Kirk Nieuwenhuis replaced him in center field.
Lagares had forced out Garrett Jones at second base on a shot up the middle by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the fourth.
“As far as I’m concerned, from my perspective, I think the way the Mets are doing this thing is correct,” Selig said about the low-payroll, build-from-within formula. “There are a lot of teams in life that spend a lot of money that don’t do well, either. And I’m not trying to be facetious saying that.
“I’m going to see Sandy Alderson, whom of course I have great personal affection and respect for. And I often talk to Sandy, as I do all the general managers and people all over baseball about what they’re doing. I went to Houston early in the year and they were all exorcised about, ‘Oh my goodness, this is a bad team. This is this. This is that.’ And all of a sudden now they’re playing remarkably and so on and so forth.
Selig continued with a passionate defense of teams that win without large payrolls.
“I tell the owners all the time, and I tell myself: In my judgment -- my judgment -- Branch Rickey was right,” Selig said. “Mr. Rickey used to say it takes three to five years before you can analyze a trade. And that’s even more so relative to a franchise.
“In Chicago there’s been a lot of criticism. I happen to think [Cubs GM] Theo [Epstein] is doing it the right way. And I think lately the Cubs are starting to play that way. Yet there was a lot of criticism. There’s been criticism of Houston. I’ve watched this over the years.
“I’m always sort of baffled by this, ‘If you spend X and this and so on and so forth …’
“You just look at who’s winning. Unless I read the standings wrong on the way over here today, it looks to me like the Baltimore Orioles may win the American League East this year. Anybody here predict that on April 1? I don’t think so. I rest my case. I’m telling you that I talk to people all the time. I also do a lot of rating of farm systems. You have no idea the work that I do privately, quietly. And I’m satisfied that this [Mets] franchise is doing it the right way, in my baseball judgment.
“Look, I’m a fan at heart. No one was more impatient, nobody had more temper tantrums [as Brewers owner]. It’s difficult to draw conclusions. You know, you go to St. Louis. It’s a smaller market and they don’t spend money like, as my father used to say, ‘drunken sailors.’ But they’re very competitive every year. But it takes time. It takes time to build. Yes, I understand fan frustration. I do. I do understand. I read every paper every day. … But the fact of the matter is I do monitor every team. And honestly, if I felt, and I mean this very sincerely, that there was a team really not doing what I thought they should do in the best interest of the sport, they’d hear from me.”
Selig was pointedly asked to distinguish between the Mets and Dodgers situations -- since both allegedly used team and TV resources to cover debt and maintained payrolls inconsistent with their market sizes.
“There are big differences,” Selig said. “I think I’ve covered this subject many, many times. And I don’t want to go back into the whole Frank McCourt/Dodgers situation, because there were enormous ramifications there, many of which maybe weren’t public. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve said this in the past and I’ll say it again: I don’t have any problem with the Mets’ financing, with what’s going on as far as all of our economic rules, and we have a myriad of them. They are in compliance with them. They’re doing fine. The Dodgers were not in compliance with any of them.”
Court matter: Selig said the lawsuit filed by former Mets senior VP Leigh Castergine is a team matter and not something MLB will insert itself into at this time.
“I monitor everything closely,” Selig said. “That’s employment litigation. There were a lot of charges there. Jeff [Wilpon] denies them vigorously. And I think in this particular case, they’re going to court. And we’re just going to have to see how that plays out.”
Selig conceded his successor, Rob Manfred, may be in charge when the civil suit plays out.
“It’s in litigation. It’s disputed," Selig said. "And there’s nothing else to talk about. We’ll see what happens with litigation, if the litigation goes forward. We don’t even know that.”
Juan Lagares, cf
Daniel Murphy, 3b
Travis d'Arnaud, c
Lucas Duda, 1b
Wilmer Flores, 2b
Curtis Granderson, rf
Matt den Dekker, lf
Ruben Tejada, ss
Bartolo Colon, rhp
Christian Yelich, lf
Donovan Solano, 2b
Casey McGehee, 3b
Marcell Ozuna, cf
Garrett Jones, 1b
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c
Reed Johnson, rf
Ed Lucas, ss
Nathan Eovaldi, rhp
The honor goes to the "player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement."
The Mets wrote about Wright's charitable activity:
He launched the David Wright Foundation in 2005 to provide aid and assistance toward the health, emotional development and education for children in need in New York City and his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia.
Over the past five years, the foundation has expanded its scope and raised more than $600,000 for a variety of charitable organizations, including the United States Marine Corps’ Toys For Tots, the Ronald McDonald House, the Virginia Tech Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Police Athletic League and the Patrolman's Benevolent Association -- a tribute to his police-officer father -- as well as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, for whom David hosts children at Citi Field on a regular basis.
