Tag:Mets
Posted on: February 20, 2012 2:45 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 4:50 pm
 

Beltran gives former teammate a nosejob

Jonathan Niese

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It's not unusual to hear of teammates giving each other gifts -- from watches to cars and just about everything in between. But this is a new one.

Carlos Beltran, now a Cardinal, got Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese a new nose.

Yep, Beltran paid for Niese's nose job this offseason after making a playful barb that Niese needed a new nose. Beltran went so far as to offer to pay for it, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

"He wanted me to have a new nose," Niese told Rubin. "So he offered to pay for it. I was just like, 'All right.' Then it turned into seeing doctors and to getting it fixed."

The picture above, is clearly the "before."

The surgery may have also been a performance-enhancer for the 25-year-old left-hander. He said the surgery has helped him breathe better.

"It's helped a lot with my running," Niese said. "It helps with my working out. As far as the mound, I'm not sure."

Niese was 11-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 27 games and 26 starts last season, striking out 138 batters in 157 1/3 innings.

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Posted on: February 19, 2012 11:07 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2012 11:22 pm
 

K-Rod contemplates lawsuit against former agents

By Matt Snyder

Brewers relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez may file a lawsuit against his former agents, Paul Kinzer and Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

K-Rod and his attorneys allege that he was led to believe he had a no-trade clause that included 10 teams -- the Brewers being one of them -- by his agents when he initially signed a three-year contract with the Mets before the 2009 season. Instead, the former closer found out there was no such clause in July of last season. After realizing the omission, Rodriguez fired the agents and hired Scott Boras.

"They did something atrocious,'' Rodriguez's attorney Richard Johnson said (USAToday.com). "Their utter arrogance makes this so evil. It's like rear-ending somebody, but instead of stopping your car and trading insurance information, these guys blew up the car, took off, and ran away. They committed negligence, and turned it into a fraud case.''

Boras negotiated a $500,000 buyout out of K-Rod's vesting option for 2012, which was worth $17.5 million. He would have pretty easily finished enough games to make the option vest had he stayed with the Mets or been traded to a team that would use him as the closer. Instead, he accepted the buyout and was traded, eyeing a big free agent this deal in the offseason.

As the closer market dried up this past offseason, however -- not to mention the fact that Rodriguez had zero saves with the Brewers -- Rodriguez decided to accept arbitration from the Brewers instead of hitting the open market and ended up with a one-year, $8 million contract.

"He's going to lose a lot of money, the question is whether it's seven figures or eight figures,'' said Johnson(USAToday.com). "There's long-term damage to his career. He wasn't even in position to be marketed as a closer last winter. They really [messed] with his career in a monumental way.''

Had Rodriguez's contract contained the no-trade clause, he could have made sure he was in a closing situation -- perhaps having a great second half and setting himself up for a free agency offer from a team seeking a closer. Instead he'll remain in the setup role at least one more season.

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Posted on: February 19, 2012 11:46 am
Edited on: February 19, 2012 12:37 pm
 

Mike Cameron retires from baseball

By Matt Snyder

Exactly two months after signing a minor-league deal with the Washington Nationals, Mike Cameron has decided to call it a career, according to the club.

Cameron appeared to be a possibility as a center-field platoon partner with either Roger Bernadina or Rick Ankiel -- both of whom are left-handed -- but now the Nats are without a righty option. Of course, if Bryce Harper makes the team out of spring, the plan is to play Jayson Werth in center every day.

Cameron, 39, closes with a good career resume. In 17 seasons, he hit .249/.338/.444 with 278 home runs, 968 RBI, 1,064 runs and 297 stolen bases. He won three Gold Gloves, made one All-Star Game and received MVP votes two times. He has a shot at getting on the Hall of Fame ballot (Bill Mueller and Tony Womack were on this year's, for example), but no shot of getting in.

He never spent more than four years with the same ballclub, playing for eight different franchises: The Mariners, White Sox, Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Brewers, Reds and Marlins. Amazingly, as you can see, he played in every single division.

