City Sports Report

New York Mets March Madness


By Lloyd Carroll

The New York Mets certainly kept things interesting for their beat writers the first week of spring training.

Outfielder Curtis Granderson, who came to the Mets as a free agent after a very respectable career with the New York Yankees, continued to needle his old team in print. When Grandy signed with the Mets a year ago, he famously uttered that “true New Yorkers are Mets fans.” Upon entering camp this year he added, “The Mets are ready to take the town over from the Yankees.” That’s wonderful, Curtis, but I think that Mets fans would rather hear how the Mets are ready to take the National League East over from the Washington Nationals. At this point, the Miami Marlins appear to be a bigger threat to the Nats than the Mets are.

Granderson’s grandiosity was followed by Lunch-gate. Highly touted pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard created a cause celebre when he decided to eat lunch while a Mets intrasquad game was occurring even though Syndergaard wasn’t scheduled in it. Like most people, Syndergaard wasn’t sure what passes for early spring training etiquette and thought, quite reasonably in my opinion, that it would be a good idea to eat early so that he would have more time to work out in the afternoon.

Mets captain David Wright thought otherwise and lectured Syndergaard. He then went public with his leadership skills by discussing with the media about what transpired. Relief pitcher Bobby Parnell punctuated things by tossing Noah’s lunch in the garbage and telling reporters that “when children don’t behave you take their toys away.” That’s great for team morale boosting. Syndergaard, to his credit, handled things very well by saying that he learned from his mistake and harbors no ill-feeling.

As if that weren’t enough excitement for Port St. Lucie, Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy stated that he wasn’t comfortable with homosexuality after Billy Bean, a former big league outfielder who came out of the closet after his playing days were over, spoke to the Mets at the request of general manager Sandy Alderson.

Murphy took a lot of criticism for articulating how he felt, but it’s unfair to portray him as if he’s a member of the Westboro Baptist Church. He was emphatic in saying that he would not have a problem with having a gay player as a teammate. That’s good enough for me.

Granted, he was facing a minor league lineup last Friday, but Matt Harvey looked impressive as he was perfect in his two-inning stint against the Detroit Tigers. More important than the results was the fact that he threw effortlessly and felt no pain afterwards in his first appearance on a major league mound in 18 months.

Click here for more from Lloyd Carroll on the New York Mets

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