David has been a leader in his adopted hometown of New York City ever since putting on a Mets uniform. Every season, David visits a firehouse around the anniversary of Sept. 11 to recognize our fallen heroes and offer support to the hard-working members of the FDNY. He has spread good cheer to Sept. 11 families during Tuesday’s Children visits to Citi Field.
After Hurricane Sandy devastated New York, David donated $250,000 through his foundation to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC to help the city recover and rebuild. He toured Staten Island communities that were hit hard by the storm and visited students at a local elementary school along with the New York City School Chancellor.
Inspired by the men and women working to rebuild their communities, David launched The Wright Thing in 2013 to honor and recognize volunteers who made an extraordinary impact on the lives of individuals and organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Each month that season, David met with individuals who dedicated time and effort to help their fellow New Yorkers in need. The honorees received an autographed miniature third base and VIP tickets behind third base. They also had the chance to install third base with the grounds crew and had their story told through a video tribute on Citi Vision.
The Wright Thing has continued this year, with Wright saluting heroes from the New York City Police Department. The initiative underscores David’s admiration of law-enforcement personnel as his father, Rhon, served in the Norfolk Police Department for 30 years before retiring as assistant police chief in January.
On the right side of the skyline, the UN Headquarters appeared to be replaced by the Citigroup Center, with its distinctively slanted roof. Of course, the UN is a peace-seeking institution and city landmark. Citi is the Mets' signature sponsor, paying $25 million a season for naming rights to the stadium.
On Tuesday, a Mets official told ESPNNewYork.com that the official logo is not dropping the UN Headquarters. The Mets' social media accounts have reverted to the standard logo. The official did not respond to a follow-up inquiry about why the Citigroup Center-incorporated logo apparently was used on the social-media accounts.
The logo debuted on Nov. 16, 1961 and has gone "virtually unchanged," according to the Mets.
Notice after 53 years the Mets changed their logo. That is the Citigroup building in place of the UN. pic.twitter.com/JdKkWEcTdM— Ed Anderson (@AndersonEd27) September 16, 2014
Read more at Uni Watch.
We were talking in our pregame meeting with [Reds manager] Bryan Price last week about the Rookie of the Year Award, and someone said they'd bet ... any amount of money that Billy Hamilton would win. I should have taken that bet.
Hamilton, at that time, was probably the favorite. I'm not so sure he is anymore.
Hamilton, like his team, has struggled in the second half. And the two are likely intertwined. After hitting .285/.319/.423 in 90 games in the first half, he's hit .214/.265/.276 in 55 games since the break.
So far this month, Hamilton's hitting .156/.255/.200 has been caught stealing (2) as much as he's been successful stealing (2).
Overall, deGrom is now 8-6 with a 2.68 ERA in 21 starts. Hamilton is hitting .258 with six homers and 48 RBIs in 543 at-bats. He has a .298 on-base percentage and 56 steals in 78 attempts.
In fact, the Mets’ 40-man roster will be full entering the winter even after subtracting free agents. That’s because Daisuke Matsuzaka and Bobby Abreu's departures will be offset by Matt Harvey and Bobby Parnell having to be reinstated from the 60-day DL right after the postseason.
So for every prospect the Mets attempt to protect, they will have to remove one player already on the 40-man roster. That means in many cases putting them through waivers and risking losing them, as long as another team is willing to carry the player on its 40-man roster.
The Mets already have added Dilson Herrera and Dario Alvarez to the 40-man roster, since they were eligible this winter anyway.
Other strong considerations would have to include right-handers Cory Mazzoni, Logan Verrett and Akeel Morris and left-hander Jack Leathersich. Right-handers Gabriel Ynoa and Tyler Pill and slugging third baseman/outfielder Dustin Lawley also would merit discussion.
Remember, the goal is not to protect every valuable prospect. If an unprotected prospect is taken in the Rule 5 draft in December, he must stay on the drafting team’s major league roster for the entire 2015 season in order to officially become the new team’s property.
The goal, actually, is to protect as few prospects as is reasonably possible in order to maintain 40-man roster maneuverability.
So, for instance, Mets catching prospect Cam Maron is eligible for the Rule 5 draft. But is it really worth the Mets protecting him? In order to feel compelled to add him to the 40-man roster, the Mets would have to determine:
• There is a reasonable chance a team would select him in the Rule 5 draft.
• He would stick on that team’s major league roster all of 2015.
• It would be a painful loss to absorb if that happened.