He was also involved in two pretty big transactions as part of trades in exchange for both Ken Griffey Jr. and Paul Konerko.

The highlight of Cameron's career had to be on May 2, 2002, when he hit four home runs in one game -- becoming the 13th player in big-league history to accomplish the feat.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 9:41 pm
 

Empire State Building honors Gary Carter

By C. Trent Rosecrans

If you're in New York Friday night, take a gander at the Empire State Building. If you're not in New York, check it out here:

Empire State Building

The building's lights are shining orange and blue in honor of Hall of Famer Gary Carter, a former Met who died on Thursday at the age of 57.

A fantastic tribute and one befitting Carter.

The photo is from Tom Kaminski of WCBS 880 in New York (via @Mets)

Hat-tip: Big League Stew

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 5:48 pm
 

Mets' Santana encouraged by mound session

Johan Santana

By C. Trent Rosecrans


OK, we've been down this road before, but still, at this point any good news in the Johan Santana comeback trail should be considered great news.

On Friday, Santana, the Mets' $137.5-million left-hander, threw off the mound for the first time since last season. He threw 25 pitches, throwing fastballs, changeups and curveballs.

"I finally had a chance to get on the mound and throw to a catcher … and I felt really good," Santana told reporters on Friday (via MLB.com). "The approach that we had from the beginning was to do everything like I always do to get ready for the season. For me, it's about time to get on the mound and start throwing. And I was able to throw all of my pitchers, and it felt good after that."

Santana is scheduled to throw again on Tuesday.

The Mets' official line is that Santana will be ready for opening day. The rest of the world is a little more skeptical. Santana was supposed to be able to return from his Sept. 2010 shoulder surgery by last season's All-Star break, but suffered multiple setbacks. He made two minor-league rehab stints.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: February 16, 2012 6:42 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 9:41 pm
 

Reaction to the death of Gary Carter

Gary Carter

Gary CarterBy C. Trent Rosecrans


The passing of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter has brought an outpouring of emotion from those in and around baseball.

We'll collect many of the statements from those around baseball here.

MLB commissioner Bud Selig:
"Driven by a remarkable enthusiasm for the game, Gary Carter became one of the elite catchers of all-time. 'The Kid' was an 11-time All-Star and a durable, consistent slugger for the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets, and he ranks among the most beloved players in the history of both of those franchises.  Like all baseball fans, I will always remember his leadership for the '86 Mets and his pivotal role in one of the greatest World Series ever played.
"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Gary’s wife Sandy, their daughters Christy and Kimmie, their son D.J., their grandchildren, his friends and his many fans."

Statement from Mets chairman & CEO Fred Wilpon, president Saul Katz and COO Jeff Wilpon:
"On behalf of everyone at the Mets, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Gary’s family -- his wife Sandy, daughters Christy and Kimmy and son D.J.  His nickname 'The Kid' captured how Gary approached life. He did everything with enthusiasm and with gusto on and off the field. His smile was infectious. He guided our young pitching staff to the World Series title in 1986 and he devoted an equal amount of time and energy raising awareness for a multitude of charities and community causes.  He was a Hall of Famer in everything he did."

Former Mets general manager Frank Cashen:
"The genesis of the trade was that we wanted to add a big bat to the lineup. He did that right away, but perhaps more importantly was the way he handled our young pitchers. He was the perfect guy for so many reasons."
 
Former Mets manager Davey Johnson:
"Gary was a one-man scouting system. What people didn’t know was that he kept an individual book on every batter in the National League. He was the ideal catcher for our young pitching staff."

Gary CarterFormer Mets teammate Darryl Strawberry:
"What he added to the team was character. His approach to the game was contagious. It spread to the rest of us. He helped each of us understand what it took to win."

Former Mets teammate Dwight Gooden:
"I relied on Gary for everything when I was on the mound including location, what pitch to throw and when. Even when I didn’t have my best stuff, he found a way to get me through the game. He was just a warrior on the field."
 
