I want to break down Friday night's game, in which the Greenville Drive beat the Savannah Sand Gnats 5-4, to sweep the Divisional Championship Series two game to none, on a much more detailed level than I treat most games and pull up some things you won't find in the box score.

The Gnats' troubles began in the top of the first when the Drive scored twice off RHP Taylor Whitenton (pictured).  The Drive, the most patient team in the league were a tough matchup for Whitenton, whose command was erratic.  Sure enough, Friday night, he walked the leadoff batter.  Whitenton was second in the SAL in the regular season with 68 walks issued.  The Drive are a Red Sox affiliate and led the SAL in walks drawn in the regular season with 485.  (Organizations like the A's and Red Sox both draft patient hitters and preach patience constantly.  For reference, the Gnats were 11th in the 14-team SAL with 377 walks.)  Whitenton then induced a hard-hit ball to shortstop that by all rights should have been a double-play.  However, the ball took a late bad hop over the shoulder of Robbie Shields at short.  I don't think there was anything  Shields should have done differently on the play.  The play was hit hard enough that he didn't really have time to charge it.  Instead of two outs and no one on, Whitenton had to work around first and second with no outs.  He struck out the third batter, 1B Reynaldo Rodriguez (more on him later) for the inning's first out.

Then we move on to another theme for Whitenton, which is related to command: finishing hitters.  The 22-year old went to an 0-2 count against the clean up man, lanky 6'5" Drive 3B Michael Almanzar. He tried to finish him off with a fastball up and in, which Almanzar will often chase.  However, Whitenton ran it too far inside and plunked Almanzar to load the bases with one out.  Then, with the bases full, he got ahead of Sox first-round pick Kolbrin Vitek 1-2, before losing him to a walk to force in the game's first run.  The next batter, speedy Drive CF Reymond Fuentes bounced one up the middle.  Shields fielded the ball behind the second base bag and shoveled it to 2B Luis Nieves, who caught it with his back to home plate, and then spun and fired the ball on one hop to first where 1B Travis Ozga made the pick.  The first-base umpire ruled Fuentes safe.  Ozga jumped up and down in disbelief.  Gnats manager Pedro Lopez argued briefly, but the call stood and the Drive had a 2-0 lead.  I thought Fuentes was out, but on this play, the reactions of Ozga who was at first, and his manager speak for themselves.  That extra run mattered in a game that came down to one run.

Gnats catcher Albert Cordero ended the top of the first by picking Fuentes off first.  The 20-year-old Cordero who spent most of the year with Kingsport, started on Labor Day in the final game of the regular season and made just his second Gnats start in game two, an elimination game.  Cordero hit .277/.306/.466 in 54 games for Kingsport with 11 doubles and eight home runs.  He's a little pudgy physically, but a really nice receiver with soft hands and with an average or slightly better arm that plays up because he's exceptionally accurate.  I actually really liked that Lopez went with Cordero in the starting lineup.  It allowed Lopez to put his best defender behind the plate, and move C Juan Torres, who was hitting well as the season came to close, to the DH spot, where he was a better option than any of the other bench guys.  I'm pretty sure that I'll have to find a spot for Cordero in my Top 41 prospects this winter.

The game remained 2-0 through three innings.  The Gnats were having a tough time with Greenville RHP Chris Balcom-Miller's sinker/slider combo.  The sinker was mostly 89-91 early, with some 88s by the fifth inning.  In the fourth, with one out, 3B Aderlin Rodriguez blooped a single along the left-field line.  He was a fooled on the pitch and hit it off the end of the bat, but made enough contact and was strong enough to drop the hit in.  RF Cesar Puello followed with a walk.  It was the first game back for Puello since August 14, nearly a month and I thought he looked a little jumpy, chasing breaking balls all night.  The Mets pushed his rehab schedule to get Puello back from the playoffs, and he looked eager to make an impact.  With two runners on, RF Cody Holliday laced a double into left-center chasing home Rodriguez and Puello to tie the game at 2-2.  Left-handed batters are often coached against sinkerballers, who are trying to keep the ball away from them, to go to the opposite field gap.  Holliday did it.

