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

ABRIANO: 4 ways MLB's delayed season could impact Mets >> Read More

ABRIANO: Mets 26-man roster prediction 4.0 for 2020 MLB season >> Read More

Tags: Alex Rodriguez, David Wright, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso
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MLB
MLB

The Mets are among teams that have released minor leaguers on Thursday, per The Score's Robert Murray

The Brewers, Nationals and Mariners were also among known teams that have let go some of its prospects. 

Unfortunately, these cuts shouldn't come as a surprise as the coronavirus pandemic hasn't just been wreaking havoc in Major League Baseball, but in Minor League Baseball as well. 

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Daniel Murphy's 2015 postseason run is something Mets fans will never forget. 

After hitting just 14 home runs in the regular season, Murphy became a legend in the postseason, belting seven home runs in a nine-game span, helping the Mets defeat the Dodgers in five games and then sweep the Chicago Cubs to win the NL pennant. 

On the latest Beyond the Booth Live, SNY's Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, and Keith Hernandez looked back on Murphy's meteoric playoff rise. 

Tags: Daniel Murphy
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See how the Mets fared against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 56 of the virtual season on MLB The Show 20.

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Aug 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) runs the bases celebrating his solo home run in the fourth inning setting the Mets all time single season home run record against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) runs the bases celebrating his solo home run in the fourth inning setting the Mets all time single season home run record against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Odds with a + in front show how much money would be won on a $100 bet. Odds with a - in front show how much money someone would have to wager to win $100.


Mets first baseman Pete Alonso hit 53 homers in 2019 as he shattered the single-season rookie record and led all of the majors. While Alonso is among the favorites to hit the most homers during a shortened 2020 season that could be roughly 82 games, he is not the favorite.

Here are the players with the best odds, per BetMGM:

Tags: Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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In the latest edition of Beyond the Booth, Gary, Keith and Ron play "Rapid Replies," where they say the first word that comes to their mind when they hear another. 

What do think when they hear "Shea?" How about "Citi Field?" Check it out...

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SNY's Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling answer questions from fans and also look back at the Mets 2015 postseason run during Beyond the Booth Live, hosted by Steve Gelbs on Thursdays at 4 p.m.

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Apr 3, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; Sports agent Scott Boras watches batting practice during a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Apr 3, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; Sports agent Scott Boras watches batting practice during a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

With owners giving approval on May 11 to Major League Baseball's proposal to begin the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic, negotiations are now ongoing between the league and Players Association.

The goal is to begin a second spring training of sorts around June 10 and for Opening Day to be around July 1, meaning the league and players have a finite amount of time to reach an agreement.

Here's the latest...

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Baseball glove, bat and ball (Treated Image by SNY)
Baseball glove, bat and ball (Treated Image by SNY)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Following a day of video conferences with other players in leadership positions in the Players Association, Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer held the position that his union would not accept further pay cuts.

"After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there's no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions," Scherzer, a prominent voice in the union, tweeted on Wednesday night.

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Not many MLB players working out in anticipation for whenever the 2020 season gets underway has someone working alongside of them, let alone a teammate. 

Dom Smith and Marcus Stroman have been working out together since the pandemic shut down spring training, and it has given Smith a real good look at what Stroman brings to the rubber every fifth day. 

When his stuff is on, Stroman is one of the hardest pitchers to time and hit with his deceptive delivery techniques that match his array of pitches. On the latest episode of The Cookie Club with J.D. and Dom presented by Insomnia Cookies, Smith discussed what he's been doing with Stroman recently. 

Tags: Dominic Smith, Scott Thompson
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Custom handshakes between baseball players is basically an art form.

And while there won't be any handshakes if/when the 2020 season begins due to Covid-19 health and safety protocols being put in place, Dominic Smith has come up with some socially distant ways to celebrate, and it's still fun to reminisce about some of the best handshakes from last season. 

