Tuesday, ESPN's Outside the Lines reignited the Biogenesis story.

Thanks to the cooperation of disgraced not-doctor Tony Bosch, "Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks, "Outside the Lines" has learned."

The Mets' Cesar Puello, who is currently in AA, and hitting well, is the only player who MLB hopes to discipline, who is not on a Major League roster. However, Puello is on the Mets' 40-man roster, which means he is covered under the Joint Drug Agreement, a protection not afforded non-40-man minor leaguers.

First and foremost the information about potential suspensions coming out this way strikes me as a cry for attention. No suspensions have been announced. No player has failed a drug test, nor does MLB have the full weight of evidence it would need to suspend a player without a positive test. If MLB had the evidence it needed for a suspension, it would have announced suspensions. If they felt that they would have had enough evidence to maintain suspensions in front of an arbitrator with Bosch's evidence, they would have tried to keep his turn private. Instead, this feels like the first salvo in a very public, and surely very ugly, public negotiation.

Second, despite a cry in some internet circles last night, Major League Baseball is not changing the rules of the game. The sport's Joint Drug Agreement (full text) is very clear, a player need not test positive to be subject to discipline. The relevant text from section 7, paragraph A:

A Player who tests positive for a Performance Enhancing Substance, or otherwise violates the Program through the use or possession of a Performance Enhancing Substance, will be subject to the discipline set forth below.
Emphasis added. In order to suspend anyone, MLB will have to establish use or possession. Proving possession is a high burden. MLB has to have a clean custody chain all the way to the player.

In this context, Bosch meeting with a player is not enough. Payments in a ledger book is not enough. Nor is handing illicit drugs to a player's niece, friend, agent etc. There has to be drugs in a defendant's hand, right?

Or as labor lawyer Eugene Freedman put it:

Third, relying on Bosch too heavily is problematic. Bosch's word is especially weak because MLB is offering significant financial incentive to cooperate. As enumerated in the original ESPN story: "Major League Baseball will drop the lawsuit it filed against Bosch in March; indemnify him for any liability arising from his cooperation; provide personal security for him and even put in a good word with any law enforcement agency that may bring charges against him." Of course, he also denied he had anything to do with PEDs on ESPN's own airwaves.

Craig Calceterra at Hardball Talk does an outstanding job laying out why a case that relies on Bosch's testimony is "is equivalent to erecting a building on a rotten foundation." He then proceeds to take baseball to task for flailing for big name scores rather than asking the right questions about PED use.

 

Other ProblemsConfidentially, Or Only When It's Convenient?Finally, Major League Baseball has clearly violated the confidentiality portion of the Joint Drug Agreement. After all, Tuesday's leaks did not come from the players' side.

Section 5 begins:

The confidentiality of Player information is essential to the Program's success.
Section 6.A.2

  Any and all information relating to a Player's involvement in the Program, including, but not limited to, the fact of the results of any Prohibited Substance testing to which the Player may be subject, and any discipline imposed upon the Player by the Commissioner's Office shall remain strictly confidential.
Section H:

It is clear that confidentially has not been maintained here. I did not see a remedy for MLBPA in the event that MLB violates any of the JDA's confidentiality clauses. I wonder if the players can or would sue MLB for wrongful damages.

 

ConsistencyIf an umpire has a big strike zone, that's ok, as long as he calls it the same way for both sides. In this case, baseball has 1,200 sides, the number of players on 40-man rosters. Baseball has pursued Biogenesis and its baseball playing clients long after law enforcement gave up - no charges were ever filed against anyone associated with Biogenesis. Thus, in the name of fairness, the commissioner's office should be prepared to follow any other new PED leads with any other players with the same zeal. Otherwise, this becomes a case of picking on a select group of players and this selective administration of punishment should be extremely concerning. The other tack is that baseball will be forced to be constantly aggressively investigating its own players (at least when following up media reports) if it is to operate with any degree of fairness moving forward. Neither the commissioner's office nor the Players' Association wants a climate of constant investigation (I don't think).

Assume for a second that some, but not all of the players whose names have been publicly linked to Biogenesis bought and used performance enhancing drugs, as defined by the JDA. (There's scant evidence that HGH makes for better baseball players, but that's a separate issue.) So, some of these players, including say, Gio Gonzalez, who MLB has more or less already absolved, will have their reputations tarnished without cause. Others will be punished for use. The issue is that other players, who did not go to Biogenesis also used, but managed to elude baseball's drug tests. They will skate.

