No shock: Ricky Nolasco says he didn’t try to hit Nyjer Morgan

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Not that there was much doubt in the mind of anyone but Nyjer Morgan, but Ricky Nolasco made it pretty clear today that he didn’t intend to hit Morgan with a pitch earlier this week:

I don’t know what to tell Nyjer. I’m not trying to hit him. What’s happened last year is squashed. If I wanted to hit him, I’d hit him with the first pitch. And why am I going to hit somebody in my first start, trying to catch-up off an injury, on an 0-2 count to lead off the game? I don’t know what else to tell him for him to think differently. I don’t know. I can just tell you, “No, I did not try to hit him.”

I’m not sure how Nolasco actually said it, but I read “I don’t know what to tell Nyjer” in an exasperated tone, which is how a lot of people are increasingly feeling about Morgan on and off the field since around the middle of last season.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.