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Mets to name Brodie Van Wagenen new general manager

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The Mets are finalizing paperwork to make CAA Sports agent Brodie Van Wagenen the organization’s newest general manager, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. As Craig noted on Friday, Van Wagenen was the presumed frontrunner for the position, despite his various conflicts of interest with the club. Sherman adds that an official press conference will be held to announce Van Wagenen’s hiring on Tuesday or Thursday, pending the conclusion of the World Series this week. The team has yet to confirm the appointment.

An additional report from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo revealed that the 44-year-old had been in talks with the Mets about the GM position — first as an advisor, then as a candidate — ever since Sandy Alderson stepped away from his role this summer. They ultimately elected not to go with either of the two finalists they were considering alongside Van Wagenen: Rays senior VP of baseball operations, Chaim Bloom, and Brewers senior advisor and two-time GM Doug Melvin.

It’s unclear exactly what Van Wagenen has in store for the Mets moving forward, and there are more than a few who doubt his ability to approach the role with the impartiality and expertise necessary to succeed. Per DiComo, CAA may promote fellow agents Jeff Berry and Nez Balelo in light of Van Wagenen’s departure. They’re also expected to try to retain his former clients, including current Mets players Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes, and Tim Tebow, among others.

Phillies-Mets could get contentious tonight

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As the Mets were wrapping up a 9-0 shellacking of the Phillies on Tuesday night, reliever Jacob Rhame threw a pitch up and in to first baseman Rhys Hoskins with two outs in the ninth inning. The pitch sailed behind Hoskins’ back. The slugger wasn’t happy about the scare, understandably. Players began to trickle out of their respective dugouts, but a fracas was avoided.

Hoskins was skeptical that Rhame simply missed his spot. Per MLB.com’s Thomas Harrigan, Hoskins said, “He didn’t miss up and in the rest of the inning, so I’ll let you decide. I would assume teams are pitching me in because that’s where they think they can get me out, and that’s fine. That’s part of the game. Again, I think most guys are capable of pitching inside and not missing that bad.”

Teammate Bryce Harper said, “I don’t get it. I understand that two of their guys got hit yesterday. But, I mean, if it’s baseball and you’re going to drill somebody, at least hit him in the [butt]. Not in the head. You throw 98, it’s scary now. You could kill somebody. Lose your eyesight. That’s bigger than the game.”

Indeed, two Mets were hit by pitches on Monday night. José Álvarez hit Jeff McNeil in the seventh inning, which advanced a base runner. In the very next at-bat, Juan Nicasio hit Pete Alonso with a first-pitch fastball. It was obvious neither was intentional as the Phillies were only down two runs and hitting both batters advanced base runners and led to runs scoring. It is less obvious that Rhame’s pitch to Hoskins was unintentional, but he showed empathy in his post-game comments. Rhame said, “When you accidentally sail one, it’s probably pretty scary. I’d get [angry], too.”

Will Wednesday night’s series finale be contentious? Despite being “fairly upset,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said, “We do not retaliate, and we do not throw at anybody intentionally,” Jake Seiner of the Associated Press reports.

Mets manager Mickey Calloway didn’t give as straight an answer. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Calloway said, “I think at this point, you just go out there and beat people, and win. … For now, I don’t feel like anything has been intentional at us that has warranted anything from our side.” If that changes, however, Calloway said, “They’re going to have each other’s backs.”

Hopefully, neither side decides to take justice into their own hands. But, welcome to the NL East in 2019. The Mets lead the Phillies by one game, and the Braves and Nationals by 1.5 games. It’s going to be a knock-down, drag-out division fight all year long.