missive last week directed to the fans, telling them how much he missed baseball and imploring them to "shake the damn stadium" when baseball finally returns to Citi Field.

In the meantime, Alonso -- like every other player -- is preparing in isolation for what he hopes will be the start of the season.

And after smashing the rookie home run record in 2019, Alonso wants to master something else in 2020.

Tags: Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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Rob Manfred (Orlando Ramirez)
Rob Manfred (Orlando Ramirez)

Major League Baseball released a statement on Tuesday following a report by ESPN's Jeff Passan that the league and players were "increasingly focused" on a plan to start the season in Arizona as early as May.

"MLB has been actively considering numerous contingency plans that would allow play to commence once the public health situation has improved to the point that it is safe to do so. While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan. While we continue to interact regularly with governmental and public health officials, we have not sought or received approval of any plan from federal, state and local officials, or the Players Association. The health and safety of our employees, players, fans and the public at large are paramount, and we are not ready at this time to endorse any particular format for staging games in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the coronavirus."

In Passan's report, he said the league had "support of high-ranking federal public health officials who believe the league can safely operate amid the coronavirus pandemic."

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Apr 13, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; A general view of game action between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres during the fourth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
Apr 13, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; A general view of game action between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres during the fourth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

With "support of high-ranking federal public health officials who believe the league can safely operate amid the coronavirus pandemic," Major League Baseball and its players are "increasingly focused" on a plan that would allow for the 2020 season to begin as early as May, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported early Tuesday.

According to the report, the plan -- which has been in motion for a while -- would have all 30 big league teams playing in Arizona (near Phoenix) in ballparks without fans while remaining isolated near the Phoenix area.

Those ballparks would include Chase Field -- the retractable roof home of the Arizona Diamondbacks -- as well as the 10 spring training ballparks in the area and "perhaps other nearby fields."

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Here is the Sports Squared crossword puzzle for Tuesday, April 7, called 2015 Mets: Almost a Miracle...

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Chase Field (Joe Camporeale)
Chase Field (Joe Camporeale)

During a conference call with MLB and MLBPA on Monday, the idea of playing solely in Arizona was tossed around as both sides continue to try to find a way to have a 2020 season, according to the Associated Press

The spread of coronavirus continues around the country, but the league is still trying to make sure it can salvage some sort of season. And having it in the Phoenix area -- one that has Chase Field and 10 spring training parks for the Cactus League within 50 miles of each other -- could be the perfect landing spot. 

"It allows for immediacy of a schedule, where you might be able to begin it and televise it, provide Major League Baseball to America," agent Scott Boras said. "I think players are willing to do what's necessary because I think they understand the importance of baseball for their own livelihoods and for the interest of our country and providing a necessary product that gives all the people that are isolated enjoyment."

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Feb 29, 2020; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz (32) started the game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 29, 2020; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz (32) started the game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Steven Matz is well aware that when an athlete invokes his or her religious faith, it can sound like the recitation of a cliche. 

In fact, when asked on Monday why he has felt so compelled as a young man to use his platform in service of others, he hesitated before answering, for that exact reason.

Tags: Steven Matz, Andy Martino
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Feb 17, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 17, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

An MLB-record 6,776 home runs were hit during the 2019 regular season, up from 5,585 in 2018, with many fly balls that had been fly outs in the past (or extra-base hits) instead sailing out of ballparks.

In addition to the baseballs during the 2019 regular season flying differently once they were hit was the fact that lower seams and a slicker surface hindered pitchers from being able to grip and/or control the baseball like they were used to.

Then came the 2019 postseason, when the balls were seemingly de-juiced. 

So what happened?

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Ron Darling, SNY.tv

Nothing about baseball today.

Just wanted to say thank you to all the hospitals, doctors and nurses for their tireless work to keep us safe. This is a scary time for all of us and it is times like these where we bear witness to those who make life manageable.  

And for all of us in New York, please follow the direction of Governor Cuomo and do your part in these challenging times. COVID-19 is a serious matter and please take all steps in order to help stop the spread of the virus.

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SNY's Doug Williams checks in from home with a new edition of Doug's Diary. Does Pete Alonso deserve to be the new captain of the Mets? Plus, thoughts on The Sopranos...

Tags: Pete Alonso
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen posted a message on Monday to healthcare workers who are on the front lines battling the coronavirus pandemic.

"As we all stay home and follow the guidelines of our health officials, I just wanted to give a big thank you to the doctors, the nurses, and all of our healthcare workers for keeping us safe, for going to work, and fighting this pandemic on the front lines every day," Van Wagenen said. "But it's those of you that are getting people healthy, getting people back home to their families, and putting yourselves at risk -- sacrificing for the better good of our entire community. Thank you to all of you and let's get through this together. Thanks."

