Tag Archives: Mets

Mets open season with lowered expectations


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Met fans, notorious for their cynical optimism, are getting ready for another season riddled with questions.

With the recent news that Johan Santana might be out for the entire season, fans outside Citi Field today don’t have high hopes for the team.

“If they win 75 games,” said Ken Jones of Long Island, “It’ll be a lot.”

Jones, who’s been to more than 20 Mets opening days, called the 2013 season a rebuilding year for the team and was more looking forward to the next opener.

Fellow fans like Andre, who chose not to give his last name, hopes the Mets will at least fare better than their 74-88 record last year.

“I’m hoping better than they did last year,” he said regarding the team’s record. “If they finish at .500 I’ll be happy.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. High of 54. Breezy. Winds from the West at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of rain 20%. Monday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 36. Breezy. Winds from the NW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Jazz Appreciation Month at Louis Armstrong House Museum

Come visit the Louis Armstrong House Museum this April as it celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month. Eighty-five  years ago, Louis Armstrong recorded one of his all-time masterpieces, “West End Blues,” one of the most important records in jazz history. For Jazz Appreciation Month, the museum’s historic house tours will feature an ultra rare recording of Louis Armstrong performing “West End Blues” live at Freedomland in 1961. This performance was recently donated to its archives by the son of Freedomland sound engineer Peter Denis. Previously unissued and not in any discographies, it will be featured only during Jazz Appreciation Month. This recording ties into the museum’s current exhibit, Louis Armstrong at Freedomland that closes April 30. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

11 injured in Queens house fire

Fire officials say 11 people have been injured in an early morning fire at a two-family house in Queens. Read more: Fox 5/AP

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall took off more than 40 days in 2012

Where’s the beep? As she wraps up her third term, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall seems to be preparing for retirement early — taking more than 40 days off last year. Read more: New York Daily News

Jon Niese takes hill for New York Mets on Opening Day

Two main attractions will be missing when the New York Mets host San Diego in their season opener Monday. Read more: ABC New York/AP

City to resume search for human remains in Twin Towers’ debris

The grim and sad search for human remains in the debris from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks resumes Monday. Read more: CBS New York

Majority of mayoral candidates send children to public school: News survey

Five of the city’s eight mayoral hopefuls who have children send or have sent their kids to public school.  Read more: New York Daily News

Dolan says the Catholic Church should be more welcoming to gay people

On Easter Sunday, weeks after he helped elect a new pope for a church struggling with declining numbers and controversy over social issues, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said that the Roman Catholic Church could be more welcoming of gay men and lesbians despite opposing same-sex marriage. Read more: New York Times

Immigration deal at hand, focus turns to details

Big business and big labor have settled on a political framework for an immigration overhaul. Now, the lawmakers writing bipartisan legislation need to resolve the nitty-gritty – and keep their parties’ political flanks mollified. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Partly cloudy with rain showers in the afternoon. High of 52. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 37. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Disco Inferno II

Due to popular demand, Disco Inferno is back on Friday, March 29. Resorts World will boogie down memory lane with a live concert by Tavares, Bonnie Pointer, Cory Daye and Disco Unlimited. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

New York State Assembly passes $141.3 billion budget for 2013-14

The Assembly on Thursday gave final passage to a $141.3 billion state budget. Read more: New York Daily News

Deal reached on paid sick leave in NYC

New York City legislators, labor advocates and business leaders have struck a deal on the hotly contested issue of paid sick leave. Read more:: Fox New York/AP

Mets: Johan might miss 2013 season

Mets starter Johan Santana could miss the entire 2013 because of a re-tear in his left shoulder, General Manager Sandy Alderson announced Thursday during a conference call. Read more: The Queens Courier

Block-watch programs back in vogue as NYPD headcount shrinks

A group of concerned western Queens residents want to make sure the bad old days of crime don’t ever come back. Read more: New York Daily News

Mayors Against Illegal Guns out with new ad featuring Newtown families

Events took place around the nation Thursday as participants demand federal gun safety measures be enacted. Read more: CBS New York

Hundreds rally against proposed cuts to after-school programs

Hundreds of children rallied outside City Hall Thursday to urge Mayor Michael Bloomberg not to go through with cuts to after-school programs. Read more: NY1

North Korea readies rockets after U.S. show of force

North Korea put its missile units on standby on Friday to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after the United States flew two nuclear-capable stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula in a rare show of force. Read more: Reuters

 

Mets: Johan might miss 2013 season


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy New York Mets

Mets starter Johan Santana could miss the entire 2013 because of a re-tear in his left shoulder, General Manager Sandy Alderson announced Thursday during a conference call.

