Tag Archives: Mets

Mayor de Blasio to throw first pitch at Mets’ Opening Day


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Baseball season is almost here, and the new mayor wants to get in on the action.

Mayor Bill de Blasio will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Mets’ Opening Day at Citi Field on Monday.

The mayor will be accompanied by children from the East Harlem Tutorial Program, who were affected by the recent building collapse.

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Mets David Wright becomes ‘Face of MLB’


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Photo courtesy The New York Mets

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Mets captain David Wright won the MLB’s “Face of MLB” contest.

The contest came down to a match up against Oakland’s Athletics’ infielder Eric Sogard and Wright.

“Captain America,” as Wright has come to be known, gained more retweets than Sogard by fans to win the contest.

 

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Mets to wear patch honoring late broadcaster Kiner during 2014 season


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@Mets

The Mets will pay tribute to their longtime broadcaster Ralph Kiner, who recently passed away, by wearing a commemorative uniform patch on the right sleeve of their jerseys throughout the 2014 season, the team announced Sunday.

Kiner will also be honored during a pregame ceremony on Opening Day at Citi Field on March 31, the Mets said. The ceremony will include a video tribute and the unveiling of a commemorative logo on the left field wall. Kiner’s five children will participate in the event.

The Mets will additionally commemorate Kiner with a display at the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum chronicling his 52 years with the team. They will also place a Kiner logo on the grass behind home plate at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, home to Mets spring training and the St. Lucie Mets Minor League team.

Kiner was a Mets broadcaster since the team’s inception in 1962, and called games for more than 40 seasons. Previously, he was a Hall of Fame player who spent most of his 10-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 40s and 50s.

He passed away on Feb. 6 at age 91.

-With additional reporting by Liam La Guerre

 

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Hall of fame player and Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner dies at 91


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo: Marc S. Levine/New York Mets

Hall of fame player and beloved Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner died on Thursday.

He passed away from natural causes at his home in California.  He was 91.

“Ralph Kiner was one of the most beloved people in Mets history—an original Met and extraordinary gentleman,” Met CEO Fred Wilpon said. “After a hall of fame playing career, Ralph became a treasured broadcasting icon for more than half a century.  His knowledge of the game, wit, and charm entertained generations of Mets fans.  Like his stories, he was one of a kind.  We send our deepest condolences to Ralph’s five children and 12 grandchildren.  Our sport and society today lost one of the all-time greats.”

Kiner spent most of his 10-year playing career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 40s and 50s.

Kiner retired with a .279 batting average and 369 career home runs. Kiner led the league in homers in each of his first seven seasons and stopped playing due to a back injury.

He then went on to have a storied broadcasting career. He was a Mets broadcaster since the team’s inception in 1962, and called games for more than 40 seasons. Kiner was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1975 and is a member of the Mets Hall of Fame.

 

 

First Queens Baseball Convention reveals spirit of Mets fans


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

New York Mets fans have heard this maybe a million times—they have a troubled franchise.

The team has not won a World Series in nearly three decades, and have been disappointing in the last five years as they have struggled just to stay above .500.

That’s just scratching the surface of issues, but even as frustrating as that has been, the spirit of Mets fans is alive and well, and was strongly represented by more than 400 fans at the first-ever Queens Baseball Convention (QBC) Saturday.

“It’s pretty exciting. We may not be in the playoffs every year, but it’s cool to see everyone, and the spirit of Mets fans,” said Andrew Hermida, an illustrator, who was selling his original Mr. Met drawings at the QBC.

The event, which was at McFadden’s bar in Citi Field, was organized by a trio of die hard Mets fans—Shannon “Shark” Prior and Keith Blacknick, the pair behind blog site Metspolice.com, and The 7 Line clothing brand founder Darren Meenan.

The premise was simply to celebrate the past figures of the franchise, a hopefully fruitful future, and just being Mets fan–and there was plenty for fans to do. Wearing orange and blue shirts, jerseys, caps, socks, shoes, and jackets, the Mets faithful played games, enjoyed Mets trivia, bought parts of the old Shea Stadium and Mets memorabilia, paraded in their jerseys, and talked about the past and the upcoming season.

“Hundreds of people paid $35 to celebrate a team that hasn’t won anything in years. It’s like some weird cult,” said Mets fan and comedian Jeff Hysen, who was the event’s MC.

