Morning Briefing: Let the games begin

FIRST PITCH: Let's get back to the action.

The Mets kick off the second half Friday night, hosting the Phillies for a three-game set at Citi Field. Jeremy Hefner will start for New York, opposed by Kyle Kendrick, and rapper Nas will perform a concert after the game.

Friday's news reports:

Matt Harvey talked to Andy Martino of the Daily News to clarify his comments regarding Derek Jeter. In Men's Journal, Harvey praised Jeter, complimenting the shortstop on the numerous women he's dated throughout his career. Harvey seemingly tweeted his thoughts on the issue Thursday.

• Famous Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld did not approve of the fans booing some of the All-Stars on Tuesday night at Citi Field. From the Daily News:

"This is one of the lowest moments of my lifetime of Mets fandom, when the Citi Field crowd was booing (players) that they see as rivals to their Mets team," Seinfeld told buddy Steve Somers on WFAN on Wednesday. “And I’m standing there, I was in shock. I was embarrassed. I thought it was horrible manners."

Seinfeld continued: "These are the best players, in the game you love, that have come here to put on a show for you, and we’re booing them like 5-year-olds. As if there’s some sort of real animosity. ... The American League is not the Taliban. What are we booing Miguel Cabrera (for)? ... So I was very embarrassed by that."

Read more in the Post.

• Hefner, who grew up in the small town of Moore, Okla., has become more acclimated to the bright lights of New York City. Hefner visited Moore on Tuesday and saw the devastation from the tornado in May. Hefner and Dillon Gee's strong finishes to the first half were positives for the Mets.

• The Mets are not going to just trade veteran Marlon Byrd for the sake of making a deal. Byrd has 15 home runs and 51 RBIs.

• The Mets are losing patience with first baseman Ike Davis.

Chris Schwinden could be called up for a spot start next Friday in the doubleheader in Washington, according to the Post.

• The Daily News has first-half grades. Newsday has a second-half preview and first-half grades. The Wall Street Journal has three questions for the second half.

• In the Post, Ken Davidoff writes about the issues the Mets need to address in the second half.

From the bloggers ... Blogging Mets writes about what to expect in the second half. ... Faith and Fear in Flushing has the tale of a Dave Kingman fan who finally got the chance to meet him.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets outfielder Rick Ankiel turns 34 on Friday. Ankiel played for the Mets earlier this year before being designated for assignment.


YOU'RE UP: How many games, out of 71, do the Mets win in the second half?