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Report: Mets have had discussions about trading for Ryan Braun

Ryan BraunRyan Braun may be coming off a suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, but that has not made him unappealing to some teams. According to Mets Blog, the New York Mets have had discussions about trading for the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder.

Mets Blog’s Matthew Cerrone said on Wednesday that the “Mets have had internal talks about Braun, but that’s all so far.”

Brewers GM Doug Melvin recently mentioned that the two teams could be a potential match for an Ike Davis trade, but he did not say anything about Braun. Plus, teams can talk about trying to acquire a player, but that does not necessarily mean the player is available.

New York Daily News reporter Andy Martino later poured some cold water on the rumor. Martino says the Brewers are not looking to trade Braun right now, but he “could become an interesting trade candidate at some point.”

Braun is signed through 2020 and has an option with the Brewers for 2021. The team seemed like it planned to continue building around Braun as the franchise player despite the suspension, but their thoughts may have changed after the big PR hit the former MVP took during the PED scandal.

Though it does not look like Braun will be traded any time soon, it’s interesting to note that there might be some teams interested in him, and that the Mets are one of them.

New York Mets jab Derek Jeter, A-Rod for quad injuries

New York Yankees players Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are both currently out with quad injuries. Jeter’s quad injury occurred in his season debut on July 11. A-Rod’s return to the majors was delayed by a quad injury he supposedly sustained. In light of both problems, the crosstown rival New York Mets sent this tweet on Monday:

New York Mets tweet

According to ESPN New York, the Mets actually answered questions about the tweet and denied any negative intentions.

Team spokesman Jay Horwitz said the employee who sent out the tweet was unaware of A-Rod’s quad situation and how the Mets’ language would be inferred. Horwitz added no ill-will was intended.

You actually want me to believe that a person working for a baseball team in New York tweeting specifically about stretching quads was not aware of A-Rod and Jeter? Riiiiight. Nothing wrong with a little friendly fire.

Photo via The Daily Stache
Thanks to LBS tipster David

Bob Costas: Mets celebrating represents ‘decline of Western civilization’ (Video)

Bob-CostasThe New York Mets scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday afternoon to come back and beat the Chicago Cubs. The game ended on a three-run walk-off home run from center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who was greeted at home plate like a conquering hero by his teammates. This did not please Bob Costas.

The win was only the Mets’ 25th of the year and they remain 13.5 games out of first place in the NL East. The Cubs are 15 games out of first place in the NL Central, so it’s not like New York had just defeated a powerhouse. That’s why Costas ripped the Mets during the US Open broadcast when recapping the game.

“The Mets with four in the bottom of the ninth to win it, 4-3, and a team 14 games under .500 celebrates as if it just won the seventh game of the World Series,” Costas said. “Another indication of the ongoing decline of western civilization.”

Let’s not get overly dramatic, Bob. Costas has been known to give a moving eulogy and entertain us by rapping Ludacris lyrics, but that comment seemed a bit much. Teams are always going to celebrate walk-off wins no matter what their division standing is, let alone a comeback that took four runs in the bottom of the ninth. I don’t think it has anything to do with western civilization.

H/T Amazin’ Avenue

New York Mets approached cougar dating site to help vote David Wright into All-Star Game

David WrightThe New York Mets are going all out in an effort to ensure David Wright is voted in as the starting third baseman for the NL All-Star team this year. The Mets are hosting the Mid-Summer Classic at Citi Field next month, and they don’t want to suffer the embarrassment of having their franchise player outvoted by the San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval for the second year in a row, especially when Sandoval is on the DL.

With Wright trailing Sandoval by 200,000 votes, the Mets decided to get creative in an effort to tap every single voter market possible. As reported by Deadspin, they even reached out to dating site CougarLife.com about a potential partnership that would have encouraged women to vote for Wright.

The team acknowledged on Thursday that they approached the “cougar” dating site about partnering to push Wright for the All-Star Game. The employees who explored the partnership likely got the idea after Wright won a recent vote on CougarLife.com that asked women to name the “cub” they’d most want to “round the bases with.” Wright topped Cole Hamels and Matt Kemp in the poll.

[Read more...]

Mets owners reportedly looking to build casino next to Citi Field

Fred WilponThe New York Mets owners are in such financial trouble they are looking to build a casino next to Citi Field, the New York Post reports.