What is the point of a drug testing program if baseball feels the need to investigate outside allegations so carefully? Where's the gain in acting as though the drug testing regime (which I think has been fairly effective at cutting down, but not eliminating certain categories of PED use) just does not work?

 

 

MarketingAs a followup to the consistency argument, then, baseball will constantly be investigating its own stars. It is the players who make the sport great, the players whose jerseys fans buy, and the players who compel fans to watch games and buy tickets. Baseball will in effect be telling their customers that their product - the players - is untrustworthy. That sure seems like bad business from this end.

 

It did not have to be this way. However, MLB, by choosing this process and this massive breach of confidentiality, for the investigation of Biogenesis and the associated players, has elected to spend much of the 2013 season talking about banned substances instead of the product on the field.

To what end? Justice? Eradicating PEDs? Please. Ending PED use is absolutely impossible. The incentives of multi-million dollar pay days is much too strong. Most players will not use, but some will. Making a big show of embarrassing players is no way to sell the game administer justice or even deter PED use.

Punishing the users is fair. Punishing the users twice for the same infraction is not. Most importantly, MLB must follow its own confidentiality rules and procedures rather than rushing to the penalty stage or using ESPN to create a public association of guilt.

 

Update: Freedman, whose tweet I cited above, and whose timeline last night, helped clarify my thinking on the issue now has an article up at the Hardball Times making the case that baseball is overreaching in the direct prose of a lawyer who practices this kind of thing everyday.

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

The Mets have signed RHP Wilfredo Boscan to a minor league deal, the team announced Thursday.

He will report to minor league camp.

Boscan, 27, had a 6.46 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings (one start, five relief appearances) for the Pirates in 2016 during what was his first major league season...

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Feb. 21, 2017: Mets RHP Matt Harvey gets set to throw during a bullpen session (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb. 21, 2017: Mets RHP Matt Harvey gets set to throw during a bullpen session (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

I know, and you know, the Mets have some serious pitching talent. I actually take it for granted, I think. But, when seeing them all lined up together, throwing side by side, it takes the realization to a different level...

This morning, I watched Zack Wheeler work at length for the first time this spring. He threw free and easy and - most important - he showed no signs of discomfort or awkwardness. There was no shaking out his arm or looking at his elbow, which is what I recall earlier in camp. In today's instance, it was all business. He simply tossed a bullpen session, did it well, and that was that...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 22 00:02:25
SNY.tv covers the day in Mets camp that includes bullpen sessions for Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.

The Mets continued workouts at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday...


Zack Wheeler threw a bullpen session and could get his first game action on March 8 >> Read more

Curtis Granderson, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Neil Walker will be leadoff options >> Read more ...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Zack Wheeler
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It was photo day today, which is when players get in full uniform to pose for head shots, pictures and promos used across baseball...

The individual photographers and media outlets set up stations that players go through one by one, where they stop, take direction and mostly do whatever is asked of them...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Matthew Cerrone
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 (The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports)
(The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports)

 Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie. Here's what we learned...

  • Wednesday was the best Collins has seen RHP Zack Wheeler throw since his Tommy John surgery. Wheeler could get in to a Grapefruit League game on March 8.
  • Collins thinks RHP Noah Syndergaard is doing the right thing by not pitching in the upcoming World Baseball Classic...
Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Steven Matz, Travis d'Arnaud, Zack Wheeler
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Alderson on d'Arnaud, Conforto 00:04:32
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson dishes on some hot topics including expectations for Travis d'Arnaud and Michael Conforto.

With the return of Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce to New York's outfield this season, along with the presence of Curtis Granderson, 23-year old Michael Conforto has seemingly lost his spot in the starting lineup.

But Mets general manager Sandy Alderson does not believe it will discourage him from coming in and having a strong spring training, something that would make the decision about the outfield significantly more difficult for the GM.

"Well I think the important thing for Michael is to have a good spring, regardless of what happens at the end," Alderson told SNY's Gary Apple. "One of the things we focus on around here is process and not results. So I think Michael is committed to having a good spring, and you know, the way things are configured now, make it tough on us."

While Conforto will be attempting to prove to Alderson he belongs in the starting lineup this spring, he is not the only Met looking to show management of improvements made since last season...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Kevin Plawecki, Michael Conforto, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes
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Zack Wheeler joins Hot Stove 00:02:39
Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler talks injuries and rehab as he eyes a return to the Mets starting staff in 2017.