Parents attended the QBC with their children, who brought their children, as generations of fans were present. The kids tried their hand at a dunk tank and got their faces painted.

The event surely attracted many fans for its guest speakers, which included former players Ron Darling and Ed Kranepool, members of the Mets 1986 and 1969 World Series teams respectively.

The former players signed autographs for fans, and had question-and-answer sessions. Even Darling, who is now a baseball broadcaster, was astounded at how much love fans showed their troubled franchise.

“You guys never give up,” Darling said about Mets fans during his forum. “I don’t know how you do it.”

That’s because to some, being a fan isn’t about winning.

“Sports is not about winning, it’s about enjoying the sport. I don’t think it’s exciting to be on the winning team every year. You have to have something to play for,” said Heidi Springer of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, who attended the event with her husband and two sons.

The first QBC attracted a strong crowd, many of whom said they would like to see the event return. Organizers did say they would like to make it an annual event, but are just happy for the turnout of the first QBC.

“The good part about it is everyone that’s involved in it is a Mets fan,” Meenan said. “It’s really a team effort.”

 

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Mets Piazza misses Hall of Fame vote again


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy The New York Mets

Mets legendary catcher Mike Piazza was snubbed from entering the MLB Hall of Fame for the second year in a row.

Candidates for the Hall need at least 75 percent of votes to make it to Cooperstown, and Piazza only garnered 62.2 percent from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Wednesday.

It’s a bump up for Piazza, who received just 57.8 percent of the vote on his first ballot appearance last year.

“On behalf of the organization and our fans, Mike is a true Hall of Famer,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said. “We proudly display his plaque in the Mets Hall of Fame, and we’re hopeful that he’ll soon have one hanging in Cooperstown.”

Although Piazza’s presence will not be felt in the hall just yet, this year three players received enough votes to enter the Hall, an improvement from last year in which no player received enough votes. Atlanta Braves ace pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and slugger Frank Thomas are all heading to Cooperstown.

The last time three players were voted in to the Hall was in 1999 with George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Bobby Yount.

Some players accused of using Performance Enhancing Drugs were also denied entry into the Hall again, including Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire and Roger Clemens. Yankees favorites Mike Mussina and Don Mattingly also didn’t receive enough votes to enter Cooperstown.

Piazza fans shouldn’t give up hope just yet. The Mets slugger still has 13 more chances to be on the ballot.

Also, at the last Mets game of the 2013 season on September 29, the team inducted Piazza as the 27th member in the Mets Hall of Fame.

Piazza is known as one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time. He has the most home runs for a catcher ever with 427, a career .308 batting average and 2,127 hits.

Piazza played 972 games for the Mets, eight of his 16-year career in MLB. He hit 220 home runs with the Mets, ranking second in franchise history, behind Darryl Strawberry (252). He ranks first in team history with a .542 slugging percentage and is third in RBIs (655). Piazza was a seven-time All-Star when he played with the Mets and set a team-record with 124 RBIs and hit 40 home runs in 1999.

Then in 2000 he finished with 38 home runs and drove in 113 runs to lead the team to win the National League Division Championship.

 

Follow on Twitter @liamlaguerre 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Sunny to partly cloudy. High 31. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low 23. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: New York Voices — Vocal Jazz Quartet — 25th Anniversary Celebration

Hear the incredible vocal jazz of this world renowned quartet — the group visited Queensborough Community College in 2012 and electrified audiences with their complex harmonies, intricate rhythms, and orchestra-like use of their voices. NY Voices was moved by their work with our vocal students here, and the music department is proud to be able to offer their musical gifts to the campus again. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

City Council passes 911 response time bill

The New York City Council has passed a bill requiring the fire department to change how it tracks response times to emergencies. Read more: NBC New York

NYC could soon mandate flu shots for small children

Some New York City parents may soon be required by law to have their children vaccinated for the flu. Read more: CBS New York

Cuomo backs panel’s $2B tax-cut proposal

The state will consider tax cuts that include relief for renters here and a property-tax freeze outside New York City, Gov. Cuomo said Tuesday. Read more: New York Post

Lawmakers unveil bipartisan budget deal

Shedding gridlock, key members of Congress reached a modest budget agreement Tuesday to restore about $63 billion in automatic spending cuts from programs ranging from parks to the Pentagon. Read more: NBC New York

Curtis Granderson: True New Yorkers are Mets fans

Curtis Granderson’s first hit for his new team was a playful shot at his old employer. Read more: AP

 

Singers compete in Mets annual Anthem Search


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

O say can you sing?

