Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Mets News and Notes: Mejia, Johnson, Cyclones, Tejada, Wright, Wilpon, Backman, Phillies
Jenrry Mejia will enter the rotation Saturday at Milwaukee, with Jeremy Hefner moving to the bullpen.
Nats manager Davey Johnson delighted in officially eliminating the Mets from division-title contention. "That made me a little happy," Johnson told Washington reporters postgame. The Mets' tragic number for wild-card elimination is 12.
The Brooklyn Cyclones mustered only one hit and were eliminated from the New York-Penn League playoffs Sunday. Both Mets affiliates to qualify for the postseason -- St. Lucie and Brooklyn -- were eliminated in a winner-take-all Game 3 in the opening round.
Ruben Tejada, who previously had confirmed he would train during the offseason in New York and Port St. Lucie, told Kevin Burkhardt (Twitter link) that he will work out with Jose Reyes at the Garden City, L.I., facility where Reyes has trained for several years. Among the other athletes who train together there: Pedro Beato, the Rockies' Adam Ottavino and Mets minor leaguers Cam Maron (Hicksville High product), John Mincone (Half Hollow Hills East) and Steven Matz (Ward Melville).
David Wright and Jeff Wilpon visited the Squad 18 firehouse in lower Manhattan on Monday morning.
Wright told Marc Carig in Newsday there have been no developments with a contract extension. "I don't think it's the right time, but I guess I'll answer your question," Wright said. "There's nothing new. I guess status quo." Said Wilpon: "I think we've said all along that we plan on keeping David and we want David to be part of the organization long term. Let's not get into the contract. He didn't want to negotiate during the season. We're not going to negotiate during the season. We'll find the right time to sit down and talk."
Wilpon Told reporters, "As a homegrown star, you always have that. I think that's good. I think he's teaching some of the younger guys how to deal with New York and how to act in New York. It all goes into the mix." Wright is hardly the only Mets player to lend time to charitable and community causes. And his jersey isn't the only that sells. But be honest: How many Mets players would you even recognize if they walked into your office today?
The Mets of the past several years have been alternately unlikable and forgettable. But Wright retains a cachet that the organization as a whole has lost. As such, he is more than their clubhouse leader. He's also their chief spokesman. None of this is lost on Wilpon, who would much prefer someone else speak for the team. "It's great, because he gets to do it and I don't have to," Wilpon said. "I just go to support him. It's wonderful. When you have someone who's homegrown like that who can represent the organization, it's terrific."
Wally Backman threw early batting practice on his first full day with the Mets. Backman, who managed Triple-A Buffalo, will serve as an extra coach for the remainder of the season.
Don't look now, but the Philadelphia Phillies, at 70-71, are as close to wild-card contention as they are to the Mets. The Phillies trail the St. Louis Cardinals by five games for the NL's second wild-card slot and lead the Mets (65-76) by five games as well for third place in the division.