Mets give away 4,000 tickets to military members and their families for Tuesday’s game at Citi Field

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The Mets announced earlier this evening that they have donated 4,000 tickets to military members and their families for tomorrow night’s series opener against the Giants at Citi Field.

This gesture is in addition to the Mets’ current policy that allows free admission to any active service member who presents a valid military I.D.

Here’s the full text of the press release from the team:

The New York Mets today announced the team has donated 4,000 tickets to military members and their families for tomorrow’s game against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field.

Working in conjunction with the USO, the Mets distributed 2,000 tickets to tomorrow’s series opening game with the defending World Series champion Giants to all five branches of the military – Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard.

In addition, the first 2,000 members of the military who show a valid military I.D. at the Day of Game Ticket Sales Window at Citi Field will receive complimentary tickets for themselves and their guests. Military personnel can receive their tickets, limited to six per party, starting two hours before tomorrow’s 7:10 game.

Marine Corps veteran Sgt. Elizabeth Quiñones will sing God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch of tomorrow’s game.

Today’s donation compliments the Mets’ season-long policy of providing a complimentary ticket to any active service member who presents a valid military I.D. at the Citi Field ticket office.

I would normally say something playfully sarcastic like the Mets can’t give these seats away, but this is a classy move by the organization. I can’t wait to see the atmosphere at Citi Field tomorrow.

Jered Weaver announces his retirement

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Jered Weaver, a 12-year big league veteran and a three-time All-Star, has announced his retirement.

Weaver was struggling mightily with the Padres this year, going 0-5 in nine starts and posting a 7.44 ERA,, a 2.6 BB/9 and 4.9 K/9 ratio over 42.1 innings. He hadn’t posted a sub-4.00 ERA since 2014 and his velocity had, quite famously, sunk into the low 80s and even high 70s at times in recent seasons. A spate of physical setbacks contributed to that, with a hip inflammation ailing him this season and nerve issues in his neck and back afflicting him for the past few years.

But even if his recent seasons have been less-than-memorable, it’s worth remembering that he was, for a time, one of baseball’s best pitchers. He posted a record of 131-69 with a 3.28 ERA in his first 9 seasons, leading the American League in strikeouts in 2010 and leading the circuit in wins in 2012 and 2014. He likewise led the league in WHIP and hits allowed per nine innings in 2012.

He finishes his career with a record of 150-98, an ERA of 3.63 (ERA+ of 111) and a K/BB ratio of 1,621/551 in 2,067.1 innings. He pitched in four American League Division Series and the 2009 ALCS, posting a 2.67 ERA in seven playoff games pitched.

Happy trails, Jered. A first-ballot induction into the Hall of He Was Really Dang Good, Even if We Forgot About It For A While is in your future.

The Jose Fernandez statue may be in jeopardy

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Last November it was reported that the Marlins planned to build a memorial for Jose Fernandez, likely including a statue. The effort was said to be a pet project of the Marlins owner, Jeff Loria, who was close with Fernandez.

Today the Miami Herald reports, however, that those plans are in limbo due to the sale of the team:

The planned statue to honor Jose Fernandez, which was departing owner Jeffrey Loria’s idea, is now very much in question because it will not be erected before Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter take over, and it will ultimately be the new owners’ call. That matter has not yet been discussed, with the sale agreed to only in the past few days.

There’s nothing in the report suggesting that they’re opposed to the statue — it’s possible this was placed in the Herald by people close to the new group in order to test the waters — but there always was the sense that the idea was something of a priority for Loria personally. One wonders how much momentum it will have once he’s gone.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that Fernandez was eventually found to have been under the influence of alcohol and cocaine and was behind the wheel of the boat at the time of the accident that claimed his life and the life of two others, making any memorial to him suspect in the eyes of some people.

Thankfully we don’t spend a lot of time and energy discussing the ethics of statues in this country, so I’m sure it’ll have no bearing on the matter.