Former Mets teammate Wally Backman:
"He was like a big brother to me.  I always went to him for advice. No matter what time of day it was, he always had time for you."
 
Former Mets teammate Tim Teufel:
"The baseball community has lost a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame person. He was a good man and will be missed terribly."

Former Mets teammate Mookie Wilson: 
"The one thing I remember about Gary was his smile. He loved life and loved to play the game of baseball."

Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench (on Twitter):
"I am so sad! The Kid has left us. I started calling him Kid the first time I met him. He was admired and loved. Thank you for our past"

Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda:
"Gary Carter played for me with so much respect and enthusiasm for the game he loved. He was a Hall of Famer as a player and as a man. On behalf of the entire Dodger organization, we love him and will miss him."

MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner:
"We are saddened by the news of Gary Carter’s passing. Gary was one of the greatest players of his generation and his enthusiasm and passion for the game will live on in the hearts and minds of those of us fortunate enough to have watched him play. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gary’s family, his former teammates and his legion of fans in the U.S. and Canada.”

Former Expos teammate Steve Rogers:
"Learning of Gary’s passing feels as if I just lost a family member. Gary and I grew up together in the game, and during our time with the Expos we were as close as brothers, if not closer. Gary was a champion. He was a 'gamer' in every sense of the word – on the field and in life. He made everyone else around him better, and he made me a better pitcher. His contributions to the game, both in Montreal and New York, are legendary and will likely never be duplicated. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Sandy, and children, Christy, Kimmy and D.J., and to his many friends and fans."

Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven:
"We both grew up in Southern Cal, though he was 3-to-4 years younger than I was. He was a great ballplayer and a tremendous family man, and I'll miss him."
 
Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk:
"We had a lot in common, from family to our profession. He endured a lot as a catcher, as did I. And making it to the Hall of Fame was over the top for Gary, as it has been for me. We knew each other for more than 30 years, he meant a lot to me. I'm crushed by his passing."
 
Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver:
"Nobody loved the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. Nobody enjoyed playing the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played. For a catcher to play with that intensity in every game is special."
 
Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams:
"Johnny Bench was the No. 1 catcher of the 70s. Gary Carter (was) the No. 1 catcher of the 80s."

Hall of Fame Jane Forbes Clark:
"It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter. Gary’s enthusiasm, giving spirit and infectious smile will always be remembered in Cooperstown. Our thoughts are with Sandy, Christy, Kimmie, DJ and the entire Carter family on this very sad day."

Current Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese, who played for Carter in the minors:
"The one thing Gary stressed to us was team. He said individual goals were meaningless. He said the name on the front of the uniform was more important than the name on the back. That's what I’ll take from my two years with him."

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 6:13 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 7:13 pm
 

Video: Remembering Gary Carter

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Hall of Fame induction in 2003:


Carter named 1981 All-Star MVP:


Carter's walk-off homer in the 10th in his Shea Stadium debut in 1985:


Carter's final hit, a go-ahead double in his final at-bat in 1992:


Carter interviewed in 2010 about his early years in Montreal:


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Posted on: February 16, 2012 5:50 pm
 

Video: Carter's children accept award

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Just last month, Gary Carter was scheduled to the receive the Baseball Writer's Association of America's New York chapter Milton and Arthur Richman "You Gotta Have Heart" Award, but was unable to receive it in person. Instead, his three children accept the award.

Here's the video from the event:



Carter's son, D.J., read a speech his father wrote:
"I'll always have a special place in my heart for the people and the city of New York. I have nothing but fond memories of my time here in New York, highlighted, of course, with the World Series championship in 1986. I still remember the feeling of riding in the World Series parade with over one million people lining the streets to celebrate our championship. The fans were always supportive of me on the baseball field and have continued to support me and my family since my diagnosis of brain cancer in May of 2011.

"It is with honor that I accept this award. I want to wish all of you the very, very best in the future and hope the Mets will win many more World Series championships."
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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com