On the latest edition of The Cookie Club presented by Insomnia Cookies, Smith and J.D. Davis discussed not only just how some of these hand shakes develop over time, but also how Davis completely whiffed on sharing a handshake with Smith after one of his biggest home runs of the season. 

Tags: Dominic Smith, JD Davis
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When the 2020 MLB season (hopefully) begins, new health and safety protocols will be in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. It's not yet clear exactly what the protocols will be, but with high-fives and fist bumps likely to be forbidden, how will walk-off celebrations look?

The Mets made an art form out of walk-offs last season, with the player responsible for the game-winner getting his jersey ripped off. The celebrations also featured players dousing one another with water and food, and Dominic Smith using his scooter to take part while he was recovering from a foot injury.

Asked during the latest Cookie Club presented by Insomnia Cookies what celebrations could look like in 2020, Smith had some ideas in mind.

Tags: Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Danny Abriano
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See how the Mets fared against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 55 of the virtual season on MLB The Show 20.

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With MLB and the Players Association deep in negotiations for the potential return of the 2020 season -- which could mean a second spring training starting around June 10 -- players are ramping up their preparation.

For J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith, that means things have gotten more intense.

"Right now what I'm doing (is) I'm getting more balls off the machine. Getting ready, swinging a little bit harder, making sure I do some more sprints, some more long distance stuff," Davis said Wednesday during The Cookie Club presented by Insomnia Cookies. "Definitely ramping it up here, definitely getting the itch. The month before it was kind of that mystery of when we're gonna start, but now it's becoming a little more clear that it's gonna start here in the next couple of weeks. I have no idea, I don't make those decisions, but I'm excited for that phone call."

Tags: Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Baseball Night in New York takes a look around the NL to discuss who the best overall position player is in the entire league.

Los Angeles' Cody Bellinger edged out Milwaukee's Christian Yelich in MVP voting last year, and former AL MVP Mookie Betts has now changed leagues as well. So who is the top position player?

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On The Cookie Club presented by Insomnia Cookies, J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith reveal the secrets behind last season's handshakes and new ways to safely celebrate when baseball returns.

Tags: Dominic Smith, JD Davis
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MLB
MLB

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The players want to play. The owners want to earn. A round of calls to sources reveals that everyone is surprisingly calm behind the scenes, and the PR/social media war is mostly kabuki.

For these reasons and more, Tuesday's dust-up did nothing to change the industry expectation that MLB will launch its season in July.

When we did our rounds of asking for reaction on the player/agent side on Tuesday and Wednesday after the owners proposed steep cuts for top earning players, we received a number of virtual shrugs.

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Jun 21, 2019; Bradenton, FL, USA; Team Howard outfielder Austin Hendrick (12) at bat during the eighth inning at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jun 21, 2019; Bradenton, FL, USA; Team Howard outfielder Austin Hendrick (12) at bat during the eighth inning at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the last 10 years, the Mets have selected an outfielder with their first pick in the first round of the MLB Draft three times.

The picks of Brandon Nimmo (2011) and Michael Conforto (2014) have worked out incredibly well, and they currently make up two thirds of the Mets' expected starting outfield.

The other outfielder the Mets most recently drafted? That would be Jarred Kelenic, who was selected in 2018 and traded to the Seattle Mariners in the deal that brought Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to Queens. Regardless of whether Diaz and/or Cano improve in Year 2 in New York, including Kelenic in that deal was unwise. And he is now a consensus top 10 prospect in baseball who will likely be in the majors by 2021.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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MLB
MLB

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

After reading about Major League Baseball's proposal for a sliding scale of pay cuts that penalized the highest earners, one veteran role player had to grudgingly admire what the owners had done.

"They've just taken the biggest problem in the union, the pay class divide, and flipped it on its head," the player said. "And now they'll watch as the union tears itself apart as the highest paid fight back on this while the lowest paid say 'whoa whoa whoa, we like this!' The union will try to convince those young, naive players that it's in their interest to stand together, but it isn't."