Santana, originally staying in Florida on the disabled list, flew to New York today where he was diagnosed with the new rip, Alderson said.

“Johan will remain in New York over the easter weekend to decide on the next steps,” he said. “A second surgery is a strong probability.”

The 34-year-old southpaw missed the entire 2011 season with the same injury, but returned for a shortened 2012 season in which he threw the team’s first-ever no hitter. After the June 1 spectacle however, Santana had a string of poor performances before he was shutdown in August.

Entering the final year of a large contract, Santana might have thrown his final pitch as a Met. His contract promises him $25.5 million this year with a $5.5 million buyout for next year.

Another surgery is an option, but there’s no time table on when that could happen or if the recovery time will be longer than in late 2010.

But there are still few facts known, including when the new tear started.

“We don’t know when this occurred,” Alderson said. “I think Johan would probably be the best person to shed some light on any time.”

Mets skipper Terry Collins said during spring training he was disappointed Santana did not show up at Port St. Lucie in pitching shape.

Alderson said the front office isn’t looking to trade for another starter at this point as they expected Santana to start on the DL.

“We had expected that Johan would be on the disabled list at the beginning of the season so our rotation has been set with that in mind,” he said. “We are not terribly deep right now with Santana out. On the other hand, we do feel that we have some not just depth in the system, but exceptional talent coming through the system.”

Zach Wheeler, projected to be one of the Amazin’s promising pitchers, will not be called up early in light of the news.

“When he’s ready, he’ll be here,” Alderson said. “But until that time we will address this situation and other needs in our rotation.”


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Mets ranked sixth most valuable team in baseball


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

The Mets are the sixth most valuable team in Major League Baseball according to Forbes, possibly putting to rest concerns the team is underwater on the financial front.

Forbes listed the Amazin’s value at $811 million – a 13-percent increase from last year. The crosstown rival Yankees ranked first with a $2.3 billion worth.

Between the two teams are the L.A. Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively. The San Francisco Giants, who played at the Polo Grounds until 1957, ranked just behind the Mets – worth $786 million.

With the average value of a team at about $744 million, the Mets just place above the norm despite financial woes since the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme reportedly put the Mets’ bank account in the red.

Co-owner Fred Wilpon said earlier this year, however, that the team was on its way back up and all money lost nearly five years ago has been remade.

 

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MLB All-Star Game, FanFest tickets now on sale


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

For the first time since 1964, Major League Baseball’s All-Star game will take place in Queens. In the days leading up to the event, the MLB will host a variety of events for the Mid-Summer Classic.

Culminating with the 84th MLB All-Star Game on July 16, the All-Star fest will feature a variety of events for visitors to enjoy, from Friday, July 12- Tuesday, July 16.

All attractions are free with the price of admission. Tickets are $35 for adults and $30 for senior citizens, military personnel and children 12 and under. For the price of admission visitors can enjoy exhibits from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, take a swing at the batting cages and free autograph sessions with former Mets and MLB legends and Hall of Famers.

Fans will also be able to purchase single game e-tickets to the All-Star Sunday event. Admission to the event includes the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game. The futures game will feature minor league prospects, which in the past has included currents Mets players Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey and David Wright.

The celebrity softball game will feature stars from the film music and television industry, teaming up with participants from the futures game.

The home-run derby will take place on July 15th.

For more information and updates on future events and to purchase tickets you can visit AllStarGame.com or call 1-888-FanFest.

 

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David Wright named fourth captain in Mets history


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

During his injury-shortened tenure on Team USA this year, fans dubbed him “Captain America.”

But now, it’s official.

Third baseman David Wright was named the fourth captain in Mets history – joining the elite group with Mets legends Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez and John Franco. Unlike Hernandez and Franco, however, Wright will not wear the “C” on his jersey like those worn by NHL captains.

