Fred Wilpon was going to fly to Chicago to apologize to the Mets in person, but after talking to Terry Collins and other team officials about what made the most sense, he chose to avoid a possible media scrum and apologize via speaker phone to Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and the Mets, who took the call in the Wrigley Field clubhouse. According to the Daily News he called David Wright separately, as he is not with the team at the moment due to his injury.
So I guess our short regional nightmare is over.
Or not, because according to Mike Vaccaro in the Post, Wilpon needs to apologize to fans too. Which I find kind of confusing because I’m not sure what injury his comments in the New Yorker caused them. Were they under some Wilpon-fueled delusion that the Mets were championship contenders? And that this delusion was firmly in place until the moment the evil Wilpon let his guard down and revealed that — no! — the team was, in fact, “shitty?” Is that the betrayal for which Wilpon needs to apologize?
Seems like a stretch. Most Mets fans I know are more than familiar with the state of the team. And while they wish that Wilpon’s comments didn’t happen due to the distraction they have caused, I don’t get the sense that their substance represents an insult, the kind of which the angry season ticket holder Vaccaro quotes complains of. If you bought what Wilpon has been selling for the past couple of years that’s your own fault bub. Anyone with a lick of sense knows that the team has been a mess for a while. The people who were actually harmed here were Beltran, Reyes and Wright, it seems.
Back to them: I did find one thing that Jose Reyes had to say rather amusing: “he’s the boss and he can say what he wants to say.” That’s right out of the Derek Jeter play book back when George Steinbrenner was running the show in the Bronx. That little quote usually ended any Big Stein-inspired flap and, over time, diminished the significance of any given incident.
So, the lesson: if you want to sound off on your team, make a habit of it so that everyone can get into a good serve-and-volley rhythm, thereby defusing the story.
Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.
While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.
When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.
Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.
More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.
Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)
It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.