Mets morning briefing 4.17.12

Jason Bay robbed Jack Wilson of a would-be homer in the bottom of the fifth and Ike Davis delivered a tiebreaking three-run homer against Tommy Hanson after an intentional walk to David Wright a half-inning later as the Mets beat the Braves, 6-1, Monday at Turner Field. The Mets are now 7-3 overall and unbeaten in four games against Atlanta this season.

Tuesday's news reports:

Chipper Jones reflected on his place in the Mets-Braves rivalry, and also heaped praise on the current Mets, in a pregame interview Monday. Watch video here. Read more in the Times, Newsday and Post.

• Meanwhile, when Jose Reyes returns to Citi Field with the Miami Marlins next Tuesday, the Mets will have a video montage to recognize his nine seasons in Flushing, according to Andy Martino in the Daily News.

• Read game recaps in the Post, Record, Times, Newsday, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

• Bay said the right ring finger that kept him out of Sunday's lineup is mostly all right, although he does feel a twinge when he does not hit a ball squarely. In addition to his homer-depriving catch, Bay also homered Monday, in the ninth inning against Livan Hernandez. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Former clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels was sentenced to five years' probation as part of a plea deal. Read more in the Daily News and Newsday.

Brian Costa in the Journal offers three reasons why the Mets may be for real: parity in the division, Johan Santana reestablishing himself as a frontline starter and the maturing of young players such as Dillon Gee. Writes Costa:

Ten games into the 2011 season, the Baltimore Orioles were a first-place team, A.J. Burnett was 3-0 and Albert Pujols was a .150 hitter. So yes, it is very, very early -- way too early to read much into the Mets' record. But putting aside the obvious disclaimer about sample sizes, the Mets have shown enough potential in their first 10 games that it's reasonable to wonder if this is more than just a fluke.

Dustin Lawley's homer in the 12th lifted Savannah to a 6-5 win Monday at Rome. Read the full minor league recap here.

Howard Megdal at Capital New York asserts Mets owners are still tapped out even after their court settlement and an infusion of $240 million in minority investments. Writes Medgal:

The sale of $240 million in minority stakes in the Mets, many of which were purchased by either Wilpon-owned SNY or some of the partners themselves, provided enough of a life preserver to get them through the year. With more than $100 million of that $240 million simply used to pay down a portion of the team's $430 million debt in 2014, that left no more than $140 million -- and according to a source with the Mets, significantly less than $140 million -- to pay back the $25 million debt past due to M.L.B., and $40 million bridge loan due back to Bank of America. The Met owners, having paid back those loans, thus have no more than $75 million to pay off the interest on what remains of the 2014-due loan against the team.

TRIVIA: The Braves announced on Monday their intention to retire John Smoltz's number. Which player's number last was retired by that organization?

Monday's answer: Chipper Jones is tied for third on the all-time home run list against the Mets with 48. He trails Willie Stargell, who has 60, as well as Mike Schmidt (49). Willie McCovey also slugged 48 homers against the Mets during his career.