Watch Van Wagenen's full message below:

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In this edition of SNY's Out of Office Replies, Steve Gelbs loves Igor Shesterkin's future with the Rangers, picks Steven Matz to break out, and more!

Tags: Steven Matz
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Here is the Sports Squared crossword puzzle for Monday, April 6, called New York Sports Rivals (Since 1990)...

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Mets on MLB The Show
Mets on MLB The Show

Click below to see how the Mets fared against the Nationals in Game 9 of their virtual season on MLB The Show 20. 

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There's more that was discussed in the latest edition of The Cookie Club with J.D. and Dom, where J.D. Davis, Dom Smith and SNY's Steve Gelbs also brought up Marcus Stroman. Does Dom really believe he has a stronger core than the man that said he has the strongest one in the league? 

Tags: Dominic Smith, JD Davis
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Mets reliever Edwin Diaz, who is hoping to bounce back in 2020 if/when the season gets underway, is staying ready with MLB on hold indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Diaz's biggest bugaboo in 2019 was his slider -- specifically his inability to harness it, with the pitch often hanging in the fat part of the strike zone and getting smoked.

The slider was something Diaz was working on during spring training, with the pitch coming in at the bottom of the zone most often during games. And the one he broke off on Saturday looked nasty. Click below to watch...

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Danny Abriano
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On the latest edition of SNY's Out of Office Replies, Anthony Recker shares a funny Bartolo Colon story, explains how he knew Jacob deGrom could win the Cy Young, and more.

Tags: Anthony Recker, Bartolo Colon, Jacob deGrom
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Ron Darling, SNY.tv

Jacob deGrom is a gift from the gods for someone like me. I have been fortunate enough to witness almost all of his starts in the major leagues and this has to feel like it felt for Ralph Kiner watching Tom Seaver all of those years.
 
Quite simply, IMO, he is the best starting pitcher in baseball. There was a time you could make the case for the precision of Greg Maddux or the sheer power of Randy Johnson, but Pedro Martinez had the combination of both. Jake is his generation's Pedro. This takes nothing away from the magic of Max, the overpowering Cole, or the sustained excellence of Clayton. 

DeGrom is now locked inside a vortex of athleticism, pitching intelligence and at the peak of his powers. What a sight to behold! 

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Mets third baseman Jeff McNeil, joined by his wife, Tatiana, and their dog, Willow, issued a message of thanks to healthcare workers who are doing everything they can to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso
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Click below to watch the virtual Mets take on the virtual Nats in game 8 of the Mets' season on MLB The Show 20.

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Aug 11, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the MLB logo with Colorado Rockies batting gear on it during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Colorado Rockies won 12-9. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)
Aug 11, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the MLB logo with Colorado Rockies batting gear on it during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Colorado Rockies won 12-9. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)

MLB, in addition to other professional sports leagues, is trying to find a safe way to still have a 2020 season -- one of the most common ideas has been to hold games in one location with no fans.

Major league sources told SNY's Andy Martino last month that MLB is determined to salvage some sort of baseball in 2020, and is still figuring out how that will look in the age of the coronavirus pandemic.

Though there haven't been any serious talks yet about baseball being played at netural sites, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic writes that baseball is entertaining the idea of starting the season in a location where "spring training parks are more concentrated." But, as the story points out, there would be numerous hurdles to overcome.

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In the latest edition of SNY's Out of Office Replies, Doug Williams says why he believes in Marcus Stroman, gives his sandwich recommendation, and more!

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Ron Darling, SNY.tv

How do you get into the business? I'm asked this question all the time, and I am probably the wrong person to ask. Let's be real, I have my job because I used to throw a baseball at a high level.

Three things (two you can control)...

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Feb 18, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets manager Luis Rojas swings a bat between workout stations at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 18, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets manager Luis Rojas swings a bat between workout stations at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Luis Rojas has waited a long time to get his shot at managing the Mets, and he's now dealing with a delay to his first season that the game of baseball has "never seen before."

Rojas, hired by the Mets this offseason after the team and Carlos Beltran parted ways, recently spoke to Nathalie Alonso of MLB.com. On a call from Port St. Lucie, Rojas talked about the adjustments that he's needed to make on the fly as the coronavirus outbreak continues.

"Obviously, with what's going on with the virus, it's something we've never seen before, so we're swimming in unfamiliar waters as far as being able to anticipate what's going to happen in the future," Rojas told MLB.com. "But as far as adjusting and adapting, like we're all doing in our lives, I think [the baseball mentality] has helped us as a team."

