Programming Note: Announcing the Story Explorer

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Sometime later today you’re going to notice a minor change to HBT and the other NBC SportsTalk blogs.  At the bottom of each story there will be a little navigation bar we call the Story Explorer.

The idea is that once you’ve finished reading a post you will be able to browse and then — if you’re so inclined — navigate to other posts on the blog without having to go back to the homepage.  Those of you who have used them should recognize that the Story Explorer is rather similar to the mode of navigation used on our iPhone, iPad and Android apps.

The Story Explorer is currently live over on our outdoors blog, From the Lodge.  Click over and check it out. And, while you’re there, feel free to learn where the deer are currently rutting.  The vegans and PETA members among you can just look at this screencap:

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I’ve been messing with this thing for a little while now, and I really like it. I hope you do too.  And, of course, I hope it works.  To that end, please feel free to give us feedback on it once it goes live later today. Let us know if you like it, what, if anything, you’d change about it, if you like the location below the stories and that sort of thing.

Keep calm and carry on.

 

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.