The New York Mets hosted the first round of their 2014 Anthem Search on Thursday to find the person who will sing the national anthem at opening day next year.

More than 150 contestants auditioned for the position, giving 60 seconds of their best vocals to a panel of judges.

“It’s the Mets version of American Idol,” said Gary Apple, an SNY broadcaster and judge of the competition. “I think it’s great for the Mets and baseball.”

This year’s Anthem Search is the first time the winner will be allowed to sing on opening day. Past winners choose dates throughout the season to sing.

Many talented singers saw the opportunity as a way to bolster their future singing goals.

“It would be an honor to sing in front of many people and represent the Mets and it would be really challenging and add to my experience in singing,” said 13-year-old Victoria Labban, a resident of Richmond Hill, who has sang at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Mets officials said contestants will be called soon after the auditions and be informed if they have made the cut.

The judges gave singers encouragement, but were also tough, because they said performing the anthem in front thousands of fans requires someone who wouldn’t choke up, forget any words, and of course sing well.

“There were definitely some people who should have gone to work and not come here today,” said Skeery Jones, a judge and radio personality for Z100.

In the second round Mets staff will determine a single winner, who will sing in 2014 opening day on March 31, when the Mets host the Washington Nationals.



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Connecticut man arrested for threatening Mets


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A Connecticut man has been charged for allegedly making threats against the New York Mets.

Aryn Leroux, 42, of West Haven, was arrested Wednesday for making threats against the baseball team’s players, coaches, executives as well as Citi Field, according to the AP, and charged with misdemeanor threatening and breach of peace.

He reportedly made the threats through Twitter.

 

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Mets’ Matt Harvey to undergo elbow surgery, miss 2014 season


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of The New York Mets

As if not making the playoffs wasn’t bad enough for Mets fans, the team announced Friday that rookie sensation Matt Harvey will undergo Tommy John surgery, which will force him to miss the 2014 season.

“After further consultation with doctors, Mets pitcher Matt Harvey has elected to have surgery to repair a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery later this month,” the Mets said.

Harvey was frequently mentioned among the league’s best pitchers during 2013, his official rookie season. He completed the season with a 9-5 record, 2.27 ERA and 191 strikeouts in 178 and 1/3 innings.

The team announced Harvey’s elbow injury following a loss to the Detroit Tigers on August 24, in which Harvey gave up a career-high 13 hits.

Despite the Mets record of 74-88 on the season and third place in the National League East, Harvey was one of the shining stars that gave fans hope for next year. Now that will have to wait another season.

 

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Mike Piazza inducted into Mets Hall of Fame


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of The New York Mets

It was a Piazza palooza at Citi Field.

The New York Mets inducted legendary catcher Mike Piazza as the 27th member in the Mets Hall of Fame on Sunday before the team played its final game of the year.

Piazza received a proclamation from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which declared September 29 as Mike Piazza Day.

“I’m very, very proud to be a New York Met,” Piazza said. “I’m glad they took recognition and gave me this honor.”

Citi Field was packed for Piazza’s induction as many cheered for one of the franchise’s most prominent figures.

Piazza threw out the first pitch of the game to Mets captain David Wright and Piazza’s former teammates Edgardo Alfonzo and John Franco presented him with a plaque and shared some kind words.

“You were a tremendous teammate,” Franco said. “You played hurt, you played hard and you are a great guy to be around. So I just want to say congratulations from one Italian brother to another.”

Piazza is known as one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time. He has the most home runs for a catcher ever with 427, a career .308 batting average and 2,127 hits.

Piazza played 972 games for the Mets, eight of his 16-year career in MLB. He hit 220 home runs with the Mets, ranking second in franchise history, behind Darryl Strawberry (252). He ranks first in team history with a .542 slugging percentage and is third in RBIs (655). Piazza was a seven-time All-Star when he played with the Mets and set a team-record with 124 RBIs and hit 40 home runs in 1999.

Then in 2000 he finished with 38 home runs and drove in 113 runs to lead the team to win the National League Division Championship.