The Mets once calculated with catching prospect Jesus Flores that he would not be selected and remain on another team’s roster the following season. However, after being selected in the Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings in December 2006, Flores did stick the entire following season with the Nats and became their property.
Omar Minaya once said that was among his biggest mistakes as Mets GM, although it did not ultimately sting the Mets because injuries have undermined Flores’ career. He has since played for three more organizations and has not appeared in the majors since 2012.
OK, so let’s say the Mets do add five eligible prospects to the 40-man roster. Who would they subtract? Scanning the 40-man roster, you would presume the most vulnerable players would include: Andrew Brown, Cesar Puello, Wilfredo Tovar, Buddy Carlyle, Dana Eveland, Scott Rice, Juan Centeno and Josh Satin. Heck, if the Mets plan to non-tender Eric Young Jr. and/or Ruben Tejada -- and there’s no guarantee of either occurring -- they might just want to release them by the Nov. 20 deadline to add players to the 40-man roster in order to free spots.
The Mets also will need to delete a player from the 40-man roster every time they sign a free agent this offseason to a major league contract.
Who is eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft?
Players who are 19 or older when they signed are eligible the fourth draft after they’re on board. Players 18 or younger are eligible the fifth draft after they’re on board.
So, generally, college players drafted in 2011 and high school players and Latin American teenagers signed in 2010 are eligible for the first time this year.
Here is an unofficial list compiled by ESPNNewYork.com of players eligible for the Rule 5 draft, with those with asterisks eligible for the first time (at least as I’ve computed it):
Maikis De La Cruz*
Players such as Jeremy Hefner, Omar Quintanilla, Taylor Teagarden, John Lannan and Allan Dykstra technically are Rule 5 eligible as well. They’re also minor-league free agents, so they may not be around by the winter meetings.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets’ tragic number for postseason elimination is down to five. The Amazin’s trail the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second wild-card spot by eight games with 11 to play.
Even reaching .500 is slipping away. The Mets (72-79) must going 9-2 the rest of the way to avoid a sixth straight losing season. If they again finish below .500, they will match the Houston Astros for MLB’s longest active streak of losing seasons -- six straight.
Bartolo Colon (13-12, 4.14 ERA) tries to get the Mets back on track Tuesday. He opposes Miami Marlins right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (6-11, 4.29) at 7:10 p.m.
Tuesday’s news reports:
• Jacob deGrom matched a modern-day major league record by striking out the first eight batters he faced, but Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia could not hold a lead in the eighth and the Mets lost to the Marlins, 6-5, Monday. DeGrom, who had a no-decision, finished with a career-high 13 strikeouts.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.
• Matt Harvey's 2014 throwing program is in the books. Harvey put on one final show at Citi Field on Monday afternoon, throwing a simulated game on the main mound. He regularly touched 95 mph despite not quite throwing 100 percent. He used all of his pitches except the slider. Sandy Alderson expects Harvey to be on the same program as other starting pitchers during spring training. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Record.
• Alderson and Terry Collins are due to meet in Atlanta this weekend to discuss Collins’ future as well as plan for 2015. Both are expected to return.
Writes columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post on the topic:
Alderson and Collins have overseen a mostly janitorial period with these Mets (72-79), one during which the Wilpons and Saul Katz have slashed payroll at a record-setting pace. Inaction and inertia have largely defined this time, so much so that it often felt difficult to evaluate these two men given how handcuffed they were by their superiors.
Yet with four years nearly in the books, we finally know Alderson’s and Collins’ strengths and weaknesses. And therefore the Mets should know how both men need to improve for this franchise to make its much-desired leap to bona fide contention.
For Alderson, it’s about filling out the roster and sweeping away the silliness. For Collins, it’s about maximizing that roster and embracing Citi Field.
Read columnist David Lennon’s take in Newsday and more in the Daily News.
• The Mets presented Sterling Awards to Steven Matz as the organization’s top pitcher and Dilson Herrera as the organization’s top position player. They also gave out awards during a pregame ceremony for the top performers at each level of the minors.
Long Island’s Matz spoke with media Monday afternoon about flirting with a no-hitter in Binghamton’s Eastern League championship clincher. Arizona Fall League-bound Matt Reynolds said he understood the September call-up snub. Alderson said Brandon Nimmo is a “lot more man” than a year ago. Kevin Plawecki said batterymate Noah Syndergaard’s numbers did not tell the whole story at Las Vegas. Plawecki also said his vertigo has not resurfaced.
• Vic Black was diagnosed with a mild rotator-cuff strain in his right shoulder. He will refrain from throwing for five to six days. While he is not officially shut down for the season, Black may not appear again in 2014. Read more in the Post and Newsday.