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler threw another bullpen session on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie, mixing curveballs in for the first time.

Wheeler could pitch in his first Grapefruit League game on March 8 against the Astros, manager Terry Collins said.

Wheeler threw about 20 pitches off a mound on Sunday for the first time since he felt some tenderness in his right elbow during a recent bullpen session.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen said last Wednesday that the tenderness Wheeler felt during his bullpen session early last week was likely due to scar tissue, which remains from his Tommy John surgery...

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

When Jose Reyes doesn't start, the main options for the Mets at leadoff will be Asdrubal CabreraCurtis Granderson, and Neil Walker, manager Terry Collins said recently.

Reyes hit .267 with a .326 OBP and .443 SLG with eight HR, 13 doubles, four triples, and nine stolen bases in 60 games for the Mets last season.

He's expected to hit leadoff when he starts, but the Mets' starting infield from left to right as of now is expected to be David Wright, Cabrera, Walker, and Lucas Duda.

Granderson has had lots of experience hitting leadoff, but Collins is wary about moving him from the middle of the lineup...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Lucas Duda, Neil Walker
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Wright discusses health, Reyes 00:05:03
Gary Apple and Nelson Figueroa catch up with David Wright to discuss his health, the 2017 team and playing with Jose Reyes again.

David Wright is expected to only DH - and not play in the field - this weekend when Mets begin their the Grapefruit League schedule, Terry Collins told reporters Tuesday at Tradition Field.

"He is making strides," Collins said, noting that Wright may not get time at third base until the middle of March. "He probably won't play a lot until we make sure his arm is right. ... We just don't want him overexposed where if he makes a bad throw all of a sudden it's a big story."

Tags: David Wright
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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 21 00:02:35
MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone and SNY Mets analyst Nelson Figueroa discuss the day's events at Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The Mets continued workouts at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday...


The dynamic between David Wright and Jose Reyes has changed, as has their role on the Mets >> Read more

Reyes, Yoenis Cespedes, and Asdrubal Cabrera have been spending lots of time together at camp >> Read more...

Tags: Addison Reed, Asdrubal Cabrera, David Wright, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes
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Feb., 2017: David Wright and Jose Reyes taking infield at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb., 2017: David Wright and Jose Reyes taking infield at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

The dynamic I see between David Wright and Jose Reyes is not what I remember from the old days. It has changed, just as I am sure they have changed as men.

In the early days of their relationship, they were the two young guys called up to Shea Stadium at roughly the same time. The team was built around them. They were always paired together in photo shoots, on magazine covers and on the same side of the field...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb. 20, 2017: Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes talk between batting practice sessions during Spring Training (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb. 20, 2017: Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes talk between batting practice sessions during Spring Training (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

The big-name players on the Mets are all spending way more time together on and off field than I recall seeing here in previous spring trainings. That said, Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes are close to inseparable.

They stretch together, they hit in the same groups, they eat together before and after practice, and they joke around in the field and at the cage. They're clearly doubling down on the friendship they began building last summer.

Hopefully, that escalation doesn't end in St. Lucie, but continues to grow and fuel the team's run production like it did during the second half in 2016...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie. Here's what we learned...

  • 3B David Wright will likely serve as a designated hitter initially during Grapefruit League games.
  • If RHP Jeurys Familia is suspended for his domestic violence incident, Collins is not worried about him keeping himself in shape during the time away from the team.
  • OF Jay Bruce will not take fly balls in center field during Spring Training.
  • The Mets have seen the potential of C Travis d'Arnaud, who is "extremely dangerous" when he's swigning well. "Everybody is allowed to have a bad year," Collins said about d'Arnaud's performance in 2016...
Tags: David Wright, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Rafael Montero, Travis d'Arnaud
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 (Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)
(Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)

Free agent C Matt Wieters is close to signing what will likely be a two-year deal with the Nationals that contains an opt-out after the first year, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

The deal will be worth $21 million, with $10 million paid in 2017, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Wieters, 30, hit .243 with a .302 OBP and .409 SLG with 17 HR and 66 RBI in 124 games last season for the Orioles.

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud
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Reed on becoming Mets closer 00:04:28
Reliever Addison Reed joins Mets Hot Stove to discuss his outlook for the 2017 season.

In the event Jeurys Familia begins the season under suspension, Addison Reed will be the team's closer and Fernando Salas will be his set-up man, Terry Collins said Monday.

