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Mets approached “Cougar Life” dating website in attempt to get All-Star votes for David Wright

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David Wright lost out to the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval in the balloting for the National League third base job on the All-Star team last season and he’s trailing him again in the voting this year. However, with the All-Star Game at Citi Field next month, the Mets are trying to pull out all the stops to get their hometown player into the starting lineup. And their push took them to an interesting place.

According to Deadspin, the Mets approached the niche dating website “Cougar Life” last Friday to see if they would be interested in promoting Wright’s All-Star campaign. That’s right, “Cougar Life.” There is a little bit of history with this website, as Wright apparently won something called “MLB’s Hottest Cub” earlier this year.

Anyway, after some back and forth, the Mets backed out of the potential arrangement. Still, the emails from the Mets were leaked to Deadspin, which was enough for the team to release a statement this afternoon.

“Cougar Life voted David Wright as the hottest cub. In our effort to expand All-Star balloting to wider audiences, so as to increase votes, we did reach out to Cougar Life. Last year there was a big swing of votes at the end that cost David the starting job. We decided to do everything to make sure that doesn’t happened again this year. We ultimately elected to pass. We thank whoever leaked this to Deadspin for increasing awareness of #VOTEWRIGHTNOW AT METS.COM.”

Cougars vs. Pandas? I get the angle.

While Wright is appreciative of the Mets’ efforts, he told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York after today’s loss that he has asked the team to scale back their promotional efforts for him, especially during games at Citi Field.

“You appreciate what they’re trying to do, and they’re very good-hearted. At the same time, this is a team game. As much as I’d like to be here to represent this team in the All-Star Game, we can’t let this become an in-between-inning, one-player production. Especially with the way we’re playing as a team, I feel very uncomfortable being singled out for All-Star-Game-type stuff.”

As for being named “Hottest Cub,” Wright said, “I guess I’d like to thanks my parents for the genes.” It’s ultimately a little embarrassing for all involved, but at least Wright has a sense of humor about the whole thing.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
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Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.