David Wright produced his first-ever homer at Nationals Park, a three-run first-inning shot in his 32nd game at the ballpark, and the Mets beat the Nationals, 7-3. Josh Stinson made his major league debut, recording five outs and also walking during a plate appearance. Daniel Herrera also debuted with the organization, striking out ex-Reds teammate Jonny Gomes for the final out. The Mets have won seven of eight.
Saturday's news reports:
• Newsday's Steven Marcus reports the way the Mets will sell ownership shares is in $20 million blocks that each would be worth 4 percent of the team. So the 10 shares at 4 percent each would yield $200 million for 40 percent of the team, and match the investment dollars David Einhorn had pledged. Why not that route from the beginning? Writes Marcus:
The Mets initially considered selling unit shares, but, the source said, "There was so much interest from big hitters who could write a $200 million check." Most of those willing to put up the full $200 million sought significant say in the baseball operations, the person said, and Wilpon and Katz decided to abandon that strategy after the proposed deal with Einhorn fell through. According to the source, the team has a list with up to 50 parties who expressed interest in a smaller share when the announcement about selling a portion of the team was made in January. "There was a tremendous amount of interest from people who said, 'I can't do $200 million; I'd love to do a smaller amount and have the fun of being a part-owner.' [The Mets] are pretty confident there is a lot of interest in these units."
ESPNNewYork.com reported Thursday the Mets would now look to sell shares, but I had not heard they would be identically sized nor have to add up to precisely $200 million. I did hear the sales would begin with family and close friends of the ownership.
• The Post is unimpressed by Plan B after Einhorn's purchase fell through. Writes Kaja Whitehouse:
People familiar with the plan say the details are still being hammered out, but voting power is unlikely to be part of the deal. This will reduce the pool of interested investors -- as it did in the last round of negotiations. “Why give all those millions just to walk around the stadium like a New York schlepper,” Martin Silver, owner of Star Industries, the maker of Georgi Vodka, told The Post. “If you can get a say in the team, then you can put your two cents in.”
• Mike Puma in the Post asks Nats manager Davey Johnson about the effect if the Mets' payroll does go down to $100 million, as Fred Wilpon earlier this year and now Sandy Alderson have floated in interviews. (Alderson mentioned $100 million to $110 million during a visit to Triple-A Buffalo this week.) Writes Puma:
The former Mets manager danced around that question last night, but sounded skeptical about the Mets' chances of competing in the NL East next season if the payroll is slashed to $100 million -- a possibility, given the franchise's financial woes. "That's fine, $100 million, if you've got all the pieces together and you only have one or two question marks, then you're a competitive club," Johnson said. "But in the scheme of things, $100 million is not a huge payroll. What's the Phillies' payroll? One hundred and [seventy] million? And you're in a bigger market. You do the math and analyze the process, and 'Are they ready?' "
• Johan Santana will throw two innings and roughly 40 pitches for Class A St. Lucie on Saturday, in his first minor league game since July 28. Meanwhile, Ike Davis played catch, hit off a tee and with soft tosses, and took 20 grounders Friday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to test his left ankle after he recently was pain-free running. Davis will repeat that activity Saturday.
• Josh Thole rejoined the Mets in D.C. after a Friday morning MRI at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. He has deep bruising on the left wrist and thumb and will require a few days at least to mend. Thole's primary difficulty is squeezing, which is obviously required to bat. Ronny Paulino will try to catch in a game with a broken toe Saturday, so that Mike Nickeas does not have to shoulder the entire load, and so the Mets can try to avoid promoting another catcher. Meanwhile, Ruben Tejada, who was struck on the back of his left hand Thursday with a pitch, had discomfort taking grounders and swinging a bat Friday. Justin Turner primarily will handle second base for the time being. Read more in Newsday and the Star-Ledger.
• Newsday's David Lennon looks at the struggles of Jason Bay. Writes Lennon:
To give Bay an idea what was going on, (hitting coach Dave) Hudgens matched up video of his 2009 season alongside recent footage from this year. Bay was surprised to learn just how different he looked, believing all along that he was an adjustment or two away from regaining that form, mostly involving his hands and the timing of his front foot. As Bay described it, his problems have more to do with the sequence of events during his swing than the stance, even though he has tried to open up his front foot more in recent weeks. ... "I think everything that he had tried to do was taking away from his rhythm, his natural whip of the bat," Hudgens said. "Getting back to what he does naturally is going to be the key for him. We just have to ingrain that back into him."
• Andy McCullough in the Star-Ledger goes over the the statistics of Bobby Parnell as closer.
BIRTHDAY: Brooklyn Cyclones left-hander Carlos Vazquez, who tossed six no-hit innings at Lowell in his most recent New York-Penn League start, turns 20. Vazquez also pitched for Oaxaca in the Mexican League in March and early April.