The Post says the Mets’ development company, Sterling Equities, submitted plans to build a massive casino and hotel on the Willets Point development site in Queens, adjacent to Citi Field.

Live table gaming is illegal in New York except on tribal land, but the Mets reportedly are hoping some alternative plans might help their case. They reportedly have an agreement for the Shinnecock Indiana Nation to operate the proposed casino, and they are hoping the state legislature approves a constitutional amendment to legalize table gaming.

The team’s casino proposal reportedly was put forth in September 2011, about two and a half years after Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that cost investors an estimated $18 billion. The Mets owners insisted they were not in financial trouble despite being investors in Madoff’s company, though they were looking to take on minority owners in past years in order to raise funds.

The Mets were awarded 23 of 62 acres for the city-owned property and currently use it for parking. The city may not approve use of the land for a casino, but it’s notable that the Mets owners were attempting to do this.

As if Fred Wilpon (pictured) and Saul Katz were not getting enough money from fans by charging $7 hot dogs, $10 beers, and $100 tickets, they want to stick it to you at the blackjack table too. Real classy, fellas.

R.A. Dickey writes a heartfelt farewell letter to Mets and their fans

Professional baseball may be nothing more than a business to certain players, coaches and ownership groups, but it seems safe to say it means a bit more to NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. The knuckleballer bounced around from team to team during his nine-year MLB career, but the New York Mets were the first one to give him a chance to prove himself as a full-time starter. It’s safe to say Dickey exceeded expectations.

In three seasons with New York, Dickey compiled a 39-28 record and an impressive 2.95 ERA. He struck out 230 hitters last season and made his first All-Star appearance at the age of 37. The Mets traded the right-hander to the Toronto Blue Jays last week, which inspired Dickey to write a heartfelt letter for the NY Daily News thanking his former team and the fans of New York. Here is a sample:

I never expected to be writing a farewell “holiday card” to Mets fans. I never expected to be doing anything but celebrating the joy of the season with my wife and kids and looking toward the spring, and the start of my fourth season with an organization that gave me maybe the greatest gift an athlete can get:

A chance.

A chance for a fresh start. A chance to prove that maybe I could be somebody on a big league mound, an authentic and trustworthy pitcher, not just a retread with a weird name and an even weirder pitch — a man who was so in need of financial stability that he had to get talked out of taking a guaranteed contract to go pitch in Korea.

The entire thing is worth a read, especially for those of you who think professional athletes only care about money. We have seen star players and popular general managers take out full-page ads thanking the fans, but very few put the type of effort into it that Dickey put into his piece. Kudos to the veteran for finding a way to genuinely express his appreciation.

H/T SI Hot Clicks
Photo credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Cheap Mets try to make it look like they spent big on David Wright when they didn’t

News broke early Friday morning that the New York Mets and David Wright agreed to terms on a 7-year contract extension. Wright is one of the best third basemen in baseball, so it’s wise of the Mets to keep him. But there’s one aspect of the agreement that is intentionally misleading. Don’t fall for the PR game.

If you look at the way the contract is being reported by WFAN’s Ed Coleman — who works for the team’s flagship radio station — what’s being highlighted is that the Mets are making Wright the highest-paid player in franchise history. They’re doing that because the Mets want people to think that they are still a financially sound club that is willing to spend big money, even though they’re not.

The truth, if Ed Coleman’s report for WFAN is to be believed, is that the Mets are giving Wright a seven-year extension for $122 million. Smart outlets are reporting the contract that way, because that’s what it is. Those falling for the Mets’ trick are calling it the “richest in team history,” or some variation of that phrase. If Wright is taking that contract, then he is agreeing to a below-market deal. Are you telling me Wright couldn’t get $150 million on the free agent market? I’ve got one answer for you: Do the Dodgers need a third baseman?

The only way Wright’s new 7-year, $122 million deal tops Johan Santana’s 6-year, $137.5 million deal is if you add in the $16 million Wright was already scheduled to make next season. The Mets are only giving him $122 million more in NEW guaranteed money. His contract falls short of Santana’s on an average annual salary basis, which means he’s not the highest-paid player on the team.

And how cheap are the Mets? They only beat Santana’s contract by a half-million dollars.

Again, this is all based on the contract details reported by WFAN. If their report proves to be inaccurate, I will apologize. Until then, don’t believe the spin on the deal; the Mets are not the big spenders they’d like you to believe they are.