Inside any major league clubhouse, there are wealthy players and players making the minimum salary. Last year on the Yankees, to choose a random example, Giancarlo Stanton earned approximately $25.5 million more than Ben Heller.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Andy Martino
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See how the Mets fared against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 54 of the virtual season on MLB The Show 20.

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Baseball Night in New York looks back on Chase Utley's dirty slide into Ruben Tejada in Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS, and Anthony Recker reveals the impact it had on the Mets.

Tags: Ruben Tejada
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Bartolo Colon, who is not giving up on pitching again in the majors even at age 47, was already a Mets folk hero before he launched a home run deep into the San Diego night in 2016.

But that home run, coming after so many at-bats filled with laughs as Colon spun around and his helmet flew off -- added to his lore.

"I still have the bat; it's a beautiful memory for me," Colon told ESPN's Marly Rivera about the home run and his thoughts before it happened. "Ever since [my debut] with Cleveland, I always dreamt of playing interleague baseball. When I was with the White Sox [in 2003], one time I thought it was going to happen, when I faced Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs. I really thought I was going to hit it out that day because the ball was flying out of the park.

Tags: Bartolo Colon, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the last 25 years, the Mets have taken a corner infielder with their first pick in the first round of the MLB Draft just four times.

The last two taken were Brett Baty in 2019 and Dominic Smith in 2013. Before that, it was Ike Davis in 2008. You then have to go all the way back to David Wright in 2001 -- and Wright was a supplemental pick who was taken 38th overall.

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Sep 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Whenever this 2020 MLB season gets underway, Mets ace Jacob deGrom will be going after a feat only two pitchers in MLB history have accomplished before him. 

A three-peat in Cy Young Awards has only been done by Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson -- two Hall of Fame starters who were just as dominant as deGrom has been in their primes. It's an entirely different situation this season with it being shortened. However, deGrom is still at the top of his game, and many believe he can join these two in the record books.

But does deGrom have to worry about his competition? 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Scott Thompson
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MLB The Show 20
MLB The Show 20

See how the Mets fared against the Atlanta Braves in Game 53 of the virtual season on MLB The Show 20.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that effective immediately, all professional local sports teams are now permitted to begin training camps in the state while following appropriate health protocols.

"Starting today, all the New York professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps (in the state)," Cuomo said during his daily coronavirus press briefing. "I believe that sports that can come back without having people in the stadium, without having people in the arena -- do it, do it.

"Work out the economics if you can. We want you up, we want people to be able to watch sports. To the extent people are still staying home, it gives people something to do. It's a return to normalcy. So we are working and encouraging all sports teams to start their training camps as soon as possible, and we'll work with them to make sure that can happen."

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Mar 4, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) runs to the dugout against the St. Louis Cardinals at the end of the third inning at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Navarro)
Mar 4, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) runs to the dugout against the St. Louis Cardinals at the end of the third inning at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Navarro)

Zero players finished the 2019 MLB season with more home runs than Pete Alonso's 53. And Only five National League players had a higher slugging percentage than Alonso's .583. But there are currently 15 players who are better bets than Alonso to win the 2020 NL MVP award, per PointsBet.

Some of those names make plenty of sense.

Dodgers teammates Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger lead the pack, followed by Christian Yelich, who slugged an outrageous .671 in 2019.

Tags: Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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See the highlights as SNY brings together members of the 1986 New York Mets to re-watch Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the Boston Red Sox.

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Here is the Sports Squared crossword puzzle for Sunday, May 24, called Baseball's Incredible Feats and Greatest Moments...

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Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) in the dugout in the during game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) in the dugout in the during game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Earlier on Saturday, news surfaced that Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard was being sued for $250,000 by his New York City landlord for unpaid rent on a Tribeca apartment.

The Mets right-hander responded via Twitter on Saturday evening, telling his side of the story.