“This is probably one of the proudest days of my career so far,” Wright told reporters upon the announcement. “I think to be viewed in this light both by ownership, by [General Manager] Sandy [Alderson] in the front office, by the coaching staff and probably most importantly by the players is a great deal to me.”

Wright’s guarded the hot corner in Flushing since 2004, and has grown into a quiet leader on the team through playoff prospects and tragic collapses.

Last December, the 30-year-old signed one of the largest contracts in Mets history:  $138 million back-loaded over the next eight years, effectively making him a Met for life.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 48. Breezy. Winds from the WSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 20%. Friday night: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain in the evening, then overcast with a chance of snow. Low of 32. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 30% .

EVENT OF THE DAY: Wreck-It Ralph in 3-D at NYSCI

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping journey in 3-D. Wreck-It Ralph longs to be a hero. So when a new game arrives, he sneaks into it with a plan to win a medal, but soon wrecks everything, and accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Playing at the New York Hall of Science Friday, March 15 and Friday, March 22 at 5 p.m. $9 adults/$7 children, seniors and students with ID. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Man charged in Queens murders, brush fire due in court

A Brooklyn man is due in court Friday in the murders of two men whose bodies were found in a burning brush fire in Queens. Read more: AP/ABC New York

Census records show more people are moving to NYC

The entrances to the Big Apple are now busier than the exits. For the first time in half a century, more people are moving into the city than moving out, helping to swell the population to a record of 8,336,697, according to Census data released yesterday. Read more: New York Post

Former New York Gov. Pataki endorses John Catsimatidis for NYC mayor

Billionaire mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis on Thursday picked up his biggest endorsement yet: former Gov. George Pataki. Read more: New York Daily News

David Wright wants to rejoin U.S. Lineup; sore ribs a concern for Mets

David Wright was scratched from the World Baseball Classic game Thursday against the Dominican Republic because of sore ribs, and U.S. manager Joe Torre isn’t expecting him to rejoin the lineup. Read more: CBS New York

Critics wave knives and hockey stick at U.S. air safety hearing

The top U.S. transportation security official on Thursday defended his controversial move to allow small knives to be carried onto airplanes, despite protests from flight attendants and lawmakers who say it will endanger the flying public. Read more: Reuters

How will Pope Francis deal with church sex abuse scandal?

The election of a new pope could help heal the wounds left by a Roman Catholic sex abuse crisis that has savaged the church’s reputation worldwide. For alleged victims, much depends on whether Pope Francis disciplines the priests and the hierarchy that protected them. Read more: AP/ABC New York

 

Ex-Met Mike Piazza addresses steroid use, gay rumors, Clemens brawl in new book


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Former Met Mike Piazza took karate lessons in anticipation of a fiery showdown with crosstown rival Roger Clemens, he writes in his new book.

The storied Mets catcher, recently snubbed along with every other candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame, addresses his long standing feud with the former Yankee in “Long Shot,” along with rumors that he was gay, his romances and allegations that he took performance enhancing drugs.

Piazza recalls the July 8, 2000 inter-league game between the Mets and the Yankees, when Clemens launched a two-seam fastball near the Mets catcher’s head. After that, Piazza writes that he started taking karate lessons in order to fend off against Clemens. The two later sparred off during the 2000 World Series, during which Clemens threw a fragment of broken bat at Piazza as he headed for first base.

After appearing on a ballot with several admitted steroid users, Piazza flat out denies using any performance enhancing drugs. He did, however, say he and other baseball players used now-banned stimulants that were legal and common at the time.

 

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NYPD officers sport 7 Line gear after drug bust


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Facebook/NYPD

The 7 Line, a manufacturer of non-traditional Mets apparel, just got some free publicity courtesy of the New York City Police Department

On its Facebook page this afternoon, the NYPD posted a message describing a recent Queens drug bust, where officers from the 103rd Precinct arrested a man for possession of two loaded guns and crack cocaine.

Along with the crime description, the NYPD also posted a photo of the recovered weapons and drugs, and the NYPD members responsible for the bust decked out in 7 Line gear.

According to the post, on February 1, a sergeant and two officers responded to a call of shots fired. While canvassing the area where the suspects possibly had fled, they saw a man exit a Ferndale Avenue home with a backpack, then return to the same house without the backpack.

