Jeff Wilpon photo

Jeff Wilpon says his family is not selling a controlling interest in the Mets

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Darn, I suppose that means that the whole Donald Trump scenario is kaput:

Jeff Wilpon made his first appearance of the spring in Port St. Lucie Wednesday morning in the Mets clubhouse, and reiterated that his family will retain control of the Mets, despite a $1 billion lawsuit that alleges they should have known about Bernard Madoff’s massive fraud.

“We’re not selling controlling interest in the team. It’s not on the table,” Wilpon said.

Wilpon noted that, for as bad as this is for his family, it’s not going to impact the Mets, citing the team’s high payroll.  Which is a good point.  Left unsaid, though, is what happens in future years if (a) the Wilpons retain control; but (b) they are financially hobbled by a settlement or judgment in the Madoff case. Of course I wouldn’t expect Wilpon to talk about that now because it touches on way too many unknowns.

But it seems like the worst of both worlds for Mets fans would be for the Wilpons to retain control but not able to continue to maintain the high payrolls to which the team has become accustomed.  Sure, I’d rather have Sandy Alderson running the ship in such a scenario than anyone else, but that’s not the deal most Mets have signed up for, and I wonder how they would take to a team that, by necessity, had to run lean and mean.

David Ortiz had the Rays cancel his pregame ceremony out of respect for Jose Fernandez

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 23:  David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox salutes a fan before his turn at bat during the first inning of their game with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 23, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images)
Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images
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The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.

Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:

Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.

Curtis Granderson is close to making history

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22:  Curtis Granderson #3 of the New York Mets connects on a three-run home run in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 22, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
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With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.

There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.

Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.

Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.