Listen here:

091010 Holliday Two Run Double

Whitenton could not keep the game tied for more than three batters.  He worked ahead of catcher Christian Vazquez 0-2, and then gave up a double down the leftfield line.  The Drive sacrificed him to third and brought him home with a sac fly for a 3-2 lead.  Down 3-2 entering the fifth, Whitenton fell behind the leadoff hitter 2-0 before giving up another double.  That brought up 24-year old Reynaldo Rodriguez.  Rodriguez was 3-5 with two doubles and 3 RBI in game one.  Originally a Yankees farmhand, the Sox signed him out of the Independent Golden Baseball League this year.  Whitenton got ahead 0-2, then gave up a two-run home run that put the Drive ahead 5-2.  I think he was trying to finish Rodriguez off with a fastball up, but it was not up enough.

Whoops.  Listen here:

100910 Rodriguez 2 R HR

The home run ended Whitenton's night in favor of LHP Josh Edgin.  Edgin, who the Mets drafted in the 30th round out of Francis Marion University this year, spent almost the entire year with Kingsport, before joining the Gnats in the final week of the regular season.  He retired nine of the ten batters he faced, walking just one in the eighth.  He was very effective for Savannah using a fastball that was 91-92, with a slider at 81-82 that he could turn into a softer offering around 77.  I liked the 80 mph version better.  I don't recall seeing a changeup out of him.  A starter in college, I think Edgin has a chance to move quickly as a left-handed reliever.  (I don't know how he could last until the 30th round with that kind of velocity, while guys who can't touch 90 are drafted in the top 10 rounds.  One possible explanation: he didn't throw that hard as a starter in college, and his velo jumped in shorter outings as a professional.)

Edgin's good work gave Savannah a chance to play catchup.  Aderlin Rodriguez began the eighth, with an infield single deep in the hole at short against junkballing reliever Tom Ebert.  I thought the play could have been ruled an error, but a hometown hit is fine there too.  Rodriguez finished Friday 3-4.  In addition to his dinky base hits, he also drilled a line drive to right-center.  Anyway, he singled, and Holliday walked to bring the tying run to the plate.  With two outs, Cordero singled cleanly to center field, bring home Rodriguez to make it 5-3.  (In very limited time watching him, I like his bat a little bit too).  Fuentes made a dreadful throw to third that allowed Cordero to move up to second so the Gnats had the tying run at second with two outs. A wild pitch brought home Holliday and moved Cordero to third with the tying run, but Nieves bounced out softly to second to end the threat.

Again, in the ninth, the Gnats put the tying run on base.  CF Matt den Dekker, in a two strike hole, slapped an infield hit deep in the hole at short to lead off the inning.  With two strikes, the left-handed-hitting den Dekker really looks to poke it the other way.  With den Dekker at first, Robbie Shields, who rode a seven-game hitting streak into the playoffs, and was the team's best hitter in the final month came to the plate.  He was asked to bunt.  He took the first two pitches outside to run the count to 2-0.  I was hoping that the count, and situation would prompt Lopez to take the bunt off and let den Dekker try to steal second.  Instead, Shields got the sacrifice down on the third pitch moving den Dekker up to second with the tying run.  Ozga and Rodriguez then both popped out to shallow left to end the game and season with the tying run at second.

It was a very, very tough way to lose a game and end a season.  It was still a fun season.  The Mets SAL affiliate made the playoffs for the first time since Hagerstown in 2005.  Savannah went to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.

This probably could deserve its own post, but the team that went to the playoffs was not the team that won the first half.  Of the nine position players who started game one, not a single one was on the Gnats' roster when the team clinched the First Half Championship on the final day of the half on June 20.  Cesar Puello, who hit ninth on June 20th, and sixth in game two of the playoffs, was the only position player to see action in both the clinching game and the elimination game.

Tags: Aderlin Rodriguez, Albert Cordero, Cesar Puello, Savannah Sand Gnats, Toby Hyde
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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 |

Owners from all 30 Major League Baseball teams convened on a conference call Monday, according to sources, and reiterated the desire to begin the season. 

