Mets announce changes to Citi Field

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Responding to fans who felt the new
Citi Field wasn’t a tribute to the blue ‘n’ orange as much as it was a
baseball field with a neat little entrance way dedicated to Jackie
Robinson,
the Mets announced plans to expand the presence of club history throughout the ballpark for its second season.


– The Mets will rename the park’s
VIP entrances after Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver and Casey Stengel, while the
outfield bridge will be called Shea Bridge, in honor of William A.
Shea, the man who was instrumental in bringing National League baseball
back to New York.

The team will install the Mets
Hall of Fame & Museum adjacent to the Jackie Robinson
Rotunda. Additionally, a re-formed Mets Hall of Fame Committee,
including members of the media and front office, will evaluate
potential inductees.


– Finally, the team will incorporate
the team colors, logos and full-color banners of Mets players at
various entry points of the park. They’ll also add a few more bells and
whistles, including staircases painted with team colors and blue and
orange flowers in the gardens at Mets Plaza in front of the
Jackie Robinson Rotunda.




Wow. These alterations are so darn
reasonable that it’s almost embarrassing they weren’t implemented from
day one. While the Mets did their fans right today, thankfully these
announcements didn’t include any silly plans to tweak the actual
playing field.
 

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.