"As of today, he would be that guy, because he has done it before and he's been successful at it," Collins said of Reed, who had a 1.97 ERA and identical 1.97 FIP in 80 games last season.

He and the Mets avoided salary arbitration in December, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $7.75 million, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia
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Feb. 21, 2017: The sun rises over Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb. 21, 2017: The sun rises over Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

It was not photo day Tuesday morning. I wish I knew that, because I thought it was and got to Tradition Field at 6:55 am ET. No worries, though, since it was a great opportunity to watch the sunrise and catch the ballpark get started for the day...

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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 20 00:02:48
SNY's Steve Gelbs and Marc Carig of Newsday cover Monday at Mets camp, including Neil Walker rumors and a close look at Amed Rosario

The New York Mets seem comfortable together in spring training as they prepare for their first game on Friday. Team morale also seems high.

Contract discussions between second baseman Neil Walker and the Mets are "probably dead."

Shortstop Amed Rosario, one of the top prospects in baseball, said he has learned a great deal from Jose Reyes.

Manager Terry Collins said he sees upside in what Rosario and outfielder Michael Conforto, and also said Fernando Salas would step into the set-up role should Addison Reed become interim closer in the event Jeurys Familia is suspended under the MLB's domestic violence policy.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker
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Rosario shows off personality 00:03:56
Mets prospect Amed Rosario makes an impression and shows his personality to reporters while the Mets Talk Live crew discusses his potential.

New York Mets manager Terry Collins spoke to the media on Monday in Port St. Lucie, Florida, as the team readies for its first spring training game this Friday. 

  • He said Fernando Salas would become the Mets' eighth-inning set-up man "because he has done it before, because he has been successful at it" in the event closer Jeurys Familia is suspended under the MLB's domestic violence policy. 
  • He said he was looking forward to seeing how shortstop Amed Rosario, considered one of the top prospects in baseball, will play this spring.
Tags: Michael Conforto
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In the 10 years I've been coming to Tradition Field, I don't recall seeing so much smiling and laughing going on between the team's star players and the coaching staff.

It's nice to see. It's one of those things that - if the Mets go on to have a poor season and miss the playoffs - people will look back on and blame, saying they were too loose and not taking things seriously enough. Of course, if they steamroll the NL East and get back to the World Series, we'll look back and believe their success started in St. Lucie...

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Photo: Chris McShane
Photo: Chris McShane

Mets prospect Amed Rosario is thankful to have Jose Reyes guiding him as a mentor, the shortstop told reporters through an interpretar on Monday.

"Well I'm so thankful to God first, and then I'm so thankful that I have people like Jose," Rosario said from Tradition Field. "Jose doesn't just give me advice on the field. He really tells me how to carry myself as a person off the field. To always make the right choices, do the right thing. So that's a really great thing to have."

Rosario and Reyes spent time together in Binghamton last year as Reyes was making his way towards the majors. While Reyes appeared in only nine games for the Mets' Double-A affiliate, Rosario played in 54, hitting an impressive .341 with two home runs, 31 RBIs, and 14 doubles.

Tags: Jose Reyes
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Walker (20) watches Yoenis Cespedes in the batting cage at Tradition Field. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Walker (20) watches Yoenis Cespedes in the batting cage at Tradition Field. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Latest Update (Feb. 20)

1:25PM: The feeling from the Mets side is the Neil Walker contract extension discussions are probably dead, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Tags: Neil Walker
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Jose Reyes, David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes take batting practice at Tradition Field in 2017 (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Jose Reyes, David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes take batting practice at Tradition Field in 2017 (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

In his talk with the team before stretching on Sunday, Terry Collins essentially told the team that last year was an anomaly because of the injuries. He said he's proud of how they fought through adversity, but this year will be different...

In short, because I was down wind and roughly 40 feet away from where he was standing, I heard him say they will be healthy and strong and continue what they started in 2015.


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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 19 00:02:12
MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone and SNY Mets analyst Nelson Figueroa discuss the day's events at camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The Mets and Neil Walker are close to agreeing to a contract extension that could pay him roughly $40 million over three years >> Read more

David Wright threw a baseball on Sunday for the first time since having season-ending neck surgery last June >> Read more

Zack Wheeler, who dealt with elbow tenderness last week, returned to the mound on Sunday >> Read more

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Finally on Sunday, during the team's first official full-team workout of Spring Training, David Wright and Jose Reyes were in the same place at the same time. Of course, it took a while before they stood close enough to one another to exchange words and be photographed together...