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New York Mets' David Wright watches his two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of a baseball game in New York, Sunday, April 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill) (Paul J. Bereswill/AP)
New York Mets' David Wright watches his two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of a baseball game in New York, Sunday, April 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill) (Paul J. Bereswill/AP)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Everything that follows is true and right, because it is my opinion.

In recent months, a troubling trend has emerged, and it's time we addressed it. Several prominent Mets players and many fans have spoken up in favor of a return to the black jerseys that the team wore as their alternate uniforms from 1998-2011.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Andy Martino
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Gary Cohen, SNY.tv

Here's a Q&A with SNY play-by-play announcer Gary Cohen about David Wright's career and his final game. Tune in to SNY on Saturday and Sunday to re-watch the broadcast of that magical game at Citi Field. 


How would you describe the atmosphere at Citi Field during Wright's final game? What still sticks with you? 

I think the best way to put it is that it was a night of love and appreciation. As much as David Wright was beloved by Mets fans, there was always a sense that he was taken for granted, even overlooked because he was so steady, so non-controversial. The two seasons at the end, when he was unable to play, gave people a chance to remember just how important David was to the fabric of the franchise and the experience of being a Mets fan over the previous decade and a half. So when the fans had one more chance to let David know how they felt about him, they held nothing back. It was a sea of warmth all night.

There were so many memorable moments. David's toddler daughter throwing out the first pitch. The reaction to his every movement. The vitriol directed at Peter O'Brien when he caught the foul pop-up in David's final at-bat. David coming up to the booth in full uniform. The utter joy and love on the faces of the fans in front of our booth when they realized David was there. And most of all, the recurring theme of David's desire to play one last game: the fact that neither of his daughters had ever seen him play. He needed completion for himself, but also for his family.

Tags: David Wright, Pete Alonso
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Keith Hernandez, SNY.tv | Twitter |

So much has been said and written about my brother Gary and me, and our ever-present father John. So in my first essay for SNY's website, I would like to share some thoughts with you about my mother, Jacquelyn Jordan Hernandez.

My mother was born on Feb. 9, 1929 in Beaumont, Texas, the second of what would be four children, my mother the only girl. My grandfather, R.D. was a rough-and-tumble Texas wildcatter who worked the oil fields at Port Arthur.

My maternal grandparents divorced at some point early in my mom's life. That's when my grandmother went to work for Ma Bell, and Mom's brother Carlos, being the oldest man in the family, had to quit school and go to work as well. With grandma working days, my mom had to babysit and raise her younger siblings, Jerry and Donald. Donald was sickly as a child (Rheumatic fever) and required extra care.

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In the latest episode of Baseball Night in New York: Living Room Edition, the crew goes through The Lineup Card. Tune in as Andy Martino, Anthony Recker, and Steve Gelbs go one-through-nine, answering questions about the Mets' current uniforms, which Yankee will take the biggest leap in 2020, and much more ...

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Aug 5, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) reacts after hitting a solo home run against the Miami Marlins during the seventh inning of game two of a doubleheader at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 5, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) reacts after hitting a solo home run against the Miami Marlins during the seventh inning of game two of a doubleheader at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

This shouldn't be a surprise coming from the same guy who originated the #LFGM rallying cry last season, but Mets first baseman Pete Alonso penned an emotional missive on Friday as he reflected on the 2019 season and looked forward to the start of the delayed 2020 season.

"I catch myself every night watching 2019 Mets highlights," Alonso wrote in a post to Twitter. "The amount of time watching them varies, but it's a nightly routine at this point. Rewatching the crowd erupt and remembering those moments as I saw them never ceases to give me goose bumps

"I miss the feel of the Citi Field dirt beneath my cleats. As I'm writing this now, I can still see pitchers get nasty and go get a big strike out, someone running down a missile in the gap and making a diving catch, someone twisting up a sexy double play up the middle: I see it and remember it all. The thing that I remember the most is the roar from the fans after a play was made.

Tags: Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

Brodie Van Wagenen said soon after signing Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello that the Mets had one of the deepest rotations in baseball. Now without Noah Syndergaard, Van Wagenen is confident his team will "rise to the challenge."

"Noah is a big part of the Mets family,'' Van Wagenen said in a text to Dan Martin of the New York Post. "Losing a player like him for the season is tough, but we are confident in the other pitchers we have on the roster can rise to the challenge. Adding depth to our rotation was a priority this offseason. Both Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha are proven Starting Pitchers with championship pedigrees who have been very impressive this Spring.''