"So let me get this straight. I fairly, and in food faith offered to pay 2 months rent (over 50K) to a landlord for a place I was never going to step foot in due to a global pandemic that took a severe toll upon the residents of NYC, gave timely notice to attempt to try and re-rent, while getting TJ and now living in Florida for rehab, and the landlord tries to extort me for 250K while leaking this story to the media, and I'm the bad guy? Yeah, ok. See you in court pal."

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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The 1986 Mets were certainly a cast of characters. 

As SNY celebrates the 1986 World Series champions, many members of the team, including Bob Ojeda, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez and others, joined in for a Game 6 Watch Party.

As they watched the game live on SNY, they also told some classic stories from their era of Mets baseball. 

When third baseman Ray Knight was brought up in conversation, Ron Darling told a perhaps never-before-known tale about how a wrestling match once broke out inside the team's training room.

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See how the Mets fared against the Atlanta Braves in Game 52 of the virtual season on MLB The Show 20.

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Sep 2, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on during batting practice before a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Sep 2, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on during batting practice before a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Due to MLB's coronavirus hiatus, Mets manager Luis Rojas has still yet to manage his first game in the big leagues, something he's undoubtedly been dreaming of for quite some time.

A baseball lifer, Rojas grew up around the game (including being ejected from a minor league dugout when he was just seven years old), and he's worked his way up through the minor leagues to reach the big job with the Mets. 

Rojas' time with the Mets organization is now going on 13 years, as he was first hired as a coach of their Dominican League team in 2007, but former Mets skipper Terry Collins believes Rojas' knowledge of both the game and of the players in the Mets' system, will suit him well in his new role as manager.

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Outside view of Citi Field. (Treated Image by SNY)
Outside view of Citi Field. (Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets have given their fans tons of magical moment, but some of those moments have been lost in the shuffle a bit.

Here are nine forgotten moments from the last 25 years...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Lucas Duda
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See how the Mets fared against the Atlanta Braves in Game 51 of the virtual season on MLB The Show 20.

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Doc Gooden joins the BNNY crew to talk about the impact that Gary Carter had on the Mets after being acquired by the team. He also talks about what it was like to play at Shea Stadium, and much more.

Catch the full episode of Baseball Night in New York: Living Room Edition on SNY at 7 p.m.

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The World Series trophy (Gary A. Vasquez)
The World Series trophy (Gary A. Vasquez)

Shortly after news came out that Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard would undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2020 MLB season, New York's odds to win the World Series sat at +1800.

Those +1800 odds were the seventh-best in baseball.

With roughly two months having passed, the Mets' odds to win the World Series are now +1400, per PointsBet, giving them the sixth-best odds to win it all (with them jumping the Minnesota Twins in that regard).

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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MLB
MLB

As negotiations between the league and players union continue to play out, it sounds like the Mets and Yankees have both decided where they'll resume spring training, when permitted.

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, both the Mets and Yankees will be returning to Florida for spring training 2.0, with Heyman noting that Florida's per capita coronavirus numbers are better than those of most other states. 

If and when MLB and the union can come to a deal regarding players' pay for a shortened 2020 season (without fans in attendance), teams will be permitted to choose between their home cities and their spring training sites for where to resume spring training. 

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See how the Mets fared against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 50 of the virtual season on MLB The Show 20.

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SNY's Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling answer questions from fans and also discuss the latest negotiations between MLB and the players union during Beyond the Booth Live, hosted by Steve Gelbs on Thursdays at 4 p.m.

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Carlos Beltran put up incredible numbers during his seven seasons as a Met, but is he a no-brainer for the best center fielder in franchise history?

Doug Williams, Steve Gelbs, and Anthony Recker tackle that question and more on the latest Baseball Night in New York: Living Room Edition. Catch the full episode on SNY at 7 p.m.

Tags: Carlos Beltran
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For most Mets fans, Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling are practically family members, as their voices resonate in homes throughout the Mets' season.