Actually, at one point, Reyes literally jobbed to a different field as Wright emerged.

"Uh oh, David's here, I need to go," he said laughing...

Reyes returned, photographers and reporters gathered, but they continued to stand apart...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Sandy Alderson: Mets are all in 00:01:28
New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson says that the team is "all in" to win a World Series in 2017, and is willing to add payroll to do so.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson spoke with the media in Port St. Lucie on Sunday and credited ownership for the current payroll being as high as it is now and said the team can raise the payroll, if necessary, despite still having OF Jay Bruce on the roster.

There are currently no ongoing trade discussions at the moment, Alderson said, and that the team is preparing to enter the season with current players and make adjustments from there. He said the best possibilty is to have six outfielders hitting .400 in Spring Training

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Feb 14, 2017; Matt Harvey (33) talks with Collins (10) during workouts at Tradition Field. Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2017; Matt Harvey (33) talks with Collins (10) during workouts at Tradition Field. Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Collins said in his speech to the team before Sunday's first official full-team workout of the season he told the players that they better have "swagger" and need to act like they will win in 2017, adding that he is confident the Mets will be playing in October.

Collins told reporters that players are entering camp knowing what they were still able to accomplish last year by rising up when many of the starting pitchers suffered injuries.

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Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper reacts after a called third strike in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game four of the 2016 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper reacts after a called third strike in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game four of the 2016 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

In January, Nationals OF Bryce Harper posted a video of himself and his brother, Bryan, singing in excitement for Ohio State's College Football Playoff game against Clemson.

Barstool Sports shared it on their Instagram account, where Syndergaard responded in the comment section, calling Harper a "douche."

When Harper was asked about comment over the weekend at Nationals camp, the outfielder didn't exactly laugh off the incident. 

"I don't know, Syndergaard does what he does and the Mets do what they do," Harper told reporters, according to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. "So we are going to worry about what we do in our clubhouse and do everything we can do win ballgames and hopefully have a better record than any team in Major League Baseball." 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Less than a year and a half ago, MLB.com considered then 19-year-old Mets RHP Marcos Molina to be the organization's top pitching prospect. He then had Tommy John surgery, missed an entire season and dropped to fourth on MLB.com's 2016 list last summer.

Molina, now 21, tossed a bullpen session Saturday a few feet away from Dan Warthen, Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and his staff...

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Feb 17, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of the catchers gear of New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera (not pictured) on the field during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 17, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of the catchers gear of New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera (not pictured) on the field during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Yoenis Cespedes told reporters that the Mets have a "great chance" to win the World Series in 2017 if the team stays healthy. He also said he feels calmer knowing that he landed a four-year contract extension with the Mets. Read more here

Metsblog's Matthew Cerrone captured photos of Matt HarveyNoah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Terry Collins signing autographs at the end of Saturday's practice. Harvey seemed to draw a larger crowd than Syndergaard, but all of them drew fans. See pictures and read more here

 

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Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Terry Collins spent a good chunk of time at the end of today's practice signing autographs for Mets fans...

It was quite a frenzy, especially considering Harvey and Syndergaard were signing at the same time. And, I have to say, though people were going pretty crazy to get to Syndergaard, I actually think Harvey created a bigger buzz...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler
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Mets manager Terry Collins spoke to reporters Saturday in Port St. Lucie. Here is what we learned... 

  • Yoenis Cespedes is "driven" and "determined" to perform up to expectations this season. 
  • Cespedes is also relaxed and in great shape this year. 
  • David Wright is on schedule to throw either on Sunday or Monday, though he is not at camp Saturday. 
  • While he is not at camp Saturday and won't be there Sunday, Jeurys Familia is expected to return Monday
  • The team has not had this much depth since Collins has been manager of the team. 
  • Collins is excited and has nervous energy for Sunday's first official full team practice. 

Tags: David Wright, Jeurys Familia, Yoenis Cespedes
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Mar 30, 2016; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) connects for a double in the first inning during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Mar 30, 2016; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) connects for a double in the first inning during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Yoenis Cespedes told reporters on Saturday that he is more comfortable heading into this season because of his contract extension and that he believes the Mets have "a great chance" to win the World Series as long as the team stays healthy.

