Mets threaten action after Beltran opts for surgery

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beltran_100113.jpgAs if the Mets haven’t had enough bad news to deal with in the past year, star center fielder Carlos Beltran underwent surgery on his right knee on Wednesday and will miss the start of the season.

In addition to Beltran missing time, the Mets are apparently rankled that he used his personal physician for the procedure, and did not give their “blessing,” according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

And for now, the Mets and one of their key players are clearly in conflict. A person familiar with the situation told the Post that the Commissioner’s Office and the Players Association have been alerted that “the Mets are claiming this was done without clearance and that the Mets are threatening to take some form of action. There is a potential issue out there.”

It’s unclear what action, if any, the Mets could take, and Sherman theorizes that it’s unlikely the team could do anything given that (a) Beltran has kept them in the loop all along, and (b) the doctor Beltran is using has a sterling reputation.

Beltran’s agent Scott Boras told the AP that the language in the player’s contract only requires the team be given written permission for elective operations.

“This was necessary surgery, necessary surgery to work,” Boras told The Associated Press.

The Mets might claim that the operation was elective.

Regardless of what happens, this is terrible news for the Mets as they try to recover from a nightmare 2009 season.

They had a rash of injuries last season, finishing fourth in the NL East at 70-92 after entering the season with expectations of challenging the Philadelphia Phillies for the division crown. Beltran was one of the players to miss time in 2009, sitting out 2  1/2 months with a bone bruise on his knee. He hit .325 with a .415 on-base percentage in just 81 games.

Now he has more problems with his knee and the team is angry. What else could go wrong?

David Ortiz and Kris Bryant win 2016 Hank Aaron Awards

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 26:  (L-R) Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer 2016 Hank Aaron, Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred and David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox pose during the Hank Aaron Award ceremony prior to Game Two of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on October 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.

Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.

Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.

Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.

Alex Rodriguez is taking his analyst role quite seriously

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees answers question in a press conference after the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on August 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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If you’ve happened to catch any of the coverage of the 2016 postseason on Fox and FS1, you’ve heard former Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez as part of an analyst panel with host Kevin Burkhardt and former major leaguers Pete Rose and Frank Thomas. Rodriguez has drawn rave reviews not just for passing a rather low bar we set for former athletes-turned-commentators, but because he’s adding real insight drawn both from his playing days and from doing research.

Indeed, Rodriguez is taking his new job as an analyst quite seriously, Newsday’s Neil Best reports. Bardia Shah-Rais, the VP of production for Fox, said of Rodriguez, “This is not a hobby for him. It’s not a parachute in. He’s invested. If we have a noon meeting, he’s there at 11:30 a.m. He’s emailing story ideas in the morning. He wants research. He’s almost all-in to the point where it’s annoying.”

Rose also praised Rodriguez, saying, “You’ve never been around a guy who prepares more than Alex does. Alex does his homework. He knows the game. He understands players. He’s into the deal . . . Frank does a great job in preparation, too. I’m the only one that don’t prepare as much as these two guys. I don’t know if that’s because I can’t write or what it is. But these guys do their homework and they ask questions and they ask the right questions and then you put that in with our experience, all the things we’ve been through and how good we get along with each other, that’s why it shows up on the TV.”

Rodriguez, who hasn’t officially retired despite not having played since the Yankees released him in mid-August, wouldn’t commit to more TV work beyond this year’s postseason.