But there may be some things about the SNY crew that fans don't know. On the latest Beyond The Booth, Keith and Ron tell one thing each that fans probably don't know about the Mets' play-by-play announcer …

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MLB
MLB

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Within the next few days, Major League Baseball will likely make its first economic proposal to the Players Association about resuming play this season. Moderates among the players and agents -- the ones who want a fair settlement but not a war -- will push for an agreement, and the sides will agree to a pay cut but not a 50/50 revenue split.

That, at least, is what we predict from talking to sources on all sides of this negotiation.

As previously reported, it's far from a sure thing that MLB will propose a controversial revenue sharing plan. Over the past few days, agents around the game have become increasingly skeptical that was ever the plan. 

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After being selected in the first round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, Dominic Smith ascended his way up through the Mets' minor league system, while receiving help along the way. 

One of the people who helped Smith become the major leaguer he is today is his now manager Luis Rojas, who coached Smith at multiple stops along the way to Queens. 

Appearing as a guest on The Cookie Club presented by Insomnia Cookies, Rojas told a story of how he helped motivate Smith during his 2015 season with the St. Lucie Mets, after Smith had shown up a bit out of shape and wasn't hustling the way Rojas and the rest of the coaching staff wanted him to.

Tags: Dominic Smith
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Mets manager Luis Rojas has been around the game of baseball his entire life. He's coached his way up through almost every level of the minor leagues and is now preparing for his first season as a big-league skipper.

Rojas was first hired by the Mets in 2007 as a Dominican Summer League coach, but it sounds like his coaching experience actually dates back a little further than that.

When Rojas was just 7 years old, his father, Felipe Alou, had to eject him from the dugout for being too critical of the players Alou was managing during a minor league game.

Tags: Dominic Smith
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"I thought we were done."

It was Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, and in the bottom of the 10th inning, that's what Keith Hernandez had in his head when he flew out to center field for the second out. The Mets allowed two runs to the Boston Red Sox in the top of the 10th, so a 5-3 lead for the away team with only one out to go didn't look good at all for Hernandez. 

Hernandez ran into the clubhouse because he simply couldn't watch when the Red Sox get that out and celebrate as world champions. But we all know how that went.

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See how the Mets fared against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 49 of the virtual season on MLB The Show 20.

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With the 2020 MLB season expected to feature the universal DH and be shortened to roughly 82 games (if and when it begins, hopefully around July 1), the Mets are one of the National League teams that could benefit the most.

If you take one quick glance at the Mets' roster, four players jump out immediately as DH candidates: Yoenis Cespedes, J.D. Davis, Dominic Smith, and Robinson Cano.

During The Cookie Club presented by Insomnia Cookies on Wednesday, manager Luis Rojas, Davis, and Smith all talked about the kind of impact the universal DH this season could have on the team and on them personally.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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On The Cookie Club presented by Insomnia Cookies, J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith welcome in their manager Luis Rojas to talk about the universal DH and how it will affect the Mets, getting tossed from a game at seven years old by his father, and much more.

Tags: Dominic Smith, JD Davis
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Mets RHP Jeurys Familia (Jim Rassol)
Mets RHP Jeurys Familia (Jim Rassol)

Mets reliever Jeurys Familia, who has been working out with teammate Dellin Betances under the training of Dave Paladino in New Jersey, is confident he and Betances will be fine during a potentially shortened 2020 season. But he's worried about other players.

"I think it'll cause a lot of injuries," Familia told Pat Ragazzo of Metsmerized. "Most guys aren't fortunate enough to have the same level of training as me and Dellin. Thank God Dave is allowing us to use his facility so we can throw every day, stretch out our arms, and get the proper physical training we need to prepare."

Betances, whose velocity was down early in spring training (as it often is at that point) said his velocity is "good right now," and Familia said the two relievers have been in touch with the Mets' trainer as they continue to prepare for the season.

Tags: Dellin Betances, Jeurys Familia, Danny Abriano
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