"Having [the extension] really gives me a sense of calm knowing that I am no longer year to year and that my home is here with the Mets for the next four years," he said, adding that it gives him tranquility and he can prepare and focus better. 

 

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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I love watching the pitchers throw their bullpen sessions on the 10-pack on the back side of Tradition Field's training complex. There are a lot of people hanging around, from media, to coaches, to front office executives, multiple pitchers throwing at one time, multiple catchers, teammates tracking pitches and side conversations about mechanics and pitch section...

In the case of right-handed, side-arm reliever Ben Rowen, who signed a free-agent, minor-league contract, it was an opportunity for Dan Warthen to talk with him about his repertoire and how he approaches right-handed batters compared to left-handed batters...

Tags: Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb 14, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) fields ground balls during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) fields ground balls during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Mets closer Jeurys Familia left Tradition Field before Friday's workout and returned on Saturday morning, only to leave again, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

Familia was originally expected to return on Saturday, but he will miss workouts for a second consecutive day due to MLB's investigation into his domestic violence arrest, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post

Tags: Jeurys Familia
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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 17 00:02:24
SNY's Steve Gelbs and John Harper of the NY Daily News cover Mets camp, including close looks at Travis d'Arnaud and Jose Reyes.

David Wright is tentatively scheduled to play catch on Sunday for the first time since having season-ending neck surgery last June, manager Terry Collins said >> Read more!

Jeurys Familia left camp on Friday to deal with a personal matter and is expected back Saturday.

Mets SS prospect Amed Rosario and 1B prospect Dominic Smith took batting practice together >> See pictures and read more here!

MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone followed Jose Reyes, who looks like he never left the Mets for Miami >> See pictures and read more here!

Tags: Jose Reyes, Travis d'Arnaud
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Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches during the first inning: USA TODAY Tommy Gilligan
Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches during the first inning: USA TODAY Tommy Gilligan

Former major league pitcher and pitching coach Tom House believes that Noah Syndergaard could suffer an arm injury as soon as this summer, he told Bob Klapisch of The Record

House, who pitched seven years in the major leagues, said Syndergaard's adding of 17 pounds of muscle only hurts his development. 

"Unfortunately, this is an injury waiting to happen by the second week of June," House told Klapisch. "Unless you're picking up a ball while you're getting stronger, you're just adding muscle that doesn't know how to throw. It's unskilled muscle."

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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. (Steve Mitchell)
. (Steve Mitchell)

Bartolo Colon, who signed a one year deal worth $12.5 million with the Braves this offseason, initially thought he was going to return to the Mets for 2017.

"I had the idea that I was probably going to stay with the Mets at the end of the season," Colon told the NY Post through an interpreter. "My family is up there, but it's a business, and I had to do what was right for me and my family. This was a business decision.''

"The Mets did a lot for me,'' Colon added. "It's just one of those things.''

Colon, who turns 44 years old in May, had a 3.43 ERA (3.99 FIP) and 1.21 WHIP in 191 2/3 innings (33 starts, one relief apperance) last season for the Mets...

Tags: Bartolo Colon, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith (74) watches top SS prospect Amed Rosario (61) during big-league batting practice at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith (74) watches top SS prospect Amed Rosario (61) during big-league batting practice at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

Mets SS prospect Amed Rosario and 1B prospect Dominic Smith took batting practice together during Friday's big-league workout at Tradition Field in St. Lucie.

It was pretty cool seeing them in the same place, crushing baseballs together and talking hitting with the big-league team's assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler.

It's also worth noting they spent time intensely working on their high-five routine...

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Mets infielder Jose Reyes looks off field during batting practice in Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Mets infielder Jose Reyes looks off field during batting practice in Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

It feels like Jose Reyes never left. He looks at home here in St. Lucie.

And, despite a successful team having been built after he left for Miami, he carries himself and interacts with his current teammates as if he had been here the entire time.

In the old days, I marveled at watching Reyes field ground balls and throw to first base. It's such a routine, simple act, but he was so much more smooth -- yet also explosive -- in his movements it made the players around him look they were playing a different game...

Tags: Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Terry Collins (10) in the dugout before the start of a game. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Terry Collins (10) in the dugout before the start of a game. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

 

Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media in Port St. Lucie on Friday. Here's what we learned...

Tags: David Wright, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Travis d'Arnaud, Zack Wheeler
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Yesterday was my first day in Mets camp, and -- despite this being my 10th season covering spring training -- I had a really difficult time getting my bearings on field. At first, I thought it was me. But, I quickly realized the Mets are doing things slightly different than they have in the past.

