Mets morning briefing 2.25.12

Position players officially report to Mets camp today. The only players who did not report early were middle infielders Ruben Tejada, Ronny Cedeno and Omar Quintanilla.

Saturday's news reports:

• Former teammates from the Mets and Montreal Expos flocked to Chris Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on Friday night for a memorial service to remember Gary Carter. Read more in the Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Post and Newsday.

• Mets players reacted to Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun not having to serve a 50-game suspension because of an issue with the chain of custody of his sample.

R.A. Dickey told David Lennon in Newsday: "I was surprised because it set a precedent. I totally expected for them to find that it was legitimate. The fact that, through a technicality, they found that it wasn't, that is a surprise. I think that people still have doubt, like, 'Oh, here's another way to get away with it,' that type of mentality. But we've also seen a high number of people caught by it. The fact that Ryan Braun, the NL MVP, is not beyond the arm of what's going on, that's encouraging, too."

Casually chatting with Mets players as they watched Braun's press conference live, there was skepticism about his outright innocence. An anonymous Met told Andy Martino in the Daily News: "Ryan Braun is out there saying this shows he is innocent. Does that mean O.J. Simpson is innocent, too?"

Terry Collins plans to chat with Tejada about the value of an early arrival to camp. Collins actually wanted Tejada to spend much of the offseason at the Mets' spring-training complex. Tejada may not be at the complex in the morning Saturday; players only need to report that they're in town. Read more in the Times, Star-Ledger and Post.

Mike Puma in the Post speaks with Frank Francisco, who signed a two-year, $12 million deal as a free agent to become the Mets' closer. "I got excited, because it's a young team with a lot of potential," Francisco told Puma. "Everybody has their eyes on the Mets to see what’s going to happen, and I like that. I like challenges -- that's me. I like people watching me."

TRIVIA: Who had the most RBIs for the Buffalo Bisons, the Mets' Triple-A affiliate, last season?

(Friday's answer: John Olerud had the highest single-season average in Mets history among qualifiers, batting .354 in 1998. Olerud lost the batting title to Colorado's Larry Walker, who hit .363. The second-best single-season average in franchise history belonged to Cleon Jones, who hit .340 in 1969. Jose Reyes' National League-leading .337 average last season ranks No. 3 in franchise history.)