Mike Pelfrey and Manny Acosta combined to surrender three two-run homers and the Mets lost the opener to a six-game road trip, 8-1 to the Rangers on Friday night.
Saturday's news reports:
• Barbara Barker in Newsday tells the story of how Dillon Gee, who faces his hometown team Sunday, came to be drafted by the Mets. Gee had been invited to a tryout camp at a junior college, but it was called off because of rain. Writes Barker:
Gee's father, Kevin, had taken a day off from his job with the Fort Worth fire department to attend the tryout. As they prepared to return home, Kevin noticed that the team had pulled a few of the players aside and told them not to leave. "They were going to bus those kids two hours to the Astrodome in Houston for a tryout," (mother) Kelly said. "Dillon was not one of those kids." Kevin approached a friendly-looking scout and told him he really ought to see his son pitch. The scout told him if he wanted to make the drive on his own with Dillon, they would take a look at him. The Mets liked what they saw, or liked it enough to end up making Gee the 633rd overall pick. He signed with them for only $20,000.
• Francisco Rodriguez was not thrilled with any implication he did not want to remain a Met. As for the Yankees, the Post reports they're not interested in him in the Bronx anyway. And a second article in the newspaper quoted an anonymous Mets official saying it's too dangerous to do business with the Yankees, so the only scenario in which the teams would engage in a swap is if the Mets are overwhelmed. Read more in Newsday.
• Jeff Pearlman looks at the Mets getting fleeced of Tom Seaver in an all-time horrific trade. The Journal article notes that Jose Reyes, should he be traded, would not rival the Seaver deal in terms of trading an icon. Writes Pearlman:
Like Seaver, Reyes is often the only reason to watch the Mets play. Like Seaver... well, never mind. "The comparison isn't a good one," says Marty Appel, a baseball historian who spent much of the 1970s as the New York Yankees media relations director. "Tom Seaver was an icon. Tom Seaver was the franchise. Trading him was like the Braves trading Hank Aaron or if the Pirates traded Roberto Clemente. Jose Reyes is a great player. But is he what Tom Seaver was to the city? Not even close."
• After Texas' Josh Hamilton broached the topic of blue eyes being a detriment to daytime hitting, Jason Bay agreed. "I do know that if you have blue eyes you are more susceptible to brightness or whatever," Bay told The Times' David Waldstein. "I know that, and I do have very blue eyes.”
BIRTHDAY: Alejandro Pena turns 52. Pena went 9-4 in two seasons with the Mets, before being traded in mid-1991. Pena eventually would inherit the closer role for the NL champion Braves and was the losing pitcher in Game 7 of the World Series against the Twins. ... Carlos Delgado turns 39. Delgado hit 104 home runs for the Mets and his .506 slugging percentage for the team ranks fourth in franchise history. -Mark Simon