Daniel Murphy's misplay on a two-out grounder by Andrew McCutchen in the third allowed the eventual decisive runs to score in Pittsburgh's 3-2 win against the Mets on Saturday night at PNC Park. Jason Bay returned to the lineup and snapped his drought at 0-for-24 with a bloop single to center in front of McCutchen in his second at-bat. The Mets missed a chance to move .500.
Sunday's news reports:
• Post columnist Joel Sherman said the Mets, who often drift aimlessly without a plan, hired the right person to dispassionately make decisions in Sandy Alderson. But in the case of whether to re-sign Jose Reyes, Sherman asserts Alderson ought to let his emotions become involved in the decision-making. Writes Sherman:
This is a disenfranchised fan base. Do the Mets really want to risk further alienation? Do they want to keep hemorrhaging attendance? The Mets would pay a price to avoid the worst, and the price also happens to be a star shortstop in his prime. Is there risk in going big dollars and long term with Reyes? You bet. As one AL assistant GM said, “Can we wait until he makes it through six months healthy -- instead of two -- before determining his value?”
Sherman, by the way, hears the same thing I do: Reyes is likely not to be dealt at the trading deadline (unless the Mets are overwhelmed). The Mets can get two draft picks if they lose Reyes as a free agent next winter. Draft-pick compensation is expected to change in the new collective bargaining agreement, but the current rules are expected to govern one last offseason.
• Under the open-to-interpretation headline, "HERE WE GO," on the front page of its web site, the Daily News notes that the Fred Wilpon's attorneys on July 1 will ask a judge to move Irving Picard's $1 billion-plus bankruptcy lawsuit out of U.S. Bankruptcy Court and into U.S. District Court. Other newspapers' reports, quoting experts, have offered little hope of the move to get the hearing out of Picard's turf being successful. "I think it is a tough motion because the trustee is doing garden variety bankruptcy work," bankruptcy attorney Howard Kleinhendler told Newsday in a report published May 27. The Daily News then brings up Rep. Gary Ackerman's sponsorship of a bill to prevent trustees from trying to recover funds from "net gainers" in Ponzi schemes unless it is demonstrated they were participants in the scam. Of course, that begs the questions: Where do the net losers then recover their money from -- the government? Or are they out of luck?
• David Waldstein in the Times discusses the method of Carlos Beltran selecting his bats, which he learned from former Mariners great Edgar Martinez. Essentially, Write taps his bat and listens. Writes Waldstein:
Hitting a baseball is first and foremost about seeing a pitch, but for Beltran, it’s about hearing a pitch, too: the sound a bat makes when struck with his hand. When Beltran hears the right pitch vibrate from a 32-ounce piece of lumber, it produces a tone that for him is as sweet as music. Ever since he was taught by one of the great hitters in the game to appreciate the melody that each bat inherently produces, Beltran has followed the practice religiously. The higher the pitch tone, the harder and more dense the wood, Beltran said. The harder the wood, the farther the ball is expected to travel.
• R.A. Dickey was unfairly charged with a pair of earned runs as the result of Murphy's misplay and ended up on the losing end despite pitching a comlete game (eight innings) and limiting the Pirates to three runs. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been 3-7 at anything, so obviously it’s painful," said Dickey, who actually was 3-8 at one point with the Seattle Mariners in 2008. Read game stories from Saturday's 3-2 loss in the Star-Ledger, Newsday, Times, Post, Daily News and Record.
• Bay downplayed the psychological effect of having snapped his hitless streak at 24 at-bats.
Jason Pridie tells Steve Popper in the Record that Bay has been valuable to him. Writes Popper:
As Bay sat next to Pridie, who replaced him in the lineup, he talked. He offered tips, advice, whatever he could think of to help the 27-year-old rookie. "Honestly, since coming up, he’s been the guy that I’ve turned to to ask questions," Pridie said. "He’s always right there, saying, ‘Good job’ or ‘Try this.’ He’s been more than I could have imagined from a guy like that. I’ve heard nothing but great things. You can hear this guy makes a lot of money, but you’d never know."
• With Derek Jeter on verge of 3,000 hits, the Times' Tyler Kepner recalls Roberto Clemente reaching that milestone, which actually came against the Mets at old Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. Writes Kepner:
The night before, Clemente had reached base against Tom Seaver with a chopper that bounced off an infielder’s glove. The scoreboard flashed hit, but the official scorer ruled it an error, keeping Clemente on the verge of history. Yet the Pittsburgh fans were largely oblivious. The next day was an overcast Saturday, with televised college football perhaps a more appealing entertainment option. Just 13,117 fans went to the ballpark, and even the Mets’ starter was unaware of what could happen. “I was a 22-year-old rookie that had absolutely no clue this baseball icon was sitting on 2,999 when I went out to pitch that game,” Jon Matlack said. “None.”
• After Saturday's game, the Mets optioned Dale Thayer to Triple-A Buffalo. D.J. Carrasco, in the first season of a two-year, $2.4 million deal, will join the Mets for Sunday's game.
BIRTHDAYS: Former Met/current agent Keith Miller turns 48. Miller was a scrappy second baseman with a little speed, who hit .264 with 44 steals from 1987 to 1991. He was packaged in the deal that brought Bret Saberhagen from the Kansas Royals to the Mets. Miller, working with Sam and Seth Levinson, currently represents David Wright among other superstars, or stars, or whatever. -Mark Simon