As had been the case before the Mets signed Wacha and Porcello -- temporarily giving them six starting pitchers for five rotation spots -- Van Wagenen also talked up Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman as part of the team's starting rotation depth with Syndergaard out for the entire 2020 season and perhaps into 2021.

Tags: David Peterson, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Walker Lockett, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Since their inception in 1962, lots of incredible players have donned the orange and blue. Below, the All-Time 25-man roster is unveiled.

But first, some rules...

In order to be eligible for the team, a player must have spent a solid chunk of his career in Queens and experienced part of his peak during that time. That means Pedro Martinez and Nolan Ryan won't be in the starting rotation and Willie Mays won't be patrolling center field.

Tags: David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jose Reyes, Juan Lagares, Luis Guillorme, Danny Abriano
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With just about all gyms and public fields closed, athletes are doing everything they can to maintain their workout schedule while at home.

By the looks of it, Tim Tebow's home routine is going quite well. 

The Mets minor leaguer posted a series of workout videos and photos to his Instagram account on Wednesday, detailing how he's altered his workouts during baseball's hiatus while working out of what appears to be his garage.

Tags: Tim Tebow
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In the latest episode of Baseball Night in New York: Living Room Edition, the crew discusses Jeff McNeil's 2019 season with the Mets in detail, from his red-hot first half to a much more powerful approach in the second half ...

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In this edition of Beyond the Booth, Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling each give their top three albums of all time. Find out which band all three included on their lists ...

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SNY's Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling answer questions during Beyond the Booth Live, hosted by Steve Gelbs on Thursdays at 4 p.m.


Click below to watch

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Mar 26, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; A general view of Citi Field. The season opener between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets has been postponed due the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Mar 26, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; A general view of Citi Field. The season opener between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets has been postponed due the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Major League Baseball and the Players Association are willing to consider just about any idea that will enable them to salvage a piece of the 2020 season, including playing games at neutral sites.

That would seem especially relevant to the Mets and Yankees, who play their home games in a city that has become the country's worst hotspot for coronavirus. But there have not yet been serious discussions about moving New York games to other locations, according to people familiar with MLB's thinking.

As of Thursday morning, New York state had 92,381 confirmed cases of coronavirus discovered with more than 51,809 in New York City. The state had approximately 38 percent of the cases in the entire United States.

Tags: Zack Britton, Andy Martino
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Click below to watch the virtual Mets take on the virtual Nats in game 7 of the Mets' season on MLB The Show 20.

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On Episode 2 of The Cookie Club, Steve Gelbs was joined by Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis to discuss a number of issues, including one that relates to the team's wardrobe. 

Yes, the Mets' black uniforms are very polarizing. You either love them or you hate them, and there seems to be no middle ground. 

But a good number of people want to see the black jerseys brought back, and it sounds like Smith and Davis are 100 percent on board. 

"I mean, the old-school black, that's obvious, like that should already be in the rotation," said Smith. "I say we need to bring back maybe the Los Mets ones, the all-orange. I like the orange unis, those were pretty sick, or even the old school 1986 team, the pinstripes, I mean I like that one too. We need a rotation of like five unis so we can swag out. We need the orange. I even like the camo every Sunday for military appreciation night. We gotta swag it out!"

Tags: Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Pete Alonso
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On Episode 2 of The Cookie Club with J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith, the guys share their favorite 2019 moments and review Pete Alonso's dancing...

Tags: Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Pete Alonso
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In the latest episode of Baseball Night in New York: Living Room Edition, the crew plays Rapid Fire for the first time from their own living rooms. Tune in to see how the guys fare in rattling off lists of Mets and Yankees, as well as other MLB notable names ...

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Mets' Pete Alonso (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Pete Alonso (Treated Image by SNY)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets are currently brushing up against the $208 million luxury tax threshold and are perhaps unlikely to reach any extensions with players of their own until they get some salary cap relief.

But that relief should come after the 2020 season, when Yoenis Cespedes, Wilson Ramos, Marcus Stroman, and others are off the books, freeing up tens of millions of dollars in 2021 and beyond.

With the above in mind, and with the goal being to win now and in the future, the Mets would be wise to lay the groundwork for potential extensions for some of the players below, with an eye on striking deals soon after the 2020 season ends...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Mets-Phillies
Mets-Phillies

See how the Mets fared against the Phillies in Game 6 of the digital season on MLB The Show 20.

Click below to watch

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Former Met Wilmer Flores -- now with the San Francisco Giants -- is staying ready for the season poolside -- and his mom is helping out.

Click below to see...

Tags: Wilmer Flores
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