Fortunately the Mets won the final game of the year 3-2 against the Brewers to top off the Hall of Fame celebration, despite another year with a losing record, 74-88.

Piazza is looking forward to a time when the Mets are once again on top of the league standings. He also joked that the organization will have first crack at his son, but he won’t be cheap.

“I’ll teach him how to hit and the rest is up to him,” Piazza said.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of rain, then thunderstorms and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 88. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the West in the afternoon. Chance of rain 20%. Tuesday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers in the evening, then partly cloudy with rain showers. Low of 73F. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Dahdoo Ensemble

Come see the Dahdoo Ensemble at Thomas P. Noonan Jr. Playground at 7 p.m. for a free evening of Middle Eastern music.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Only one Queens borough president candidate supports proposed QueensWay rail park

Only one of the four candidates running for Queens Borough President is enthusiastically supporting an ambitious proposal to transform an abandoned rail line into a High Line-type park. Read more: New York Daily News

New York City reading and math test scores available online

New York City parents can check an online database to see how their public school children performed on new state reading and math exams this spring. Read more: AP

Speed cameras to go into effect near city schools September 9

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan have announced that the speed camera pilot program would roll out at yet-to-be-determined locations near schools citywide beginning the first day of school, Monday, September 9. Read more: The Queens Courier 

Report: Mets expect Matt Harvey to undergo Tommy John surgery

Matt Harvey has a partially torn ligament in his right elbow, a potentially devastating injury for the pitcher that had given the floundering New York Mets reason to be hopeful about their future. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Obama taps allies as US weighs action over ‘moral obscenity’ of Syria gas attack

The diplomatic push ahead of a possible U.S.-led military strike on Syria intensified Tuesday as the White House prepared to release intelligence evidence alleging the use of chemical weapons by Bashar Assad’s military. Read more: NBC News 

Mets host first sleepover at Citi Field


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Call it the Citi Field of sweet dreams.

The Mets hosted their first ever sleepover at Citi Field on August 10.

Hundreds of fans brought pillows, sleeping bags and even tents to sleep on the grass and enjoy the Mets 4-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on the jumbo screen in the outfield.

“I was like wow, I’m going to sleep on the field, eat on the field and do everything that you possibly could want to do as a kid,” said Mets fan Garrison Polius. ” Especially as a ballplayer , the baseball field is the most common place in the world to us so when you’re on one, sleeping on one, it can’t get any better than that.”

The sleepover package included a dinner buffet, a late night snack and breakfast and fans received a ticket to a future Mets game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sept. 28.

Despite enduring another losing season fans said they like the sleepover and fun events like it, because they’re simply entertaining.

“I’ve been coming to Mets’ games since I was a kid and it’s always been a family friendly place. I love coming back every single year,” said Tom Hubert. “Look, we haven’t had a winning season in the past couple of seasons, but you know what I could still come here, be 12 games back, 11 games back I don’t care what it is. I still love the Mets and enjoy coming every time.”

 

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Mets’ Jordany Valdespin among list of players suspended in Biogenesis case


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THE COURIER/File photo

Mets outfielder Jordany Valdespin and prospect Cesar Puello accepted 50-game suspensions as a part of the MLB Biogenesis banned substances case, first reported by Foxsports.com.

Valdespin has been having a rough year, batting just .188 with 4 homers in 133 at-bats. The Mets sent Valdespin down to Triple-A Las Vegas in July and he recently returned from serving a three-game suspension.

The pair were among 12 players that accepted suspensions, including Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Houston Astros pitching prospect Sergio Escalona, Yankees outfield prospect Fernando Martinez,  free-agent pitcher Fautino De Los Santos, free-agent pitcher Jordan Norberto and Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun.

The MLB later announced that the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for 211 games, but the slugger is expected to appeal. Rodriguez will be playing in tonight’s game against the Chicago White Sox, according to the Yankees.

 

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Mets place Wright on 15-DL, Baxter back


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

File photo

The Mets will have to fight on without their leader for a little while.

The team placed their captain, David Wright, on the 15-day disabled list this morning after he injured his right hamstring yesterday. “The Pride of Whitestone,” Mike Baxter, was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace him on the roster.

Justin Turner started at third base for the 1:10 p.m. game today.



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