• Jeremy Hefner “likely” is headed for a second Tommy John surgery after an unfavorable visit to Dr. James Andrews.
• Jared Diamond in the Journal prints the opening two rounds of the Mets’ fantasy-football draft. The Dillon Gee/bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello team took Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy first overall. Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles went second overall to Harvey and strength coach Jim Malone.
• Harvey was named among New York's most stylish by Us Weekly.
• From the bloggers … Faith and Fear reflects on witnessing pitching history.
BIRTHDAYS: Orel Hershiser turns 56. ... Desi Relaford is 41. ... Chris (Animal) Carter is 32.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Plawecki, the 35th overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Purdue, hit a combined .309 with 11 homers and 64 RBIs between Binghamton and Las Vegas this season. He was at Citi Field on Monday receiving an award as the top performer for the B-Mets.
“We think it was just the flying that was going on -- the high altitude. That’s what causes it, mainly. It’s just the change in pressure and stuff like that. There’s no way to really pinpoint something like that.”
Plawecki opened his Triple-A career in a 2-for-23 rut, but ultimately had a .283 average with the 51s.
“Just like any level you go to, you have to make adjustments,” he said. “I got off to a little bit of a slow start in Las Vegas. I had to make an adjustment. I was swinging at some bad pitches too early -- just trying to do too much too soon. And whenever you’re trying to do too much you’re never going to do what you want to do.
“I just had to take a step back and focus on getting good pitches to hit. And, defensively, I just tried to have good relationships with my pitching staffs in Binghamton and Las Vegas, dealing with [Rafael] Montero, [Noah] Syndergaard. Dealing with all those guys was a lot of fun and makes my job a lot easier.”
Because of the Mets’ 40-man roster crunch, he was passed over for a September call-up and figures to open next season again at Triple-A.
“Absolutely I’d love to be up here. Who wouldn’t?” Plawecki said. “I’m just happy with another successful season and a healthy season. I was able to stay off the DL for the most part, besides the freak accident with the vertigo issue.”
Catcher Kevin Plawecki, at Citi Field on Monday to receive an award as the organization’s top performer during the first half with Binghamton, said Syndergaard had misleading statistics while going 9-7 with a 4.60 ERA and 1.481 WHIP in 26 regular-season starts with Las Vegas.
“We were trying to speed him up a little bit, just the tempo of the game a little bit. We were trying to work on that. And I think toward the end we got better with that. That’s not something you can change overnight, just to go up there and be quick on the mound. It’s a matter of doing it in the game outing after outing. And I think we got a lot better with that.”
What impresses Plawecki most about the 6-foot-6 Syndergaard?
“He throws 98 to 100 mph,” Plawecki said. “That’s one thing. He’s got a lot of tools. He’s a big dude on the mound. He’s got a great presence on the mound. He’s got an unbelievable curveball, a great changeup. When he’s able to locate that stuff and able to command those pitches, he’s really hard to hit. And it makes my job a lot easier back there when he’s on his game like that.”
DeGrom matched a modern-day major league record by striking out the first eight Miami Marlins batters and took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning. He ended up with a no-decision, however, as the Mets twice squandered two-run leads and lost, 6-5, Monday at Citi Field.
Jeurys Familia, whose 20 holds are a franchise rookie record, surrendered a two-run single to Adeiny Hechavarria in the eighth as the Marlins pulled even at 5.
Jenrry Mejia, entering with two outs in the eighth, allowed an inherited run to score on Jeff Mathis' go-ahead RBI single later in the frame.
The Mets (72-79) dropped two games behind the Giancarlo Stanton-less Marlins (73-76) for third place in the NL East. The Mets must go 9-2 the rest of the way to avoid their sixth straight losing season.
DeGrom is now 8-6 with a 2.68 ERA through 21 career starts.
He finished with 13 strikeouts -- the most by a Met since Matt Harvey achieved the same total on June 18, 2013 against the Atlanta Braves.
Newly installed No. 3 hitter Travis d'Arnaud had produced a tiebreaking RBI single in a three-run bottom of the seventh as the Mets took a 5-3 lead.
Nursing a 2-0 lead a half-inning earlier, deGrom surrendered a two-run single to ex-Met Jordany Valdespin and sacrifice fly to pinch hitter Reed Johnson. The three-run frame snapped deGrom’s streak without allowing an earned run at 28 innings.
It was the longest streak by a rookie in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Previous record-holder John Maine had gone 26 innings without allowing an earned run in 2006. Overall, it was the fifth-longest streak in the majors this season, trailing only efforts by Clayton Kershaw (41.0 IP without an earned run), Burke Badenhop (32.1 IP), Wade Davis (30.2 IP) and Kelvin Herrera (29.2 IP).
Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart broke up deGrom’s game-opening string of strikeouts at eight with an opposite-field single through the right side of the infield with two outs in the top of the third. DeGrom matched Jim Deshaies of the 1986 Houston Astros for the modern-day record for consecutive Ks to open a game. Pete Falcone formerly held the Mets record. He had six straight strikeouts to open a game in 1980 against the Philadelphia Phillies.
What’s next: Bartolo Colon (13-12, 4.14 ERA) opposes right-hander Nathan Eovaldo (6-11, 4.29) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.
NEW YORK -- Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom has a new bullet point for his NL Rookie of the Year résumé.
DeGrom struck out the first eight Miami Marlins batters he faced on Monday night, tying the modern-day major league record to open a game. Jim Deshaies with the Houston Astros struck out the first eight Los Angeles Dodgers he faced in 1986.
Pete Falcone formerly held the Mets record. He opened a 1980 game against the Philadelphia Phillies with six straight strikeouts.
DeGrom finished with 13 strikeouts over 7 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits, but earned a no-decision in the Mets' 6-5 loss in Miami.
DeGrom's streak ended when the No. 9 batter, opposing pitcher Jarred Cosart, produced an opposite-field single through the right side of the infield. Because Cosart arrived from the American League's Astros at the trading deadline, the hit came in only his 17th career major league at-bat. Cosart had only 15 at-bats in his entire minor-league career.
DeGrom, who was fully aware he had struck out the first eight batters, said he thought Cosart would take to drive up his pitch count.
"I threw ball one, so I thought maybe he'd take the next one," deGrom said. "I threw it right down the middle. I was trying to go outside corner and I just left it over the middle."
While deGrom was well aware of the situation, Cosart was in the dark.
Nimmo produced 10 homers while hitting .278 and producing a .394 on-base percentage between St. Lucie and Binghamton this season.
He was honored at Citi Field on Monday as the top performer with the Florida State League club in 2014.
“Did you see his batting practice today?” Alderson asked. “There was a lot more man there than there was a year and a half ago. He’s continued to be a very good player across the board. I think the two things I take away from his season: No. 1, he’s continued to exercise great judgment at the plate. But I think the last half of the season he’s also demonstrated a lot more power and turned on the ball more consistently. So he’s continued to do well what he’s done in the past and he’s starting to develop the kind of power that we like to see in an outfielder.”
Said Nimmo: “Obviously I’m older, and that makes a big difference. But I do think the offseason and the training we put in and the nutrition, I think all of that came into what you saw this year -- a little bit more power, a little bit more body control, better swing. I am a lot stronger than I was a year ago. It’s helped me out a ton.”
The 23-year-old Reynolds, who primarily has been used at shortstop, hit a combined .343 with six homers, 61 RBIs and 20 steals and had a .405 on-base percentage while splitting the season between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas.
Reynolds, like catcher Kevin Plawecki, was selected out of college in the 2012 draft. As a result, they do not need to be added to the 40-man roster this winter. And the Mets did not want to tie up roster spots for the duo given the organization already will not be able to protect all of the Rule 5 draft-eligible prospects it would like to shield.
“We’ve got a lot of good players in the minor-league system right now,” Sandy Alderson said. “We’ve got probably more eligible for the Rule 5 draft than we can protect. So we’ve got to be a little bit selective. They’ve come a long way in a short period of time. It is a positive and, ultimately, administratively it’s a little bit of a negative.”
Reynolds -- who was honored at Citi Field on Monday as the top performer with Las Vegas -- is not a gifted shortstop range-wise, but a Mets official said he has displayed passable lateral mobility.
Playing on the hard infield in Las Vegas certainly provides a test for any young infielder.
“It’s quick. It’s really fast,” Reynolds said. “It makes you have to be ready early. You may not play on that fast on an infield in the big leagues, but it definitely prepares you for the balls coming at you a lot harder in the big leagues.”
Reynolds batted only .226 in 433 at-bats at Class A St. Lucie in 2013. He attributes the 117-point leap in average to a disciplined approach.
“I was trying to go to right-center with the fastball,” Reynolds said. “That way, I could recognize off-speed a lot better. I tried to do that every single day and it really helped out.”
Reynolds indicated he understood getting bypassed for the September call-up.
“That’s how this game works,” he said. “You can’t really get down on yourself because of that. I kind of figured something like that was going to happen. I’m not mad about it at all. It’s all a business decision. … I’m just trying to put pressure on them to make a move. I think I did a good job of that this year.”