PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- New York Mets manager Terry Collins had a message for his players Tuesday: While everyone enjoyed the parade of cars and livestock, it's now time to get serious about baseball.
After playing an intrasquad game on Tuesday afternoon, the Mets now have a team-bonding dinner in the evening. Rafael Montero starts Thursday's Grapefruit League opener against the Washington Nationals in Viera, Florida.
Collins' pronouncement to turn the attention solely to baseball came on a day Yoenis Cespedes brought a pair of horses to camp from his ranch in nearby Vero Beach at Noah Syndergaard's prodding. Both players rode horses in the players' parking lot in the morning.
"The fun time is over," Collins said. "It's time to finally get ready for baseball."
Collins added, lightheartedly: "I have no problem with it. Syndergaard put a helmet on. It tells you that Texas [toughness] stuff is not it's all made up to be."
Asked if he was concerned about too much craziness in camp, Collins added regarding Cespedes: "He's just doing it for the fun of it, because you guys get all stirred up by it. There's nothing else to write about, so you write about his cars. He said, 'If they want to write about what I ride in on, I'm going to come in on a horse.' ... He does his drills. He works hard. He's getting ready to play. He's having a little fun for the time being. But, like I said, it's time to get ready for baseball now."
As for the intrasquad game:
The Blue squad beat the Orange squad, 4-3, behind homers from Juan Lagares (against Robert Gsellman) and Dilson Herrera (against Duane Below). T.J. Rivera had a two-run shot for the Orange in the seventh against Chasen Bradford to complete the game's scoring.
Wilmer Flores was scratched from the start at third base due to illness.
Meanwhile, Erik Goeddel is not even throwing off a mound because of a lingering lat issue. "All I know is he's feeling a little bit better, but he hasn't thrown in quite a while," Collins said.