Morning Briefing: Welcome Mike, bye 2013

Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

Mike Piazza acknowledges the crowd on May 5, 2004 after passing Carlton Fisk to become the greatest-hitting home run hitter among catchers in MLB history.NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Game No. 162 has arrived. So has the ceremony to induct Mike Piazza as the 27th member of the Mets Hall of Fame.

Fans are asked to be in their seats at 12:45 p.m. The game, officially listed for a 1:10 p.m. first pitch, is expected to start significantly later, with Jonathon Niese (8-8, 3.74 ERA) opposing right-hander Marco Estrada (7-4, 4.02).

The Mets compiled this list of memorable Piazza moments:

May 22, 1998: Acquired from the Marlins for Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnall and Geoff Goetz.

May 23, 1998: Goes 1-for-4 with an RBI double in his Mets debut, at Shea Stadium against the Brewers.

June 1, 1998: Homers for the first time as a Met, against Pittsburgh’s Jason Schmidt.

Sept. 14, 1998: Hits the longest estimated homer in Astrodome history, against Houston’s Jose Lima.

April 28, 1999: Takes Trevor Hoffman deep for his first walk-off homer as a Met.

Oct. 2, 1999: Hits his 40th homer of the season, against Pittsburgh’s Mike Williams.

Oct. 19, 1999: Belts two-run homer in Game 6 of the NLCS against John Smoltz to even the score at 6.

June 14-July 2, 2000: Sets a franchise record with RBIs in 15 straight games, the second-longest streak in MLB history.

June 30, 2000: Hits a three-run homer to cap a 10-run inning in a comeback win against Atlanta.

Sept. 21, 2001: Homers against Steve Karsay in the first game back in New York after 9/11 to uplift the city’s spirits.

May 17, 2002: Belts a grand slam against San Diego’s Jason Boyd to reach 1,000 career RBIs.

May 5, 2004: Hits career homer No. 352 as a catcher, passing Carlton Fisk for the all-time lead at that position.

June 18, 2004: Is joined by the four living Hall of Fame catchers -- Yogi Berra, Carlton Fisk, Gary Carter and Johnny Bench -- for Mike Piazza Night at Shea Stadium.

Sept. 29, 2005: Hits his final homer as a Met, his 220th with the ballclub, in an 11-0 win against Colorado.

Sunday’s news reports:

• Terry Collins is closing in on a two-year contract extension with a team option for 2016. The deal should be announced as soon as Monday.

Writes columnist Joel Sherman in the Post:

Yet, Collins already is on somewhat shaky ground. Because his deal calls for somewhere between $1 million to $1.5 million a season -- probably closer to the $1 million -- and even the Mets could swallow that 2015 amount if Collins guides a fourth straight loser next year.

So, in actuality, Collins has a two-year contract with a one-year mandate, he is pretty much a lame duck again. There is no way the Mets will try to sell to their fans yet again that a team with seventy-something wins in 2014 should bring back their manager for 2015.

But it is really up to [Sandy] Alderson, therefore, to save a manager he likes. The Mets have big needs, bigger if Matt Harvey is unable to avoid Tommy John surgery.

Read more in the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and MLB.com.

David Wright returned to the lineup Saturday, a day after missing a game with a swollen right thumb. Wright had a pitch buzz behind his head.

Aaron Harang allowed one run in six innings in his final audition for 2014, but the Mets lost to the Brewers, 4-2, in 10 innings Saturday at Citi Field. The Mets did lock up a top-10 draft pick, which means it is protected even if the team signs a premium free agent such as Shin-Soo Choo. The Mets did clinch their worst home record since 1993. Neither Eric Young Jr. nor Milwaukee’s Jean Segura stole a base, so they enter the final day of the regular season tied for the NL lead at 44.

Read game recaps in the Post, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.

• Mets attendance declined for the fifth straight season in 2013.

Hunter Pence re-signed with the San Francisco Giants for five years, $90 million -- an early indication premium outfielders will be pricey this offseason.

LaTroy Hawkins opens up to Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger about visiting his half-brother in a Michigan prison during off-days in-season as well as in the offseason.

• Mark Herrmann in Newsday speaks with Al Leiter, John Franco and Steve Phillips about Piazza. Andy Martino in the Daily News also discusses Piazza. One family deeply impacted by 9/11 would like to thank Piazza, Peter Botte writes in the Daily News. Read more on Piazza’s induction in the Post.

• Marc Carig in Newsday begins to look ahead to the Mets’ offseason needs.

• Tim Rohan in the Times profiles the “Mets’ mailman.”

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing wonders if something akin to a cult of mediocrity prevails in the upper precincts of Metsdom.

BIRTHDAYS: Ex-Mets reliever Heath Bell turns 36.


YOU’RE UP: Aside from the home run in the first game back after 9/11, what is your favorite Mike Piazza moment as a Met?