If any owner has gotten to the point where he does not see the value in playing a truncated schedule, he did not express that to his colleagues. Add that to the players' consistent stance that they want to play, and there remains the expectation that the 2020 season will be salvaged. 

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MLB
MLB

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Let's start with where we expect this negotiation to end: Major League Baseball and the Players Association will reach an agreement to play roughly 70-80 games, and players will accept a small percentage pay cut.

Additionally, the league will offer further financial incentives like removing the qualifying offer and the competitive balance tax this winter, in order to help kick-start free agency during an offseason of financial hardship. The union will offer deferred salaries.

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MLB
MLB

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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With this shortened MLB season slowly coming together, Vegas Sportsbooks haven't missed a beat with projecting winning percentages for 2020. 

As we knew, the NL East was going to be a hard-fought division this season -- shortened or not. With the World Series-champion Nationals not even being the NL East division winner last season (that's the Braves) to go along with the Mets and Phillies, it was bound to be good baseball.

Vegas thinks the same thing with their winning percentages this season. So do you think the Mets will go over or under their projected wins? That's the latest topic on What Are The Odds?

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On the eighth anniversary of Johan Santana pitching the first Mets no-hitter, Mike Baxter and Josh Thole recall their roles from that night.

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May 28, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets former pitcher Ron Darling is introduced to the crowd during a pregame ceremony honoring the 1986 World Series Championship team prior to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
May 28, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets former pitcher Ron Darling is introduced to the crowd during a pregame ceremony honoring the 1986 World Series Championship team prior to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

A judge has thrown out former Met Lenny Dykstra's lawsuit against his former teammate Ron Darling for defamation following the release of Darling's autobiography. 

With the lawsuit put to bed, Daring released an official statement on the matter:

CLICK BELOW TO READ DARLING'S FULL STATEMENT

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Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

With most major cities in the United States protesting police brutality and racial injustice in recent days after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, the Mets released a statement about the situation on Monday:

Queens, NY is one of the most diverse areas in our country. We take pride in our diversity. It is our strength

That is why we denounce all forms of racism and discrimination.

We stand with our state, our city, and community. We hope to be a part of positive change in our society.

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Johan Santana threw the first Mets no-hitter eight years ago today.

After making history, the jubilant Santana addressed his teammates. Watch his full speech above...

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Johan Santana
Johan Santana

It was a night many Mets fans thought they would never see.

On June 1, 2012 at Citi Field in front of 27,069 fans, Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in franchise history 50 years after the inception of the team.

There had been many near-misses through the years, from Tom Seaver to Rick Reed to Tom Glavine and many in between. But it was Santana -- back on the mound after missing the entire 2011 season due to shoulder surgery -- who did it.

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Mets prospect Matthew Allan (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets prospect Matthew Allan (Treated Image by SNY)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |9

When the Mets selected hard-throwing RHP Matthew Allan in the third round (89th overall) of the 2019 MLB Draft, they got a first-round talent who SNY contributor and former Mets front office member Adam Fisher referred to at the time as the "linchpin" of their draft.

Allan, who turned 19 years old this past April, dropped out of the first round and all the way to the Mets at No. 89 because of signability concerns. But New York walked a bit of a tightrope when giving out its signing bonuses, and were able to get Allan signed under its alloted bonus pool.

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FILE - In this Sept. 2, 2015, file photo, New York Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer adjusts his gloves during batting practice before a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field in New York. Cuddyer is ready to retire after playing 15 seasons in the major leagues. He turns 37 in March and leaves with one season left on a two-year, $21 million contract that he signed with the Mets as a free agent. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek, File) (Kathy Kmonicek/AP)
FILE - In this Sept. 2, 2015, file photo, New York Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer adjusts his gloves during batting practice before a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field in New York. Cuddyer is ready to retire after playing 15 seasons in the major leagues. He turns 37 in March and leaves with one season left on a two-year, $21 million contract that he signed with the Mets as a free agent. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek, File) (Kathy Kmonicek/AP)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

A few nights ago, Michael Cuddyer sat in bed and forced himself to watch the entire video, all eight minutes and 43 seconds, that showed a white Minneapolis police officer kill a black man, George Floyd. It took him about four minutes to break down crying.

