Morning Briefing: Saul wanted Fred to sell?


FIRST PITCH: The Mets wrap up a weekend series in D.C. on Sunday, with Juan Lagares expected to be in the starting lineup for a second straight game.

Zack Wheeler (1-3, 4.53 ERA) opposes Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 3.59) in the 1:35 p.m. rubber game.

Sunday’s news reports:

Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press

The Post reports Saul Katz (center) want brother-in-law Fred Wilpon to sell, too.

• Josh Kosman in the Post suggests Saul Katz tried to do more than broach selling his share of the Mets. He reportedly unsuccessfully tried to convince brother-in-law Fred Wilpon to part with a controlling interest in the team. Citing “word around Major League Baseball,” Kosman writes:

Wilpon, 74, balked at the move largely because he wants to turn over the not-so-Amazin’s to his son, COO Jeff Wilpon.

Katz, 77, has children who are not interested in running the team.

Katz denied the New York Times report that he was interested in selling his stake. “I have no intention of selling my share of the Mets nor have I ever had any intention of selling my share,” Katz said.

• Lagares had a dramatic return to the lineup. He homered, had three RBIs and robbed Jayson Werth of a homer as the Mets beat the Nats, 5-2, Saturday. Jenrry Mejia converted his first major-league save, but is leery about pitching back-to-back days too soon. The Mets had lost their previous nine games against Washington. Eric Campbell produced a two-run single in his second career start. Bartolo Colon bounced back from a subpar showing against the Yankees. Colon allowed two runs in eight innings to earn his first win since April 24. Nats left-hander Gio Gonzalez allowed five runs in three innings and may have an injured shoulder.

Read game recaps in the Washington Post, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Times and at MLB.com.

• Read more on Mejia in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Record.

• Read more on Campbell in the Star-Ledger.

• Columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record suggests there’s a fatal flaw with the Mets, writing:

The real problem is the organization’s stubborn insistence on long at-bats, a philosophy that’s been the norm in the big leagues for almost a decade. Extending a plate appearance to a fourth or fifth pitch theoretically increases the odds of a mistake fastball slogging through the heart of the strike zone. This allows for an ambush -- a home run -- or at least a base on balls, two of the most valued metrics in baseball today.

But the home-run-or-walk tenet only works if you can reach the fences. A fat four-seamer is a gift for the likes of Giancarlo Stanton or Troy Tulowitzki, but the Mets have no such sluggers in their lineup.

Instead, they’re weighted down with second-tier talents like Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud and Eric Young Jr. David Wright’s home run/fly ball ratio is at career-low 4 percent, and Curtis Granderson is batting .128 with one home run in 78 at-bats at Citi Field. It hardly seemed like a coincidence that he went 4-for-8 with two home runs and five RBIs in the two games at Yankee Stadium. Clearly, Granderson felt more comfortable -- and confident -- with the smaller dimensions.

Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports

Ike Davis feels wanted in Pittsburgh.

Ike Davis, playing in the Bronx this weekend with the Pittsburgh Pirates, said: “It’s nice to play for someone that actually wants you or thinks that you can help the team.” Davis’ Pirates visit Citi Field May 26-28. Read more in the Daily News, Newsday, Record and Star-Ledger.

• Ex-Met Kyle Farnsworth had a rough debut with the Houston Astros, surrendering two runs on two hits and two walks while recording only two outs against the Chicago White Sox.

Anthony Rieber in Newsday explains the “advance consent” agreement Farnsworth signed with the Mets. Rieber notes the Mets saved $850,000 this year by dropping Farnsworth when they did -- $750,000 in salary, plus $100,000 at the end of spring training when he was cut and then re-signed.

Read more on Farnsworth in the Houston Chronicle and Star-Ledger.

• Although Wilmer Flores started Saturday, Ruben Tejada should see most of the playing time at shortstop in the near future, Terry Collins said. Read more in Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Left-hander Pedro Feliciano’s career may not be over. The 37-year-old reliever, who made 25 appearances for the Mets last season, is working out for the St. Louis Cardinals, KSDK reports.

• Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman may be moving to the outfield when he returns from the disabled list, Adam Kilgore writes in The Washington Post.

Brandon Allen homered and Las Vegas moved 20 games over .500 with a 6-4 win against El Paso. Cody Satterwhite notched his first save in affiliated baseball in three seasons with a perfect ninth as Binghamton beat New Hampshire, 6-5. Matt Koch won his fifth straight start in St. Lucie’s 6-3 victory against Lakeland. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Michael Gray in the Post is not a fan of “ego-driven” farewell tours that require teams like the Mets to give gifts to Derek Jeter.

• Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post notes sports allegiances often mean having to endure lean years.

• Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner are now friends, the Daily News writes.

• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News discusses Citi Field’s dimensions. Writes Madden:

Getting back to Citi Field, the Mets may have already chartered their course to be a pitching-driven club, but unless they figure out a way to make their ballpark more conducive for hitters, they are running the risk of turning off their fans to the kind of baseball we’re seeing way too much of out in Queens -- where the most action is the batters’ swinging and missing. In addition, their ability to lure any quality hitters is severely compromised. At least they’ve seen to it to properly honor all of their Hall of Famers, even if it’s only one.

• Columnist David Lennon in Newsday reviews the Mets’ closer situation.

BIRTHDAYS: Nelson Figueroa turns 40. ... St. Lucie reliever Randy Fontanez is 25. ... Colorado Rockies first base coach Eric Young Sr. is 47.


YOU’RE UP: Should Terry Collins start Juan Lagares on Sunday at Nationals Park?