They stopped and questioned the man, and recovered the backpack, which contained a loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun, a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun and 1.5 ounces of crack cocaine. An additional 179 rounds of ammunition were also found inside the house.

The 26-year-old suspect was charged with criminal possession of a weapon,  criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with snow. High of 36. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 80%. Tuesday night: Overcast with snow. Low of 30. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of snow 80%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Free comedy show in Sunnyside

Check out this free comedy show at The Courtyard Ale House in Sunnyside. The show is on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month at 9 p.m. and features the best stand-up comedians in the city. The show is free, no drink minimum, nothing! Just come out and laugh! Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Delayed insurance checks for Sandy victims could slow recovery

Superstorm Sandy ripped up the roof of Matt Piccione’s Breezy Point home and deluged his basement with water, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages. Read more: New York Daily News

NYPD stop-and-frisk report under scrutiny

The NYPD has released a report that breaks down its controversial stop and frisk policy by precinct and race. Read more: Fox New York

Mets eye casino at Citi to help offset losses suffered in Bernie Madoff scandal

It’s an Amazin’ gamble The Mets’ owners want to roll the dice on building a Las Vegas-style casino next to Citi Field to recoup some of the $162 million for which team brass are still on the hook following the Bernie Madoff Ponzi-scheme debacle, plans obtained by The Post reveal. Read more: New York Post

State plan to buy homes at risk of future storm damage awaits federal approval

Governor Andrew Cuomo laid out his plan Monday to buy Hurricane Sandy-ravaged homes in areas at risk of future storm damage. Read more: NY1

Ed Koch remembered as New York City’s ‘quintessential mayor’

Remembered as a man with a “big brain, but an even bigger heart,” thousands said goodbye Monday to New York City’s “quintessential mayor,” Ed Koch. Read more: CBS New York

Report: New York-Newark fourth most traffic congested area in nation

An annual study of national driving patterns shows that Americans spent 5.5 billion additional hours sitting in traffic in 2011. Read more: CBS New York

Biggest gas price jump in two years

The weekly average price of a gallon of regular gas is $3.54, up 18 cents from a week earlier.  That’s the biggest weekly price increase in two years, according to the Department of Energy. Read more: ABC News

Fan, former player reaction to Piazza and Baseball Hall of Fame vote


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

Ten days after the world stopped and cried for New York, Mike Piazza made history with a swing of the bat that gave the city hope once again.

The September 21, 2001 homerun Piazza hit was late in the first professional sports game since the September 11 attacks, and gave the Mets the lead in front of thousands of fans, many of whom were first responders.

A power hitter who revived the fan base in the late 1990s and 2000s, Piazza was etched into the baseball history books because of this moment.

But will he have to wait before his plaque makes it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Piazza did not receive enough votes to make it in to Cooperstown, nor did any other candidate — the first time since 1996 that writers failed to vote someone in.

The 12-time All Star catcher played in the Steroid Era of baseball and was on the same ballot as alleged steroid users Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa. Piazza was never directly linked to using steroids, but many baseball critics were concerned his just playing during the tainted era would hurt his chances.

Piazza batted .296 and hit 220 homeruns in orange and blue between May 1998 to September 2005. He hit his 352nd career dinger in 2004 to surpass Carlton Fisk as the alltime homerun hitter for catchers. If he does make it to the Hall of Fame, Piazza has said he wants to be remembered as a Met and not a Los Angeles Dodger, where he started his career.

Paul LoDuca, who took over as catcher after Piazza left Flushing at the end of 2005, tweeted disappointment that baseball writers hadn’t voted in his colleague.

“Once again: Tell the Voters to strap on the gear for 9 innings and put the numbers up Mike Piazza did,” LoDuca tweeted. “I don’t care if he used rocket fuel.”

LoDuca, who admitted to taking Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) during his career, followed up later by saying an entire generation of baseball should not be scolded for the mistakes of some.

“I took PEDs and I’m not proud of it,” he wrote. “But people that think you can take a shot or a pill and play like the legends on that ballot need help.”

David Adler of Bay Terrace, a 50-year Met fan, was disappointed Piazza did not get enough votes this year, and credited it to accused steriod users taking away votes.

“He [Piazza] should have gotten in,” he said. “A lot of votes went to players using performance enhancing drugs and that, I feel, took votes away for him.”