Interestingly, they are adjustments every team probably should have implemented years ago -- especially in a world where every person is holding a camera capable of live streaming information to thousands of people.

For instance, the day's workout schedule is no longer posted in public. And, whereas media had long been able to walk up and down the dirt surrounding the grass (from left field to right field to behind the backstop), we are now only allowed to be in a designated 15-20 foot area marked by yellow lines in front of the dugouts...

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 (Derik Hamilton)
(Derik Hamilton)

Mets INF Jose Reyes has been told he'll take some fly balls in center field during Spring Training in addition to getting work at third base, shortstop, and second base.

"I don't see any problem," Reyes said about transitioning to the outfield at this stage of his career. "I feel like I'm a good athlete," he concluded.

Reyes added that he's excited to potentially play next to David Wright this season.

"I can't wait for that to happen," he said. "He's my big brother, we've got a lot of love for eachother."

Tags: David Wright, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes
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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 16 00:03:51
MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone and Ted Berg of USA Today discuss the day's events at Mets Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler played catch Thursday, "felt good," and is aiming to throw off a mound on Saturday or Sunday, Mets manager Terry Collins said >> Read more.

Collins announced that Noah Syndergaard will start Opening Day, April 3, against the Braves at Citi Field, which the pitcher said was a huge honor >> Read more.

"I'm here until I'm not," Jay Bruce told reporters with a dry tone when asked about rumors of Sandy Alderson attempting to trade him before Spring Training >> Read more.

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New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) watches batting practice before action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher)
New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) watches batting practice before action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher)

Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media in Port St. Lucie on Thursday. Here's what we learned...

  • RHP Zack Wheeler, who has been dealing with elbow tenderness, felt good Thursday after playing catch and will hopefully throw from the mound on Friday.
  • RHP Noah Syndergaard will start on Opening Day, which is April 3 against the Braves at Citi Field.
  • Collins does not yet have the starting rotation mapped out for the entire first week of the regular season.

 

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler
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Aug 16, 2016; Syndergaard against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 16, 2016; Syndergaard against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Collins has named Noah Syndergaard the Mets' Opening Day starter.

According to Collins, Syndergaard earned the honor with the way he pitched last season.

Syndergaard said it's a "huge honor" and that he's thrilled about how much confidence Collins has in him.

The Mets begin their 2017 season on April 3 at Citi Field against the Braves...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Mets OF Jay Bruce speaks to the media in St. Lucie for the first time in 2017 (Photo: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Mets OF Jay Bruce speaks to the media in St. Lucie for the first time in 2017 (Photo: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

Mets OF Jay Bruce walked in to the team's media room, sat down at the microphone, answered every question, said all the right things, smiled once or twice, got up and walked back in to the clubhouse. The end...

He was professional and courteous, complimented the roster and hyped the team's potential. But, he also spoke like someone dragged to a party he was not invited to attend.

"I'm here until I'm not," he said with a dry tone when asked about rumors of Sandy Alderson attempting to trade him before Spring Training.

It's a perfect response, because it's true for all of us. But the context of Bruce's short seven months in New York, it has a different meaning. It reads and sounded like someone biding his time...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets RHPs Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard threw side-by-side bullpen sessions on Thursday in Port St. Lucie.

Click below to watch

Tags: Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard
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 (Brad Penner (USA Today))
(Brad Penner (USA Today))

Mets OF Jay Bruce had a "pretty easy time" with the trade rumors during the offseason, he said Thursday in Port St. Lucie.

"I'm here until I'm not," Bruce explained, adding that he's been going through trade rumors for two years and didn't concern himself with them.

The Mets picked up Bruce's option after the season, but efforts to trade him failed. He was then told last month that the plan was for him to be the team's everyday right fielder.

Regarding the possibility of getting time at first base, Bruce said he hasn't been told anything yet but that if the Mets want him to, he'll "bust his ass" to make sure he does what he can at first base...

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Mets video recap: Feb. 15 00:02:43
SNY's Steve Gelbs and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com discuss the day at Mets camp, including news about Jeurys Familia and Neil Walker.

SNY's Steve Gelbs and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com discuss the day at Mets camp, including news about Jeurys Familia and Neil Walker.

Earlier today, Steve and Anthony answered fan questions on Facebook during Spring Training Live, which you can watch here.

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Neil Walker
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