Cuddyer is an icon in Minnesota, having played 11 seasons for the Twins before leaving for Colorado and New York. He is now back with the team as a member of the front office.

"I forced myself to watch it, because I wanted to feel the empathy and I wanted to see the injustice," Cuddyer said in a phone interview on Sunday. "In the middle of it, I started bawling…I'm not afraid to admit it. I literally was in my bed bawling. Tears falling down my face."

Tags: Michael Cuddyer, Andy Martino
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MLB The Show
MLB The Show

See how the Mets fared against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 59 of the virtual season on MLB The Show 20.

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Mets 1B Pete Alonso (Noah K. Murray)
Mets 1B Pete Alonso (Noah K. Murray)

With most major cities in the United States protesting police brutality and racial injustice in recent days after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso spoke about the situation on Sunday.

"For the past couple of days, I've struggled to wrap my mind around what's happening," Alonso wrote on Instagram. "I have a voice and I will not remain silent. My heart has been broken over the murder of George Floyd. I will never know what it feels like to be discriminated against because (of) the color of my skin. To anyone who faces this type of discrimination, I will fight for you and be an ally. I will always stand with you. There needs to be justice and change made for the better of humanity. Let words be our sword and unity be our armor. Take care of each other."

Floyd died following his arrest in Minnesota after police officer Derek Chauvin -- who was later arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter -- had his knee on a prone Floyd's neck for roughly nine minutes while Floyd repeatedly said "I can't breathe."

After protests began in and around Minneapolis following the death of Floyd, other protests have taken place in New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, and elsewhere. 

Tags: Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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Here is the Sports Squared crossword puzzle for Sunday, May 31, called Players Who Played for the Mets and Yankees...

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Marcus Stroman (Jim Rassol)
Marcus Stroman (Jim Rassol)

Protests against police brutality and racial injustice after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have been taking place in cities across the country.

Many professional athletes, both in New York and other cities, have used their platform to either speak out on or join these protests.

"Racism is engrained [sic] in our society/culture and the world seems incapable of change," tweeted Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. "To change the world we must begin with ourselves. Truly look in the mirror and identify if you're part of the problem or the solution. Your true colors will always be revealed!"

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See how the Mets fared against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 58 of the virtual season on MLB The Show 20.

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New York Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia throws during the eighth inning of Game 1 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (Matt Slocum/AP)
New York Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia throws during the eighth inning of Game 1 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (Matt Slocum/AP)

The Mets were leading the Kansas City Royals, 4-3, with one out and none on in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 1 of the 2015 World Series. They were about to secure the win, guaranteeing themselves at least a split before returning to Citi Field for Game 3. And then it happened.

A Jeurys Familia quick pitch was turned around by Alex Gordon, who drove it out of the ballpark. Five innings later, the Mets lost. And the series was turned on its head.

Speaking this week on The Metrospective podcast with Tim Britton and Pete McCarthy, former Mets GM Sandy Alderson lamented the Game 1 loss and Familia's quick pitch.

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Danny Abriano
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See how the Mets fared against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 57 of the virtual season on MLB The Show 20.

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In a winner-take-all Game 5 of the 2015 NLDS against the Dodgers, Jacob deGrom stepped up in a huge way for the Mets, allowing just two earned runs over six innings of work while striking out seven hitters.

On the latest BNNY: Living Room Edition, the crew discusses how this game helped deGrom take his confidence to the next level and shaped him into the two-time NL Cy Young winner he is today ...

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Matt Harvey
Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey's time with the Mets was complicated, with off the field moments and his Dark Knight persona at times overshadowing what was his utter dominance on the mound when healthy.

Harvey blew past his innings limit in 2015 in his first season after Tommy John surgery (something former teammate David Wright recently lauded him for), underwent thoracic outlet surgery in 2016, and was never the same.

Speaking this week on The Metrospective Podcast with Tim Britton and Pete McCarthy, former Mets GM Sandy Alderson was asked what led to Harvey's downfall.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Danny Abriano
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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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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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