Mets Team Report (Yahoo! Sports)

Jason Bay hasn’t been in a batter’s box since July, a concussion ending his season and leaving his future in the realm of wishful thinking since then.

But Bay isn’t the one doing the wishing. He remains convinced that all of the troubles are behind him.

After Bay ran into the left-field wall at Dodger Stadium, guesses at return dates passed by one after another as headaches remained even when the nausea faded. With the Mets still smarting from the Ryan Church concussion problems from two years earlier, Bay was kept on the sidelines and only rarely even visited the stadium.

“Since about the last week of the season, I didn’t have any more issues,” Bay said. “Well, I mean at the time, I didn’t know.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on December 31, 2010

Many teams show interest in Fuentes (Yahoo! Sports)

Free-agent reliever Brian Fuentes is a very popular man. And why not? The lefty appeared in 48 games and struck…

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on December 29, 2010

Mets get SS Chin-lung Hu from Dodgers (AP)

The New York Mets have acquired shortstop Chin-lung Hu from the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league left-hander Michael Antonini. The 26-year-old Hu spent the majority of last season at Triple-A Albuquerque where he hit .317 with four home runs and 25 RBIs. In two brief stints with Los Angeles he batted .130 (3 for 23).

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on December 27, 2010

Power Rankings: Red Sox, Phillies get raises (Yahoo! Sports)

Signing Carl Crawford and Cliff Lee vaulted the Red Sox and Phillies, respectively, to the top of the offseason list.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on December 23, 2010

Brewers add Green, finalize deal with Counsell (AP)

The Milwaukee Brewers have finalized infielder Craig Counsell's $1.4 million contract and also reached an $875,000, one-year agreement with right-hander Sean Green. The 31-year-old Green spent most of last season on the disabled list with a right intercostal muscle strain. He was recalled by the New York Mets Sept.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on December 22, 2010

Collins Is The Right Man

Flushing, NY – Put yourself in Sandy Alderson’s shoes for one moment. After being hired to resurrect the Mets, he couldn’t just write off 2011, no matter how difficult it will be with the payroll hamstrung, and the team’s best pitcher on the shelf.

And Alderson, knowing how things can turn on you in New York, knew that laying an egg next year will erase all the good will be brought to the table from just being not Omar Minaya.

That’s why he needed to get a manager to do more with less in 2011. He needed someone who could possible whip the current Mets into shape, while keeping watch for 2012 when $60 million in payroll comes off the books and the new general manager can shape the club in his image.

So Alderson went to the well and interviewed 10 candidates and came up with Terry Collins, because based on his track record, the 61 year-old will provide the short term boost to the team with his drill sergeant mentality and fiery personality.

“We can win, our goal is to win and we’re not going into spring training with the notion this is a bridge to something else,” Alderson said. “We’re going to focus hard on 2011 and do what we can to give ourselves our best shot.”

Some would say Bobby Valentine would have been the best choice for that kind of style, especially after pressing out 88 wins in 1997 with essentially the same team that quit on Dallas Green the year before. Yet, Valentine comes with baggage, such as a large salary to match his large ego. Bobby V. would have demanded a commitment from the Mets, something the club didn’t need to do with Collins.

And others – including this reporter – would have preferred Wally Backman, a strong finalist in the managerial race, but also someone who doesn’t have any prior Major League managerial experience. With that comes risk. No matter how attractive Backman looked in Brooklyn last year, no one knows if it would translate to Citi Field. Single-A players are much more eager to buy into Backman’s team philosophy than big league overpaid stars. By putting the fan favorite in that position, it could have turned ugly quickly, especially with the country club atmosphere that was present the last few years in Queens that included sports betting at BetUS.com.

Frankly, Alderson probably did Backman a favor by not giving him the job. Right now, the Met job is Russian Roulette for any manager, and if Backman failed in Queens, based on his past, he would probably never get hired with another affiliated club. Even though he doesn’t know it now, he’s probably better off waiting for a few years after Alderson has a clubhouse in his image.

And that’s why Collins is the perfect man for 2011. With winning records five of his six seasons and a 444-434 record overall, the Mets got themselves someone with a track record. Although he claimed he mellowed in his old age, he still is the same fiery guy who jumpstarted the Astros and Angels, only to eventually lose both teams after three seasons. Essentially Alderson is throwing a Collins firecracker in the rook to see if there is any redeeming value to this clubhouse, and using it as an evaluation on the long term.

If Collins’s in your face style works, then the Mets could be competitive in 2011. If it doesn’t then Alderson knows that a complete facelift is needed on this club, while not spending any of the Wilpons’ money for a high priced manager or burning a dugout prospect in the process.

This is just another smart move from a smart baseball man, which may be the reason why there are a lot of skeptics, as smart baseball moves have been rare in Queens recently.

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Yankees hit with $18M luxury tax for exceeding cap (AP)

The New York Yankees lowered spending on players by $12 million this year, cutting payroll by $5 million and slashing their Major League Baseball-leading luxury tax by more than $7 million. New York was hit with an $18 million luxury tax by MLB on Tuesday. The tax was New York's lowest since 2003 and down from $25.7 million last year, when the Yankees won the World Series.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on December 22, 2010

Can Mr. Fix-it Sandy Alderson mend Mets? (Yahoo! Sports)

The longtime executive has taken on many tough tasks, but turning around the Mets might be the most difficult.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on December 21, 2010

APNewsBreak: Yankees hit with $18M luxury tax (PA SportsTicker)

By RONALD BLUM AP Sports Writer

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on December 21, 2010

Local fan 2011 predictions for sports in Buffalo, New York (Associated Content)

2010 saw a first round playoff exit by the Buffalo Sabres, a woeful at best season from the Buffalo Bills, an improved Buffalo Bisons baseball team, and the introduction of girls' high school hockey in Western New York. Where will these teams and leagues go in 2011? Here are my predictions for Buffalo sports going into the new year. New owner for the Sabres – this has actually been reported to be in the works, so it's not as much of a prediction, but more of a "when will it happen?" question from fans.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on December 21, 2010