Adelr and other fans are sure Piazza will one day make it into Cooperstown with an interlocking “NY” on his cap.

“He went to the World Series with the Mets, not as a Dodger,” Adelr said. “You would think that that would count for something.”

— With additional reporting by Anthony O’Reilly

 

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Former Met Mike Piazza, other nominees not voted into Baseball Hall of Fame; first time no inductees since 1996


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

No one’s going on the wall this year.

The candidates for the Baseball Hall of Fame failed to get the needed 75-percent of votes today to make it into Cooperstown. This was the first time since 1996 that no one was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

One of those ball players was Mets catcher Mike Piazza, who, according to MLB.com, received 57.8 percent of the vote on his first ballot appearance.

Several sluggers accused of using performance enhancing drugs also appeared on the ballot: Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire.

After the announcement that seems to be stunning the baseball world, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon commented that, “we are optimistic one day soon Mike‘s plaque, with a Mets cap, will be hanging in Cooperstown where it truly belongs.”

 

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Dickey deal finalized; Cy Young Award winner heading to Toronto for prospects


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the New York Mets

It’s official. The New York Mets have finalized a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays that turned Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey into a bevy of top prospects.

The Mets amped up efforts to trade the 38-year-old knuckle-baller when talks of a contract extension between Dickey and the team broke down. After the teams agreed upon the players to be swapped, the Blue Jays were given a window to sign Dickey to an extension. Dickey will reportedly receive a two-year extension from the Blue Jays worth $25 million; he has one year remaining on his current deal for $5 million.

In the three years with the Mets, Dickey went 39-28 with a 2.95 ERA and 468 strikeouts in 617 innings.

“Now that it’s official, I want to say that I don’t have the words to express how grateful I am to you for the steadfast support and encouragement I received from all of you. I’ve always felt that there was a connection beyond the uniform. Thank you for making me feel wanted,” Dickey wrote in a series of tweets. “Looking forward to a new chapter with the Jays.”

In exchange for the Cy Young-award winner, the Mets will reportedly receive catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra and catcher John Buck. Catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas will be heading north with Dickey.

The 23-year-old d’Arnaud was 19th on Baseball America’s midseason top 50 prospect list. Syndergaard, 20, who ranked as the Blue Jays number three prospect, projects as a potential top of the rotation starter, though he remains several years away from the majors.

The new Blue Jays will be reuniting with former Met Jose Reyes who was dealt to Toronto from Miami in a mega, 12-player deal earlier this year.

Dickey becomes the fourth Cy Young Award winner to be dealt in the offseason after receiving the prize for the league’s top pitcher, joining David Cone, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens.

Mets, David Wright officially announce new deal


| brennison@queenscourier.com

DWRIGHT

Mets fans have grown used to watching homegrown stars end up in another team’s uniform, from Tom Seaver to Darryl Strawberry and most recently Jose Reyes. David Wright’s recent eight-year contract with the Mets means that cycle might be broken.

Wright’s $138 million extension, first reported at the end of November, was officially signed on Tuesday, and will keep the third baseman with the team through 2020, when he will be 38.

“It’s a dream come true to be able to finish my career where I started it and hopefully add a championship or two,” Wright said at a press conference announcing the deal at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Nashville.

“To me there was no thought of ever putting on another uniform,” he said.

Wright thanked Mets fans who he said have stood by him through the ups and downs in his career. “They’ve seen a lot of strike outs, a lot of errors,” he said.

The Mets all-time leader in hits, runs, RBI, doubles, walks and total bases had one year remaining on his contract coming into the offseason, though both he and the team expressed a desire to complete a deal.

“This is a cornerstone relationship that we think will allow us to continue to build and provide a winning future for the Mets going forward,” said General Manager Sandy Alderson.

Wright is coming off a year in which he batted .306, scored 91 runs, slugged 21 home runs and knocked in 93 while coming in sixth in the National League’s Most Valuable Player voting.

The future of the Mets remains up in the air as the team  has finished below .500 for four consecutive years and is listening to offers for Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, but Wright’s confidence has not wavered.

“Things haven’t gone the way we would have liked them to the last couple of years, but that’s going to change,” Wright said.

“I’m going to give everything I have out there to bring a championship back to Queens.”